Memorial Day to the victims of communist dictatorships

This Saturday there will be commemoration events for the victims of communism all around Hungary. On 25 February in 1947 Béla Kovács, the Secretary General of the Independent Smallholders’ Party, was unlawfully arrested and deported to the Soviet Union. The Hungarian parliament adopted a decision in June 2000 (58/2000; VI. 16.) which made 25 February Remembrance Day for the Victims of Communism.

- the official commemoration event will take place between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. outside the House of Terror Museum at Andrássy út 60; this institution is ten years old this year. Everyone is welcomed to place remembrance candles and lampions at the museum, to honor victims of the communist dictatorship. (The museum is free of charge on this day, visitors get special guided tours held by well-known people.)
- speakers from 4 p.m.: László Balás-Piri, president of the Board of Trustees of the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society; Gábor Tallai, program director of the House of Terror Museum; Mária Schmitt, director of the House of Terror Museum; Csaba Hende, Minister of Defence.
- singers: Eszter Váczi, Ákos.

The victims of communist regimes worldwide are estimated at 100 million. In Eastern Europe, the number of those who died in famine, in labor camps or were executed on political grounds was around one million. We can not even estimate the number of people physically and psychologically crippled by the everyday reality of dictatorship.

More information in Hungarian here.

This is a statue next to the Hungarian Parliament House, representing Béla Kovács. The statue was unveiled on 25 February, 2002.
statue of Bela Kovacs in Budapest
Picture from Wikipedia.

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Budapest in commercials

Lipton Ice Tea 2011 with Hugh Jackman (up on Hármashatárhegy):

Canon Legria (around Chain bridge):

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 (Margaret Island, Amusement Park, etc.):

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Budapest won!

I hope you get to Budapest one day. Don’t miss the New York Cafe and the boat pub A38.

According to a survey by UCityGuides.com the most beautiful Cafe in the whole big world is…what do you think, which won? Naturally, the New York Cafe in Budapest:-) We could have told you, without a time and energy consuming survey. Check it out on their website here.

What is the secret? Lonely Planet wanted to know which are the 100 top bars according to people’s rating. We got place 1 with boat A38 and place 3 with Szimpla :-) . Check the list out here.

So, when are you planing to come visit us?

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Last minute free Budapest tour in English

Hey everyone in Budapest this weekend. This information is useful only to you, I’m afraid.
This Sunday (February 26th) on the occasion of the International Guides Day the Budapest Chamber of Commerce organizes lots of excellent programs, mostly in Hungarian :-( .
However there is a city tour available in English.
Location: City Park – Heroes’ Square, departure from the parking area next to the Art Gallery (right from Heroes’ Square)
Activities: in the parking area Hungarian craft masters’ fair
Program: 90 minutes bus tour of Budapest departing at 2 pm in English (10 am. Russian, 11 am. German, between 9 am.-4 pm every hour in Hungarian)

This is a free program, so to ensure you get on board send an email to: szepesi.valeria@bkik.hu (with your name, number of participants and the time you would like to depart at) until 22 February 12pm. No confirmation is sent. The free tickets will be handed to the participants at the departure location.

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Budapest ghetto

January 18th 1945. The ghetto in Budapest is liberated.

67 years ago… Commemoration in the Dohany street synagogue 10:00 – 11:30 am.
Speaks: Robert Frolich rabbi, sings Gabor Szilagyi cantor.

Event open to the public.

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Raoul Wallenberg 1912 – 2012

On January 17th in the Hungarian National Museum the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Year was launched. Hosts of the event: minister for Foreign Affairs in Hungary Janos Martonyi and in Sweden Carl Bildt, guest of honor Yoseph Peled minister from Israel.

Calendar of events:

- January 17: ‘To me there’s no other choice – Raoul Wallenberg 1912 – 2012′ Swedish photo exhibition opened (this is the day he was last seen on in Hungary)
- January 27: UN Holocaust remembrance day
- 14 February: Seminar on Raoul Wallenberg´s activities in Budapest. Seminar organised by Living History Forum and City of Lidingö, Stockholm
- April 15th: Wallenberg commemorative concert in front of the House of Terror Museum (www.terrorhaza.hu). March of the Living, a march along the streets of Budapest down to the Danube embankment to remember the victims of the Holocaust (www.eletmenete.hu).
- April 16th: Hungarian Holocaust remembrance day
- April 17th: 25th Auschwitz – Birkenau Pilgrimage
- May 10th: Wallenberg stamp issued by the Hungarian and the Swedish Post
- May 15th: research conference: “Can we say no?” in the Holocaust Documentation Center (www.hdke.hu).
- June 16th: planned conference on democracy and human rights
- August 4th (Wallenberg’s birthday): “Righteous among the Nation´s award” meeting for Hungarian citizens who have been presented the “Righteous among the Nations” award in the Holocaust Memorial Center
- August 5th: memorial evening in the Dohany street synagogue
- September 9th: Raoul Wallenberg 100 – evening
- November 18th: charity concert in the Dohany street synagogue

For more details and events connected to the Raoul Wallenberg 2012 memorial year please visit : http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/15418

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Hanukkah in Budapest

In the Budapest Jewish quarter this year visitors are expected on 18 scenes with over 100 events to celebrate Hannukkah. Music, exhibitions, theater performances, film festival – some of many options.

Tuesday, on 20th, at the corner of Kiraly and Csanyi streets after lighting the candles at 6 pm a walk starts along Csanyi street, Klauzal square. At 7 pm opening party in the Gozsdu Mano Club (Kiraly street 13) followed by the performance of Abate Berihun – The Qualitons (Ethiopian, jazz, traditional Jewish tunes) in the cellar.
December 27- 28 in Siraly Club (Kiraly street 50) the film festival starts.

Candle lighting:

Siraly Club:
21th, 8 pm.
22nd, 7 pm.
23-27th, 8 pm.
28th, 9 pm.

Balint House (Revay street 16):
every day; 27th, 3.30-7 pm. Light parade

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Lights of Budapest

Chain bridge in Budapest This is the best known landmark of Budapest, the Chain bridge. In the background we see Buda’s Castle Hill. The picture was taken in a very special moment of the Budapest evenings, the first few seconds of the illumination that was just turned on and the color of the lights is green! After this it becomes yellow.

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Budapest life

Budapest life
Cute dogs on their morning walk in front of the Hungarian Parliament (not visible in the picture :-) , but this is the corner at the Parliament Cafe). Which way now?

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old-new Budapest 2

The Kazinczy street has been restored. New pavement on the street, strolling there feels a little better now. The renovation of the orthodox synagogue has been finished now from outside too. Check out the pictures here (Hungarian article).
strolling the Jewish districtPicture from here.

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