CWIHP cooperation with the Sighet Memorial results in the international launch of the Memorial's exhibit: "The Chronology of the Cold War, 1949-1989"

Jun 18, 2007

Inaugurated last year during the 2006 Sighet Memorial Summer School by Christian Ostermann and Ana Blandiana, the "Chronology of the Cold War, 1949-1989" exhibit of the Sighet Memorial of the Victims of Communism opened at the National History Museum in Bucharest, Romania on May 10, 2007.

Created in collaboration between the International Center for Studies about Communism (ICSC) and the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP), the exhibit contains 55 panels, with 25 displaying a chronology of the communist years, three showing a gallery of the portraits of communist and anti-communist protagonists, and the rest providing more specific case studies of Cold War themes: the separation of countries into military blocs; the arms race; the creation by the superpowers of military and economic organizations; the birth of the "Third World"; the "hot" wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Near East, anti-communist resistance in Romania, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia; technological espionage and the terrorism; peace and human rights conferences; the space race; and, finally, the implosion of the communist system and the triumph of democratic revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

The International Center for Studies about Communism (ICSC), acts as a scientific part of the Civic Academy Foundation in Bucharest, Romania. The Civic Academy Foundation is a non-governmental organization created in 1994 by writer Ana Blandiana, as a precursor to the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance.

The Memorial, which is located in a former political prison in Sighet (northern Romania), is the first and most detailed museum of communism from the former Soviet world. Containing over fifty thematic exhibition rooms, the museum is visited by tens of thousands of people every year.

Directed by Romulus Rusan in Bucharest, the ICSC has over 200,000 written documents, 5,000 hours of oral history interviews, 40,000 pages of published works, a census of over 90,000 concentration camp victims, including over 24,000 names of those who died in Romanian prisons and concentration camps.

The exhibition "A Chronology of the Cold War" was part of the project financed by the European Union through the program "Culture 2000," and Romanian, French, and English versions of the exhibit were created. The Romanian exhibit was designed as a permanent exhibit at the museum, complemented by a traveling version presently on display at the National History Museum in Bucharest, where it was opened by Ana Blandiana and the Ambassador of the EU, Donato Chiarini. The traveling exhibit will be on display in schools thoughout Romania starting this fall.

The English version of the exhibition was shown in Dresden (Hannah Arendt Institute), Budapest (Open Society Archives), Prague (The Contemporary History Institute of the Academy of the Czech Republic) and Warsaw (Karta Foundation). The French-language version of the exhibition traveled in several towns from Romania

For more information on the exhibit, visit the Sighet Memorial www.memorialsighet.ro or contact them via email.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project