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More than one and one half million Cambodians died from disease, starvation, overwork, and execution under Khmer Rouge rule (1975–79). To help redress the lack of anthropological research on the origins of such large-scale genocides, in this article I explore how the Cambodian cultural model of disproportionate revenge, in combination with Communist Party ideology, provided a cultural template for the extreme violence that took place during this period, [genocide, Cambodia, Khmer Rouge, violence, revenge, cultural models, Marxist ideology]