Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Difficult Morning

This morning was probably the most challenging part of the trip - visiting Toul Seng Museum and Cheoung Ek Genocide Center. Before the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Toul Seng was a high school. Once Pol Pot came o power, the school was converted to Security Prison 21 (S-21), a place for imprisonment, interrogation, and torture. Cheoung Ek was once an orchard and Chinese cemetery; under the reign of Pol Pot, it became the killing fields.
It’s difficult to summarize my (Chuck) emotions and reaction to the two locations, and there is no way that I could come close to giving an overview of what everyone else thought and felt. Our guide, Rith, had some personal memories of the time and locations, adding to the emotion. I really think it will take a while for each of us to make sense of the visit, but I can say that we were all affected tremendously. Images and video can be found at this collection – please view with discretion.


  1. I did not make it through all the photos. The images of the children were horrifying. I imagine the museum was very difficult to take in, but I am sure the experience will inform and enrich your curriculums.

    Travel safely.

  2. I watched the slideshow of these disturbing photos in complete silence. It reminded me of my visit to a concentration camp in Germany-the silence in an empty room of barracks or the gas chamber, yet in your mind the images of horror come at you full force and with high volume. I imagine this was worse.

    What an amazing journey.

  3. P.S. I meant "worse" to see because of the human remains, photos and pictures of torture. The two can't be compared.