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Nationaler Gedenke-Park, Recsk

The name of the settlement Recsk has involuntarily become infamous for its gulag (labour camp). The National Memorial Park commemorates the prisoners who suffered here.

The labour camp was in use near the Csákány rock stone cave above the settlement between October 1950 and autumn 1953 by the State Defence Authority (ÁVH) established secretly by following the Russian model of gulags. The 1500 prisoners held for political reasons came from different layers of society ranging from politicians to poets, former estate owners, manual workers and intellectual workers. The prisoners deported here without any jurisdiction were kept under inhumane circumstances and made to work. They used to live in barracks that they constructed themselves and work in the stone cave for 12-14 hours a day. All of them were starving on the food containing only 1000 calories a day and became weak. Most of them died due to starvation, accident or simply by the guards. No one knows exactly where the dead were buried. The camp was hermetically excluded from the world outside. Only two successful attempts to escape were made. In one of the cases the prisoner on the run escaped to Czechoslovakia but after being informed that several of his family members were arrested, he gave himself up. In the other case eight prisoners escaped by disguising one of them as a guard and pretending to go to work outside. Most members of the group were caught but one of them, Gyula Michnay could flee to Vienna and announce the names of his 600 fellow prisoners in Radio Free Europe. The West was informed about the camp in this way and family members, friend and acquaintances could also get information whether their loved ones were alive.
After the death of Stalin the new Prime Minister, Imre Nagy abolished internment camps among others the one in Recsk. The buildings, fences and towers were demolished, pulled down and carefully trees were planted there to do away with the signs of the terrific camp. The prisoners who were freed were compelled to keep secrets but many of them were still under inspection or imprisoned. The mere existence of the camp was denied during the Communist regime.
After the regime change in 1991 a memorial was inaugurated here to commemorate the prisoners who died or suffered there. The National Memorial Park was opened in 1996 where a tower and barracks were constructed to illustrate the circumstances at that time.
The memorial park that lies about 6 km from the centre of the village is accessible by car as it is signposted well.
Lectures are held to groups who arranged appointments and also guided tours can be required in the park.

Opening hours:

From 1 May to 30 September: from 9 am to 5 pm every day
From 1 October to 30 April on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 15 pm
In winter (from 1 October to 30 April) please contact Attila Ivádi at +36 20-435-0581.

An entrance fee of 500 HUF must be paid that supports the Recsk Alliance.