Killing Fields – Khmer Rouge

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Cambodia

Today we dove into the cruel history of Khmer Rouge Dynastie. We went to see the Tuol Sleng Museum – the former Security Prison 21. This place used to be a primary and high school before 1975 but during the Khmer Rouge is was hell on earth. When the regime fell in 1979 there were 14 dead bodies found tortured to death. They could not be identified because there was hardly anything left of their faces. They are buried inside the museum. Just 7 people out of 14.000 inhabitants survived S 21.

Rules on the ground of the prison where like: „You shall not cry when you get hit or electrical shocks“. You could see many pictures of the prisoners, torturing materials and methods. These pictures we will not forget. Most of the perople who got killied were intellectuals because they where a thread for the Khmer.

Most interesting was a documentation of a Swedish representative, he supported the Khmer Rouge. He was convinced of the ideas and ideologies but registered later that his two week tour through Cambodia was just a government made show for the representatives. They saw places with happy and well fed people who produced all products without force.

Reality looked different though. Khmer Rouge with its leader Pol Pot enslaved people. They exported rice while their own people starved to death. About 625.000 people died because of having no food… But it was said that the export was just a small number.

One of the ideologies of Marxism is to produce anything on your own and to keep all your producs in your own country, not taking any help or money from other countries. Which meas, Cambodia is self reliant at least in the meaning of Khmer Rouge. But Pol Pot imported weapons and exported rice to pay for the war. That thousands of people died having nothing to eat did not matter. Maybe people who believe in Marxism should visit Cambodia…

With having this horrific background information we went to the Killing Fields – one out of 394. Just here they believe to find about 20.000 corpses. A stupa (big glas tower) contains 8995 skulls and clothes as a memorial. 86 out of 129 graves are evacuated.

In a mass grave they found 100 bodies of women and kids, all naked. Next to it you find a sign and bones and teeth. Here they banged babies against the tree to kill them and dump them into a grave. They killed the kids not having to fear the revenge.

One sentence just fitted: members of Khmer Rouge had a human body but their hearts are damon hearts.

Having the history, all wars and the suffering in mind people did not seem to learn out of it. This was a frustrating day. But its necessary to deal with feeling like this so you never forget.

Accommodation: Mekong Delta Trip / Guesthouse
Price: US$ 8
Comment: double room with bathroom and TV. 25 min. into town (by foot)