POTD: 60 Andrássy út

60 Andrássy út
Budapest, Hungary
2011

All the humor about the Russian occupation of Hungary ends when you reach this building at 60 Andrássy út in Budapest. It was here that the Arrow Cross (Nazi-occupied Hungary’s version of the Gestapo) set up headquarters. When the Nazis left the Soviets took over the space for their own local KGB-like secret police. 3200 people were murdered by the Nazis or the Soviets in this building. Another 600,000-700,000 Hungarians were sent to gulags in Russian for dissident activity, real or imagined. Half of them never returned.

The building now houses a very sobering House of Terror museum chronicling the double occupation by the Nazis and the Soviets. The portraits lining the outside of the building are of some of the Hungarians executed by the Soviets in the aftermath of the 1956 uprising against their occupation. The flowers were placed at the memorial on All Saint’s Day (which is treated in Hungary much as Memorial Day is in the U.S.).