Diary

Memorable programs, memorable people

25 February 2019

In the House of Terror, on the Memorial Day of the Victims

Whenever, on the day of remembrance of the victims of communism, I glimpse the infamous building at No. 60. Andrássy út, I am always captivated by suffocating feelings, feelings one cannot be prepared for. I recall my grandfather’s silence about what he had gone through here.  On entering the building, I am faced with the multitude of portraits of people held and tortured here, people, who suffered the terror and lost their lives to it amongst these very walls. I recall the stories told by Bishop Mindszenty and others of being truncheoned and of violence breaking loose. Why, I wonder, can some people take joy in other people’s pain? Why have Auschwitz, Katyń, Szolyva or No. 60, Andrássy út become horrible roadmarks of 20th century history? I found a quote from Solzhenitsyn in the temporary exhibition presenting the bolshevik coup d’etat attempt of 1917: “Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty”, a truth amply proven by Lenin.  His demented order, that “even the faintest resistance should immediately lead to mass executions” was followed by shockingly many. The House of Terror presents the horrors at their very site, commemorating at the same time the wonder that the toughest ordeals inspired a number of our fellow Hungarians to accomplish outstanding deeds. On the day of remembrance many people decided once again, to pay tribute to the victims and light a candle at the Wall of the Heroes in the House of Terror.