Defying the fog and damp, we went to Memento Park this morning. Memento Park, formerly Statue Park, is a sardonic tribute to 40+ years of Soviet occupation and communism in general. The monument above actually commemorates a pre-World War II dalliance with communism. That’s Bela Kun urging the workers (the dark figures) into metaphorical battle (the silver soldiers) against the capitalist overlords, or something like that. Like a lot of communist-inspired art, it’s big, it’s somewhat abstract, and someone’s got a weapon.
It was an interesting time. Probably the highlight for us was the Hungarian secret police training film they showed — how to conduct surveillance, how to break into a suspect’s apartment without a search warrant, and how to blackmail ordinary citizens into becoming informers. I’m not kidding.
But as our guide reminded us, that is indeed the beauty of democracy, that it allows one to consider even something so diametrically opposed to itself as communism — and that after considering it, to make fun of it.