It seems 37 years have still not washed away the horrors of one of the most fiendish atrocities the world has ever known. In 2001, at the dawn of a new millenium, my camera and I traveled to Cambodia to get a view of a land and a culture rarely visited. Although the country had since recovered from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, some remnants still remained.
The image above is Tuol Sleng, previously a high school. Under the tyrant, Pol Pot however, it was converted into a prison and an interrogation center; and, one might add, a torture chamber.
Although the dictator had no ability for painting, he did, however, enjoy viewing the works of others. As it happened, one of the prisoners was a painter. Pol Pot, therefore, ordered the prisoner to paint the images of those suffering in their cells. As a result we have 2 samples of his work.
- PAINTING SHOWS TWO JAILERS CARRYING STARVED VICTIM TO the KILLING FIELDS
- Pol Pot photographed all his victims. In the photo below we see a poor condemned woman and her baby.
Photograph of a young man in the foreground and others crammed in the background
The KILLING FIELDS
Where victims are murdered and tossed in these mounds
The atrocities of the Pol Pot regime had no limits. In fact, the crimes I have listed are but few compared to the actual amount. There is one crime however, that,in my opinion, stands higher than most: the murder of babies.. Babies are first put into a sling, the sling is then pulled high in the air, then released in such a way that the baby is smashed against a huge tree. Afterwards the dead child is unceremoniously thrown into the mounds you see here. These innocents then lay forever with their families in what is now referred to as THE KILLING FIELDS.
What I learned from the people I spoke with and the horrors they tell, and the remnants I saw, convinced me I will carry to my grave that unspeakable horror called the KILLING FIELDS.
My next blog: August 15, 2012
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