Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia bordered by Thailand to the East, Vietnam to the West, and Laos to the North. Before visiting Cambodia, I did not know much about the Khmer Rouge other than the name, and I definitely was unaware of the mass genocide that occurred in the country only a couple of decades ago.

Human skulls at the Killing Fields

Human skulls at the Killing Fields

History of the Killing Fields 

The Killing Fields operated from 1975-1979 under the leadership of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Three million Cambodians died in the 3 year, 8 month, and 20 day genocide. Of the three million that died, 20,000 of those were found at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh which was only one of the many sites in Cambodia where executions were held. By going to the Killing Fields and seeing the human remains and some remains of the some of the 129 mass graves, one can learn a very in depth account of the horrors that occurred at that place.

Visiting the Killing Fields

Paying a visit to the Fields to learn about the history and to witness both the human remains and remnants of what was left behind was a somber experience. One cannot simply go there and not feel the pain of what happened there. There are shallow mass graves that are now covered by grass, there is a sign by the killing tree that executioners used to kill children, and there are scraps of human fragments recovered from the graves.

Mass graves now covered by grass

Human remains excavated at the Killing Fields

Further Reading