Museums and memorials

The Katyń Monument at Gunnersbury Cemetery

1976 Great Britain

A monument to the victims of the Katyń mass murder committed by the NKVD in 1940 was opened by the Polish community of Great Britain at Gunnersbury Cemetery on 18 September 1976. The Soviet Union did not want the events at Katyń to be memorialised and applied pressure to the British government to obstruct the erection of the monument.

The Katyń Monument at Southern Cemetery

1990 Great Britain

This monument was opened in 1990. It is located in Southern Cemetery in the quarter of the cemetery of Britain’s Polish community. At the opening of the monument, the British government openly admitted that the Soviet regime committed the Katyń mass murder, not Nazi Germany.

The Bleiburg Memorial

2005 Austria

The last military units of the Independent State of Croatia surrendered to Yugoslavian partisans near the Slovenian border in Bleiburg on 15 May 1945. This was followed by the repatriation of civilians and prisoners of war to Yugoslavia. En route through Tezno and Macelj, tens of thousands of people were executed or taken to forced labour camps. A gathering takes place in Bleiburg every year on 15 May in memory of those victims.

Memorial Monument to Bulgaria’s Victims of Communism

1999 Bulgaria

The names of 7,526 people who perished are inscribed on the memorial that was opened on 11 September 1999. The memorial is dedicated to all who fell victim to the terror of the Communist Party before 9 September 1944 and to those who perished as a consequence of the actions of the totalitarian regime in 1944–1989.

The House of Leaves – the Museum of Secret Surveillance

2017 Albania

This museum was opened in 2017 and is housed in the building where both the Gestapo and the state security organs of the communist regime had previously resided. The permanent exhibition consists of nine parts, where the surveillance equipment and methods of the state security organs are introduced, providing an overview of the fate of those people who ended up in the sphere of interest of the state security organs.,_Kharkiv_Oblast#/media/File:Piatykhatky.jpg

Memorial for Victims of Totalitarianism

2000 Ukraine

This memorial was completed on 17 June 2000 at the joint initiative of the presidents of Ukraine and Poland. It is located in the place where the NKVD killed 3,809 Polish officers and 500 civilian citizens in 1940. A rusty metal wall with a rusty orthodox cross erected in front of it is at the centre of the memorial.


The National Katyń Memorial

2000 USA

The memorial was created in 2000 at the initiative of the National Katyń Memorial Foundation, which was founded by US Army veterans of Polish descent in 1989. A memorial ceremony and mass are held at the monument every year in March. The sculptor Andrzej Pitynski modelled the monument in Poland, from where it was transported to the USA.

Katyń Memorial

2000 Russia

This memorial situated 20 km from Smolensk between the villages of Gnezdovo and Katyń was opened on 28 July 2000. The memorial consists of two parts, the territory where residents of Smolensk who were political prisoners are buried, and a Polish military cemetery. The Nazis found the mass grave at Katyń in 1943. All of the executions of Polish prisoners of war carried out by the NKVD in 1940 are known by this general name.

Karlag Museum

2001 Kazakhstan

At least a million people passed through the Karlag camp complex, which operated in 1931–1959. The museum is housed in the former headquarters of Karlag in Dolinka village. In addition to tracing the history of the camp, the museum tells of the consequences of the inhumane policies that the Soviet regime directed against the Kazakh people.

ALZHIR Museum-Memorial Complex

2007 Kazakhstan

The special unit of Karlag established in 1938 was a prison- and labour camp where the wives of traitors of the homeland were sent. In 1940–1950, 10,000 internees died there. In addition to the history of the camp, this memorial museum, which was opened in 2007, also provides information on the events of December 1986, when the Soviet regime bloodily cracked down on student demonstrations.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

1980 Cambodia

This museum is housed in the former detention and interrogation centre of the Khmer Rouge, which operated in 1975–1979 in the city of Phnom Penh, the population of which had previously been evacuated in 1975. Over the course of four years, 15–20,000 people were imprisoned here, of whom 12 were alive by 1979. The museum consists of the authentic prison, its archive and a memorial.

Choeung Ek Monument

1998 Cambodia

Choeung Ek is a mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge, also known as the Killing Fields, from where the remains of nearly 9,000 people have been found. Over a million people were executed here in 1975–1979. According to agreement, the human bones that have been found until now are allowed to rest in peace. A glass Buddhist stupa stands in memory of the victims. It is filled with more than 5,000 skulls, many of which have been crushed.

