“Horrific”

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Cambodia
Through Harold’s Lens:
1975-79

WARNING! GRAPHIC CONTENT!

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Pol Pot Regime
Khmer Rouge
Terror
Killing fields
3,000,000 people slaughtered!

Society
Confiscated: private property
Burned: homes to the ground
Banned: family relationships
Separated: children from parents
Relocated: different parts of Cambodia
Relocated: collective farms, forced labor
Banned: personal utensils
Eliminated: privacy, sexual relations
Death: family members communicating
Banned: religion, Buddhist temples destroyed
Murdered: 60,000 monks
Abolished: freedom to travel
Abolished: postal service, telephone service
Closed: hospitals, factories
Closed: schools, books burned
Closed: banks, money burned
Destroyed: bank records, claims to funds
Isolated: Cambodia from foreign countries.

Family
Grandmother, Grandfather
Mother, Father
Daughter, Son
Infant.

Long marches: days through countryside
Died: children, elderly, sick
Work: 12 hours non-stop, no rest, no food,
no medicine, no medical services
Death: disease, illness
Death: exhaustion, overwork
Death: starvation
Murdered: offenders
Murdered: intellectuals, city-dwellers
Murdered: teachers, minorities
Murdered: merchants, suspected traitors
Murdered: practicing religion
Raped: females
Torture: children taught methods with animals
Torture: children carried out torture, executions.

Torture
Mass graves: 20,000, 1,386,734 victims
Torture centre: 16,000 sent to death
Secret prison: S-21.14,000 prisoners, 12 survived
Small cells: shackled to walls & concrete floor
Large cells: collectively shackled to long iron bars
Food: human feces
Water: human urine
Torture: sliced with knives
Torture: electric shocks, searing hot metal
Torture: suffocation in plastic bags
Torture: fingernails pulled out, alcohol poured on wounds
Torture: alive, bled to death
Torture: alive, sliced open, organs removed, no anesthetic
Torture: alive, skinned
Torture: heads held under water
Execution: pickaxes, spades, sharpened bamboo sticks, machetes
Execution: heads of children, infants bashed against trees.

30 years later
Widows: tens of thousands
Orphans: tens of thousands
Living: severe traumatization

Pol Pot Regime
Khmer Rouge
Terror
Killing fields
3,000,000 people slaughtered!

May our world never forget this horrific event.

Documentation Center of Cambodia
http://www.dccam.org

“My Life In A Hole”

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Cambodia
Through Harold’s Lens:

Mom buried me alive!

“In 1976 I was 5”, Savon said.
“Daddy dead”
“Brother dead”
“Mommy horrified”
“Me terrified”.

Khmer Rouge
Killing fields
3,000,000 slaughtered!

Protection from murder.

4:30am.
Home
Small village
Open field.

Dark deep hole.

Dirt hole
Five feet deep
Three feet square.

Roof
Thatched bamboo
Grass cover
Heavy.

My dark hole
Every morning.

Mom left me
Alone
In a hole
12 hours
Pure fright
Pure terror.

Mom in rice field
Picking.
Not fresh green stems
Not prime first cut.

One kernel
One kernel
One kernel.

One white kernel
One white kernel in the dirt.

Rats snapping
Cobras slithering
Mom’s tiny toes
Under water.

One meal that day
One meal day after day
After day
After day.

Mom buried me alive!

Khmer Rouge
Killing fields
3,000,000 slaughtered!

 

“Life Destroyed”

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Poland
Through Harold’s Lens:

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Inside a chamber of horrors
The little girl shrieked
“Mommmmmmmmmmmmy?”
“Daddddddddddddy?”
Where are you?

Wave after wave
Luftwaffe bombers
Rains of bombs
Blasts!!! Blasts!!! Blasts!!!
Tons of concrete crashed on tons of concrete
Explosions, fires
Historic buildings destroyed.

Screams!
“Grandpa?”
“Grandma?”
“Help me! I’m all alone”
Fear had dug talons deep.

Tanks crushed fresh bodies
Men, women children
Deboning corpses
Bits of bone everywhere.

Thirty degrees
Hair frozen
Covered in blood
Severe pain
Shredded pink dress
Horrific.

The day the world went to war
Hitler, Nazi claw
Storm troopers, SS, Secret police
Terror, tears executions
Concentration camps
The planet was never the same.

Cookies, Christmas
Hugs love, friends
Mommies, Daddies, little children
All gone.

Gdansk
September 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland
World War II begins
Five years
Five million humans dead.

A woman’s memory
Could never be a little girl again
Life ripped from her soul
Macabre memories.

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmy?”

“Angry Protest”

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Argentina
Through Harold’s Lens:

“Get out now!”
“Get out now!”
“Get out now!”

Saturday morning
11am
Roaring rhythm
Angry, swelling crowd screaming.

“Get out now!”

Crowd storms down chic street
Upmarket Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo. Palermo Chico.

“Get out now!”

Stretching from curb to curb
Parking meter to parking meter.

“Get out now!”

Hundreds of signs
Mean words
Hastily scribbled
Red and black ink
Hands gripping long wooden sticks.

“Get out now!”

Surging crowd overflowing onto beautifully landscaped yards.

“We live here!”.
“Get out now!”

It happened overnight
Vendors
Hucksters
Hundreds
Hunkered in.

Big colored booths
Loud colors
Flashing lights
Peddlers hawking wares.

Cheap merchandise
Loud music
Stinky greasy food cooking
Stretching for five blocks.

“Get out now!”

Police arrive
No licenses
Vendors out.

Three hours later
All calm
Trash wrappers litter lawns
Protest signs in trash cans
Neighbors once again gossiping.

Peace returns to the valley.

“Call of Terror”

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ARGENTINA Through Harold’s Lens:

USA.
Auburn, New York
4:12 am.
January 9, 1955.

The brass ringer bell on our rotary phone screams and screams and screams outside my bedroom door.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m in deep sleep.

Ring. Ring Ring.

I am only 14.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Old enough to know only bad comes with a call in the black of night.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I’m into horror movies.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

I am terrified.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Slapping bare feet rip down the wooden hallway.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Total silence.

A mind-piercing scream rips through my bedroom door. I leap from my sheets. I tear open my door. I’m face to face with my Mother. Wracking in tears. Sucking for air. Eyes wide with terror.

“Maudie”, Mom gasps. The hospital. Her five-month old daughter. Dead. I wrap my arms around Mom’s heaving, sagging shoulders. Mom and I cry.

Please Lord. There is an order to birth. An order to death. Our children are not to die first.

A jet black old rotary in an antique store in Buenos Aires evokes a 50 year old painful memory of an ice cold January morning in upstate New York and the value of life.

“Ring Of Thorns”

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TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

550 Pounds Of Hungry Meat Eating Beast.

4’ feet high.

8’ feet long.

Kills by strangulation.

Eats 15’ pounds of raw meat a day.

Stalks your livestock and family outside the open door of your hut every night.

You protect yourself from the Lion with what nature provides. Cutting branches from acacia trees, with their 3” long thorns that do not bend, the Maasai weave a 6’ tall thorn fence around their villages on the Serengeti.

“Predator”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

In the dark of night.

From five miles away.

Maasai villagers hear the loud roar of the male lions.

Weighing over 500 pounds, a man-eater is possibly stalking the Maasai village.

While lions do not usually hunt people, man-eating behavior in rural areas of the Serengeti increased greatly from 1990 to 2004.

Lions attacked 815 people killing and eating 563.

“Protection”


TANZANIA Through Harold’s Lens:

Thorns from the Serengeti acacia thorn tree. 3″ long. Strong. Do not bend.

To protect their animals from lions, the Maasai cut limbs from these trees and carefully weave a long 6′ high fence circling the “inside” of their villages.

Inside the thorn fence, their animals. At night.

Outside the thorn fence, the Maasai. In mud, grass-thatched huts.

On one of my journey’s into a Maasai village with my camera I spotted something I wanted to shoot. It was very close to me. I backed up a few feet. Right into the Maasai 6′ high thorn fence. The sharp thorns entered the backs of my legs. Fifty long needles pierced my legs. I was off balance. I was falling over backwards.

A Maasai warrior grabbed my arm and jerked me upright. I thanked him and wiped off my sweat. Then took a look at the backs of my legs.

Blood dripping everywhere.

Thanks to the Guides and their medical box and skills.