National Museum – A Different Take on History

natlmuseum.jpg Since I’ve been down with a cold I’ll catch-up with last weekends’ tourism. I went to the Hungarian National Museum. This is the history of Hungary from the Roman stones they’ve excavated to Hungary in the 1990’s. I must admit I skipped the stones this trip. I went right to the top floor for the history from the 11th to 20th century. There was a paragraph or two in each room in English the artifacts were all labeled in Hungarian. The weather out was terrible so I planned to spend Saturday afternoon and I did.

One of the most fascinating things was the “Hungarian take” on their history. Zsuzsa had already explained to me that ANYTHING invented by someone who lived Hungary at any time in his or her life is a Hungarian invention. Who knew that Hungarians invented the atom bomb? Well they did according to the National Museum.

I bet you weren’t even aware the Hungarian U.S. Congressman recently died. Wait a minute; how can we have a Hungarian congressman? Well according the front page news here the famous Hungarian congressman Tom Lantos AKA Lantos Tamás Péter recently passed away after an extended 61 year stay in his second home in the U.S.

Other more interesting viewpoints were based on the fact that Hungary is a flat country and everyone marches through Hungary to get to somewhere else. Sometimes the conquering army is on its way to Europe(Turks) and sometimes it’s on the way to Russia (Napoleon) or other points east but they always come through Hungary. This phenomenon is blamed for both World War I and WWII along with having a knack for always having alliances with the wrong side. This is always blamed on Austria as in Austria-Hungary alliance.

Pictures and posters about the post WWI dismemberment of Hungary were quite interesting. I can tell you the Hungarians are still bitter about the Treaty of Trianon after WWI. I mean students age 26 in my language class lectured me on how Bratislava should be their capitol or something. These people speak Hungarian but they were taken away.

The Jewish deportation during WWII was the story of Raoul Wallenberg and many other brave Hungarians who hid Jews. All indications are that Raoul Wallenberg was Hungarian too.



I really like the 1956 and 1989 pictures and posters. They really didn’t need much translation. If you need one the Soviet tank is beating down the Hungarians in 1956 and when thet were trying to get the Russians out they cut the center which had a soviet imposed medallion out of the center of the flag. 19891.jpg I assume this 1989 picture is the back of a Russian.

I wasn’t tired yet but the weather was awful so I took the subway two stops west to see where I would land. To my surprise I came out behind the Parliament building. I just started walking and ended up at a park I later found out was Martyrs’ Square (Vertanuk tere) commemorating the 13 Hungarain generals executed after the 1848 revolution. Of course I had NO idea what it was but the man in the statue on the bridge looked very familiar. It’s Imre Nagy who was executed after the 1956 uprising. A nearby park has the only Red Star memorial to the Soviets left in Budapest. I can’t seem to find my picture of it so I will have to go back and take it again.

Imry Nagy


Take a close look at the picture you will see they are still leaving flowers. We certainly don’t have a history like this in the U.S.


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