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Budapest Diary II - change is in the air

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Today, I visited the Memento Park with my son John. It is full of the relics of the Socialist propaganda, evidencing the rule of change. This is a garden of thrown-away statues that were removed from their former places in the streets. I was sad about seeing a plaque that used to celebrate Kato Haman, a Communist resistance worker, who was killed in "a fascist prison of the Horthy Regime." "After the fall of the Soviet Union, it (the plaque) was taken down and moved to Memento Park, Budapest, opened in 1993, which houses monuments associated with Communism or opposition to Fascism and is therefore not considered acceptable for display in public places." - as it says on Wikipedia.

I was looking for the Lenin Statue that I used to look at every day going to kindergarten. It was not there, but I realised that in my memory I transformed the statue into a Lenin reaching his fist into the sky. On the left, he is greeting communism, surely. On the right, another statue of the angry proletariat from the same square. I must have forged the two into one. While Lenin was presented as a fatherly figure of the nation, in my memory he is aggressive.

Having explored an exhibition about the 1956 revolution, stating that more than fifty per cent of the rebels were in their twenties, I came home to the news that thousands of students, pupils and teachers were in the streets today, demonstrating for democracy. Perhaps, it's true. Change is in the air.

(photo on the right: Zsofi Szollar from

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