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1956 Memorials


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Today, October 23, 207 marks the 51st anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. This day has become a National Holiday since the change of regime. You may remember the riots that took place last year on the 50th anniversary and we hope and pray that things remain calmer this year. Yesterday I travelled around the city and took pictures of a couple of the better known memorials and one you probably haven't heard of before. Lets start with what is probably the best known which is situated at Szena Ter. It is in all of the guide books and has become quite an attraction all year round. There are flowers and candles on this memorial all year round but more for the 23rd.

Edited by Gordon Craig
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This next picture gives you a wider view of the area where the memorial is placed. There is also a smaller memorial garden off to the left. There are several wooden poles which are traditional Hungarian grave marker and in the centre a simple stone with 1956 carved into the centre. There two men in the photo. The elderly gentleman in the blue uniform is a member of the National Guard. A sort of veterans organization, as near as I can tell. The young man next to him is helping him put fresh flowers on a wreath in front of him. The small flags are all models of the flag used during the revolution. It has a hole in the centre where the state symbol has been cut out.

Edited by Gordon Craig
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The other main memorial where people leave flowers and candles is The House of Terror at 60 Andr?ssy ?t. This was the headquarters of the AVH, the Hungarian Secret Police, and before them the headqurters of the Arrow Cross. There are small photos of people who died as a result of the revolution all around the outside of the building. Below the photos is a ledge especially for flowers and candles. There were no flowers or candles on the ledge when I was there yesterday morning and that surprised me because it was absolutely loaded last year.

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The next memorial is not one that will get much attention on the 23rd. Just behind Keleti P?lyaudvar (Eastern Railroad Station) stands Kerepesi Cemetery. About 100 metres from the main gate, on the left hand side, is a large circular area with identical square stones, arranged in two levels, marking each grave. On the front of each stone is a man's name, his date of birth (all between the mid 20s or 30s) and the date of his death, 1956. Between the names and the dates there is written either "HONV." and a rank designation or "R" and a rank designation. On the top of each stone is the star used during the communist period. The men with "HONV." on their graves would have been in the armed forces. I assume those with the "R" (probably for Rendőr). I beleive that these would be graves for those who died fighting on the governments side during the revolution. It is still well cared for year round with planted flowers growing among the grave stones. There were fresh flowers on some of the graves and there a was woman there arranging flowers in a vase to place on one of the graves. In the centre of the circle is a large stone sarcophagus which also had some flowers on it. At one time there was something written on the sides of the sarcophagus but it has been chiselled away.

It is not my intention take sides by showing both types of memorials but rather to indicate that in any conflict there is death on both sides with those left to greive for the dead. Let us hope that Hungary never has to go through this type of armed conflict again.

Regards,

Gordon

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"...history is a a fluid substance"

Indeed. :beer:

Too hot--or too cold-- for those who lived through it, and bland and colorless to generations unborn!

Too bad about the iconoclastic tendencies to chisel out the losers. That's been going on since the time of the Pharaohs. While understandable--to the survivors--to people centuries from now, none of our petty little passions will rate a footnote in their history books.

The past shouldn't be erased. Eventually it all fades away anyway, so preserving even the bad parts serves some purpose if it means SOME part of Our Times will remain as a reminder to passersby.

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  • 4 months later...

Gordon... many thanks for posting this thread. Very sobering and a reminder of what some of what we collect represents. Things that should never be forgotten... things we hopefully will continue to keep in the collective memory. :beer:

Dan :cheers:

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