The Penal Labour..

The Penal Labour Camp of Recsk

Sometimes at the early fifties (in the 20th century) in the northern part of Hungary was a penal labour camp for political prisoners. One and a half thousand people were there under very hard conditions. The name of the camp was „Labour Camp of Recsk”. It was a quarry where men had to work fourteen hours a day, with next to nothing food. Many people died because of hunger and cruelty.
The camp itself has existed for three years. The relatives knew nothing about prisoners, there was no possibility to write or getting letters.
When the political situation altered at nineteen eighty-nine a monument was erected in the place of the former camp for the memory of those who died and suffered there. At that time the survived former prisoners (and that time still lived many hundreds of them) established an league, named: ,,The Association of the former members of the Penal Camp of Recsk.”
The government gave one part of the territory to the Association to rebuild the camp where the barracks of the prisoners had stood. One barrack was built up others only showed the base with white stones. In one corner of the barrack there is a place where you can see the clothes and boots of the prisoners, some tools with what they worked and some belongings they had (for example a secretly made knife and so on…).
Some ten-thousand visitors frequent the camp a year. You can reach the camp from the village of Recsk from where notice boards show the way you have to take to reach the camp.
It is really worthwhile to visit the camp where you could feel the reality of the open terror of the early fifties.

Béla Krasznay