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The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance PDF Print E-mail

 

Founders: Ana Blandiana and Romulus Rusan

 

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Resistance was created and is administered by the Civic Academy Foundation.
Vreţi să înţelegeţi România de azi? Vizitaţi Memorialul Victimelor Comunismului şi al Rezistenţei

 

The greatest victory of communism, a victory dramatically revealed only after 1989, was to create people without a memory – a brainwashed new man unable to remember what he was, what he had, or what he did before communism.
The creation of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Resistance is a means of counteracting this victory, a means to resuscitate the collective memory.
Made up of the Sighet Museum and the International Centre for Studies into Communism, based in Bucharest, as well as being the organiser of the Summer School the Memorial is an institution of Memory, unique in that it is simultaneously an institute of research, museography and education. 
To the question, “Can memory be relearned?” the answer of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Resistance in Romania is a resounding “Yes”.

 
International Center for Studies into Communism PDF Print E-mail

Photos of prisonersThe creation of the Sighet Museum was preceded and then supported by the activity of the International Centre for Studies into Communism.  It gathered oral history, as well as collecting, in parallel, documents, photographs, and realia for use in the museum rooms housed in more than fifty-six cells of the former prison. 
The Museum, which is often confused with the Memorial, is the creation of the Centre for Studies into Communism.
Created in 1993 by Ana Blandiana and Romulus Rusan, and always short of funds and staff, the Centre managed to renovate and fit out the Museum, and to gather the databank needed to fill it with realistic and credible materials.  The Centre has a number of departments, whose activity is described below.  It has been concerned with recruiting skilled researchers, many from the younger generation, although it would have wished to employ more staff and in spite of low wages.  It has stimulated debate on important topics and unexplored territory, within the framework of symposia, seminars, workshops and round-table discussions.
The prestige of the International Centre for Studies into Communism, which is headed by Romulus Rusan, has been confirmed by the presence in the academic board of researchers of international standing.

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The Sighet Memorial - a path not only to the past, but also to the future PDF Print E-mail

Ana Blandiana

 

Such as individuals, the nations distinguish each other not only through the way they lead their destiny, but also how they know to value it. The Polish were able to define as dignity their secular misery, the Jewry turned their martyrdom into apotheosize.
On our part, the science of matching things was, unfortunately, almost every time, unknown. Almost every time we preferred to welcome our guests not with tears, but with bread and salt and to treat our wounds in quietness and desolation. There is a lot of loneliness in the destiny of the Romanian nation and there is also an unbeatable silence.
The Sighet Memorial arises from the belief that this loneliness must stop. And it cannot stop unless the silence ceases.

 

 


 

 
Sighet Museum: Room 5 - Maps PDF Print E-mail

Room 5. Maps room The Maps Room, the area for reception and orientation of visitors, gives a spatial presentation of the Romanian gulag and a temporal counterpart: a chronology of the forty-five-year history of communist Romania. On a large map of the country, crosses mark sites of imprisonment, forced labour and obligatory residence, psychiatric asylums used for political purposes, places where battles and executions occurred, and mass graves. Each of these categories is presented in detail in six smaller maps. The images of the main communist prisons are exhibited alongside these maps.

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From "the sea of bitterness" PDF Print E-mail

This is the title of a new section of our web site, dedicated to the victims of communism. We shall be telling the story of people who suffered for the sake of their beliefs and moral integrity. The amnesia of contemporary society has condemned them to oblivion a second time, by erasing their memory and the model humanity they represented.

 

"Given that the victims of communism have been forgotten, contested or even slandered for so many years, we have tried to be reserved in our scientific approach and avoid any sentimental tinge. Where we found documents, we used them; where we did not, we preferred to signal the gap. Where we could count the victims, we did so; where we could not, we preferred an approximation as to the order of magnitude. However, even using the most drastic caution in order to avoid the risk of exaggeration, we are guilty before each individual oppressed in “the sea of bitterness” (to quote Eminescu) for having transformed him or her into a number or a fraction of a number.  For numbers are by definition cold and distant.


In each atom of this world of suffering is concealed a human being, a biography that passes through the circles of hell, but preserves the thoughts, feelings and memory of an individual. 

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Memory as a form of justice PDF Print E-mail

 

Thursday, 9th of May, we opened on 66 Jean Louis Calderon street (between Maria Rosetti and Grădina Icoanei streets) the permanent exhibition of the Sighet Memorial in Bucharest, “Memory as a form of justice”.


The exhibition is opened daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.