Victims of Communism Memorial

The monument was created by the artist Vasile Leondar and inaugurated in 2010 in the park of the “Mitocul Maicilor” Church.

We can see three grieved persons with their hands shackled and on their knees, symbol of all victims of the concentration system in the period of communist Romania.

The most horrific prisons in which the regime’s opponents were put to torture, were the ones in Gherla, Aiud, Sighet, Pitești, Suceava or Râmnicu Sărat. The people suspected of conspiring against the regime, the ones who had important jobs before 1944, the ones who were members of other parties, as well as the ones from wealthy families who were against land and assets confiscation, ended in the dungeons of the State Security, in political prisons or sent to forced labour. The biggest construction site where hundreds of thousands of workers and political prisoners were sent to, was the Danube – Black Sea Canal, built between 1949 and 1984.

A Testimony from Hell

“In there you treasured all of God’s gifts. You treasured the air because, in an overcrowded cell, you could only take a few seconds of breath, by turn, holding your nose under the chink of the door [….]. I remember that in Aiud I had made a calendar on my fingers [….] and I realised that Easter was exactly on that night. Without thinking about the consequences, I began to shout: “Christ has risen!” and immediately, from all the cells, the beautiful hymn began to make its way towards the sky […]. Aiud was ringing of the call for hope, of our shout of joy, to the guards’ despair […] scared by our reunited voices, by the spiritual force of faith, that no barred window could stop”. Priest Adrian Făgeteanu.

Political prisoners from Iași

– Gheorghe I. Brătianu, the son of Romania’s prime-minister Ion I.C. Brătianu, was one of the intellectuals targeted by the communist purge. As manager of the Institute of Universal History of Iași, he firmly warned about the danger of the entrance of the Soviet Army in Romania and was called to take part of the Ion Antonescu’s government. He was removed from the professorship in 1947, arrested in 1950 and sent to the Sighet prison. Not being able to handle the torture of imprisonment, he hanged himself in 1953.

– Dumitru Iov, manager of the National Theatre of Iași between 1942-1944 and renowned poet and writer, he ended tragically in the Gherla prison in 1959, after being imprisoned in 1956 for “conspiracy and public unrest”.

– Anton Durcovici, was a Roman-Catholic bishop of Iași between 1947 and 1949. He was considered enemy of the communist regime because he encouraged people not to give up their faith. He was imprisoned, beaten and ill-treated for a year in the headquarters of the Bucharest State Security. In 1950, he is moved to Jilava prison, and in 1951, to Sighet. Skeleton-like, naked, full of wounds and blood, he found the strength to encourage the 15 prisoners from the cell. For this, the bishop was thrown in a cell all by himself, without light, heating, food or water and died on the 10th of December 1951. In 1990, the Roman-Catholic bishop of Iași, Petru Gherghel, began the canonisation process of Anton Durcovici, and on the 17th of May 2014, he was beatified in Iași during a solemn ceremony.

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