Part interactive museum, part educational foundation and housed in a striking, fortress-like building, the superb Holocaust Memorial Center opened in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the start of the Holocaust in Hungary. The thematic permanent exhibition traces the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary and follows the path to genocide of Hungary’s Jewish and Roma communities, from the initial deprivation of rights through the increasing removal of freedom and dignity and, finally, mass deportations to German death camps in 1944–45.
The exhibits consist of a series of maps, graphic videos, photographs, personal effects and interactive displays. The music is festive to begin with, but the final exhibits are accompanied by the pounding heartbeat of the doomed communities. The videos of the death camps, taken by the liberators, are particularly harrowing, featuring piles of corpses and emaciated survivors. A sublimely restored synagogue in the central courtyard, designed by Leopold Baumhorn and completed in 1924, hosts temporary exhibitions, while an 8m wall outside features the names of Hungarian victims of the Holocaust.
A combined ticket with the Zwack Unicum Heritage Visitors' Centre costs 2800Ft.