Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert Blobaum

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine Aaslestad

Committee Member

Melissa Bingmann


Museums of communism have been appearing all over Central and Eastern Europe, as has the interest in them. Memorabilia sells well and tourists are interested in what life was like behind the Iron Curtain. If these museums show how they present, represent, and deal with the recent past, museum websites also give insight into the museums' greater outreach. Communism is portrayed in several ways in different countries, but they generally depict the country as a victim of Soviet rule and influence. This study examines resources that are available for the global audience and observes how engaged the museums are in presenting their information via new media and internet websites.;Case studies of museums of communism are presented from the following museums and historical education centers: The Stasi Museum and the DDR Museum in Berlin, Germany; the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw, Poland; the Museum of Communism in Prague, Czech Republic; the House of Terror Museum and Memento Park in Budapest, Hungary; and the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn, Estonia. These sites of public memory can be seen as metaphors for the historic transition from communism in these respective states. How museums and online displays of history are conceptualized show, in part, how countries and their historians are dealing with the recent past, how that past is presented to the public, and how they want to portray it to the world.