Museum of Communism
The Museum of Communism in Prague offers visitors a glimpse of life in Communist days when fear and suppression were the order of the day from the coup in 1948 until the fall of the regime in November 1989. The exhibition shows daily life and highlights good and bad aspects of life during the communist days. All objects in the museum are original artifacts and include film and photos, propaganda posters and art, historical documents, statues and military objects. The school classroom, the grocer’s shop and a workshop show what daily life was like in those days. Foreign visitors come here in droves but Czechs seem to avoid it because they don’t like to be reminded of an unpleasant past.
Museum of Communism the Exhibition
The exhibition is on chronological order and begins with the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, followed by Marx and Engels and the communist ideology. Next, the visitor learns about the rise and power of the Nazis, the Munich agreement and the German annexation of Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia and the communists seizing power in 1948.
Museum of Communism highlights the communist era, from 1948 to 1989. The visitor will see what life was like for ordinary people when private enterprise was eliminated and collectivism took its place. How communist propaganda brainwashed the people and what role the police and in particular the secret police played. Yet, it was not all doom and gloom, in particular for people who accepted the regime. There was a strong community sense and everyone had a job for life.
Dark Sides of Communist Days
There are also stories about the dark side of communism: people who tried to escape, their trials and persecutions. The reality of daily life is shown in the empty shelves of a replica of a shop, basic product are scarce or not in stock, customers had to queue for hours to get supplies. Some people were given a permit to go abroad but family members were held hostage in case they would not return from abroad.
Museum of Communism Short History
The museum of Communism opened in 1991, only two years after the Fall of the Iron Curtain. Businessman, Glen Spicker, considered it important that the past should never be forgotten and that this cultural heritage should be passed on to the younger generations. He collected second-hand articles and found propaganda leaflets, banners, schoolbooks both in Czech and in Russian, medals, soup cans and many others things that were used in daily Communist life. Spicker worked together with Czech historians in realizing the exhibitions. The result is an impressive picture of Communism in Eastern Europe and in particular in Czechoslovakia.
How to get there
Address, Museum of Communism, V Celnici 4, Prague 1, Nove mesto
Opening hours: daily 09.00- – 21.00
Public transport: metro station Namesti republiky (line B), tram stop namesty republiky trams 6, 8, 12, 26
photo credit Marianne Crone