The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

The Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime lasted only 4 years (1975 to 1979) but it still affects the national psyche today. 3 million people dies in the genocide, most of them in hundreds of so-called “killing fields” across the country. The killing was brutal, often using tools. Women and children were not spared.

After the workshop at ISF, The Ball visited the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated 20,000 men, women, children and even infants, many of whom had been detained and tortured at the infamous S-21 prison, were transported here to be exterminated. Today it is a place of remembrance and includes an excellent audio tour. In Germany, Spirit of Football has been running holocaust remembrance programming since 2013 with our partner, Topf & Sons – Builders of the Auschwitz Ovens Place of Remembrance. In Germany education authorities ensure that the darkest chapter in German history is taught in schools. In Cambodia, they appear to be trying to forget what happened in the Killing Fields, but the history hangs over the people here nonetheless. Politics in general is not to be talked about openly in Cambodia. Particularly now, as elections loom – dissent brings trouble.

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