What gets into a humans to make them do something like this?

On the first day of my trip to Cambodia I took a morning trip to visit The Killing Fields also known as Choeung Ek, where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.

About 2.2 million out of 7 million were killed during the Khmer Rouge rule under big brother number 1, Pol Pot .

The facts are there to be read and retold, but the feeling and registrations you get while there are impossible to forget. It was so overwhelming to think of all the children and women killed in this execution center which is only one of thousands that sprung around Cambodia at the time.

To try and push away the thought of babies smashed on trees to save bullets, and women raped and then killed in cold blood is a task I will never be able to achieve.

And yet I wanted to see this. I wanted to know what my fellow humans did, what possessed them to do this.

And it keeps going on all over the world atrocities, cruelty, genocide.. and so many of us just turn around and pretend that we don’t see.

I suppose I had to go through this day before I went on to see the beauty, spirituality and charm of Cambodia. Our human history taints us and is an integral part of who we are.

Cambodians are now happy  to have peace since the year 2000, and they are content. Because of the extreme cruelty they had to endure, they are happy to simply enjoy their lives and their families in peace.

Much to learn here…

One thought on “What gets into a humans to make them do something like this?

  1. I was similarly dumbfounded when I was there. It was also horribly well “preserved” with clothing and even teeth still lying around. The worst experience in my life! Reminded me of a journalist who interviewed Hutus in prison to understand why they engaged in a similar bloodshed with their fellow humans, the Tutsis. Close to 1.000.000 killed in 100 days. But the Hutus did not even understand why they are in prison. They did not feel any kind of guilt. They simply did their “job”. They kissed their wife and kids goodbye and went to the next village to commit these horrible crimes. We humans are so easily misled. We need to be aware of this!

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