Yesterday we took a bus ride out of Budapest to a small outdoor off the beaten path museum called Memento Park.
In 1989 when the the Soviet Union collapsed and the eastern block countries were democratized, many of the villages and towns had to decide what to do with their communist era statues, memorials, etc. In most cases they were destroyed or melted down to created new pieces that were more in keeping with the current political situation.
Budapest had the idea of preserving their statues and rather than create a memorial to communism, they conceived a memorial to the fall of communism and it’s associated tyranny. It really helps you understand what life was like in Hungary during the communist regime. They even have a small movie theater where they show actual communist training films on how to be a spy (with subtitles). It’s kind of hilarious!
They also have an old Trabant on display, which was the “people’s car” during communism. It was an underpowered, unreliable, air polluting piece of junk, but was really the only car that most people could hope to afford. Our tour guide told us her grandmother ordered one in 1974 at which time she had to put down a deposit for the full amount. She finally took delivery of the car in 1984!