Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Killing Fields and S-21

That's a rib bone sticking out of one of the mass graves at Cheoung Ek or, The Killing Fields.

These are the shackles used to keep prisoners tied to the beds.  Specifically, these ones are for children.

Those indentations are the mass graves themselves at Cheoung Ek.

There are 8,000 excavated skulls in a buddhist stuppa at Cheoung Ek.  Most of them have large holes in them.  The Khmer Rouge refused to "waste" a bullet on people they believed were political spies or traitors.

CNN is running a story about Duch and the rest of the S-21 keepers who killed over 17,000 people in their, well, concentration camp from 1975 to 1979.  Even looking at the pictures on CNN, it doesn't do justice to what you see when you're there.  

We walked past a tree at Cheuong Ek that said, "This tree used to kill babies".  They used to beat babies against a tree and, if they didn't die, they'd toss them in the air and catch them on their bayonets.  When you go to S-21, you can STILL see where the blood was on the floor.  The floor has a large, somewhat brownish stain that takes up a good part of the center of the room.  THAT IS STILL BLOOD.  From 1979.

I'm glad that the people of Cambodia can know that justice is being sought.  30 years after the fact, you can tell that it effects people almost daily.  There are STILL not enough teachers to teach a full day of school.  Children have to go in shifts.  Almost anyone you talk to has lost someone because of the Khmer Rouge.

I guess my question is, why do we let it keep happening? 

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