Râmnicu Sărat Memorial: Former communist prison in RO to undergo EUR 9 mln refurbishment
The request for EUR 9 million in funding for the refurbishment of the Râmnicu Sărat Memorial, a former communist prison listed as a historical monument, has been approved, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania announced.
The funding, granted through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), will cover the consolidation and refurbishment of the former Râmnicu Sărat Prison, in eastern Romania; the implementation of the Memorial program and a visiting circuit, which lets the public in on the isolation atmosphere of the facility; the setting up of an Education Center on Communism in Romania, meant to disseminate information on the communist regime in the country and its consequences; and promotional campaigns meant to attract a high number of visitors (an estimated 58,000 during the first year), especially from among the young.
The works are set to last 33 months, and the site is to open starting 2026.
The prison, first documented in 1901, was the place where leaders of the Iron Guard (Mișcarea Legionară) were held, among them Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. After the communist regime came to power, numerous political detainees were held here, as well as Greek-Catholic and Roman-Catholic clergy. Leaders of the National Peasants' Party (PNȚ), among them Ion Mihalache, Corneliu Coposu, or Ion Diaconescu, were detained here, as were Greek-Catholic bishop Alexandru Todea, Catholic priest Waltner Iosif, and Jesuit priest Mihai Godo. Politician and lawyer Constantin Titel-Petrescu, the leader of the Romanian Social Democratic Party, was also among the inmates at Râmnicu Sărat Prison.
The prison was known for its extremely harsh conditions, and was dubbed by the political detainees "the prison of silence."
It closed officially in April 1963, and those who survived the detention were sent into house arrest, under the supervision of the secret police Securitate.
After it closed, the prison was turned into a storage facility. Starting in 2007, it went from being administered by the Culture Ministry to the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes.
More about Râmnicu Sărat Prison here.
(Photo: Hegedüs Csilla Facebook Page)