A travelling exhibition installed in a train wagon was opened at Budapest’s Nyugati railway station. It pays tribute to Hungarians deported to Soviet forced labour camps in late 1944 and during the first half of 1945. The exhibition forms part of an anniversary programme series running until early 2017. The exhibition presents the historical background of the era on posters with pictures and shows films including documentaries on the Gulag prisons, Csaba Pécsi, the designer, said. After March 15 the train, called “lager-express”, will travel to different locations of the country where the deportations began.
Defence Ministry official Gábor Földváry speaking at the exhibition’s opening ceremony (photo: Zoltán Máthé – MTI)
As a result of the Soviet occupation of Hungary it was a general threat to be deported far from the country and forced to do hard physical work because of political or ideological reasons. An estimated 200,000-230,000 civilians were taken for malenkiy robot from the territory of what is today’s Hungary. They included 150,000-170,000 male war prisoners, and 50,000 men and women internees with an ethnic German background. The Russian expression „маленькая работа” means “a little work”, suggesting the deportation was not for a long time. In spite of this up to 40°% of the prisoners died in camps and many of them are buried in unmarked graves.
Last week the Gulag Memorial Committee said that the personal data of around 420 000 Hungarian soliders who became prisoners of war during World War II have been unearthed by Hungarian researchers in Russia. The Memorial Committee supported the research as well as the above-mentioned traveling exhibition as it is charged with organising the memorial year to political prisoners and and forced labourers deported to the Soviet Union.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI, cover photo: Szilvia Marton / origo.hu