As I stand at the killing field’s memorial site I am reminded of the brutal capacity of the human spirit. During the 4 year period of 1975-1979, the Kumar Rouge governmental party took power of Cambodia and implemented a genocidal new regime, comparable to the brutality of the Nazis in WW11. And similar to the Nazis the Kumer Rouge meticulously documented the brutality with photos and records of their killing and torturous methods. The “museum” or Killing Fields site are preserved as they were found in 1979.
It was believed by The Kumer Rouge party in power in Cambodia in 1975, that the new regime began the world a new at year zero. During year zero and the 4 years that followed, the Khmer Rouge party implemented a mass exodus out of the cities and attempted to place the entire population in reeducation camps in the country side. The following photos were taken at the S-21 the school in the city of Phenom Pehn that was turned into a prison and torture camp. The second and third floor of The S-21 school was covered in barbed wire so people could not commit suicide which was a common issue at the S-21 prison/school.
Additional photos were taken at the Killing Fields memorial site approximately 10km south of the city where millions of people were transported to be killed and placed in mass graves. The mass graves usually consisted of dumping the bodies into trenches and streams. The bodies dead or alive where first covered in acid to cut back on the smell. Hundreds of “Killing Fields” sites exist all over Cambodia and The Killing Fields story has also been documented in the award winning film “The Killing Fields”. The remaining members of the Khmer Rouge party have still not been persecuted; the trial began in 2010 and is still being litigated today.
Click the photo to begin the slide show but before you do I must admit that I threw up behind a tree at the Killing Fields site after looking at teeth and bones that have been washed to surface of the site grounds after recent flooding. Therefore, some of these photos might be a bit graphic.