Anteroom of the Hungarian Political Police

The group photo on the wall presents a number of members of the Communist Political Police's (PRO, ÁVO, and ÁVH) chiefs-of-staff. Propaganda film clips can be observed on the monitors. The bench situated in the centre of the hall symbolizes communist monuments. "…It is not by accident that we have requisitioned the building in 60 Andrássy Road for the PRO. We, who have lived here, know that the events of 1944 had their origins primarily in 60 Andrássy Road, and everything that happened after October 15, 1944 emanated from here. It was our opinion that the guilty parties should receive their just deserts in the building whence they have set out…" (Gábor Péter, 1947).

“The investigators and workers at the ÁVH come from the people, and love working people with all their heart.”

Szabad Nép (Free People), the dictatorship’s daily newspaper, 1950

Soviet troops were still fighting in Buda when on the other side of the Danube in Pest the Department of Political Police (PRO) was established on the Soviet model, under the leadership of Gábor Péter. Its chosen headquarters were 60 Andrássy út, the former headquarters of the Arrow Cross Party. The organisation grew rapidly from 1945 onwards, and became the communist dictatorship’s main law enforcement agency organisation and terror machine. It was reorganised, first as the State Protection Department and then as the State Protection Authority. It was the keystone for the construction and maintenance of a tyrannical system under which one in three families saw a family member summarily abducted, maltreated and crippled. An entire country was terrorised.

First floor