Historical overview 1.

Political Police

In 1945-46 it worked as one of the divisions of the Budapest Headquaters of the State Police in the Hungarian capital. In autumn 1946 it received nationwide authority under the name of State Security Division of the Hungarian State Police (in short ÁVO).

In autumn 1948 the Division was placed under the immediate control of the Minister of Home Affairs. Thus the State Security Authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (BM ÁVH) was created.

In January 1950 the organisation became separated from the Ministry of Home Affairs and it started to work as a main nationwide authority under the name of State Security Authority (ÁVH).

Awarding policemen in the yard of Detention Barracks in Mosonyi Street in 1947 – collection of Lívia Gyarmathy Lieutenant General Gábor Péter in the Hungarian Carriage and Machine Works in April 1949 – ÁBTL 2.1. XIII/17.
Awarding policemen in the yard of Detention Barracks in Mosonyi Street in 1947 – collection of Lívia Gyarmathy Lieutenant General Gábor Péter in the Hungarian Carriage and Machine Works in April 1949 – ÁBTL 2.1. XIII/17.
ÁVH parading in 1950 – collection of Lívia Gyarmathy
ÁVH parading in 1950 – collection of Lívia Gyarmathy

60 Andrássy Avenue and the cellar prisons

In early spring of 1945 the Political Police Division settled in 60 Andrássy Avenue and gradually took possession of the whole block. By the end of the 1940s and the early 1950s, 60 Andrássy Avenue and the curtained black car had become the symbol of horror and people all over the country were terrified of the bell ringing at night.

In Budapest there were so-called ‘cellar prisons’ maintained by the Political Police, the Soldier Political Division of the Ministry of Defence and the Soviet Authorities. These were the places where the detained were kept and tortured and the interrogations were carried out.

“We suffered the most selected ways of beatings. For example they were hitting the sole of my bare feet till it became so swollen I had to carry my shoes in my hands when I dragged myself out. At the end of the month I was in such a state that I said I would sign anything even if they hanged me and I did sign the record that served as a basis for my getting interned.”
(Frigyes Ruby, former internee from the Recsk camp)

60 Andrássy Street the ill-famed centre of the Political Police – Collection of Lívia Gyarmathy ÁHV-cellar under 5 Belgrád rakpart – photo by Dr. Katalin Kutrucz
60 Andrássy Street the ill-famed centre of the Political Police – Collection of Lívia Gyarmathy ÁHV-cellar under 5 Belgrád rakpart – photo by Dr. Katalin Kutrucz
ÁHV-cellar under 5 Belgrád rakpart – photo by Dr. Katalin Kutrucz The so-called “Doberdo” in the prison in Vác – photo by Péter Herendi<br />Prisoners were tortured here after being dragged down the winding stairs that have been demolished since then.
ÁHV-cellar under 5 Belgrád rakpart – photo by Dr. Katalin Kutrucz The so-called “Doberdo” in the prison in Vác – photo by Péter Herendi
Prisoners were tortured here after being dragged down the winding stairs that have been demolished since then.
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