On a trip to Budapest, our group visited a museum in a four story building called, “The House of Terror.”
It is a museum today, but it was a witness to two tragic periods in the history of Hungary.
In 1944, the building served as the party headquarters of the Hungarian Nazis. The notorious Nazi Arrow Cross Party operated out of the building. During its brief reign, over 10,000 civilians were murdered and over 80,000 were deported from Hungary to different concentration camps in Austria.
After World War II, the brutal secret police of Hungary, known as the AVH, was headquartered in the building. They were an extension of the Soviet Union’s secret police.
The address at 60 Andrassy Boulevard became the house of fear and terror. Brutality, torture and murder were regular occurrences.
Hungary stands today as a free nation. But it didn’t come easy, that’s for sure. The building/museum stands today as a monument to the victims. It reminded me of something very important: sacrifices given in the name of freedom are never futile.
We need to remember the past. We need to remember the sacrifice of others on our behalf. We need to remember that freedom is not really free.