2013年4月10日 星期三

Khmer (高棉) or Cambodia (柬埔寨) 5 (Not for the Squeamish)

The 29th March 2013 shall be forever branded in my brain. That day, I witnessed with my own eyes the horrors that could befall mankind if they suffer the loss of their basic humanity in the interest of dogmatic political ideology, class struggle and/or personal ambition.

Stop 1 The Killing Fields at Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh


The entrance to the killing fields

The house of horrors there

These were some of the skulls and bones found there in 1980

A view of the excavation there in 1980

These are some of the Buddhist necklaces left by friends, relatives and strangers made for those who died there

Jaw bones, leg bones, headgear and items found with the skeletons unearthed there

Bones, bangles, handcuffs, headbands of the dead

Personal effects of the victims

Clothes worn by victims uncovered after the rains washed away the top soil after the exhumation of the bodies

The so-called "magic tree" to ease the ears of the executioners

This photo is self-explanatory

A box of teeth of various skeletons found there

Children's heads were smashed against this tree because the Khmer Rouge did not want to waste bullets on them

wrist bands left by visitors for the use of the children who ended their lives against this tree

A mass grave of more than a 100 children killed there

All these pits were at one time filled with corpses

A bone fragment in one of the pits

This place used to be a Chinese cemetery. The remains of one of the graves there

The killer palm

Our guide showing us how the saw-tooth edges of this killer palm was used to slash the throats of the victim

Some of the skulls are now housed in this memorial of the dead
A literal tower of death

Some of the skulls staring at us from the tower of death

The clothes of the victims found at the site

Stop 2  S-21 Death Camp or Camp S-21

The graves of those who ran the death camp who later confessed to their crime.

urns filled with human excrement where the heads of those who refused to confess were ducked

A row of foot lock to which the prisoners feet were chained to their metal beds

Those who "confessed" might be sent to work as forced labor in the countryside

One of the rooms where the prisoners were kept and tortured. The dark spots to the left of the photo , under the bed and elsewhere on the files are blood stains

The interrogation room. Who knows what spine-chilling shrieks of pain resounded within these walls more than 3 decades ago

The standard excrement pot, one closed and the other slit open to show its interior

These are two of the beds and mats

A close up of an excrement box

A soup bowl?

A pillow & a food plate

A foot lock

This used to be a classroom

What kind of tortures were witnessed by such doors, window shades etc?

This is one of the isolation cells. The iron box is used for excretion, barely 3 feet by 6

Fingers would be passed through this box and fingers squeezed with pincers with vinegar poured on to them

How some of the victims were killed

 Victims would be hung like this until they lost consciousness and then would be woken up by having filthy water poured on their head etc This would continue until they "confessed".

The "water" treatment bucket

blood stain on the floor everywhere

Various Instruments of torture used in the death camp

A maps of Cambodia under Khmer Rouge built with human skulls

One of the two survivors of the death camp. I bought his book.

To prevent victims jumping to their death rather than being tortured, the outside of the building was fully barbed-sired.

Key locations are additionally wired

This is the man responsible, Pol Pot

This was what he looked like when he was young

This was the President of the People's Representative Assembly and the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Khmer responsible for internal security and for enforcing the policy of decided by the Central Committee of the CPK.

This is why people were sent to the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The personal background Kaing Guek Eav, the head of the S-21 Prison for people considered "dissidents"

In fact, I have taken numerous photos of the black and white photos of some of victims on exhibit at two of the former classrooms there on the ground floor.  According to our guide, Pol Pot ordered that a photo be taken of each prisoner immediately after he or she died as proof that they did, Out of respect for those who died such a horrible death at that death camp and for the sensibility of those who may read this blog, I shall not show their disfigured bodies, their faces and the look of despair, horror or indifference in their eyes. They are sufficient to make you lose your appetite for days and give you nightmares for years to come. I took those photos as a vivid reminder to myself of the full extent of human perversity and human evil, once people's minds are completely dominated by abstract theoretical political ideology, by ideas of instrumental reason divorced from basic humanity.

Stop 3 War Museum


Various land mines

Various grenades and bombs

Artillery Shells


Another tank

Another tank

The same tank, another angle

A mine field

Land mine which will explode if the wire is kicked

More artillery

Anti aircraft gun

Long range artillery

Another one

A mine sweeper

Gas mask

Miscellaneous grenades


Another Mortar

Mortar shells



Land Mines

Big mine

grenade and mine

small plastic mines

more mines

A line up of various mines. According to our guide, Pol Pot planted more than 9 million mines all over Cambodia at a time when there was only 7 million Cambodia. 20% of such mines have still not yet been cleared. From time to time, death and injury still result from innocent people accidental tripping or stepping on to such mines.

Machine guns

More machine guns 



Anti craft gun

When will mankind ever learn to stop torturing, maiming and killing one another? When?

9 則留言:

  1. 自相殘殺,慘無人道,
    [版主回覆04/11/2013 09:54:01]I really do not know. How could such people sleep at night after having done what they did? I imagine they must deliberately dull the horrors that would from time to time surface in their minds by drugs, by alcohol or by convincing themselves that they were doing so for a "just cause", the cause of revolution!

  2. I think that if people are instructed about anything, it should be about the nature of cruelty. And about why people behave so cruelly to each other. And what kind of satisfactions they derive from it. And why there is always a cost, and a price to be paid.

