We had already been on the included tour so Luelle and I went on Missions in Budapest. She to find a Thai massage, Me to find the Apple store and go thru the Hall of Terror, the museum of Nazi and Communist terror.
The Thai massage was great … as was the Apple store, which had what I wanted and looked a lot like the Apple stores I go to in Fresno and Reston.
The Hall of Terror wasn’t nice or like anything I had seen. It turns out that it was only a few blocks further down Andrassy Avenue from the Apple store. It is a memorial to all the victims of the Nazi and Communist secret services which opperated out of this building.
Thousands were interogated, tortured, and killed or sent to concentration camps from this center.
Names and photos of victims are on display as well as renovated torture cells and command offices and hundreds of photos and live TV footage. Mock trials with people being sentenced to death and huge parades with adulation of the leaders, etc.
I noticed two categories of tourists with reactions at opposite ends of the spectrum:
There were groups of students who were on a field trip with their class mates. This group seemed like they were on any other field trip: chatting with each other, etc.
Then there were people who were searching for a relative on that wall of faces. They were somber and some had tears streaming down their faces.
Of course there was also the largest group of all, the 99% who will never visit a memorial like this … and therefore miss the message that screams out … to those who can hear.
The Nazi’s had used this building on the prestigious Andrassy St for their interrogation and torture headquarters. Thousands of Jews were rounded up, processed and sent to death camps from here.
When the Nazis were defeated, Hungary was considered a loser because they had originally supported Hitler. USSR was on the winning side in WWII, so they were chosen to take over the administration of Hungary. The building on Andrassy St suited them perfectly so they continued on with the same torture and interrogation and terror that the Nazis had used.
They added a huge Big Brother watching system where informants were encouraged to turn in their friends and neighbors for the slightest word against the Communist regime. By the time it was over, one family out of every three had a victim of the Nazi and Communist Torture Machine.
On the plane over here, I read in the USA Today about some Greeks who are unhappy with the austerity measures needed in their country.
One interviewees reaction was to leave the Socialist Party in favor of the Communist Party. Ugh!! Will we never learn from history? Actually we do learn …That the only thing we learn from history is that we dont learn from history.
But for anyone who wants to hear it, the message is loud and clear about the results of these types of totalitarian governments.