On 2 July 2012, the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile organised the Conference entitled Representing the Communist Past. The Penitentiary of Râmnicu Sărat as a Place of Memory.

The Conference aimed at disseminating information on a lesser known subject of our recent history, namely the extermination policies undertaken by the communist authorities against “the enemies of the people” within the Penitentiary of Râmnicu Sărat in the interval 1945-1963. The foregoing prison became conspicuous because of its extreme restrictions and was therefore known as “the prison of silence”. Scarce alimentary allowances, the lack of medical treatment, and torture brought about the death of many personalities who had been confined there.

The meaningfulness of this space prompts us to look for ways of reviving the present collective memory and for instruments that would ensure the reconstitution of the past for the young generations. The Penitentiary of Râmnicu Sărat represents the argument, and, at the same time, the symbol of the importance of memory in constructing a narrative of the past.

The Conference focused on the possibilities of turning the former penitentiary of Râmnicu Sărat into a memorial of the victims of communism. On the same occasion, the website www.memorialulramnicusarat.ro/ was launched as well. The website was created in partnership with the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Dinu Zamfirescu – president of the Scientific Council of the IICCMER, Simina Bădică – curator with the Romanian Peasant’s Museum, Viviana Iacob – representative of the National Network of Museums in Romania, Irina Hasnaș-Hubbard – fine artist, Cristina Anisescu – head of the Educational Department of CNSAS, and Adelina Țînțariu – director with the IICCMER participated in the event.