The Bloody Footsteps Of The Khmer Rouge (10 Photos)

The Khmer Rouge were a communist party that ruled over Cambodia from 1975-1979. It was led by Pol Pot, and followed a Marxist and ultra-nationalist philosophy. They are estimated to have killed up to 3 million people including the religious, intellectuals, political dissidents and ethnic minorities. People were forced from the cities into the countryside to become subsistence farmers. Because the events took place in Asia, many in the west are unaware of what took place.

I had the opportunity to visit some landmarks in Phnom Penh, including The Killing Fields, where at least a million were killed and buried, and the Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands were imprisoned and executed. It is important that we learn about these events in history, so we do not travel down the same path. When I see people resorting to violence or weaponizing government over political and cultural disagreements, I just think of the Khmer Rouge murdering scores of people, who simply had a different view of how things should be ran.

1. A view from one of the prison blocks at Tuol Sleng. I felt the black and white gave it a more ominous look.
2. A similar view in color.
3: A view of one of the cell blocks. The buildings were formerly a high school, but were converted to a prison by the Khmer Rouge.
4: The gallows where prisoners were hung and tortured. This included hanging them upside down and dropping them head first into the urns which were filled with sewage.
5: Classrooms such as this one were converted into cell blocks.
6: This is the ‘Magic Tree’. Loudspeakers were hung from its branches to drown out the sound of those being tortured nearby. This was to keep the newcomers from discovering the fate that awaited them.
7: A pagoda where the remains of thousands of victims are stacked to the rafters.
8: The inside of the pagoda.
9: This is the the saddest spot in the entire place. I think it’s self-explanatory.
10: One of the many mass graves where dozens of victims were buried.

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