Holodomor Victims Memorial

2009 Ukraine

The memorial was opened in 2009, preceded by legislation passed in 2006 that declared the famine of 1932–1933 known under the name of Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people. Since the year of the opening of the memorial, it has become a tradition to gather at the memorial annually on the fourth Saturday of November and to light candles in memory of those who perished.

The Teharje Memorial

2004 Slovenia

A concentration camp in Teharje in Eastern Slovenia was established after the Second World War and run by Yugoslavia’s secret police. The camp was built during the war in 1943 for German forces and was at the disposal of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth). An estimated 5,000 internees were executed there without any court verdict. A memorial park was opened in 2004 in the former camp in memory of the victims.

Museum of the Crimes and Victims of Communism

2013 Slovakia

The museum was officially opened on 25 March 2013 on the 25th anniversary of Bratislava’s anti-communist demonstration. The museum is a project that operates on a voluntary basis and its aim is to remember those who helped to restore freedom.

Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights

1992 Lithuania

The museum is housed in the former KGB building in the city centre of Vilnius, where the occupying regime both planned and carried out its crimes. The exposition tells of the loss of Lithuania’s independence, the repressions carried out by the Soviet and Nazi German regimes, and the fight for independence. Historical prison cells and the execution room can be seen in the museum’s cellar.

Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

1993 Latvia

The mission of this museum opened in 1993 is to show the fate of Latvia in the time of its occupation by Nazi Germany (1941–1944) and the Soviet Union (1940–1941, 1944–1991), to remind the world of the crimes against humanity committed by two foreign powers, and to commemorate the victims of these occupations. The museum is housed in a building that was built during the Soviet occupation to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lenin. -

House of Terror Museum

2002 Hungary

This museum was opened on 24 February 2002 in a building that the dictatorial regimes that ruled Hungary had used as a prison and a place of torture and executions. The exhibition covering four storeys tells of the historical context of the crimes of these regimes as well as of the innocent people who were incarcerated and killed in this building.

Stasi Museum

1990 Germany

This museum is housed in the headquarters of the East German Ministry of State Security. The building was completed in 1961 and remained a symbol of fear until 15 January 1990, when demonstrators took it over in the course of demonstrations. Since that time, a memory institution has operated in the building. Various exhibitions have been held here on the work of the state security organs and its effect on the population of East Germany.

Bautzen Memorial

1993 Germany

The victims of the regimes of Nazi Germany, the Soviet occupation and the German Democratic Republic, who suffered under inhuman conditions in Bautzen’s two prison buildings, are commemorated in this former Stasi prison. Visitors can familiarise themselves with the living conditions of the prisoners of those times and with the historical and political background of the era at the memorial’s permanent exhibition.

Münchner Platz Dresden Memorial

1992 Germany

Political trials were held under the Nazi regime and during the Soviet occupation, as well as in the early years of the German Democratic Republic, in the former court and prison building situated at Munich Square. Executions were also carried out in this same building in 1907–1956. The aim of this memory institution is to study the abuse of legal practice.

Eesti Mälu Instituut

Memorial to Victims of Communism

2018 Estonia

This memorial was opened in Tallinn on 23 August 2018. It is dedicated to over 75,000 Estonian victims of communism and consists of two parts. The Journey is a memorial wall on which the names are inscribed of Estonia’s inhabitants who perished in the course of the communist terror, and who never returned home. Apple trees are planted in the Home Garden. Footpaths meander between these trees and a united swarm of bees is depicted on the wall.

Victims of Communism Memorial

2007 USA

US President George W. Bush opened this memorial on 12 June 2007, 20 years after President Reagan’s speech, in which he told Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. The Goddess of Democracy, a copy of the statue erected by students at Tiananmen Square during protests in 1989, is at the centre of the memorial dedicated to more than 100 million victims of communism.


2017 Estonia

The Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom was opened on 1 July 2003. The KGB prison cells at 1 Pagari Street were opened to visitors in 2017. The museum’s permanent exhibition Freedom without Borders was opened in 2018 and tells of Estonia’s occupations, resistance, the restoration of independence, and freedom.!photo=1&full

Wall of Grief

2017 Russia

This memorial monument for the victims of Stalinist repressions was opened on 30 October 2017. The wall shaped like a scythe, symbolising death, is cast in bronze and consists of human figures without faces pressed together side by side to denote the anonymity of the victims. The monument was erected on a former parking lot at a busy intersection in the city centre of Moscow to show that repressions were carried out everywhere.

