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Making a Trail

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

The Khmer Rouge regime killed more than 2 million people; wiping out more than a fifth of Cambodia’s population. Wat Thmey in Siem Reap is a reminder of that history.

I’ll reserve the bulk of my comments for the more comprehensive post I will do about the killing fields outside of Phnom Penh.

Wat Thmey is small and has two disctinct parts. The first is an outdoor exhibit that displays some of the khmer rouge leaders and gives some basic information on the genocide, ultimately leading you to a stupa containing the remains of victims from the nearby killing fields, the second part is a small exhibit with artwork that highlights one survivor’s story with pictures.

The paintings graphically highlight some of the more terrifying tactics employed by the khmer rouge regime, including putting oil barrells over captors in 100+ degree heat as a form of toture. To further terrorize their victims they wold bang on the outside of the drum.

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Another picture demonstrated the preferred method of execution, hand tool over a open ditch. Bullets were avoided because they were expensive. Some victims had their organs, specifically their spleen, removed while still alive prior to their execution.

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Here are the pictures of the monoment that houses the remains of victims found in the nearby killing fields:

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It is hard to believe we can do this to one another.