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Britishhere used to be three museums in Berehovo (Beregszasz), one of which still exists. It’s the Mineralogy museum, which has no analogues in Ukraine, except for Kyiv. In the Soviet era it was also called the secret museum, because the inhabitants were not wanted to know what kinds of deposits the region was rich in. It is only to be regretted, that the Mineralogy museum is still being closed for the public.

In 2001 Zakarpatpolymetaly – the gold mine – was reopened. This is a sample of gold bearing ore bodies from Berehovo, Muzhijevo and Kvasovo deposits. The annual output of fine gold in 2001 made up to 125 kilograms (275, 58 pounds). I think, with such an enterprise in the neighborhood, our town should be substantially more prosperous. There used to be a Museum of sports in Berehovo, too. Unfortunately it was destroyed in the Soviet times. Nina Hetsko-Lobova, an Olympic champion, is the resident of our town. Ivan Fircak-Kroton, a man of extraordinary strength well-known in Europe and overseas, was born in Bereg comitat.

I would like to merge these three museums together and organize a traveling exhibition around the region. I have collected more than 60 kinds of rock from Berehovo ore region. They are on display in the museum.

 

Berehovo is over 900 years old, but it is proved that there had been settlements much earlier. According to the documents, Neanderthal men lived on this site 100,000-40,000 BC. Four stone tools as well as a fragment of a mammoth tooth were found in the nearby hills during excavations. But even Cro-Magnon man lived here about 40,000-10,000 BC on the site of the foothills close to the town. Stone tools were found as well as a helmet, which is now exhibited in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest. The helmet was found by Theodore Lehoczky in 1900 and at present is an ornate relic of the Hungarian National Museum.

The lowland extending from Bahta (Bakta) to the river Borzsava is called the Valley of Love. Stone tools and pottery remains were found in the so-called ‘Pretty Lady Hill’. These stone tools and earthenware from the Neolithic were found on the site of the hill. They are the tools of a Stone Age man. The finds are labeled in detail both in Hungarian and Ukrainian and so are the excavation sites on the maps. On the territory of the second brick & tile factory some finds from the Bronze Age were excavated. These are stone implements and a bracelet found on the same site. In some burial grounds   10 to30 similar pieces of the same weight had been found in a single grave. It was probably used as a currency at the time. 

Kushtanovytsia Culture, 6-th century BC. On the territory of the local hospital the remains of a Roman settlement, which is not typical of Transcarpathia, had been excavated. A kiln recently discovered in one of the old buildings in Shevchenko street in which glazed tiles for making tile-stoves were made in the 15-th - 18-th centuries. Such tiles, built into the walls, served as resonators. It is widely known that Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches excel in acoustics, and it is mainly due to the technique of using tile and empty clay pots, or pitchers while constructing walls. This workshop was most probably destroyed on 17 June 1657, when the whole town was demolished by the Poles. Lyubomyrsky’s troops burnt to ashes the Roman–Catholic Church and St Michael’s chapel. The chapel has not been rebuilt since then. Joseph Kobaly, a historian and lecturer at the Hungarian Teacher Training College, started and led an expedition to discover the remains of St Michael’s chapel in 2001. Presumably Prince Theodor Koryatovych, the lord of Mukachiv dominion in 1393-1414, was buried there. The foundation of the chapel was found 2, 6 feet deep in the ground. Four skeletons of children and a bronze needle were found. 200 m westward a burial ground with the remains of more than 200 people was found. Another burial ground was discovered while pipes were being laid down for the city sewerage system.

This museum was reopened with as many as 42 social-realistic exhibits on 30 March 2001 after 19 years of closure. Inhabitants from Berehovo and the vicinity have donated many of the exhibits that are currently displayed in the museum. Schoolchildren from the local schools were of great help in collecting materials. Seals, badges, medals and barber’s kits were brought in. This is a suspender girdle from the 19century.

Some objects from the times of WWI & WWII. This stereoscope, was used for viewing three-dimension pictures, which were made a hundred of years ago.

These are cards and certificates from different times. Commemorative tablets, typical of Beregszasz and Bereg comitat, were kindly donated to the museum. Invitation cards in three languages: Czech, Hungarian and Ruthenian.

Grand balls were organized in the Noblemen’s Casino. Sari Fedak’s name is still vividly remembered among bridge players.  You can see money, issued in Beregszasz in 1919 and 1920, only allowed for local circulation.

This is a one-thread sewing machine in perfect working condition from the pre-war times.

The building, you are presently in, is one of the oldest in Berehovo. It had been functioning as a Dominican Monastery from 1327 till 1576. It was totally destroyed in 1573 during the Reformation. For some time it was a fortress. It was rebuilt in 1629 by Gabor Bethlen.

Gabor Bethlen was one of the most outstanding figures in the history of Hungary. Bereg Komitat came under Count Bethlen’s authority after he signed a Peace Treaty with Ferdinand II in 1621. Gabor Bethlen was the Prince of Transylvania. He did a lot to make Beregszasz prosper: crafts and trade flourished, craftsmen from abroad were invited to settle in the town. Count Bethlen sponsored the education of talented young people from poor families abroad. He maintained his court in Beregszasz and built a castle in the city centre in 1629, which was called, and is still known as ‘the Count’s Court’. When the Hungarian gymnasium was reopened in 1991, it was named after Gabor Bethlen.