    These photos are sickening and you must have had the same feeling when you witnessed such cruelty that had ever taken place!
    [超哥回覆04/11/2013 21:27:17]Thank you very much for your note. Let's hope that from now on this country will be free of cruelty and suffering as it already has way more than its fair share.

    "In the corner of the Earth,
    lies a place,
    a place, where flowers used to bloom.

    It can't hardly be seen now,
    through the tears,
    demons and madmen rule.

    Take us back to the fields,
    anything else is better,
    than the rape of the children.

    For the consequences are so severe,
    Cycles of time,
    Angkor will still lie in ruins.

    The world sits and waits,
    do gardens grow in hell?
    Flowers Over Cambodia.

    Sleep children sleep,
    Dream children dream.
    Keep holding on to your Dahlias. "

    《Flowers over Cambodia》 by Khembottra Oum
    [版主回覆04/11/2013 10:29:10]There is a streak of cruelty in each of us, stronger in some than in others. I believe that that may be the true meaning of "original sin" in Christian theology. When we cease to treat human beings as human beings, when we allow our desire aided by abstract instrumental reason which provides the relevant "rationalisations" of our actions, then we start to be cruel. The capitalist system which considers profit its overriding value but which uses subtle means to drug us into believing in its "naturalness", its conformity with what it sells to us as basic "human nature", which stimulates, reinforces human desire into buying what is strictly not needed for a decent standard of living, by turning materially elastic into psychologically inelastic demands so as to keep the manufacturing plants running through stabilizing and even augmenting demands for the relevant goods, by encouraging human "vanity" (one-uppism) and its distorted notions of the "common good", is in my view, also a very "cruel" system and in a sense an evil system, all the more evil and crueler because it is "veiled" and packaged by clever advertising campaigns as something it is not ie. for our true benefit and happiness, to the ultimate end that the unwary will literally fight to adopt its false values and spend their hard earned cash on the millions of products they churn out ie. so that they become willing victims of their frauds. In that sense, it is a cruel system too. Look at all our young men and women all suffering the pains and pangs of being unable to get the latest I-phones etc, the latest fashion, and of "owning" their own flats for which they will be fleeced by our finance institutions, working more than 10 hours a day, just to be able to "keep up with the Jones". The cruelty and the evil is no longer personal, it has become structural and systematic. Is that not one of the deep seated reasons of the frustration, the impotent anger felt by the less privileged sections of Hong Kong now and for that matter, all over the world? That's why and that's what we need to work on to change. Unless we do so, I cannot see how human suffering will ever have any remote chance of ending and how we can have relative peace and harmony in our society and hopefully, with less personal suffering. .

  3. 慘痛的戰爭~~~
    [版主回覆04/11/2013 22:43:08]Unforgettable ! The wounds will take a long long time to heal!

  4. 域 流亦詩 Louis Rick2013年4月11日 下午1:19

    [版主回覆04/11/2013 22:43:56]More cruel than is really necessary. Spine chilling cruelty !

  5. नमोऽमिताभाय
    [版主回覆04/14/2013 07:14:26]So be it.
    [百了回覆04/12/2013 12:42:55]It's the Sanskrit version of 南無阿彌陀佛.
    [版主回覆04/11/2013 22:44:12]Could you translate?

  6. Man! Only Man keeps repeating this kind of devilish crime. Wish those couldn't survive to give their witness rest in peace now. Sorry, I have to say this is a sickening blog, El. Thanks for reminding us how fragile our humanity is.
    [版主回覆04/12/2013 07:31:43]Other animals may fight for food, for territory, for survival but will never torture their own kind. The only animal which does so is called man, whom one philosopher called Aristotle calls a "rational" animal.

  7. I am totally horrified just by viewing these photos. Imagine how it was for the people who were living in that era and had so much suffering living in horror.
    [版主回覆04/12/2013 07:32:54]That what's passed through my mind when I viewed those exhibits and those photos. It's simply "shocking"!

  8. Such "ingenuity" in all these designs of torturing and killing!
    If that's what the human brains are made for, that would be the biggest irony in the creation of the so called benevolent and almighty God.
    [版主回覆04/12/2013 09:05:54]Don't blame it on God or one of his purported creations called the "devil" . To me, the invention of the "devil" is just one of the ways human beings have of trying to "distance" themselves from what's really in their own heart. They can't face "facts" and so they "project" what they can't accept to an external agency and hope thereby to absolve themselves from blame. It's not me, it's the devil! Adam blamed it on Eve. Eve blamed it on the serpent. The "devil" appears to me, if it exists at all, to be one of the most maligned beings in the human universe. Good and evil reside nowhere else than in the human heart!

  9. 遊覽Killing Fields 並不舒服哦, 當天吃和睡想必也不香吧.
    [亞執回覆04/14/2013 09:18:12]在戰爭之下戰死沙場無話可說, 但如此不仁道, 應該說慘絕人寰是人類內心一種無形,刻意戰爭所引發. 人性滅絕.
    [版主回覆04/14/2013 07:13:31]You're right. Whenever the memory returns, it makes me feel sick. I simply can't understand how it is possible that people can bring themselves to actually do such things in front of people who are actually alive, yelling, shrieking, crying etc.