8. Budapest: House of Terror Guided Tour
Visit the House of Terror, built in memory of the victims of the fascist and communist dictatorships in Hungary, with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about the dark events that took place here at the helm of the Hungarian secret police. Gain a better understanding from Hungary's complex political background through the exhibits focusing on the 1950s and the brutality that followed the 1956 uprising.
Meet your guide in front of the entrance of the building, which was once the seat of AVO (State Protection Authority). Walk through the museum together and learn about Hungary during WWII and the Nazi rule then leading to the Soviet Communist occupation. Th exhibits demonstrate how everyday life was organised under the terror of Communist secret police, how their staff members were recruited, how the general elections were falsified, how the propaganda machinery worked, and all political opposition was oppressed.
Next you will see the main interrogation and torture chamber of the building, which remained untouched since the 1950s despite the multiple reconstructions of the building. See many documents of the life and economy of the 1950s: the food quota ticket system, the practice of compulsory deliveries and terror against the peasantry. The exhibition leads you to the office room of the dreaded director of the State Protection Authority, with his original desk restored. Go through the "Justice room" to see the process of politically organised show trials against people who were declared enemies of the regime.
The most horrific part of the building is the basement, where a part of the original prison cells were faithfully restored. See the various special rooms: a "wet cell", a "fox hole", a detention cell, a torture chamber and an execution room with a gallow.
The last part of the exhibition shows the 1956 national revolution against Soviet occupation and Communist rule, and its consequences, the retaliation and mass emigration. Finally, you will see the Hall of Tears commemorating all of the victims, the Perpetrators' Wall and a memorial of the Soviet troops leaving Hungary in 1991.