Schmidt Mária

Hungarians have long memories - for both the good and the bad. They are forever grateful for the good, and carve the bad into their collective memory, so as to never allow it to happen again.

The exceptional, moving and often shocking exhibition at the House of Terror Museum is something you will talk about a great deal with your family, your friends, your classmates, or your colleagues.

The stories you see, hear and read in our museum will reach the very depth of your soul. Once acquainted with them, you will have a different view of Hungary’s history, Hungarians themselves and Europe’s shared destiny.

We hope that our austere, astonishing and uplifting exhibition will touch the hearts of our visitors. It confronts them with the great sacrifices that had to be made by people under inhuman dictatorships in order for us to live in freedom today. Because Hungarians cannot live without freedom.

The House of Terror Museum is a building which commemorates two tragic eras in Hungarian history. From 1944 to 1990, our nation was robbed of its independence and freedom - first by Arrow Cross thugs supported by German Nazis, and then by communists backed by the Soviet Union. We have since recovered both our independence and freedom, to become free citizens of an independent Hungary.

Because we Hungarians are a people of freedom!

We look forward to seeing you at the memorial site dedicated to Hungarian freedom: the House of Terror Museum.

Dr. Mária Schmidt
Széchenyi Prize-winning professor of history,
Director-General of the House of Terror Museum



Having survived two terror regimes, it was felt that the time had come for Hungary to erect a fitting memorial to the victims, and at the same time to present a picture of what life was like for Hungarians in those times.

In December 2000 ˝Public Foundation for Research on Central and Eastern European History And Society˝ purchased the building with the aim of establishing a museum in order to present these two bloody periods of Hungarian history. Dr. Mária Schmidt is the Director-General of the House of Terror Museum, which was completed in February 2002.

During the year-long construction work, the building on 60 Andrássy Avenue was fully renovated inside and out. The internal design, the final look of the museum´s exhibition and the external facade are the works of architect Attila F. Kovács.  The reconstruction plans for the House of Terror Museum were designed by architects János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy; the contractor was Architecton Share Co. The background music to the exhibition was composed by Ákos Kovács. The work with a timeless scoring for string orchestra in multiple movements goes well with the historical theme of the museum´s exhibition and contains special stereophonic mixes and sound effects. 
During the reconstruction, the building has turned into a monument; the black passepartout (the decoration entablature, the blade walls and the granite sidewalk) provides a frame for the Museum, causing it to stand out by its sharp contrast to the other buildings on Andrássy street, and befitting its historic significance, focuses attention on the house itself.
Opened on February 24th, 2002 at 5 pm, the House of Terror Museum - the only one of its kind - is a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in this building. The Museum, while presenting the horrors in a tangible way, also intends to make people understand that the sacrifice for freedom was not in vain. Ultimately, the fight against the two cruellest systems of the 20th century ended with the victory of the forces of freedom and independence.

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