Sunday, January 06, 2008

Entry into Block A at Tuol Sleng

A new sign hanging on Block A explains the different types of cells on each floor
One of the larger cells on the second floor of Block A
One of the original photos showing the recently murdered prisoner as he was discovered
One of the ten smaller cells on the ground floor of Block A, reserved for important prisoners

An original iron bedstead with latrine box, leg irons and plate

Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21, was discovered by two Vietnamese photojournalists who accompanied the invasion forces, drawn to the former high school by the stench of decomposing bodies, on 8 January 1979. They found four whitewashed concrete buildings, each three stories high, a series of recently murdered prisoners, instruments used for torture and a huge, hastily abandoned archive. It was clear the school had been used for an important function. History has since revealed up to 14,000 people were brought to Tuol Sleng, tortured and murdered.
In the ground floor rooms of Block A, they came across corpses of several recently murdered men, some of which were chained to their iron beds. The prisoners' throats had been cut. The journalists took photos of all the rooms in the school and informed the Vietnamese authorities. That night all the corpses were burnt. Some of the photos taken at that time now hang in the rooms where the bodies were found. Their macabre discovery became the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum soon after.

No comments: