House of Terror explores Hungarian secret police methods

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The House of Terror Museum is located in the building which served as the successive secret police headquarters of both Hungary's fascist and communist governments.

The Nazi-affiliated Arrow Cross party took over Hungary in the last months of World War II. During the regime's short rule from October 1944 to January 1945, 80,000 Jews were deported to the Nazi death camps, while an estimated 20,000 Jews were killed outright – hundreds of them in the basement of the building which now houses the museum.

When the communists came to power after the Soviets liberated Budapest in 1945, their secret police (known by the abbreviation AVH), moved into the former fascist police headquarters. There, police interrogated, tortured and executed those considered an enemy of the state.

Now, visitors can walk through the former interrogation rooms and prison cells, and watch videos of interviews with former detainees as well as old propaganda films – all of which illustrate the horror of living in Hungary in these two periods.

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