Sunday, February 08, 2009

Remembering the Communist Era

One can't help but wonder "what if" when you visit lovely Budapest. What if Communism hadn't controlled the country and so many others in Eastern Europe, for over 40 years, and what if the beautiful buildings that had been constructed prior to Communism hadn't fallen into disrepair and neglect during these past decades. Nonetheless, the old buildings in Budapest are still beautiful especially at night, when these buildings are tastefully illuminated by specially placed lights. In order to understand more about Hungary's Communist history, we visited "Memento Park" and the House of Terror- both quite somber but important reminders of the past and the victims of that era. Memento Park is where all the old Communist era statues went to "retire" after the fall of Communism- it was a little strange walking by these massive statues that were created to "inspire" the people. The fact that we visited the park on a cold, dreary day seemed fitting for the occasion. The highlight was visiting these special exhibit where we watched a documentary type "instruction" film on how to be a Secret Agent, complete with spying techniques and instructions on how to inform on your neighbors. No wonder everyone was paranoid then!! The House of Terror was a very informative and interesting museum that is definitely worth a visit if you ever visit Budapest. The Museum is actually housed in the same building that was used to interrogate and torture people during the Communist era, and now stands as a reminder of this era and a memento to the victims. To think that 1989 was not that long's important to count one's blessings...

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