Sunday, May 9, 2010

Budapest Liberation Monument

Szabadság Szobor, the Liberty Statue, is a prominent feature of Budapest’s cityscape.

The bronze statue is a woman, holding an olive branch, the symbol of peace, in her hands. The statue is 14 meters (46 feet) tall on top of a 26 meter (85 feet) pedestal. On both sides are statues. The one of the young man defeating the dragon represents the victory over fascism.

The stature was built in 1947 in remembrance of Hungary’s liberation from Nazi Germany by the Soviet Red Army. The memorial’s original inscription read “Erected by the grateful Hungarian Nation in memory of the liberating Russian heroes."

Of course, when the monument was first built it was considered liberation; not an occupation. But then the last Soviet troops didn’t leave until 1991.
After the 1989 transition to a democratic government the inscription was changed to “To the memory of all of those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and success of Hungary."

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