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Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

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posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 05:58 PM
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I came across this place looking at listverse and the most haunted places on Earth list. I love that site for the simple fact it gives me many different things to look into and well this one intrigued me most since I have never heard of it before.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum



Tuol Sleng is a former HS that was turned into a prison, Security Prison 21 or S-21 by the Khmer Rouge communist regime from its rise to power in 1975 until its fall in 1979.



The former, HS Chao Ponhea Yat High School and it's five buildings were all converted to a prison and interrogation center in the fall of 1975, four months after the Khmer Rouge won the civil war. The prison was then renamed Security Prison 21 and then construction began to adapt the prison to the inmates.


the buildings were enclosed in electrified barbed wire, the classrooms converted into tiny prison and torture chambers, and all windows were covered with iron bars and barbed wire to prevent escapes.


It is estimated that almost 17,000 people were imprisoned at S-21 from 1975-1979, some estimates go up to 20,000. At any given time the prison held 1000-1500 prisoners who were also tortured and coerced into giving up the names of friends, family, co-workers and so on to the guards. These people were then captured, tortured and then killed.



In the early months of S-21's existence, most of the victims were from the previous Lon Nol regime and included soldiers, government officials, as well as academics, doctors, teachers, students, factory workers, monks, engineers, etc. Later, the party leadership's paranoia turned on its own ranks and purges throughout the country saw thousands of party activists and their families brought to Tuol Sleng and murdered.[1] 


It didn't matter who you were, nobody was safe.

It is said that the prisoners families were brought “en masse” to the prison where they were tortured and then sent to  Choeung Ek extermination center where they were murdered.


Here is a little history on the Khmer Rouge:

Khmer Rouge is the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. This group was the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975-1979.


This organization is remembered primarily for its policy of social engineering, which resulted in genocide.[1] Its attempts at agricultural reform led to widespread famine, while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency, even in the supply of medicine, led to the deaths of thousands from treatable diseases (such as malaria). Brutal and arbitrary executions and torture carried out by its cadres against perceived subversive elements, or during purges of its own ranks between 1976 and 1978, are considered to have constituted a genocide.[2]



After taking power, the Khmer Rouge leadership renamed the country Democratic Kampuchea. The Khmer Rouge subjected Cambodia to a radical social reform process that was aimed at creating a purely agrarian-based Communist society.[4] The city-dwellers were deported to the countryside, where they were combined with the local population and subjected to forced labour. About 2 million Cambodians are estimated to have died in waves of murder, torture, and starvation, aimed particularly at the educated and intellectual elite.


2 million people were killed and it is interesting to me they targeted the educated and elite. Was it because they were envious of what they had? Education and wealth?


Following their leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge imposed an extreme form of social engineering on Cambodian society — a radical form of agrarian communism where the whole population had to work in collective farms or forced labour projects. In terms of the number of people killed as a proportion of the population (est. 7.1 million people, as of 1975[6]), it was the most lethal regime of the 20th century.

If it was considered the most lethal regime of the 20th century how come you don't hear about it? I remember learning about the holocaust but not this. It seems as though it was just as horrific. People put in a prison, tortured and murdered for no reason just like in the holocaust. Senseless murder all for what? Power? To feel special? It is really sad how some people see their fellow man/woman as below them.

Here is a documentary on the Khmer Rouge
Part One


Part Two


Part Three

Part FourPart FivePart Six
Part SevenPart EightPart NinePart Ten

Here are the rules and regulations the prisoners were to abide by

All I have to say is wow
I can only imagine what those people went through and how scared they were. Nobody should ever be treated this way.

A picture of an actual torture device


Picture of some of the prisoners of S-21


This is a painting done by a survivor of how they locked prisoners together


The story of this prison and what went on was turned into a book and later a movie, The Killing Fields by a photographer who was a survivor of the genocide. His name was Dith Pran.


In 1975, Pran and New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg stayed behind in Cambodia to cover the fall of the capital Phnom Penh to the Communist Khmer Rouge. Due to the suppression of knowledge during the genocide, he hid the fact that he was educated or that he knew Americans and pretended to be a taxi driver.[1] When Cambodians were forced to work in labor camps, Pran had to endure four years of starvation and torture before Vietnam overthrew the Khmer Rouge in December 1978.[1] He coined the phrase "killing fields" to refer to the clusters of corpses and skeletal remains of victims he encountered during his 40-mile escape. His three brothers and one sister were killed in Cambodia.
Pran traveled back to Siem Reap, where he learned that 50 members of his family had died.[1] The Vietnamese had made him village chief but he escaped to Thailand on October 3, 1979, after fearing that they knew of his American ties.[1]


I also found this story of one of the photographers for the prison. He did his job under threat of death. The things this man had to hear and see had to be horrifying and traumatic. I can only imagine what state of mind he had to put himself in to do his job or risk death himself.


