This new museum exposes the cruelty of Hungary’s past totalitarian regimes and honors the victims of Nazi and Communist power.
Don’t expect to be spooked by ghosts and goblins at the recently opened House of Terror Museum. The history of the house is just as frightening, yet unfortunately much more realistic. The new museum opened its doors to the public on February 24, 2002 to expose the cruelty of Hungary’s past totalitarian regimes and to honor the victims of Nazi and Communist power. In December 2000 the Public Foundation for Research into Eastern and Central European History and Society bought the property in order to transform it into a museum. It offers an overview of Hungary’s recent history (1944-1989) while revealing dank basement cells, interrogation rooms and instruments of torture. Documents and newspaper clippings from the era are on display, as are documentaries and interviews with survivors. Constructed in 1880 and designed by Adolf Feszty, the three-story building was originally a residential property. In 1937 the Arrow Cross movement (a pro-German anti-Semitic fascist party led by Ferenc Szalasi) began renting out several rooms and as World War Two progressed it became the offical headquarters of the Nazis. At that time it was paradoxically dubbed "The House of Fidelity". A countless number of people accused of poltical crimes were tortured and executed in the house as well as almost 100,000 Budapest Jews. Later the building housed a Communist secret-police agency, AVH, that used the same violent tactics as the Nazis.