Boston Art Commission

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  • 83-BAC 1X1-Hungarian Revolution Monument
  • 83-Hungarian_Revolution_Memorial

Hungarian Revolution "Freedom Fighters" Memorial

Artist:

Gyuri Hollosy

Location:

Liberty Square Park, at Kilby St. and Water St.  

Location

Liberty Square Park, at Kilby St. and Water St.
United States
42° 21' 28.3068" N, 71° 3' 18.324" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1986

Medium:

Bronze and Granite

Collection:

Funders:

Hungarian Society of Massachusetts

Description:

This memorial commemorates a struggle against political repression. The Hungarian Revolution began in the fall of 1956, when a group of students demonstrating in Budapest were shot at by the Soviet state police. The uprising quickly spread as Hungarians wrested control of their government from the Soviets. After delaying their response, the Soviets moved to quash the uprising and restore their rule, killing over 2,500 Hungarians in the fighting that ensued. Although the Soviets regained control of the country, their brutal response undermined the legitimacy of Soviet communism and created rifts among their European sympathizers.

Here, sculptor Gyuri Hollósy pays tribute to the heroism of Hungary’s citizens. The female figure atop the sculpture, who raises her baby toward the sky, stands on a foundation of rubble mixed with the bodies of young demonstrators. Amid the chaos, a wounded man waves the Hungarian flag. Hollósy created his sculpture from many overlapping pieces of bronze, creating a highly textured and expressive surface that enhances the emotional intensity of the scene. A plaque next to the memorial quotes John F. Kennedy praising Hungarians for their “courage, conscience, and triumph.”

The violence of 1956 prompted thousands of Hungarians to flee, some settling in the United States. In 2006, on the revolution’s fiftieth anniversary, Boston’s Hungarian community gathered around this memorial to remember the uprising and celebrate Hungary’s hard-won democracy.

Audio Description: