The Memorial to the victims of Communism commemorates the victims of the communist era between 1948 and 1989. It was unveiled on the 22 May 2002, twelve years after the fall of communism in the Eastern Bloc, and is the work of Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek and architects Jan Kerel and Zdeněk Holzel.

It shows six bronze figures descending a flight of stairs. The statues appear more “decayed” the further away they are from you – losing limbs and their bodies breaking open. While the first figure is whole, the second has a huge tear in his torso, and the third is missing an arm and part of his face. Each successive figure in the line is missing a bit more of its anatomy as though it was torn away, until the final figure which is little more than a jagged pair of feet. It symbolizes how political prisoners were affected by Communism.

There is also a bronze strip that runs along the center of the memorial, showing estimated numbers of those impacted by communism:

  • 205,486 arrested
  • 170,938 forced into exile
  • 4,500 died in prison
  • 327 shot trying to escape
  • 248 executed

The bronze plaque nearby reads:

“The memorial to the victims of communism is dedicated to all victims not only those who were jailed or executed but also those whose lives were ruined by totalitarian despotism”

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