The Killing Fields of Cambodia

This is our room for three dollars a night you get a bed.

And a fan, it’s really cheap really basic but, it’s everything you need. And, it’s clean. And I don’t know what’s going on right now, I’m going to go take a look but they’re sectioning off a place down there.

So the police are all standing out there. And they have a yellow tape out. So hopefully no one’s hurt but, I’m gonna go take a look.

So this is two doors down from where, we’re staying. And, we’re hearing now that there’s a tourist that passed away in here. I don’t know someone said he got shot someone else that he’s been in his room for a week because of.

I guess a drug overdose. And just died no notice. I don’t know what happened but, I’m just glad we didn’t stay here this is some CSI Cambodia they’ve got like the fingerprint duster.

And they’ve got their masks on they’ve got a little magnifying glass. I have no idea what they’re doing they probably don’t know what they’re doing either but anyways, we’re trying to solve a mystery. I just heard from one of the locals that the guy’s been in his room for a week now.

So the body’s just been sitting there Abby. And I are having breakfast. I just had bacon eggs.

And ham. And toast. And a coffee for $2.

50 foreigners aren’t allowed motorbikes in Cambodia yeah. I just found that out. So he can you know you’d get ticketed if they saw you on the bikes okay we have our visas being processed now for Vietnam you can get that done at most guest houses which is kind of unusual but in Phnom Penh, it’s like the next city big city until you get to Vietnam the process it in eight days yeah, we’re paying sixty two dollars per visa okay to the LA Oh $1.

00 in pay one water Oh far away right Bobby tuk-tuk drivers are predators they literally wait for white people to come out. And then they swarm. And then they offer you like crazy high prices.

And sometimes you’ll say yes that’s why they offer are they asked for so much but if you’re a good negotiator you keep saying no. And they’ll follow you.

And he’s still following us he’s, we’re asking for five dollars to get us there. And they started at like 20. And now, we’re down to eight dollars but we walk more off.

So find a will find the right price eventually. And we finally found one for five dollars we just got dropped off at the Janus idols site, I’m going to try some of this they run it through a crushing device they squish out all the juice from the sugar cane for 25 cents. I’ve got your drink this kind of taste like what.

I would have expected, it’s a bit like a tree with a sweet tree. I don’t know if. I like it.

So, we’re now here in the killing field site. And for six US dollars you actually get one of these devices. So you can actually get a guided tour around the site though it’ll be interesting to hear what really happened to you.

The Killing Fields of Cambodia Photo Gallery

So what. I’ve just heard is that in 1975 Pol Pot which was the genocide a leader basically took over Cambodia. And he separated families he sent people off into the farms to work he killed millions of people.

And the narrator of this cassette is talking about how his family of nine were all sent in different directions. And he went four years without seeing them until in 1979 Cambodia was basically freed from the leader. And when he was reunited with his family.

I think he said five of the nine family members have been killed. So he only saw his mother. And father.

And young sister after that between the years of 1975. And 1979 3 million of the 8 million Cambodians were killed. So that’s three out of every eight people that’s huge numbers.

And basically what happened was Pol Pot force everyone out of the city to close out all the cities into humans offices. And base pectorals minutes parts at the mall to enforce labor in agriculture. And bring them together.

So you’re just basically excellent sent off to a random collective farmers the turn your force work day. And night with morphine. And poor housing basically treated like a slave who fought his communist government basically had anyone who’s educated.

So anyone that knew in foreign language anyone that was doctor a lawyer anyone with soft hands or wore glasses they were brought here in executed because basically anyone with some form of Education or we taught to think, we’re kind of a threat to his Empire. And his government that took over Cambodia and. So they were brought here.

And I guess eventually there were. So many people coming here every day that they didn’t even have time to kill them the same day that they arrived and. So they were kept in basically a giant wooden cell.

I guess right here is where the site was where they kept all the chemicals and. So right after executing someone they would cover their body. And chemicals for two reasons to get get rid of the stench.

So that people wouldn’t get suspicious as to what was going on here. And also to kill off any people who were buried alive and. So basically people were just being killed every night.

And taken out of their holding cells. And yeah buried in this field here as. I said earlier the government was basically taking anyone that was educated.

And executing. And they were actually torturing them as well until they admitted to be disobedient to the government or having stolen rice even though they never did any of these things but they were basically tortured until the point where they confessed to these false claims. So that the government could legally kill them they also tortured these people until they admitted that their family members were spies or anything else just.

So the torture would end. And that they would finally be killed the post kind of you know said although, it’s may sound like a betrayal to say your family member as a spy as well but at that point months into torture who’s to blame them, it’s just. So sad to hear what they were forced into Virginia, it’s been unbelievable this all happened only 40 years ago that thousands.

And thousands people were killed here millions. And this site here the killing field has 20,000 people confirmed to have been buried here over six acres. So that’s not a lot of land.

And basically they were just being efficiently killed. And disposed of in these pits, it’s yeah, it’s tragic the audiotape also says that up ahead you’ll see cloth you’ll see bones. And basically talked about how although, it’s sad to see now.

And things almost in peaceful here if you’re if you ignore what but, it’s really lying below. I can see some some cloth remains from the bodies that were buried here it says that basically through rain. And flooding a lot of the people who are buried a lot of their stuff is come up.

So teeth bones cloth. So tools that they use for executing bullets were far too expensive and. So they use things like then pulls hammers axes machetes.

So these were not peaceful death these were some of the most gruesome things that you could have seen. And eventually the government actually was defeated. And they retreated.

So a lot of the Khmer Rouge which were which was the communist government that was in place at the time they once they defeated they all kind of hit a ran away into the countryside before they could be captured. And charged for their war crimes in Pol Pot’s motto was better to kill an innocent by mistake than to spare an enemy by mistake. And really what Pol Pot was doing was he was paranoid to lose control of Cambodia and.

So he was just killing as many as 300 people here a day in the highest. And the heights of the massacre you can actually see the land depressions like there there’s a couple over there there’s about five way back there. And these are where the mass graves were they were dug as deep as 16 feet with as many as 300 people.

I believe being buried. And the site was discovered after the cockroach’s occupation were able to study the bone in the remains. And they figured that there was six Americans to French.

And Australian. And a few other Westerners who were buried here as well during the time of the Khmer Rouge the entire Cambodian country was really shut off to everyone except diplomats. And they actually had their borders with Vietnam.

And Cambodia Phnom Laos. And Thailand totally shut off. And they actually lined the entire borders with landmines.

And that’s why today you actually see a lot of the landmine survivors who have accidentally come across these landmines. And lost limbs many were killed as well in trying to dismantle by the Khmer Rouge as soon as Pol Pot took over government he seized all the property. And land all the farmers all the city livers.

And he basically commanded that the rice production had to be tripled overnight and. So people were kicked out of the city all their possessions were taken. And banned anyone found with anything other than the clothing on their back.

And a bowl for their rice was basically executed and. So people who were used to living in the city which is all of sudden thrown out here into working on a farm where they had no training. And they had to work over 12 hours a day seven days a week with no training no breaks.

And I’d typically live on two bowls of rice a day and. So that didn’t go well rice production did not increase as much as commanded. And at the end of the day at a Keeble worked worked themselves to death because they were terrified of the punishment the leaders of the farms were also terrified of Pol Pot if they didn’t meet their rice quotas and.

So they basically forced their workers to work even harder to the point where many died of starvation. And disease. So this is since the excavation of 1980 these are all bones teeth.

And cloth that have come to Rises the water has washed away to dirt bunch of bones up here a lot of the cloth was either used as blindfold or handcuffs to keep people tied their hands tied together you can actually see some shorts in there that look like they belong to a child. So very very moving see all that. I just heard that after Pol Pot basically ran away fled from Cambodia whatever was left of the Khmer Rouge followed him.

