S21 and The Killing Fields

A few days we got up early to go to S21 Prison and the Killing Fields, this was a very good trip out all about the Khmer Rouge taking over the country and wanting it to become a communist country based around rice production, the Khmer Rouge basically won the civil war in 1975 and banished everyone to the country sides and forced them to work 12 hour shifts in the fields began killing everyone who was against them. They killed all the teachers, doctors and other highly educated people in order to keep the population under control.

After taking over Phnom Pehn within 3 hours they forced everyone out of the city into the country side. Our tour guide who was showing us around the prison was actually 13 years old when this happened and was forced to walk for 3 month straight to get to Battambang one of the other provinces. She also told us that her brother and father were killed by the Khmer Rouge during this time and she was forced into working in the rice fields for 12 hours per day.

Eventually the Vietnamese army came in to take control and took pictures of all the torture rooms and found thousands of bodies and skulls in the prison. They had killed that many people close they decided to move the killing onto the Killing Fields to keep the city cleaner.

We then went from S21 to the Killing Fields and had an audio guide as we walked around here. Overall the trip was very similar to Auschwitz if people have been there. The only difference being that the Khmer Rouge did not even have gas to kill the victims and using bullets was too expensive so they would just slit their throats and boot them into the graves. There was also a tree which they used to kill babies against by hitting their heads off trees, this was some pretty terrible stuff. They found thousands of baby skulls nearby this tree and it was an area many bodies of women and children had been found.

It really was quite mental to think all this was going on in only 1975-1980


I don’t know how to describe this as it was quite morbid but it was a good day trip and gave a good overview of some of the history of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.

I wasnt sure about doing a depressing post with England still in the world cup but I might aswell now we are out.

Off to Vietnam tomorrow.

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