It was said that close to 20,000 mug shots were taken of the prisoners at Toul Sleng (S-21) prison between 1975 to 1979. The walls at the second block contained only a fraction of them for visitors to view. It was a solemn moment for us to walk through the rooms looking at these photos. One can’t help wonder, on seeing these mug shots, what these prisoners were thinking about. Did they know what lie ahead of them in this hellish prison? Or were they already resigned to the fact that they would not be able to see the outside of the prison walls ever again? Did they think that they could save their family by letting themselves imprisoned or did they plan to implicate their families in order to live another day?
They would carry on the task of rebuilding their nation. They keep memories of Toul Sleng alive for their future generations and for outsiders who never had to live through the horrible fate they had to so it would never be allowed to happen again.
These photos will remind me of that lesson.