Khmer Rouge deadly lessons
For your peace of mind, please note that there are some disturbing images and information below.
When we came to Cambodia, our first stop was in Phnom Penh. One of the must visit spots were the genocide prison and killing fields. While it was saddening to go there, it was exceptional. Until this visit Khmer Rouge and its regime were a mystery to me. The scale of its atrocities was a shock to my system.
On pictures in solitary cells a little would appear to an unsuspecting eye. As I moved closer whatever I could make out sent chills down my spine. A sinking stomach sensation would become a tearing eye that would in turn become a restless brain. At this point my imagination was running all kinds of scenarios.
What was once a person, and a human being, became a pile of swollen and bruised skin, blood, broken bones, and ripped cloth. It did not look like a person anymore. The overbearing sadness of the images was heartbreaking.
Only recently leaders of the regime had been prosecuted
The overwhelming hurt that those people went through became a screeching noise inside my skin, my spine, and my brain. Everything in this place still feels “recently abandoned” or left as is. On the faces of the interrogated, featured below, I could see no hope.
Their expressions contained a relief from torture, hurt, and madness that surrounded them. Tortured to death and then thrown away; there is no memory left of them except for the pictures. I feel so sad.
Thousands of them women, men, children, were all accused of opposing the regime. They were called enemies of the state.
An empty regime based on greed, ignorance, and plain stupidity. Anyone wearing glasses, with soft hands, educated, or a different set of opinions, quickly became a conspiring traitor. Finally, an accusation would lead to tortured confession and then an execution.
Khmer Rouge regime killed estimated 2 000 000 people. Its leaders only recently (2014) got sentenced for a life in prison. They are now around 80-90 years old. No regime or idea is worth this.
Though it was sad and became depressing very quickly we still went to the killing fields after to see where the murders took place. After that visit I swore off places like that.
I think it is necessary for Cambodians, and any country that had a misfortune of many killings, to keep places like that open so locals and visitors from outside can learn and appreciate their current freedom.
women and girls who disappeared
But I can’t because I take it personally. How can so many people hate so many of their own people? Why?! What is the point? What did they learn or did they learn from this? I hope one day I can develop a stronger resilience to places like that. Until then, no more.
Find more information and time chronology of the Khmer Rouge regime coming to power here.
If you have been visiting my blog on a regular basis, my posting schedule became a bit more irregular.
Subscribe to stay in the loop and get all the latest travel tips, shopping guides around the world and more. I will only send notices once a month and only if i have something worthy to share.