Exhibition on the European Gulag at the Vojna Memorial

Prague, 25 October – The exhibition “European Gulag” is on display in the Vojna Memorial Lešetice which is part of the Mining Museum in Příbram since October. The exhibition commemorates the history of forced labour camps that were set up in Central and Eastern Europe after the Second World War in countries ruled by communist regimes: East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova.

The Vojna Memorial is authentically preserved prison area, which is unique in Central Europe. This was originally a prison camp for German war prisoners. Located in between former uranium mines, it served as a forced labour camp in 1949–1951. The site was used as a prison for political prisoners of the communist regime until 1961. The museum exhibitions feature instances of persecution after the communist takeover in February 1948. Political prisoners mined uranium ore for the Soviet Union under extremely harsh conditions. They include documents dealing with anticommunist resistance and provide information about the history of uranium mining in this area.

The exhibition is an international project created by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in cooperation with the Committee of National Remembrance in Hungary, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center, the Institute for the Study of Communist Crimes and their Consequences in Albania, the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland, the Museum of Occupation of Latvia, the Institute of National Remembrance in Slovakia and the Pitești Prison Museum in Romania.

The Czech version of the exhibition was prepared in cooperation with the Twentieth Century Memorial Museum in Prague. A bilingual Czech-English catalogue was published as part of the project.

So far, the exhibition has been presented in Hungary, Albania, Poland, Romania and Czech Republic.