Internment

The political police set up internment camps at Recsk, Kistarcsa, Tiszalök and Kazincbarcika, and dozens of closed camps operated in the eastern part of the country. A miners' car and rocks from Recsk are displayed in the hall, as well as keepsakes made in the camp (a cigarette lighter, glasses, a cross, a cigarette-box, "news" written onto cigarette paper). Film clips can be seen and heard, presenting the recollections of former internees.

After the Soviet occupation, the new Hungarian government set up once again the conditions of internment, in a confidential, unreleased regulation.  Internment or the ˝placement under police supervision˝ was a type of technical tool for the power to isolate real or alleged enemies as well as to remove them from public life. Internment allowed the responsible organizations, primarily the political police, to place those citizens who were obstructing the way under police supervision, without any restrictions or preliminary investigation on the basis of pure suspicion or political considerations. Internment was used when not enough proof existed to arrest someone. In these cases, based on political considerations, relevant special armed forces could take care of the situation without any preliminary investigation. 

It was not only the members of extreme right organizations, former military officers, members of the gendarmerie, those on B lists, those who were not allowed to work, the propagators of National Socialist propaganda, former political leaders or civil servants who were interned, but all those people who were considered enemies of the Communists.  Internment was a tool which Communists with unrestricted power could use to get rid of their political enemies.

Between 1945 and 1948, in barely three years, the AVO interned 40,000 people across the country.  By spring 1950, four central internment camps, much like concentration camps, were set up in Recsk, Kistarcsa, Tiszalök and Kazincbarcika, where several thousand prisoners had to carry out forced labor. It was free labor for the communists. The victims worked in an inhuman environment based on techniques learned from the Soviets and Nazis, using primitive tools in the coal and ore mines, quarries, as well as in the road construction and timber industry. In comparison to the original maximum internment sentence of 24 months, which legally should have been reviewed monthly, the majority of victims served much longer without their families even receiving a sign of life from them. The detainees, isolated from everyone and everything, were subjected to the vulgar impulses of the guards, whose maxim ˝the prisoners should not be declared˝ became their password.
In the Eastern part of the country, however, twelve so-called closed camps were in operation, to where people mainly from the East and Western borders were dragged off beginning in 1948.

After the decree was issued on 26 July 1953 for the dissolution of internment camps, their dismantling gradually began.  However, as the investigations of certain prisoners were purposely delayed, many were transported to ÁVH prisons, and several hundred were only freed in 1956.  During the reprisal period after the Revolution, the Communists once against instituted internment and opened several former camps.
In the second half of 1961, the Kádár regime ordered the centralization of 10,000 ˝unreliable individuals who were a threat to the society˝ or in a crisis situation their concentration in the ˝proper camps.˝  The implementation of the plan was elaborated by the ÁVH´s successor organization, the state security. The crisis plan for the establishment of these camps remained in effect until the fall of the communist system.

During the communist dictatorship, the draft-aged youth, who were considered ˝class enemies˝ and thus enemies, eked out a meager living in inhuman conditions.  As many noble and bourgeois scions or young peasants whose parents were accused of being kulaks, they had to do labor service for the Hungarian People´s Army.  These ˝unreliable˝ people received no military training but, following a successful  National Socialist model, ˝a special treatment˝.  They lived in camps surrounded by barbed wire and worked in quarries, built roads, military facilities and airports, but the aim was not to produce, but rather the physical and moral humiliation of these youngsters.  In 1952, they counted 10,899 people, which increased to 12,511 people in two years.  The labor service was only dismantled in 1956.

Basement