When you arrive in the Killing Fields at the village of Choeung Ek, the first thing that you see is That:
Looking at it from a distance, you would not understand this was a website of mass genocide. In that stupa would be the skulls of tens of thousands of Cambodians who have been brutally slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge.
In general, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge soldiers murdered around 1.7 million Cambodians.
While the Nazis constructed gas chambers for mass slaughter, the Khmer Rouge murdered people in the least expensive manner possible. To save money on bullets, they simply bludgeoned or Letting people to death rather.
In attempting to enforce his ideology, Pol Pot became more paranoid and murdered anyone who had been regarded as a hazard to the Khmer Rouge regime. The Khmer Rouge killed physicians, professors, teachers, attorneys, engineers and many others, and quite few of Cambodia’s educated course survived.
With the entry fee into the Killing Fields you get a sound guide, which requires you to different numbered posts around the website. It clarifies what things could have seemed like, and paints an image of exactly what occurred here. Visitors leave colored bracelets as a sign of respect.
As you walk around the region you’ll pass mass graves and pits that included the victims’ bodies. You will find glass boxes full of items of bones and clothing that have been found around the website.
Frequently bones, bones and clothes come to the surface after heavy rain due to the high number of bodies buried in the pits.
It is a harrowing and grim narrative, and possibly the oddest part is that the Killing Tree, in which the executioners smashed infants against the back.
Eventually, after the excursion, you walk within the tall stupa, where tens of thousands of skulls are laid out on shelves that reach all of the ways to the very top.
I am still not sure how I feel about dark tourism’ because I always feel quite awkward, walking around areas such as this, particularly with my camera. But, I do believe it’s important to observe such items, admit they exist, make folks conscious of what occurred, and make sure we attempt to stop genocide from happening in the future.
The Killing Fields are approximately 15km out of Phnomh Penh plus also a 30-40 minute ride at a tuk-tuk. Entry into the Killing Fields prices $3 USD.
How do you feel about genocide tourism?