House of Terror

From the 1930's, the Hungarian National Socialist Party was one of the tenants of this three-story neo-renaissance apartment house that was built during the development of the Andrássy avenue. Ferenc Szálasi, the head of this party was the leader of the Arrow-Cross takeover on the autumn of 1944. In the following winter, hundreds of Jews were tortured in the building that became known by the regime as the "House of Loyalty". After the war, the communists took the place of the fascists, as they did in most Central-European countries. Between 1945 and 1957, the infamous State Protection Authority (ÁVH) resided here. Their goal was to track down and liquidate the enemies of the system. Hundreds, or even thousands suffered in the basements, primate József Mindszenty, György Faludy poet and Béla Kovács opposition politician were tortured here amongst others. In 2002 the building opened as a museum - a memento of the fascist and communist terror. The historic reconstruction was performed by János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy architects, while the facade and the permanent exhibition are the works of Attila F. Kovács. Powerful images make the average apartment house look like a monument: the grey coat of plaster recalls the colors of the uniforms; the "passe-partout" around the house's upper ledge literally throws the "shade of terror" on the walls. This frame following the partition-wall and the ledge was a controversial matter for those worrying about the view of the world heritage avenue, but the hard feelings have settled by now.

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