Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cambodian Service Learning - Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The prisoners were sent to places like Choeung Ek to be killed and then buried. Bullets were probably too expensive. So they used farm tools, which took much longer, to kill. It was said that only 300 or so can be killed each day. Those they could not kill in one day were left for the following day. I could not imagine how those prisoners felt - coming here expecting to be killed, and suddenly given one more day to live. Perhaps they had suffered so much that they had already given up hope. Perhaps they preferred to end it as soon as possible and not to suffer for another day.

After the bodies were excavated, numerous monstrous holes were left in the ground. Over time, grass covered the surfaces. But the holes are still there.

A commemorative stupa had been built to hold some of the skulls and clothing. It was hard, but I forced myself to stare at the skulls - to remind myself of the depth of hatred, cruelty, and depravity that we humans are capable of.

According to the record at the museum at S21, 13,000 bodies were exhumed from this location. There were many many more such killing fields.

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