Tuol Sleng (S21): the Genocide Museum of Phnom Penh

Visitors to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum will find a reminder of man's inhumanity to his fellow man.

Located in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, this museum is in the former high school turned into a prison and death camp by the Khmer Rouge during its reign of terror between 1975 and 1979. S21 was home to up to 20,000 prisoners, many of whom died there, either under torture or through execution. The presence of the prison was discovered in 1979 by Hồ Văn Tây, a war photographer from Vietnam, after he followed the smell of rotting corpses to the S21 prison. The hundreds of graphic photographs he took remain on display in the Tuol Sleng genocide museum, along with the detailed records and photographs kept by the guards and artwork from previous prisoners. Visitors will find rooms preserved as they were left when the guards fled in 1979. Others are lined floor to ceiling with black and white photographs. Tourists are encouraged to visit the site, as are Cambodian school children, who are brought on visits to make sure the camp and those who died are never forgotten.