It’s not easy for me to post this, but it seems the time is perfect. We all know that January 27 is an international memorial day for commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated more than 6 million people. And still related to the horrible facts of the world history, in a small part of the world, in Cambodia, January 7 was established to commemorate the end of the Khmer Rouge regime. The regime forced relocation of the population from urban centers, torture, mass executions, use of forced labor which caused malnutrition and diseases which led to the deaths of an estimated 25 percent of the total population of the country or around 2 million people.
One building that currently we know as Tuol Sleng, was repurposed from Chao Ponhea Yat High school to a building that was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to its fall in 1979. Tuol Sleng, -means “Hill of the Poisonous Trees” in Khmer-, was one of at least 150 execution centers in the country and about 20,000 prisoners were killed after lived beyond the zero hope of life there.
The buildings at Tuol Sleng are preserved as they were left when the Khmer Rouge were driven out in 1979 and became the Genocide Museum since then. But there is a warning to those who want to visit the museum to prepare themselves for seeing horrible things beyond imagination.