Thursday, September 1, 2011

Choeung Ek

Choeung Ek ... a place where brightly coloured butterflies dance in the trees, hens raise broods of cute chickens, locals fish with nets in the large dyke ... and thousands of men, women and children were murdered and buried in mass graves, victims of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. 

It's hard to believe that this "autogenocidal" horror occurred not 40 years ago. Harder still to believe that such a beautiful place as Choeung Ek could have been the site of so many executions where soldiers killed their fellow Cambodians by striking them with ox-cart handles, pickaxes, bamboo sticks and other sturdy pieces of equipment, so as to save on ammunition. And almost impossible to believe that  the Khmer Rouge wiped out almost a quarter of Cambodia's population through starvation, torture and mass-murder and still held a seat on the UN for another 15 years. 

Oh, world. You are so messed up.

Broken bones

Sign in the Killing Fields

Some of the thousands of skulls on display

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