Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

We began our day with a visit to the second largest synagogue in the World and we finished our day with an awe inspiring tour of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, which was perhaps the most beautiful example of religious architecture that I have ever experienced personally. These two trips would characterize a successful day out on the town for any tourist, but it was our sobering experience after lunch at the Budapest Museum of Terror that would ultimately define our day. The Museum of Terror’s significance as a memorial to Hungarians who struggled through German and Soviet occupation was extremely powerful and its message was enhanced through the use of a wide variety of media that shocked the senses of every patron. Daunting music can be heard as you pass by artifacts, photos, raw documentary footage, and an extensive surplus of documents all dating to the wartime occupation of the Nazis and the dreadful Soviet internment camps that followed the Ally victory. I always knew that the unfortunate people living in Hungary during these times suffered atrocities, but until my visit to the Museum of Terror, I had no idea of their ruthless extent.

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