The House of Terror opened in 2002. Since then, it’s become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Budapest. It’s a museum, and it presents the last sixty years of Hungarian history through a mix of exhibits and multimedia displays. It’s also a memorial, dedicated to “the victims of both the Nazi and the Communist terror.” The building that houses it, an elegant 19th century villa, was once the headquarters of both the Arrow Cross, the Hungarian Fascist Party, which ruled Hungary for a few bloody months in 1944, and of the Communist Secret Police, up until the 1956 revolution. Thanks to the building’s history and to the dungeons in its basement, which were used to hold political prisoners and host executions, the museum is itself a witness to old crimes. And maybe associated with new ones, as well: the House of Terror was originally built as pet project of Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz Party, who are currently engaged in an assault on Hungarian democracy.
The building is marked off from the neighboring townhouses by a giant steel blade projecting from the roof, which has the word ‘TERROR’ cut out of it in large stencil letters, along with the arrow-cross of the Hungarian fascists and a communist star. During the day, the word and the symbols creep along the side of the building as shadows. The sense of jarring displacement continues once you’re inside, as you walk through a series of frightening, and occasionally baffling, multimedia tableaux, with video screens jumbled alongside nooses, crypts, tanks and illuminated crosses.
Ein tolles Wochenende geht zu Ende. An dieser Stelle ein Dank an die @tuningworld_bodensee das ich #mausebeen so toll den ungarischen Tuning Fans zeigen konnte. Natürlich auch ein Dank an den Veranstalter @carstyling_com für den tollen Pokal, obwohl es so viele tolle Autos auf der Messe gab und #mausebeen gar nicht an einem Wettbewerb teilgenommen hat. Das ist eine große Ehre, vielen Dank. Auch einen dicken Gruß an die Jungs von @vossen_europe oder @rs_carbon_the_original oder die Macher des großartigen Magazins @wearerusty . Ich hoffe ihr seid alle wieder gesund zu Hause angekommen. Ich freue mich schon auf das nächste Jahr. Budapest hat mich sehr beeindruckt. Tolle Stadt, tolle Menschen, tolles Event. 💪🏻