From 1948 to 1989, the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia was ruled by a Communist regime which saw widespread political persecution visited upon the country’s citizens. The victims of this tumultuous time are remembered by the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
This stunning monument was unveiled in 2002, over a decade after the fall of Communism in the country. To depict the suffering felt by the victims of the regime, seven bronze figures, all naked males, can be seen descending a long staircase, looks of despair on their pitted faces. 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.
In case this representation is too symbolic for visitors to fully understand, a metal strip runs down the center of the staircase, detailing the number of victims being honored. The statistics listed are as follows:
Despite the numbers, the subject of Communism is continually a controversial one and the statues have not been universally welcome with a couple of the figures having been damaged by an unclaimed bombing attempt. Regardless of the outrage on both sides, the Memorial to the Victims of Communism stands as a powerful reminder of the Czech Republic’s complicated history.
Know Before You Go
Located at the base of Petřín hill, Újezd street in the Malá Strana.
You can take trams No 6, 9, 12, 20, 22, 23 (night trams No57, 58, 59) and stop in ”Ujezd” to get there.