"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news..." Romans 10:15

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Killing Fields

Below are some pictures and stories about the Reign of Terror of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979.  Over 2 million people lost their lives during this time.

It's hard to know what pictures to include...so I have only included a few to help tell the story. 

Caution...the following pictures and stories are hard to view...please feel no obligation to continue.

This is the former secret Khmer Rouge prison, which was given the code name S-21.   Prior to  1975 this was a high-school...interesting that they chose a school for a prison...as they strategically removed those that had any education.  These buildings are now a memorial to those who lost their lives here.   It is an understatement to say this is a hard place to explore.

Another view of S-21 now called the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.  Only 7 people were found alive in 1979, two of them are still alive today.  Their stories combined with all that was found on site create a very bleak picture of life in this prison.  One survivor just passed away this month, he was a painter and his pictures tell a gruesome story.

Early on in this genocide there were too many bodies to be buried in the city.  So they started transporting live prisoners to their death outside the city.  This is one of the mass graves that was discovered.   This whole area is called the Killing Fields, with hundreds of mass graves. (every little valley you see in this picture is a mass grave)

Not all the bodies have been recovered...and every rainy season as the earth is washed away...their remains come to the surface.  It's hard to see in this picture...but here are some clothes.

Some more clothes coming to the surface here in this picture.  Words fail me as I try to describe what it's like to walk around these fields...the bodies are literally right under your feet...not carefully and lovingly laid to rest...but brutally thrown into a heap after suffering atrocities I can't even begin to understand.

Skulls that have been recovered.

This is the Pagoda that now holds the remains of many of the dead. 

Cambodia is forever marked by this genocide.  Every person living today that is at least 30 years old, has a Khmer Rouge story, but everyone has a connection.  The country is still trying to recover. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Deedra! It's one of the parts about Cambodian history that I, shamefully, know little about. But it sounds like it is not "history" yet...what a tragedy to recover from! ~Amy

  2. Wow. I cannot imagine. Thank you for sharing - it is so easy to go about your day to day and forget that things like this still happen in the world. It is so heavy. They so desperately need Jesus! I'm so glad you are there and able to share the hope we have in Him. Praying the Lord gives you wisdom, courage, the right words, and relationships where you can share love and hope.