Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Security Prison 21)
Cambodia in the 1970s was like a nightmare for Cambodians. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh and established the notorious Democratic Kampuchea, superficially fighting for democracy but actually for totalitarianism. During 1975 and 1979, To maintain its ideology and power, Democratic Kampuchea killed intellectuals and people in connection with foreign powers under a massacre. Urbanites went into exile. Many who were recognised as threatening the regime were all sent to a detention camp called Security Prison 21 (S-21) for trial. Of the tens of thousands of people detained, only seven survived as the Vietnamese army invaded Phnom Penh.
Security Prison 21 (S-21) or Tuol Sleng, which was once a secondary school, was unfortunately transformed into a detention camp by the Khmer Rouge. While classrooms were used as cells and torture chambers, the playground became an execution fields where many Cambodians were killed.
In this museum, which was formerly a prison, you can see a lot of torture or execution devices made out of ordinary furniture. You will also see many mugshots of the prisoners whose faces only showed hopelessness. The only things that they left are some daily necessities and skulls. There are also some paintings by a surviving painter, depicting all the terror and cruelty he witnessed. All these paintings remind people of the brutality of totalitarian rule and the preciousness of freedom.