Terror Háza

When the fascist Arrow Cross Party with Ferenc Szalasi as leader was installed with German support as a ruling party in Hungary in October 1944, terror against not only Jews but also other dissidents began in Hungary. The Pilkors party established its headquarters on Andrassy 60 (Terror Haza) in central Budapest. In the basement of the building, a prison was established where political opponents were beaten and murdered. When Hungary and Budapest were "liberated" by Soviet troops in February 1945, Hungarian communists took over the headquarters of the arrow crosses and installed their own political police (PRO, (, later also called AVO and AVH) with the task of persecuting politically dissident citizens. The leader of all three police bodies was the former tailor apprentice, Peter Gabor, who as chief became master of life and death.

The interrogations of suspects could last from single days to several weeks before most people broke down and signed some form of confession to avoid further torture. Some were sentenced to hard labor and sent to GULAG camp while others were sentenced to death. Those sentenced to death were executed at another prison in Budapest called the small prison (13 Kozma Utca). But despite his communist convictions, Gabor was a Jew and therefore fell victim to Stalin’s Jewish persecution in 1953 and was arrested. During communism, the political police grew stronger and therefore the headquarters constantly expanded and included several other buildings around Andrassy 60. By 1956, the organization had grown so large that it had to leave Andrassy 60. Several of the original rooms were then rebuilt and the prison cells were destroyed.

Current status: Preserved with museum (2010).

Address: Andrássy út 60, 1062 Budapest.

Get there: Metro och tram to Oktogon station/stop.

My comment:

The museum opened in 2002 and the emphasis is on the communist occupation. The prison cells have been reconstructed and there are also several exhibitions and monuments dedicated to the Hungarian revolution of 1956. In the small prison there is also a small museum that can be visited.  Ferenc Szalasi was arrested after the war by American troops but was extradited to Hungary where he was tried, sentenced to death and hanged in Budapest in march 1946. After his dismissal in 1953, Peter Gabor became a powerless person and died in 1993.

Follow up in books: Andrew, Christopher: The KGB (1990).