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Researchers End Documentation Study

Cambodia’s young generation should listen more to survivors of the Khmer Rouge, if the memory of the regime is to survive, recent students of an oral history project said.

Three researchers for the Documentation Center have finished three months at the Shoah Foundation, a holocaust research center in California, learning techniques about interviewing and video documentary.

Leng Ratanak, Sa Fatily and Chey Bunthy workerd closely with the Shoah Foundation to develop a 43-page questionnaire for genocide survivors based on questions designed by the institute for Holocaust survivors and others.

The Shoah Foundation produced a video documentary by interviewing 52,000 Holocaust survivors.

In recent interviews with VOA Khmer, the researchers said they had discovered the importance of retelling memories of the regime.

Participant Leng Ratanak had dozens of family members killed under the Khmer Rouge, including uncles, aunts and a grandfather.

He learned from his course how to ask detailed questions of Khmer Rouge survivors, to describe their lives before, during and after the genocide. He said after the course he and his group would pursue interviews with survivors for the Document Center of Cambodia within detail and high standards.

Document Center of Cambodia Director Chhang Youk said the bitter experiences and memories of the survivors should never be forgotten.

Sa Fatily, a Cambodian Muslim, had her grandfather, grandmother and an uncle killed under the regime. She said after the training she had more ideas for video production. She has made a 17-minute video about genocide survivors preparing for the UN-backed tribunal. She said in the future she plans to make a one-hour video to make it more detailed.

Chey Bunthy’s grandfather was burned alive by the Khmer Rouge. She said she was interested in learning to archive and protect film documentary, such as copying onto a master tape, burning onto a CD or storage on the Internet.