The traumatizing experience of the communist years in Romania, left deep scars not just in the collective minds of people, but also in several museum and public spaces, loaded with life stories that will impress anyone. The destruction of the historic and cultural patrimony through the demolishes that took place in the 1980's, the forcing of people to leave their homes, starving the population bt giving them food with a ratio, the extermination of the political prisoners, these were just some of the crimes committed by the communist regime in Romania, during the Ceausescu sovereignty (1967-1989).
The prison from Sighetu Marmatiei (Maramures County) is one of the most known centers were the political prisoners were imprisoned, remarkable persons of the pre-communist Romania. Many of them lived their last days between the cold walls of this prison.
Built in 1897, in a time when Transylvania was part of The Austro-Hungar Empire, the prison became the place of detention for the opponents of the communist regime, only in 1948. Although inthe begining only pupils, students and peasants from Maramures were imprisoned here, in May 1950, more than a hundred ex-statesman from all over the country were brought in this prison. In October and November 45-50 bishops and catholic priests were brought here. The prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions, they were not allowed to lie on their beds during day time or to look out the window. In time, the windows were covered by shutters. The prison was known by the name of "The Danube Colony" and it was considered a "special work unit", when in fact it was a place of extermination for the country's elite.
The prison was closed down in 1977 and was transformed in a museum, after the Civic Academy Foundation took over the ruins of the old prison in 1955. At the entrance of the museum, the soft voice of Ana Blandiana (a famous Romanian writer) wishes all visitors a kind welcome, and in a few touchy words, she presents the museum and it's necessity to be maintained in the memory of all communism victims.