Pitesti Memorial – reeducation through torture – a communist experiment

by Claudia Voinea from “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism (UAUIM), Romania
Tutored by: Dan Marin

Author comments:

Pitesti was the place where all the young political prisoners, mostly students and pupils were detached to be reeducated through torture.

The project aims to bring forward to the public conscience the truth about the Pitesti prison and to preserve in a non traumatic way the memory of the traumas inflicted there.

Envisioned as a symbolic path that leads the visitor along the spiritual fall of the inmate the project rests of several key areas: the memorial, the slope, the museum, the filter, the summer school - all around the original penitentiary site.


“The first stage required the victim to confess. Anything held back from the trial or and self guilt had to be shared. The torturer was acting as dark father confessor.


The second stage involved incriminating all known persons, friends, family whose views or acts could be interpreted as anti-communist.


By this stage all moral pillars are destroyed. The victim had to show proof that he resents all his values from before the trial.


The final stage was turning the victim into a torturer. The newly reeducated inmate was to conducts others through the stages starting with his best friend by publicly torturing him in exemplary ways.

The memorial places the visitor in the reality of a victim from the Pitesti prison - symbolically sliding through the stages of depersonalizing track, as a flashback of the human decline each victim was forced to endure.

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