Prague Museum of Communism

Nestled with irony between a McDonald’s and a casino is Prague’s Museum of Communism (only the KGB Museum has a more deliciously ironic location, next door to the heavily guarded U.S. embassy). It walks the thin line between being another tacky tourist trap museum (which I love) and an actual educational experience (which I also enjoy), with the over-arching message of, “Communism — that sure did suck.”

Tracing the history of Communism from it’s beginning and the founding of the Soviet Union to its rapid spread through eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II, the museum makes no claim at being unbiased. The people who established the museum lived through Communism in what was then Czechoslovakia, and they make no bones about criticizing the political system and the paranoia, tyranny, and oppression that came with it. It’s a fascinating look behind the Iron Curtain and exploration of how ideas can so quickly become corrupted, how revolutionaries can so quickly become reactionaries. After strolling through so many artifacts of a dark time, it’s at least refreshing to end the museum with a detailed look through relics and video at the Velvet Revolution, the uprising and demonstrations that led to the overthrow of the Communist Czech government in 1989. And then one emerges onto Wenceslas Square, once the sight of mass demonstrations and street battles with police and soldiers, now a polished promenade for dining, shopping, saucy nightclubs, museums, and amazing architecture. A strange trip indeed, and one well worth checking out.

One thought on “Prague Museum of Communism”

  1. I particularly like the Zenit rifle-camera (these actually came with a detachable plastic shoulder-stock) , and the copy of the Honda Super-Cub. I believe that these were actually 2-stroke (meaning that you had to mix some oil int with the petrol) and could run on all kinds of fuel, including heater-grade kerosene. They were a minor cult object in the UK in the ’80’s, until the emissions regs outlawed them.

    Oddly enough, the same fate befel my beloved Suzuki Choi-Nori years later. Poor thing.

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