The Pitesti prison (Romanian: Închisoarea Pitesti) was a penal facility in Pitesti, Romania, best remembered for the brainwashing experiment carried out by Communist authorities in 1949-1952 (also known as Experimentul Pitesti - the "Pitesti Experiment" or Fenomenul Pitesti - the "Pitesti Phenomenon"). The latter was designed as an attempt at violently "reeducating" the mostly young political prisoners, primarily supporters of the fascist and anti-semitic Iron Guard, as well as former members of the National Peasants' and National Liberal parties or Zionist members of the Romanian Jewish community.
The experiment's goal, compliant with the regime's take on Leninism, was for prisoners to discard past political and religious convictions, and, eventually, to alter their personalities to the point of absolute obedience. Estimates for the total number of people passed through the experiment range from 1,000 to 5,000. It is considered the largest and most intensive brainwashing torture program in the Eastern bloc.
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