First floor

The exhibition on the first floor opens with the room of resettlement and deportation and pictures the era of collective persecution after the second world war.

More than 200 thousand Hungarians of German descent have been struck by the charge of the collective guilt and resettlement, while later the winner, the allegedly “friendly” Czechoslovakia forced nearly 100 thousand Hungarians to leave their homeland. As the visitors proceed they get to the interrogation chamber, which was commonly referred to as the gym by the henchmen of the era; this room remains a memento despite the multiple reconstructions of the building.

The room of compulsory deliveries, a labyrinth decorated with lard blocks, reminds us to the terror against the peasantry and to the smallholder , the kulak, the cottar, the labourer, who were often deprived of their last crops by the communist authorities. The exhibition leads us through the ÁVO portrait gallery/ (Anteroom of the Hungarian Political Police) to the room of the dreaded leader of the State Protection Authority, Gábor Péter, where the desk and the bunk facing it symbolize the practice of the dictatorship of the proletariat: the revolution devouring its own children.

The brutality of show trials, which were conducted on political order and were directly controlled by the party, is revealed to us by the files and documents of the Justice room and the scenes of the Imre Nagy trial shown in the centre. It is followed by the Propaganda and the Everyday life rooms, where the photographs and posters acquaint us with the absurdities of “socialism with a human face” and finally, through the room of aluminium, nicknamed the “Hungarian silver”, we reach the room of Churches and cardinal Mindszenty.

The cross in the room of Churches sunk into the floor with a loudspeaker blaring hate speech above, Mindszenty’s cape and the relics of religious orders which have been trampled upon symbolize the war of materialism with religion, inhumanity with humanity.