CAMBODIA (day in Phnom Penh - excerpt) January 19, 1999 Tuesday I am leaving my hotel in a car with my guide at 8 o clock. At 8,10 we are at the Tuol Sieng Museum. Admission US$2. In 1975 a high school was changed into a prison and an interrogation center known under the name of Security Prison 21. Perhaps 17,000 people were interrogated and tortured here. Those who died during torture were buried in a common grave on the grounds. Those who survived were killed outside Phnom Penh. The museum shows photos of the tortured. Khmer Rouge was very meticulous. Each prisoner was identified and a picture taken. Images on the paintings show the torture. It is shocking, but who was sent here, was killed. Only few individuals, which they had no time to kill, were alive when Vietnamese conquered the city in 1979. The museum exhibits a large map showing how Phnom Penh was depopulated after the arrival of Khmer Rouge in 1975. Besides that the people of the east Cambodia were moved to the west of the country and visa versa. Thus nobody had roots in place where he now lived. At that time people were housed in camps, men and women separately. They worked in the fields up to 15 hours a day. They were given rice soup with only a little rice twice a day. Many Cambodians died due to malnutrition. The most infamous leading Khmer Rouge person was Pol Pot. My guide explained the meaning of his name: pol means political and pot is from potential.
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