A trip to Cambodia’s S-21 prison (the Tuol Slengh Genocide Museum) and Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Phnom Penh will show you this history in graphic detail. It’s a harrowing experience, and one you shouldn’t shy away from. But why?
Why should you put yourself through a disturbing and emotionally difficult time? Let me be real, you won’t just be listening to horrific stories of mass torture carried out by the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot’s command, you will see photographs of their pained, contorted faces after they died.
Why make yourself look at photos of victims, then stare at skulls piled thousands high, as tall as a building, knowing this could be the skull of someone you saw alive in a photo?
Why? Because the young survivors of the Cambodian genocide want their story to be told. They wish to educate the world about what happened to them, their families, and the country they love.
Why? In the hope that these atrocities, too vile to describe in too much detail, will never happen again.
Their suffering should never be repeated. The people of Cambodia never thought something like this could happen to them, and you need to learn so that this doesn’t happen to you.