January 23, 2013

OAT Ancient Kingdoms: Choeung Ek Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

The Khmer Rouge turned a school into Tuol Sleng Prison, a place of torture for over 17,000 men, women and children - many of whom would be sent to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields.  Below are the faces of the main instigators of this cruelty.

 A few survived this ordeal to write their story but most perished.

This serene tower is filled with thousands of skulls from the men, women and children executed here.  Babies were smashed against a tree.  Adults were lined up in front of an open pit, their heads smashed from behind, and they would topple into the pit.  When the executions were complete, the open pit would be sprayed with DDT and filled with dirt.  
 Music was played on a loudspeaker hanging from this tree to drown out screams during the executions.

During the regime of Pol Pot, over 1 million people perished from 1975 to 1979 - either by execution in one of many of the Killing Fields or from starvation and overwork.  Our local guide talked about being forced to walk with her family for days to a farm where her parents (teachers) were forced to work the land.  She was only 5 at the time.

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