Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge (with photos)

in travel •  last month

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These are the killing fields outside of Phnom Penh. The Khmer Rouge set up 300 of these murder camps around Cambodia to kill intellectuals, city dwellers, and anybody who wore glasses or had soft hands.

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They killed 3 million Cambodians in these camps, beaten to death, their skulls fractured or their throats slit by farming tools, or by the sharp edges of the branches of this palm tree.

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Many Cambodians place bracelets on the fences built around these mass graves to remember the lives of the innocent, slaughtered because of a bizarre, cruel and paranoid vision of a perfect society.

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Brother Number One

In Cambodia, it's common for people to call each other "bong" or "oun" meaning "older sibling" or "younger sibling". In Cambodia, everyone is your brother, a common expression that demonstrates the tenderness of the Khmer people. When Pol Pot came to power, he gave himself the title, which we can now hear as ominous, "Brother Number One".

When I listened to the audio tour at the killing fields, the narrator described how, when he meets the victims' families today, he sees them as brothers and sisters. The depths of their suffering reveals the depths of their humanity. I wondered if humans can find a way to experience that level of humanity without first witnessing an atrocity. Can I call you "brother"?

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Truth speaks

If you've ever heard a true hero speak, you'll notice how humble they are. They say things like "I did what anyone would do," and they'll be hesitant to fully accept any compliment about their deeds. That is because, like a virtuoso, they have practised simple tasks and habits for many years, and when the moment of truth arrives, the truth will be told, even despite oneself.

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Remember

Remember the lessons of the heroes, the innocent victims, and those of the oppressors, which are sometimes the most important. When some group of people is demonised, always question, and practise courage, so if the day ever comes that you're asked to do something abhorrent, you can respond with a clear no, that offers comfort to those whose humanity would otherwise be denied. This is the duty, and the pleasure, of all who care enough to embody the word "human".

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That was quite a tragedy. We remembered the incident, hoping for the same thing never to be repeated ever again. It's quite sad for such thing to happen, academician is a valuable people. They seek enlightenment, truth and knowledge and reflect them upon the people so that every single one of us could see the truth. Kudos for the post.

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Thanks for your comment. Yes, it's a bit sad to think that the intellectual tradition in Cambodia was so disrupted by the Khmer Rouge. Tragedies can't hold back a bold people for long.

Yet another heartbreaking travesty for humanity when madness ruled; one has to wonder if man will ever learn? :( Instead of seeing ourselves as individuals we should acknowledge that we are all part of the whole. Each of us has an obligation to be the best we can and refuse fear, hate and division. With love and reflection for this poignant post xox ( I invite you to pop by mine for a browse; new to Steemit I am an artist/writer/lightworker with much to say and a unique voice), Upvoted/Followed I send you chipper and cheery Seasons Greetings xox

this was a dark time for cambodia , i think their leader was one of the most eveil men ever live, the country has picked well from the dark days and its very beautiful

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