Museum of Communism
The Museum of Communism is situated on na Přikopé Street, just a block from Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square). There is a MacDonalds restaurant on the main floor and the Museum shares the second floor with another symbol of capitalism: a Casino. The entry hall includes life-size bronze statues of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. One exhibit room contains objects from a 1950's machinist shop, an elementary school classroom, and some military equipment. Another room contains political propaganda posters from the 1950's and 1960's. Political cartoons at that time depicted Czech citizens as pawns in a global chess game. The Czechs were told to fear a poison gas attack from the western democracies. The Soviets established a puppet government that used intimidation to control the public. The Communist leaders told the people that the brutal repression and harsh living conditions were necessary to defend against the Americans. Photographs show the pre-fabricated concrete block architecture that prevailed during the Soviet occupation. The country's infrastructure was allowed to crumble while enormous treasure was allocated to the massive marble sculpture called the Stalin Statue. 600 men and women worked on the statue around the clock and the finest marble was used. The statue was completed in 1955 and then it was destroyed in 1961 when Stalin was discredited by Nikita Kruschev.
Another room in the Museum is intended to look like one of the interrogation rooms used by the secret police. A projection room shows movies of Vaclav Havel and other dissidents that were harrased and sometimes beaten by the secret police. Gradually, more and more people were coerced into cooperating with the authorities.