Back to WhereThereBeDragons.com

A struggle to put into words

I struggle to put into words precisely the emotions I or any other members of the group feel. Visiting sites of such unimaginable horror, I attempt to comprehend the unimaginable atrocity.

We visited first the S-21 prison, a former school which in 1975 the Khmer Rouge transformed into a place of torture, abuse and disregard for humanity. What struck me was the surreal contrast of the place. Walking through its desolate halls, listening to horrific stories, the magnitude of which I simply cannot put into words. In this place of atrocity, I stared at a beautiful courtyard or mango trees, coconut palms and the shining sun.

Following S-21, we proceeded to another place of immense horror, the Killing Fields. A place where innocents were systematically killed in the most brutal ways. Their bodies dumped with no regard for dignity. Again, a contrast emerged, a far more insidious kind. In a place of solace and memorial, it seemed to have the air of a tourist attraction. It was a horrendously absurd occurrence, a struggle to put into words.