Solovetsky Stone

1990 Russia

A large stone brought from the former Solovki prison camp was placed in front of the former KGB headquarters in Lubyanka Square in Moscow on 30 October 1990. People gather at this stone for a memorial ceremony every year on 30 October, the day of remembrance for victims of political repression. Another stone brought from Solovki camp is located in St. Petersburg.,_Lviv.jpg

Lontskoho Street Prison

2009 Ukraine

The national memorial museum dedicated to the victims of the occupying regimes commemorates all those who suffered under the German, Soviet and Polish occupying regimes. This is the first memory institution in Ukraine housed in a former prison. The detention conditions of the political prisoners of that time can be viewed on the building’s first storey.

Pillar of Shame

1997 China

This pillar in Hong Kong commemorates the victims of the bloodbath carried out at Tiananmen Square in 1989. According to various estimates, they numbered at least 10,000. The statue was painted orange in 2008 to express support for The Colour Orange campaign, which drew attention to violations of human rights in China during the Peking Olympic Games.

Mourning Angel

2005 Russia

This memorial monument is dedicated to the victims of political repressions. The statue cast in bronze was opened on 30 October 2005. The mourning angel is almost three metres tall and holds in its hand the Book of Ecclesiastes. There are two granite slabs behind the angel. The names of 171 people from Stavropolski district who were killed for political reasons and were later rehabilitated are inscribed on one of the slabs.

Memorial of Rebirth

2005 Romania

The monument located at Revolution Square is dedicated to the Revolution of 1989 and its victims, who laid the foundation for the rebirth of independent statehood. The 25-metre tall marble column was erected in August of 2005. The names of people who fought for freedom and perished in the revolution are inscribed on the two curved walls in front of the column.

Butovo Firing Range

2001 Russia

Tens of thousands of ‘enemies of the people’ were shot at the Butovo firing range on the outskirts of Moscow and buried in mass graves in 1938–1950. The exact number of victims is not known but the names of 20,761 people who fell victim to the Great Terror (1937–1938) have been identified. Since there were over 1,000 Russian orthodox clergymen among the victims, a memorial church was built there.

Train of Pain (Memorial to Victims of Stalinist Repression)

2013 Moldova

A temporary memorial stone dedicated to the victims of the mass deportations carried out in Moldova in 1940–1951 was opened in 1990 at the Chişinău main railway station. The permanent monument was opened in 2013 and it depicts a so-called Train of Pain.

Memorial to the Victims of Communism

2002 Czech Republic

This memorial to the victims of communism was opened on 22 May 2002. It depicts seven persons going down a stairway. The first of them is physically healthy but the other sculptures have successively more serious anatomic damage, symbolising the pain caused by the communist dictatorship, but also the courage and resilience of the prisoners.


Sighet Memorial Museum

1993 Romania

In cooperation with the International Centre for Researching Communism, the Citizens’ Academy Foundation set itself the objective in 1993 to establish a museum that would deal with the communist past of Romania and other Central and Eastern European countries. The Memorial Museum was established in a former prison.

Gloria Victis Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Fight for Freedom and the Revolution of 1956

2006 Hungary

This memorial opened in the village of Csömör at the city limits of Budapest on 21 October 2006 commemorates the victims of communism of the entire world and the freedom fighters of Hungary’s Revolution of 1956. There is a Hungarian national flag made of steel in front of the monument. This flag has a hole in it – in 1956, the freedom fighters cut the communist symbols out of the Hungarian flag.

Demjaniv Laz

1998 Ukraine

In 1941 before the German invasion, the NKVD killed over 500 citizens of occupied Poland, including women and children, in Demjaniv Laz. After the war, the Soviet regime tried to conceal the existence of the mass grave that the Germans had discovered. It was only in 1989 that the local Memorial Society succeeded in identifying the location of the grave. The monument to the victims was opened in 1998.

Katyń Memorial

1991 USA

This memorial was opened in June of 1991. It stands in memory of the Polish political prisoners and Polish officers who were shot by the NKVD in the Katyń woods in 1940. The bronze monument depicts a wounded Polish soldier that was modelled by the Polish-American sculptor Andrzej Pitynski.