The other side of cambodia
Dec 28, 2004
the killing fields......well honestly they are just fields about 15 kilometers from the prison. they estimate something like 30-40,000 people are buried there in mass graves. they have excavated a few of them and for whatever reason have put the skulls they found in a buddhist shrine that was built on the site as a memorial....htere are 8000 skulls so far. you could look at the skulls and see how they died.....bullet holes or axes or huge gaping holes from a beating.....it was all there to see and think about. there is the tree where they would take infants by the legs and swing them against....and the tree for hangings but i think the most disturbing thing was that as u walked on the paths you could look down under your feet and see bones coming up out of the ground....everywhere there were bones or bits of clothing. im not sure if i can fully comprehend the horror of it and i got a pretty good up close look at it. im not going to go into the whole man's inhumanity to man..we all know about that. just stop and think about it for awhile....never again? it seems to be happening all the time.
so brief history lesson for everyone.......cambodia had a civil war in the 70's and was over thrown by a communist regime that had a very differnet view of the world. wanted a classless agricultural society. They emptied the cities and put everyone to work on the farms and in the fields and in the process they killed just about everyone with an education. being a school teacher is reason for execution, doctor, lawyer, having glasses (honest). overall death toll for those 5 years is around 3 million. so s-21 was their prison for questioning and over the course of 5 years they had 20,000 inmates including infants and toddlers (when they rounded you up they took your whole family). so there were thousands of mugshots on display and you know they were all tortured to death or just killed outright.....and when u see mugshots of infants well its not an easy day. our tour guide had lost her parents and like 5 siblings and 6 uncles to the khemer rouge so it was informative but also sometimes hard to listen to her. just standing on the grounds and looking around was enough to put a shiver up your spine...imagining what it must have been like for the people coming through the gates. when the vietnamese liberated the city so to speak they found 14 bodies strapped to their beds, throats cut or beaten with shovels...there are very graphic photos of these and they have been afforded a proper burial on the grounds of the prison....there were also 7 people in another part of the prison who were allowed to live for whatever reason....and those are the 7 survivors.