Phnomh Penh, Cambodia – Remembering the Killing Fields

The Killing Fields are a number of sites 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 Vietnam War. These “Killing Fields” refers to the genocide which took place after the takeover of power by Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime.

At first glance the Killing Fields are no more than a smell section of grassland, surrounding a central monument. It is only upon closer inspection that a visitor will notice the shocking details such as the dipped earth where the mass graves lie, the bones and bits of clothing that jut out of the ground, and the presentation of 4000 human skulls, which fill the central glass mural.

Analysis of 20.000 mass grave sites 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 topples the Khmer Rouge regime.

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February 2011

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