“I’m just a photographer; I don’t know anything,” he said he told the newly arrived prisoners as he removed their blindfolds and adjusted the angles of their heads. But he knew, as they did not, that every one of them would be killed. “I had my job, and I had to take care of my job,” he said in a recent interview. “Each of us had our own responsibilities. I wasn’t allowed to speak with prisoners.”

source NY Times

This is just a little of what I found. I had never heard of this before and honestly I have spent all day reading about it. I even lost the thread twice due to a shockwave crash but wanted to make sure I go this one done incase others hadn't heard of it. It is truly horrible to see how others are treated by their own kind. Some of the pictures are just horrific, it's like how I felt looking at Holocaust pictures or any war pictures where people are killed and tortured for no reason other than personal greed and power. I hope one day we can live on a planet where nobody has to suffer like this.

Here are my sources. I will add more to the thread as I find information.
If you find anything please feel free to add it


Tuol Sleng Museum

Pictures
Tuol Sleng

Tuol Sleng Wiki

Tuol Sleng Museum




posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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Chum Mey is one of less than 20 survivors of the prison and one of 4 living survivors of Tuol Sleng



Chum was kept alive because of his skill at fixing machinery. He was taken to the prison with his wife who was pregnant at the time. He thought of his wife daily and held out hope that she too would still be alive somewhere in the prison with his child.

Chum visits the prison and stands in his cell and tells of the horrors he endured while in the prison. He tells of how if you wanted to move at all you had to call out for a guard and ask permission. He tells of how he had electric shock cords attached to his eardrums.


"They tortured me for three months," Chum Mey said, recalling his time as a prisoner. "They beat me. They removed my toenails. They gave me electric shocks in my ear — kup-kup-kup-kup, it sounded like a machine in my head, and my eyes were like burning with fire."


source

Chum Mey



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 07:36 PM
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Nobody has anything to say about what went on in this place?
edit on 6/3/2011 by mblahnikluver because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Explanation: S&F!

Personal Disclosure:
Bumped! For Justice!



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 06:19 AM
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reply to post by OmegaLogos
 


Thanks OL.

I guess I should have put a more catchy misleading title.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 06:40 AM
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Vann Nath is another survivor of the S-21 prison and one of three survivors still alive today. He is a well respected artist and one of Cambodia's most prominent. Nath's paintings depict what he saw while in S-21. Vann Nath's skill as an artist is what kept him alive while at S-21.




In 1979, Vann Nath escaped from S-21 as the Pol Pot regime collapsed under a Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. When the former secret prison was converted to a genocide museum, Vann Nath returned to work there for several years. The craft which saved his life would allow Vann Nath to show the world some of the brutal crimes of the Khmer Rouge. His paintings depicting scenes he witnessed in S-21 hang in the museum today, one of the few public reminders of the regime's brutality


Vann Nath is an advocate for the victims of the Khmer Rouge atrocities. He is featured in the documentary I linked to in the original OP. In the film he confronts and interrogates those who tortured him.

Here is some of Nath's work.





Vann Nath






posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 06:55 AM
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I visited this place a few years back, also the killing fields. I cried looking at the photos of the children that were there. Cambodians are lovely people and I made many friends there.

To think that we are still torturing people just disgusts me.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:03 AM
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reply to post by muddyhoop
 








posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by muddyhoop
I visited this place a few years back, also the killing fields. I cried looking at the photos of the children that were there. Cambodians are lovely people and I made many friends there.

To think that we are still torturing people just disgusts me.


Yay someone replied


I have never heard of this until I found a link about the most haunted places on earth and this was listed as like number 2. So I decided to look into it and was shocked at what I found. It is horrible what happened to these people in Cambodia. Millions brutally murdered and tortured. I have been reading about this place for over a day now. It surprises me that more don't know about it. It's a horrible time in our world's history, it should get more attention.

I have yet to watch the movie, "The Killing Fields," I was told it would probably bother me so I have waited just a little to watch it but I would like to. I also want to get the books that the few survivors of the prison wrote as well as survivors of the regime.

Thanks for your post.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by muddyhoop
 


It won;t allow me to view the images. It wants me to log in. It appears you have to be a member to view the pictures.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:21 AM
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The inhumanity of man towards his fellow man never ceases to amaze me.

How people can be so abhorrent towards each other is truly sickening. While we can carry on treating each other like this there is really no hope for our species, and so there shouldn't be. We do not deserve a place on this planet if we continue the way we have been.


S&F OP.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:31 AM
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reply to post by nolabel
 



I know it is really sad to see how one treats another. Just looking at their rules for the prison is heartbreaking. Those people didn't know that their lives would end as soon as they got there.

I always wonder what goes on in a persons head that to themselves justifies their heinous acts towards another, let alone millions. I have always thought the same with Hitler and Nazi's. I mean how does one justify and sleep at night with the things they have done to another. I would think their conscience would get to them at some point and if not then to me that person just can't be human, to do what these people have done to others is pure evil.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Hi sorry these are photos I posted on a forum of my Cambo trip. I now live in Thailand and this is a forum for expats, forgot it would be locked.

Tomorrow when I have more time I will try find my photos and post them here for you.

I do not believe in ghosts but I imagine if anywhere is haunted then this place would be right up there at the top. Truly horrific what went on there. Just standing in the cells looking at the bed and the farming tools... spade etc that were used to torture so many.... very creepy and sad.

