Toul Sleng Genocide Museum
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a museum in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The site is a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Tuol Sleng (Khmer [tuəl slaeŋ]) means "Hill of the Poisonous Trees" or "Strychnine Hill". Tuol Sleng was only one of at least 150 execution centers in the country, and as many as 20,000 prisoners there were killed.
The 114 photographs on this site are from Pol Pot's secret prison, codenamed "S-21" during his genocidal rule (1975-79). Between 1-2 million Cambodians – and many thousands of foreigners – were starved to death, tortured, or killed, during this reign of terror.
When the Vietnamese Army invaded in 1979 the S-21 prison staff fled, leaving behind thousands of written and photographic records. Altogether more than 6,000 photographs were left; the majority, however, have been lost or destroyed.
Former prison staff say as many as 30,000 prisoners were held at S-21 before the Khmer Rouge leadership was forced to flee, in the first days of 1979.
Currently the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide, which is located within the former prison grounds, has the original negatives and a catalog of all 6,000 remaining negatives.
- Opening Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm daily including holiday