Choeung Ek - Killing Field (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)



Choeung Ek - Killing Field (Phnom Penh, Cambodia): The place is actually a mass grave where almost 17,000 innocents were slaughtered mercilessly for no fault of theirs. The place is really frightening and sends a shiver down the spine as one recalls how the place had been transformed into a grave.

This place is a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. In the center of the area is a 17 story glass stupa which houses 8000 skulls exhumed from mass graves. Open daily. Note: Both Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields exhibits may be disturbing for some and aren't suitable for younger children and adults who are easily shocked.

The Choeung Ek genocide museum is located in Choeung Ek commune, Dankoar district, about 15 km from the centre of Phnom Penh. This is the location where the Khmer Rouge took their prisoners for execution. The prisoners were made to wait here for 24 hours before they were killed by a blow to the head after which their throats were slit. Babies were killed by bashing their heads against a tree. There were separate graves for men, for women and for children. Former friends of Pol Pot who were executed here had separate graves too.Visitors can walk along 86 mass graves from which the remainders of 8,985 men, women and children were unearthed after the liberation of the Khmers Rouges. Some of those skulls, bones and pieces of clothing are now kept in the nearby massive stupa.

Choeung Ek is now a memorial which documents the passage of  the thousands of victims through the Killing Fields. It’s difficult to describe the incredible sadness that surrounds the site. Visitors wander around in silence listening intently to the audio tours, tears streaming down their faces. Fragments of bones surface during heavy rain and rags of clothing still protrude from the ground.


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