And they went to the Thai border. And I think from what. I heard he lived a good life until he died he was actually recognized as the leader Cambodia even when the government was overthrown.

So even in 1985 or. So like years after they had been overthrown he was still given a seat where his party was still given a seat in like UN lots of different global organizations. So obviously they never really fully lost power which is pretty disturbing to think about this is called a killing tree because when women.

And children were thrown into this pit here the children were actually basically grabbed by the legs. And swung into the tree. And beaten against it.

So when someone discovered the tree they said they saw hair bloodstains. And brain bits that were actually still on the tree this blog might not be for everyone, it’s really not positive note blog but, it’s it’s the history of Cambodia, it’s a lot of the suffering they’ve seen. And this is just a glimpse of the genocide this is only just one that the three major killing fields most of the population didn’t suffer through the killing fields it would actually happen through being worked to death through starvation through being taken away from families.

And yeah the country has seen a very very rough history. And this only happened 40 years ago one of the most moving things of this whole thing has actually been hearing about this this is the magic tree. And this is the tree that they hung massive speakers from to basically disguise from the outside world what was going on one of the most moving things of this whole tour through this killing fields has actually been hearing this part.

So this is the magic tree. And in the magic tree they hung massive speakers. And the speakers were used to drown out the sound of people moaning.

And screaming as they were killed here and. So it was for two reasons it was to disguise from the outside world. So those outside of the killing field they thought that this was just where Pol Pot held meetings.

And they would blast communist revolutionary music. So people wouldn’t really hear what was going on but it was also to prevent the other prisoners. And captives from hearing what was going on they actually played the sound that you would hear if you were in their shoes.

So they played the music that people basically heard before they died as well as diesel generator that was powering the speaker’s actually really eerie to hear. And kind of put yourself in the shoes of those who would have been hearing that music. And generator just before dying.

So here we are walking down a path. And you can actually see some cloth starting to surface oh you’re right yeah, it’s bone. And cloth just here on the pathway that’s just obviously one of the thousands of people that were killed – if there’s more cloth another cloth there.

So we are standing right now where years ago people were slaughtered. And thrown you can see the bottom jaw as well as a tooth there just half jutting out of the ground now this scoopa which is the large building just the final stop in the killing fields tour. And from what.

I can hear there is 9,000 skulls that are placed on ten different levels up in the stupa it actually has them categorized based on how they were killed. So some of them will have cracks. And skull from a machete some will have an actual hole in the skull from a hammer on the upper levels they have other bones as well but they said they have.

So many different bones that only 9000 skulls. And a few other selected bones could fit in this. And here are some of the foot shackles.

So just basically rebar wrapped around their ankles. So that they were able to escape. So these are all the skulls of over forty to sixty years old.

And those with the red sticker are male. And those are the perfect blue sticker are female he’s kinda previous storms just picking up as. I come through the my destination this one looks like it was a hammer because, it’s got a massive indent.

And almost a crash max irons boom fuckin edge iron tool some were even killed just by getting hit with bamboo sticks none of these killings were done peacefully they’re all done of basically what would be considered farmers tools clearly all the skulls show that there was lots of head trauma could be a more fitting way in this door, it’s like turning into almost like a storm here very very sad but such a well done there’s actually three hundred there’s three main ones some of them are actually. So remove death rot you surrounded by landmine. And they’ve never been able to explain them.

So the true number counts of how many people died – as. I said before three million out of eight million the Cambodian population was killed by her if ik thing to happen over especially it happened over three. And a half years seriously could not be a more fitting end to this just as, we’re done the tour it starts to rain.

And, it’s starting to rain pretty hard. I could see it pouring any second now if there’s anything about Southeast Asia, it’s that once it starts raining a bit it turns into a crazy rain that you’ve never seen before. I’ve heard a bit of thunder.

And, it’s such a humid day. So, I’m expecting a good-sized storm venom here come the banana.

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