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Archive for September 14th, 2019

Perhaps one of the most disturbing place I’ve been to has been the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.  I visited there many years ago.

Here’s a bit about it:

Tuol Svay Pray High School sits on a dusty road on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge renamed the high school S-21 and turned it into a torture, interrogation and execution center. Of the 14,000 people known to have entered, only seven survived. Not only did the Khmer Rouge carefully transcribe the prisoners’ interrogations; 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. Although the most gruesome images to come out of Cambodia were those of the mass graves, the most haunting were the portraits taken by the Khmer Rouge at S-21.

At least 14,000 victims.  I’ve seen other numbers up to 20,000.  20,000 in such a small area, over a period of 3 three years.  Yet only 7 survivors.

I was struck at how it was a school before it was converted to a torture camp.  Our image of schools are often of children and happiness; yet the fact that this was converted into a torture camp makes it even all the more sinister.

Here’s a short video:

 

It is one of those places that you can feel the evil.

What blows me away is how recent these atrocities took place.  It wasn’t 1940s.  It was the late 70s before the dawn of the 80s.

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