The Killing Fields


“The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975).

Analysis of 20,000 mass grave sites by the DC-Cam Mapping Program and Yale University indicate at least 1,386,734 victims. Estimates of the total number of deaths resulting from Khmer Rouge policies, including disease and starvation, range from 1.7 to 2.5 million out of a population of around 8 million. In 1979, communist Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea and toppled the Khmer Rouge regime.

Cambodian journalist Dith Pran coined the term ‘killing fields’ during his escape from the regime. A 1984 film, The Killing Fields, tells the story of Dith Pran, played by another Cambodian survivor Haing S. Ngor, and his journey to escape the death camps.

The best known monument of the Killing Fields is Choeung Ek. Today, it is the site of a Buddhist memorial to the terror, and Tuol Sleng has a museum commemorating the genocide. The memorial park has been constructed around the mass graves of many thousands of victims in Choeung Ek. The utmost respect is given to the victims of the massacres through signs and tribute sections throughout the park. Many dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, several which have not been excavated as of yet. Commonly, bones and clothing surface after heavy rainfalls due to the extremely large number of bodies still buried in the area.” (From Wikipedia)

Khmer Rouge list of enemies:

“Former soldiers, the police, the CIA, and the KGB. Their crimes was fighting in the civil war. The merchants, the capitalists, and the business men. Their crime was exploiting the poor. The rich farmers and the landlords. Their crimes was exploiting the peasants. The intellectuals, the doctors, the lawyers, the monks, the teachers, and the civil servants. These people thought, and their memories were tainted by evil Westerners. Students were getting an education to exploit the poor. Former celebrities, the poets. These people carried bad memories of the old corrupted Cambodia… The list goes on and on. The rebellious… the individualists, the people who wore glasses, the literate,… those with soft hards. These people were corrupted and lived off the blood and sweat of the farmers. very few of us escaped these categories…”

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

The Killing Fields

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

The Killing Fields

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: