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USF Libraries Exhibits

Children of the Cambodian Genocide

Gregory Stanton, director Genocide Watch

It’s hard to explain the feeling that one has walking through a mass grave. I’ve walked through mass graves in Cambodia, in Rwanda, and in other countries, and it never—it’s never something that you can get used to. It shocks you every time. In fact, you have nightmares every time. I think the horror of it is probably most visibly expressed in the image that I have—that I couldn’t get of my head, in fact, for months after I was in Cambodia—of a tiny skeleton with a Mickey Mouse t-shirt on it. I could only think, “How could anybody—how could anybody do this?” And my own children are Cambodian. We adopted Cambodian children. So, when I see those—when I see those skeletons and I see those skulls, and I think of all of those children that could have survived, I think of my own children. And I think, “What a terrible crime.” And it makes me so angry, and I want to cry out for justice. And that’s why I have decided to spend the rest of my life fighting genocide, ’cause I think it’s the worst crime in the world, and it has to stop.