Project Description

The Terror Háza (House of Terror, 2002) and the Holocaust
Dokumentacios Kozpont es emlekgyujtemeny (The Holocaust
Documentation and Memorial Centre, 2004) opened in Budapest
within two years of each other. Together, these two museums are
illustrative of the phenomenology and competing affective narratives of Hungarian national memory post-1989, and of post-communist countries more generally. While each museum purports to tell a specific history, both are manifestations of the political struggle over the national memory of the Second World War and its aftermath, a history that has been substantially rewritten since the end of Communism. The House of Terror enacts the ‘double occupation’ of Nazism and Communism and the Holocaust Memorial Centre archives and the deportation of the Hungarian Jews and Roma. Each museum aestheticises an affective phenomenology of historical victimisation, provoking ressentiment and melancholia respectively in visitors as a means of staging moral values and perpetuating contested memories (Lamberti).