on February 25, 2002
Budapest - and the whole country - suffered both totalitarian and gruesome regimes of WWII, the Nazis and the the communists. There is a house on Budapest's most beautiful boulevard that has served as the central house of terror under both systems. In 2002 a museum opened in the building to educate the people about the horrible acts of terror that were carried out in this building and to be a memorial to those who were tortured and killed here - or anywhere else under these two brutal regimes.
In March 1944 the Nazis occupied Hungary. The Hungarian leaders were weak and the nazis elevated the extreme right wing politicians into the regime. They started the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to concentration camps in Poland and Germany and in October a total Nazi governance began. They used this building as their headquarters for the cleansing and deportation activities, they tortured and killed their so-called "enemies" here. But their power didn't last long. In 1945 the Soviet army occupied the country. They used the Andrassy ut building the same way the Nazis did, it was the headquarters of the dreaded AVO or AVH, the secret police which had the task of ridding the country of the "system's enemies" meaning anybody that did not respect and accept the communist regime and the former politicians who were replaced by the communists. They set up cells, torture rooms and interrogation rooms in the building.
This is the real story of the brutalities and terror of the 20th century. You can see it first hand and you will no doubt find things which are hard to believe to have happened just 60 years ago... but sadly they did. It's a very moving history lesson.See the museum's official site
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