They were my age. Now they are shelved as a combo of a Disney Park of Terror and a memory of what shouldn't have been. Photo: Geir Ertzgaard
I’ve been to Cambodia several times, each time visiting the killing field of Choung Ek, just outside of Phnom Penh. Sometimes the place touches me, some times it doesn’t. It depends on my mindset at the time. That’s when I have to try to imagine who these people were. Most likely a little older than I was at the time. Their perpetrators probably my age – I was 15, doing their cruel job either because they were brainwashed or terrified of what might happen to themselves or their families. If the notion of family existed in Kampuchea during the Khmer Rouge.
We could have spent our days enjoying the beautiful Cambodia, sharing the experience as equals in age and status. But that never was to be, and as the empty sockets where eyes should have been, there is a sorrow about lives never being lived, and accusations that these things were allowed to happen. Instead of life and laughter, they look down un is from their shelf life with eyes that don’t see but still saw more than anyone should.