When I went to school in Germany in the 80ies and 90ies there was definitely no shortage of Nazi-related history in the classroom. I guess this played a role in my love for punk during that time, which was very anti-German. ("Germany's gotta die", "Polizei, SA, SS", etc.)
The World Cup in 2006 was, as Hanno said, a turning point. For the first time in my life I saw young people with German flags on the street who weren't perceived as right-wing. The term "event patriotism" was coined then, but it still felt weird to me.
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Two years ago I visited with friends here on a SEA trip and was gobsmacked at the commercialisation of the site. Rows of buses, the occupants making a quick dash around the site chatting and even laughing in large groups. It was a sign of disrespect and modernisation that overshadows today's world of making money at every opportunity and disrespect for the site and the victims of the national tragedy and international disgrace that was the Khmer rouge.
It used to be a bunch of mounds and craters from mass graves etc but mostly grass. And there was no proper fence so local ragamuffins would follow around making a nuisance of themselves. It was always surprisingly pleasant down there though, it's at the edge of a lake and there are loads of birds around.
So earlier this year I went there again because my sister was visiting and wanted to see it. I enjoyed the visit but it was quite strange. There are walkways all around the place now with barriers. It's understandable because if they had continued to let everyone tramp over the graves as I had before it would be flat by now. They give you a headset with an audio guide, I didn't really want one but took one eventually. This requires you to go from one station on the map to the next, while listening to some pretty mundane stuff.
They have however done a good job of marking out parts of the site that weren't apparent before, like the old Chinese graves from before the revolution. The whole site has been extended, it used to back onto the lake, but they put in a new dyke a few years back because it was in danger of getting inundated and eroded . This dyke encloses a giant pond full of lotuses etc. The big walk around it extends the whole audio-history guide but I'd long given up on that. It's a lovely spot so I just got into that. I didn't look at the stupa because I've seen it enough already. The movie they show at the end in the visitor's center is terrible. It's narrated in English by someone who obviously speaks the language perfectly but has been told to follow the script/ subtitles.
Anyway, well worth a visit if only to walk around that dyke and listen to bird sounds and crickets. Probably best to read up on it rather than relying on the audio-guide though.
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Khmer Rouge S-21 victims remembered
A two-day blessing ceremony dedicated to the victims of Pol Pot’s regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum began yesterday with the attendance of monks and government officials.
Museum director Chhay Visoth said monks were invited to be offered food and drinks as they bless the spirits of victims.
“This is the biggest annual ceremony here in Tuol Sleng,” he said. “We are holding this ceremony to bless those who were killed in S-21 under the regime.”
Mr Visoth said everyone should learn about Cambodia’s history. He said Cambodians should not forget their dark past.
“When we understand the past, we have the foundation to think about someone’s political message,” he said. “So I am appealing to all Cambodians to push their children to study the regime as well as history in general.”
https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50539242/k ... emembered/
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