Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church
New Haven, Connecticut
Orthodox Church in America
Film: The Pitesti Experiment

Film Screening and Q&A with Director Baltag

The Pitesti Experiment (English Subtitles)

Saturday, February 15, 2020 3-5pm

Quinnipiac University, North Haven Campus

Center for Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences, Room 101 “Auditorium”

370 Bassett Road

North Haven, CT 06473

You can find out more about this project here.  Also, below is a brief write-up on the Pitesti Experiment that you can see in full here

[The Pitesti Phenomenon (1949-1951)

"However, what has not yet become universal knowledge is the fact that in the Romanian Gulag Archipelago there was an island of absolute horror, such as existed nowhere else in the entire geography of the communist penitentiary system: Pitesti Prison." - Virgil Ierunca, Pitesti Phenomenon. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the 1970 Nobel Prize laureate for literature, refers to the Pitesti experiment as the "most terrible act of barbarism in the contemporary world". Historian François Furet, member of the French Academy, regards the Pitesti phenomenon as "one of the most terrible experiments in dehumanization that our epoch has known".

Between 1949 and 1951, the destruction of society’s elite was almost complete: intellectuals, diplomats, priests, officers, magistrates, policemen, and politicians of the "bourgeois-landowner regime" were in prison; the most industrious peasants had been deported to forced labor camps. Collectively and individually, they were all labelled "enemies of the people". It now remained to annihilate the unpredictable social force of youth. For the latter, the Pitesti experiment was invented (termed "re-education" by the Securitate). The most barbarous methods of psychological torture were applied to "recalcitrant" young prisoners, with the object of making them reciprocally humiliate each other, physically abuse each other and mentally torture each other. Victims were transformed into executioners; prisoners were tortured by their own friends, by their fellows in suffering. The purpose: "re-education" through physical and psychical destruction, the transformation of young people into atheists, into informers on their friends.]

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