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posted: 4/19/2014 5:30 AM

Tracing communist history in Budapest's landscape

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  • A crowd gathered for the 2002 opening of the Terror House, a museum dedicated to the horrors of communism and the building where people were interrogated and tortured in Budapest, Hungary.

      A crowd gathered for the 2002 opening of the Terror House, a museum dedicated to the horrors of communism and the building where people were interrogated and tortured in Budapest, Hungary.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • The Bela Kun Memorial is displayed in Memento Park, along with other Communist era statues.

      The Bela Kun Memorial is displayed in Memento Park, along with other Communist era statues.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • Hungarian military guards of honor stand behind a statue of late U.S. President Ronald Reagan during a centennial commemoration in Budapest, Hungary, in 2011. The bronze statue honoring Reagan in the Freedom Square in central Budapest marks his efforts to free the people of Hungary from the yoke of communism.

      Hungarian military guards of honor stand behind a statue of late U.S. President Ronald Reagan during a centennial commemoration in Budapest, Hungary, in 2011. The bronze statue honoring Reagan in the Freedom Square in central Budapest marks his efforts to free the people of Hungary from the yoke of communism.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • A statue in Budapest, Hungary, by sculptor Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl showing a woman holding a palm leaf over her head was erected in 1947 by the Soviets to commemorate the Nazis' defeat. Budapest's Liberty Statue at Gellert Hill is a prominent feature of the Buda skyline. But the inscription on the monument has been altered in the years since communism ended in Hungary: Once a tribute to Soviet troops, it's now a memorial for those who died for Hungary's freedom.

      A statue in Budapest, Hungary, by sculptor Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl showing a woman holding a palm leaf over her head was erected in 1947 by the Soviets to commemorate the Nazis' defeat. Budapest's Liberty Statue at Gellert Hill is a prominent feature of the Buda skyline. But the inscription on the monument has been altered in the years since communism ended in Hungary: Once a tribute to Soviet troops, it's now a memorial for those who died for Hungary's freedom.
    Associated Press File Photo, October 1957

  • Memento Park, a field about 30 minutes away from central Budapest in Hungary, is where many communist-era monuments were brought after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.

      Memento Park, a field about 30 minutes away from central Budapest in Hungary, is where many communist-era monuments were brought after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
    Associated Press File Photo

  • The Republic of Councils Monument, a statue of a worker charging forward, now located in Memento Park, is often the butt of irreverent jokes: Perhaps it's a running beachgoer, some say, or a cloakroom attendant.

      The Republic of Councils Monument, a statue of a worker charging forward, now located in Memento Park, is often the butt of irreverent jokes: Perhaps it's a running beachgoer, some say, or a cloakroom attendant.
    Associated Press File Photo

 
By Sisi Tang, Associated Press

The toppling of statues and monuments during times of political upheaval has been a well-documented act in eastern and central european history. among the cathartic gestures following the fall of communism in 1989, many of budapest's granite and stone giants were swiftly uprooted and later carted off to a field 30 minutes away from central budapest that has become a sculpture park for the scorned monuments.

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