Killing Fields Cambodia
During the 3 years, 8moths and 20dys period, approximately one million Cambodian people were killed. That darkness period was called Khmer Rough, which mean “ Red Khmer”. That regime is an unforgettable painful period to all Cambodian people because Cambodian people were killed by its own nationality. Also, there were not enough food and medication provided while forcing to do all the hard work in the sun from dawn to dark. Every result from farming was for a group of powerful people. , called Angkar which mean Organization in English). Cambodian people dedicated their energy and food to cultivate paddy rice and other crops otherwise they were killed in an excuse for betrayal. People were evacuated from times to times. The regime was ended on 7 January 1979.
As a result of this suffering regime, many killing fields have still been existing around Cambodia as tourist attractions. Among those, expatriates have known S21 and Choeung Ek very well. The two are in Phnm Penh City. In S21, there are evidences such as photos, bed, small rooms-as prison and tools to torture innocent people. At a peaceful, Choeung Ek killing field, there is a tomb for storing all bones and graves around where visitors can still see clothes.
Before the regime had started, S21 was a high school called Tuol Svay Pray. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge renamed the high school S-21 and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution center, and they also carefully photographed the vast majority of the inmates and created an astonishing photographic archive. Each of the almost 6,000 S-21 portraits that have been recovered tells a story shock, resignation, confusion, defiance and horror. 14,000 people were entered there, but only 7 people survived. Today, this five building complex is know as known as the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide with the school gate. According to a prakas dated June 10 2016 and signed by Culture Minister Phoeung Sakona, “foreigners aged 18 and up must pay for a visitors’ ticket at a cost of $3 per person,” from August 1.
Choeung Ek killing field
Visitors buy a 10$ ticket to see more than 8000 skulls, arranged by sex and age, are visible behind the clear glass panels of the Memorial Stupa, and an excellent audio tour- available in several languages. The audio tour includes stories by those who survived the Khmer Rouge, plus a chilling account by Him Huy, a Choeung Ek guard and executioner; about some of the techniques they used to kill innocent and defenseless prisoners, including women and children.
Choeung Ek and S21 were two separate places, but did the same torture activities. About 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. The way Khmer Rough did to Cambodian people was so cruel. People were told to kneel down and then they were clubbed on the neck with tools such as cart axle, hoe, stick, wooden club or whatever else served as a weapon of death. They were sometimes stabbed with knives or swords to save using bullets. The majority of the victims were trucked out to Choeung Ek, at about 8 or 9 o’clock PM, to be killed. The guards took the prisoners from their cells to the main gate where a large truck waited and told them that they were being transferred to another place. This lie was created to prevent the prisoners from crying, refusing to go or from escaping. The number of prisoners executed at Choeung Ek on a daily basis varied from a few dozen to over three hundred. The latter figure was recorded in May, 1978 at the height of the pursuits in the Eastern Zone. On a monthly basis two or three trucks would go from S-21 to Choeung Ek. Each truck held three or four guards and twenty to thirty frightened, silent prisoners. When the execution was completely finished, the killers washed their body and killing tools in a ditch near the site.
A shuttle-bus tour is available with Phnom Penh Hop On Hop Off, which includes hotel pick-up from 8am in the morning or 1.30pm in the afternoon.
Learn more about terrible and horrified history in Cambodia by taking your time off to visit S21 and Choeung Ek killing field.