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“Inside a Communist prison - the Sighet Memorial”

Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Inside a Communist prison - the Sighet Memorial”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2006

The Sight Memorial to the Victims of Communism is located in Sighet in the far reaches of Transylvania, 2 kms from Romania's border with Ukraine. It's quite an amazing place - established by former dissident and poet Ana Blandiana and her husband Romulus Rusan on the site of a former Securitate (Romanian secret police) prison where the Romania's political elite was incarcerated during the Ceausescu regime. You can look at the former prison cells which housed some of Romania's foremost intellectuals and leaders; some of the cells have turned into exhibits on the history of the prison and communism (and persecution under communism) in Romania. There is a memorial wall reminiscent of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, and despite an enormous effort at restauration (perhaps at times more than I would have preferred) you can still get a feel for what a desolate place it was in the 1940s and 1950s. While the memorial & museum did not get much public or government support initially, today this site has been designated by the European Council as one of three or four most important sites commemorating the victims of communism. Ask about the cemetary outside the city that is part of the Memorial - it's where executed prisoners or those wo died in prison are presumed to have been buried.

I visited Sighet in July 2006 to participate in a summer school conducted annually by the Sighet Memorial and had a fantastic experience with the students and other faculty.

Getting there: We took the overnight train from Bucharest (Sighet is one of the stops); for those who do not like to spend a night on the train I recommend flying to Cluj and taking a bus from there to Sighet (4 hours).

A very worthwhile experience is Transylvania is on your itinerary!

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