My Berlin Wall

Article published on Oct. 28, 2009
Article published on Oct. 28, 2009
It has been 20 year ago when the Berlin Wall has fallen down, but still, there are some places all around Europe where we might witness that classes of society, buildings or some parts of the city are separated from each other. They are rather symbolic walls, but to break them down could be almost as difficult and taking long time as the tearing down of the famous Berlin Wall was in 1989.

Hungary has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 3rd republic last Friday, on 23rd October. According to all indications our democracy has come of age and people might think that we managed to learn all of the tricks and knacks of this so long ago desired state settlement. Since September 2006 when Prime Minister Gyurcsány’s speech – in which he admitted that the Socialists were lying during the election campaign – had come forth Hungarians had to get used to a new phenomenon: since, no national day could pass by without the Parliament building being ringed about. Sometimes there are demonstrations against the government or its decisions, sometimes not. But the cordons around the building remain to stay.

I remember that at the age of 5 we often went there during the afternoons to take a walk with my grandparents. It was still under the socialist regime and anyone could walk around the parliament building. During the weekends there were old couples passing by and children playing at the stairs of the building. Even the road was lead just in front of the main entrance of the building. Today, after 20 years of the change of the regime the traffic around the building is quite limited, quite often cordoned and the biggest part of the square functions as a parking place for the members and officials of the Parliament.

These cordons around Kossuth square, where the building often referred to as the House of the Nation stands, strengthen my belief that there are still left some from the Berlin Walls in Europe.

Photos: Péter Tóth ©

Idea: Mária Ballai