Genocide Museum in Phnom Pehn – The sad history of a beautiful country

Written on Saturday, December 17, 2022 by

I had heard a lot about the S21 Genocide Museum in Phnom Pehn but nothing prepared me for the drab, grey building still surrounded with barbed wire.  We arrived mid-morning when the rest of the town was busy with lots of activity, colour and people.  But when we arrived at the S21 it was very solemn and eerily quiet.  It is an old high school building that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as a prison for torture and death during their regime in the early 1970’s.  We met one of the very few survivors and I shudder to think about what he would have experienced as a prisoner.   I wandered from building to building shaking my head at what I was seeing.  The blood stains on some of the concrete floors, the hundreds and hundreds of black and white photos of sad men, women and children with their prisoner numbers that lined the walls were beyond belief.  The cells that held the prisoners were so small and dark and there was even a display of shoes and clothing worn by the prisoners.  After spending an hour or so here we continued on to the killing fields in silence. It was a harrowing experience but really opened my eyes to the recent history of Cambodia.


If you’d like to read more about Cambodia’s history, click here

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