Almost everyone walking around that place was in tears.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:45 AM
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Star and flag for OP. I was born in '75 so don't remember it from the time, but in school we learnt a little about Pol Pot and his murderous regime, though we weren't told anything in this detail. This place is right up there with the likes of Belsen in terms of the horror that occurred there. I've seen some of those collages of prisoner photos before but knew little or nothing of the true horror that went with them.

This thread has been a real educational eye-opener and I'm gonna go and look up some more stuff about the khmer rouge. We don't seem to get that much about the nature of their atrocities in our mainstream media here in the UK, which is surprising since the likes of BBC and C4 are usually quite informative on this kind of thing.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by superwurzel666
Star and flag for OP. I was born in '75 so don't remember it from the time, but in school we learnt a little about Pol Pot and his murderous regime, though we weren't told anything in this detail. This place is right up there with the likes of Belsen in terms of the horror that occurred there. I've seen some of those collages of prisoner photos before but knew little or nothing of the true horror that went with them.

This thread has been a real educational eye-opener and I'm gonna go and look up some more stuff about the khmer rouge. We don't seem to get that much about the nature of their atrocities in our mainstream media here in the UK, which is surprising since the likes of BBC and C4 are usually quite informative on this kind of thing.


Thank you.


Yeah it was an educational eye opener for me as well. There was a documentary from 1996 I believe on this place from the BBC but I haven't been able to find it online or even on youtube.

Yes from what I read there are over 6000 photographs of this place and what went on there. When the Vietnamese came through and shut down the regime, those at the prison fled leaving all this evidence behind of what happened.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by superwurzel666
 


It is rather old news, to be honest, atrocities are still occurring, current ones which do deserve more air time than they are currently getting. There has never been a clear priority to report the deaths, en masse, of poor, innocent, powerless people. They just aren't important enough. Besides it has been in the news, for those paying attention to such news, over the past five years or so there have been reports in the international press regarding the preparations and funding for the war trials. Since Pol Pot's death, the USA have agreed to contribute considerable sums towards the prosecution of former Khmer Rouge members. The USA had previously ignored calls for their involvement most likely due to their funding of Pol Pot's exile, and their involvement in arming and empowering the Khmer Rouge in the first place, they have therefore, presumably waited until all those who could give evidence against the US to die or otherwise disappear.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by Pythein
 


Does it really matter how old it is? The Holocaust is older yet we still hear about that.

I watch the news and read the news and I haven't heard anything about this which is why I made a thread on it.

I have read that a couple years ago people started to go on trial for what they did to people in these prisons. I am still looking up more information on it.

Both survivors I have posted have been a part of the trials and have confronted these torturous creeps. They should be tortured right back.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:18 AM
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Just been on wikipedia looking up some facts about this place. Apparently some of the prison staff themselves ended up as prisoners here for crimes such as laziness and lack of enthusiasm for their work. It also seemed to imply that some of the workers were children or family of inmates. I'm looking around for some more in depth info on Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge. We hear all the time about the Nazis and the Stalinists,etc. and rightly so, but this seems just as horrific in many ways.

BTW recently read an article in a book, about Emperor Bokassa of Central Africa in the 1970s. Now there was a nutjob. You might want to look him up too at some point if you have the time.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by superwurzel666
Just been on wikipedia looking up some facts about this place. Apparently some of the prison staff themselves ended up as prisoners here for crimes such as laziness and lack of enthusiasm for their work. It also seemed to imply that some of the workers were children or family of inmates. I'm looking around for some more in depth info on Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge. We hear all the time about the Nazis and the Stalinists,etc. and rightly so, but this seems just as horrific in many ways.

BTW recently read an article in a book, about Emperor Bokassa of Central Africa in the 1970s. Now there was a nutjob. You might want to look him up too at some point if you have the time.


Yeah from what i have read nobody was really safe from being imprisoned there.

I will have to look him up. I have to work in a bit but when I get home i will check him out.

Thanks



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by mblahnikluver
Does it really matter how old it is? The Holocaust is older yet we still hear about that.


Perhaps if you had read a little more carefully, and comprehended, a useful skill, you would have realised I wasn't condoning or defending that position, merely reporting that that is the case. Current genocides are hardly reported. Doesn't it therefore stand to reason that historical ones are not going to be reported also? As in most things, you find information if you go looking for it, most people don't want to look at genocide. The Holocaust is different in that it was reported and documented in way that couldn't be concealed after the fact, therefore the best defence has been to disparage the victims and to foster a climate of retribution that deflects from the facts that surround the motives of the Holocaust. The massacres and atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge are not comparable with the Holocaust, they are more akin to the Stalinist Purges in that they eradicated the intelligensia and therefore natural leadership. Not, as you opine, because they were jealous of their success and education, but because that is what a new regimes do, since around the beginning of the twentieth century that is.


Originally posted by mblahnikluver
I watch the news and read the news and I haven't heard anything about this which is why I made a thread on it.


I never watch the news, but I did know about it. Funny that.


Originally posted by mblahnikluver
They should be tortured right back.


Yes, let's just keep perpetuating retribution...




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