Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A sombre post

This morning we took the conscious decision not to go to The Killing Fields. We chose to go to The Genocide Museum instead. This was originally a High School which was taken over by the Khmer Rouge when they came to power. It was called S21 and was used as a detention and interrogation (ie. torture) centre. The Centre has been preserved as it was in order to keep the memory alive for future generations. There are numerous photos of victims as well as various pieces of instruments of torture. A typical example was the gallows from which prisoners were suspended upside down blindfolded until they lost consciousness. They were then dunked in vats of dirty water to revive them for the interrogation to continue.

Of the 20,000 plus people who were detained there were only 7 survivors. One of these was an artist who has done various paintings depicting life in the Centre.
It is hard to believe that all of this happened as recently as the mid to late 70s. Both Gillie and Jenny had been born. I felt ashamed not to have known about all of this but as John pointed out, it was a closed country at that time.

Last year when I blogged about the Terracotta Warriors I said I needed time to reflect. Today I also need time to reflect but for a very different reason.


  1. And atrocities happened closer to home in Bosnia and Croatia more recently and are still happening today all over the world. Man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds.

  2. One of the hardest things to handle is that S21 still looks like a school building - the contrast between classes of children and its use as a torture centre is very difficult to get to grips with.

  3. Life goes on as does death,both natural and imposed.We are fortunate to live where we do.