Author: Ayaan, Learner at The Integral School, Hyderabad.
This a reflection based on the trip that the author made to the Tuol Sleng prison and the Killing Fields.
Today, we had to go to the Killing Fields and the Tuol Sleng prison.We took a tuk tuk tour and first went to the Tuol Sleng prison. We had taken an audio guided tour. When the introduction started,I learnt that it was a school which was converted into a prison,but as the audio proceeded,I learnt how history can be so bad and how cruel people can be. As we entered the first prison,we saw iron beds and handcuffs. I learnt how bad people can be tortured.In these cells, people used to be poisoned and forced to confess by torture.After a lot of torture,people used to confess even to things they did not do,but the worst part came next.The people were killed brutally after the confession was made. As we entered different chambers,we saw how torture was in different levels and it really disturbed me. The first thing that really disturbed me was the gallows. It was a way of torture where they used to tie ropes through the hands of prisoners and then hoist them up by their hands. After bringing them down,they used to put their heads into human waste.Another thing that disturbed me a lot was that pol pot, leader of Angkor at that time, lied to people that they would get a new home. They were actually taken to prison and made to confess on anything,most often something they did not do. People often committed suicide or tried to commit suicide and wires were put to prevent attempts at suicide. People felt that committing suicide was better than living through the cruel torture.
After the dreadful prison, we went to the killing fields.The killing fields were even worse.There were at least 20,000 people killed there. The way they were killed was that 2 to 3 trucks used to come one to two times a month. After the trucks reached the killing fields, people were offloaded and kept in rooms which were dark such that people could not even see each other. After waiting,they were asked to kneel down and were then brutally killed. The bodies were thrown into ponds or buried. The worst part, they used to use loudspeakers and play loud music to drown out then wails and moans of the people.There was a building that had all the skulls of the prisoners that were killed.
This was our trip to the dreadful Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng prison.