Is it really just 10 days ago that I returned from beautiful Cambodia? Still, what remains is the feeling that I got a slight, sadly brief, inside into one of the most beautiful countries I have seen so far. A country where I was equally impressed by the people, land and culture and especially history. A history, that speaks of a high culture with impressive architectural achievements as well as destruction and barely comprehensible suffering.
Phnom Phen is quite a lively, modern and clean city – even the temples seem to be new and modern. There are
numerous Tempels, palaces of the King, TukTuks and Motorbikes that make up the sounds of the city. In the evenings music is added and communal sport groups can be seen along the banks of Mekong River.
And at the little shrines bird vendors sell birds – buy two, release them and Buddha, Vishna will grant you good luck!
In between the life you find remainings of the Khmer Rouge-regime which killed nearly 1/3 of the Kambochean people between 1975 -1979.
„This organization is remembered primarily for its policy of social engineering, which resulted in genocide. Its attempts at agricultural reform led to widespread famine, while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency, even in the supply of medicine, led to the deaths of thousands from treatable diseases (such as malaria). Arbitrary executions and torture carried out by its cadres against perceived subversive elements, or during purges of its own ranks between 1975 and 1978, are considered to have constituted a genocide.“ (wiki)
So called „Enemies“ of the regime were killed in the Killing Fields – approximately 20.000 all over Cambodia.
Choeung Ek – Killing Field is close to Phnom Phen and a silent witness to the brutality of the regime.
Many who died here passed through the torture prison S-21 – today known as Tuel Slang Genocide Museum. Out of an estimated 17,000 people imprisoned at Tuol Sleng, there were only seven known survivors.