The Museum of Communism in Prague

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Recently I went on a trip to Prague, which was supposed to be a spring getaway for a long weekend, but turned out to be a winter one with lots of snow and cold.


We’ve spent as much time outside walking around this beautiful city as we could, but the cold forced us to seek for some indoors activities as well.

One of these were visiting the Museum of Communism

Having grown up in Hungary I do have quite a vision of communism in Eastern Europe, so I didn’t really expect any great surprises there.


The exhibition starts with the history of communism around the world and specifically in Czechoslovakia. This first part of the exhibition mostly consists of photos.


The description of the cult of personality around national politicians and Stalinism, as well as worshipping the Soviet Union while inducing hate against “the West” seemed similar to what I have known about communism in Hungary.


At the part about life during the communist era I found familiar objects from my childhood in 80s Hungary, including furniture of the period, and even some board games that we still own in my parents’ house. Seeing your life in a museum does make you feel really old!


I found this scenery of a grocery shop from the era so accurate, like I’ve been to the exact same place before. The thing about grocery shops in communist Eastern European countries before the 90s is that when my grandma sent me to buy a bag of milk (no mistake here, milk came in a bag!), I did not have to ask which kind, the answer would have been the only one they sold. Same thing with any other product. They had one kind, the kind that the state company produced. And even of those, only a very limited amount. 

You see, the exhibition about communist lifestyle did recall a lot of memories from my early childhood what I now picture as black and white in a lot of terms instead of what came after 1990 in colour. My first time in neighbouring Austria (just a few hours train ride) in the 90s was like being on a completely different planet. But these stories belong in my memoirs (LOL), so now back to the museum.

What I wasn’t quite familiar with is the really serious military training and preparing of schoolchildren for every kind of military attacks. I don’t recall anything like this from Hungarian history. This part seemed much more serious than what we (and I mean even my parents’ generation) experienced in Hungary.


I must have been living under a rock back then, because I don’t recall I’ve ever heard about this mass sporting event called The Spartakiad that was kind of unique worldwide.


During the communist era one had to keep quiet about their opinions and beliefs, especially if they differed from those of the ruling regime. The exhibition shows interviews, graphic stories about the persecution of the opposition and of Christianity.

If one could not adapt to a life where they were not allowed to have a voice or a personality whatsoever, the only option they had was to try immigrating illegally. Visiting foreign countries was of course extremely limited in the era, no wonder why, once people saw what the world outside communism looked like, they would have never wanted to return. And once they were out, they would find ways to send information to the ones at home, that would weaken the regime. So they thought. Border security was very severe, so a lot of people were caught trying to flee, and also a lot of people died while trying.

The closing part of the exhibition is about Czechoslovakia’s famous revolutions and the events leading to the fall of communism there.


All in all, the museum was a great pastime, even for my friend who is not as interested in politics and history as I am. As a plus, you get a free coffee at the museum café when done with the exhibition. I really do recommend considering it when planning a visit to Prague.

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