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Sighet Prison. Sighet Prison is situated in Sighetu Marmaţiei town, Maramureş County. It is one of the most notorious prisons of Romania as it was used.

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Presentation on theme: "Sighet Prison. Sighet Prison is situated in Sighetu Marmaţiei town, Maramureş County. It is one of the most notorious prisons of Romania as it was used."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sighet Prison

2 Sighet Prison is situated in Sighetu Marmaţiei town, Maramureş County. It is one of the most notorious prisons of Romania as it was used by the Romanian Communist Government to imprison here political prisoners, important personalities of pre-communist Romania, many of whom died here. Sighet Prison is situated in Sighetu Marmaţiei town, Maramureş County. It is one of the most notorious prisons of Romania as it was used by the Romanian Communist Government to imprison here political prisoners, important personalities of pre-communist Romania, many of whom died here.Sighetu Marmaţiei MaramureşommunistSighetu Marmaţiei Maramureşommunist The prison was disposed and turned into a museum. It currently shelters the Memorial of the Communism and Resistance Victims museum. The prison was disposed and turned into a museum. It currently shelters the Memorial of the Communism and Resistance Victims museum.Memorial of the Communism and Resistance VictimsMemorial of the Communism and Resistance Victims

3 Short history of Sighet prison Sighet prison was built in 1897 by the Austrian-Hungarian authorities on the occasion of the “First Hungarian millennium“ anniversary. After 1918 it worked as a common right prison. After 1945 Sighet used to mediate the repatriation of the former prisoners and former deported people from the U.R.S.S. Sighet prison was built in 1897 by the Austrian-Hungarian authorities on the occasion of the “First Hungarian millennium“ anniversary. After 1918 it worked as a common right prison. After 1945 Sighet used to mediate the repatriation of the former prisoners and former deported people from the U.R.S.S. In august 1948 it became a place of detention for a group of students, pupils and peasants from Maramures, some of them still living today in Sighet. On 5 th -6 th May 1950 over 100 dignitary from all over the country were brought here (former ministers, academicians, economists, servicemen, historians, journalists and politicians), some of them convicted to heavy penalties, others not even trialed. Most of them were older than 60. In august 1948 it became a place of detention for a group of students, pupils and peasants from Maramures, some of them still living today in Sighet. On 5 th -6 th May 1950 over 100 dignitary from all over the country were brought here (former ministers, academicians, economists, servicemen, historians, journalists and politicians), some of them convicted to heavy penalties, others not even trialed. Most of them were older than 60.

4 The Inside

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6 Sighet Museum: Room 9 – The cell where Iuliu Maniu died (1873-1953) The cell where Iuliu Maniu died

7 In October – November 1950, 45-50 Greek-Catholic and Roman- Catholic bishops and priests were brought to Sighet. The penitentiary was considered “unit of special work”, known as “Dunărea colony”; in fact, it was a place for exterminating the country elites and, at the same time, a place where one could not escape, the Soviet Union frontier being situated at less than 2 kilometers. In October – November 1950, 45-50 Greek-Catholic and Roman- Catholic bishops and priests were brought to Sighet. The penitentiary was considered “unit of special work”, known as “Dunărea colony”; in fact, it was a place for exterminating the country elites and, at the same time, a place where one could not escape, the Soviet Union frontier being situated at less than 2 kilometers. The prisoners were kept in unhealthy conditions, miserably fed, stopped from lying in their beds in cells without heating. They were not allowed to look out of the window (those who did not obey were severely punished by staying in the “dark” and “the grizzly” which were detention barracks-like lightless cells). Later on, the windows got shutters so that only the sky could be seen. Humiliation and mockery were part of the extermination plan The prisoners were kept in unhealthy conditions, miserably fed, stopped from lying in their beds in cells without heating. They were not allowed to look out of the window (those who did not obey were severely punished by staying in the “dark” and “the grizzly” which were detention barracks-like lightless cells). Later on, the windows got shutters so that only the sky could be seen. Humiliation and mockery were part of the extermination plan In 1955, after the Geneva Convention and communist Romania’s acceptance to the UNO, there was a pardon. A part of the prisoners from the Romanian ones were set free, others were transferred to other places, including under compulsory lodging. At Sighet 52 out of the 200 prisoners had died. Sighet prison became again of common right. However, political prisoners kept on appearing in the next years too, especially “passing” to the psychiatric hospital of the town. In 1977 the prison was disposed, becoming broom factory, salt deposit and, finally, an abandoned mine. In 1955, after the Geneva Convention and communist Romania’s acceptance to the UNO, there was a pardon. A part of the prisoners from the Romanian ones were set free, others were transferred to other places, including under compulsory lodging. At Sighet 52 out of the 200 prisoners had died. Sighet prison became again of common right. However, political prisoners kept on appearing in the next years too, especially “passing” to the psychiatric hospital of the town. In 1977 the prison was disposed, becoming broom factory, salt deposit and, finally, an abandoned mine.

8 Sighet Museum: Room 37 - „Dark” Every prison has a penitent cell. The refractory prisoners were isolated in complete obscurity chained by a ring in the centre of the cell. Sometimes (for example in Aiud) they were kept their feet on a grid placed in water. The prisoner was incarcerated naked and barefoot. The ration was halved. In the dark, under the cold, hungry, sometimes even bound, he had to stand all day long and all night long. Every prison has a penitent cell. The refractory prisoners were isolated in complete obscurity chained by a ring in the centre of the cell. Sometimes (for example in Aiud) they were kept their feet on a grid placed in water. The prisoner was incarcerated naked and barefoot. The ration was halved. In the dark, under the cold, hungry, sometimes even bound, he had to stand all day long and all night long.

9 Sighet Museum: Room 73 – The cell where Gheorghe I. Brătianu died Sighet Museum: Room 73 – The cell where Gheorghe I. Brătianu died

10 The group of statues “The Sacrified Cortege” by Aurel Vlad - 18 human silhouettes heading towards a wall which closes their view just like communism had restrained the life of millions of people. Made of wood and displayed in 1997, the work was cast in bronze in the next year and is placed in another patio of the former prison nowadays.

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