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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sighet, Romania

The small city of Sighet Marmatiei has a population of around forty thousand.  It has, as one mark of distinction, the birthplace of Ellie Wiesel, holocaust survivor and author.
A much darker distinction is the presence of the Sighet Prison where the former communist government held political prisoners.
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It is probably unknown to many younger Americans just what life behind the Iron Curtain was like.  Traveling with Edward from Medieval Tours has been a good reminder.  Edward grew up late in the Communist Period but remembers very well the oppressive conditions.  His ability to supply personal anecdotes about the communist times added a lot to the tour.

This excerpt from one of the English-language guide pages at the prison tells the beginning of the story of this particular prison.

These photos bring out the details:
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The Sighet prison was one of several such prisons in Romania.  A cemetery just outside of town has a memorial near the mass graves that resulted from the terror inflicted here.

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