A war of independence started from Bereg komitat on 18 May 1703. Tarpa (now a village in Hungary) was the first spot, Mezovari and Beregszasz were the next. These three chairs survived from the times of Ferenc Rakoczi II. This is an exact replica of F. II Rakoczi’s banner –a gift from Hungarian National Military Museum. Transcarpathian Ukrainians (Ruthenes) took a particularly active part in the insurrection of Ferenc Rakoczi II, which in its insipient stages resembled a social revolution. They formed a personal guard for the Prince and thus earned from him the title of ‘most trustworthy people’ (gens fidelissima). The Prince often visited Beregszasz in the years 1705 – 1709. This is what he would say: ‘Beregszasz is my town and the most trusted people of mine are the Ruthenians’.

Transcarpathia has undergone no less than seventeen changes of political status in the flow of the twentieth century. Beregszasz belonged to Hungary till 1919, between 1919 and 1920 for several months (since 17 April – 15 October) it belonged to Romania. From 1920 to1938 - Czechoslovakia, 1938-1944 - Hungary, 1944-1991 - the Soviet Union, now it belongs to Ukraine. A joke tells of a visitor who, encountering and elderly resident of Berehovo, asks what he has seen of the world in his lifetime. ”I was born in Austria-Hungary, I went to school in Czechoslovakia, I did my army service in Horthy’s Hungary, followed by a spell in prison in the USSR. Now I am ending my days in independent Ukraine!” The visitor expresses surprise at how much of the world the old man has seen. “ But no!’’, he responds,’’ I never left this town.”

The International Day of Museums is on 18 May. We usually put on  display a curiosity on this day. We discovered Sandor Petofi’s first letter to his colleague, Janos Arany, on 2 May 2007. This is the copy of it, because the original is in a private collection in Berehovo. And there is a letter written by Andriy Brody (who served as a Prime Minister of Carpatho- Ukraine) to the Regent of Hungary, Miklos Horthy, which the addressee never received.

Carpatho-Ukraine was established on 11 October 1938 in the wake of the restructuring of Czechoslovakia brought on by the Munich Agreement. After being discredited as an agent of Hungary and arrested for treason Andriy Brody was replaced (26 October by Avhustyn Voloshyn). However, when he applied for new elections, he was accused of planning to annex the Rusin people to Hungary. Upon suspicion and denunciation he was arrested and without previous trial and disregarding his right of immunity, he was imprisoned in the Pankrac prison near Prague. He was released from there only when the Hungarians occupied Ruthenia. In May 2008 we stumbled upon the first flag of Beregszasz, which was thought to have been lost for 63 years. The following words are inscribed on it ‘This flag is a present from women’s section of Hungarian National Guard Association of Kecskemet. From 1939 till 1944 it was on display in the City Hall. Three local families had been hiding it since 1944. We are glad that Kecskemet is still a sister-town of Berehovo and we maintain lasting ties and fruitful cooperation so far.

Beregszasz (Berehovo) is the only town in Ukraine where the majority of inhabitants are Hungarians. Till 1991 it was a closed territory (and so was almost the whole territory of Transcarpathian province). Non-residents had to apply for special passes to visit towns and villages situated in the borderline area. Many people, visiting Beregszasz (Berehovo), do not understand why are there both Ukrainian and Hungarian State Flags on the official buildings and institutions. Why are the street plates both in Ukrainian and Hungarian? We are not imitating any other museum, our intention is to investigate and learn more about the history of Bereg komitat.

The name of a man of extraordinary strength, Ivan Fircak-Kroton, has already been mentioned. This is his first identity card, issued prior to his marriage. He visited 64 countries. When he was on a boxing tour in the USA, he suffered a serious head injury from one of his American opponents. He was operated on and had a platinum plate installed, which had to be replaced in 10 years. But as he took part in a struggle for the independent Carpatho- Ukraine, he was not allowed to leave the country any more. In fact, he died of hunger. The authorities had forbidden his performances in big cities, such as Kiev, Moscow and Leningrad(now StPetersburg), and he was forced to earn his living by performing in small village clubs (but more often in the village squares).

The platinum plate was removed from his head only after his death. It is the first time these photos are on display. Ivan Fircak-Kroton could easily lift  1800 kilos(3 968,32 lbs). He could easily lift the steam engine up from the narrow gauge railway and put it back in its place. His automobile could pass over his neck. Once he entered a car shop in Germany and, after considering the prices, asked the owner: ’Why are these toys so expensive?’ The offended owner remarked:’ Mister, if you regard these cars as toys, take whichever you like and carry it out. If you do, you can keep the car.’ Fircak put one of the cars on his back and was off. It is said that he would bend 8 inch size nails into the shape of hearts at his shows and distribute them among the public. The eldest son of I. Fircak was imprisoned for 15 years under Stalin for telling three anecdotes about ’the father of all nations’, i.e. Joseph Stalin. Eventually, he was released after having spent 8 years in prison. When Ivan Fircak defeated an English champion, the latter committed suicide. He couldn’t bear his defeat and jumped off from his room’s balcony. This is Ivan Fircak’s biography in Ukrainian and Hungarian.

Nina Lobova-Hetsko, an Olympic and World champion, has been living in Berehovo. She was the goalkeeper of the Soviet handball selection. It is thanks to her, that Hungary won the 1982 World Championship. She was the goalkeeper of the Hungarian selection at Vasas Club. She was among the most outstanding athletes who carried the Olympic flame in Kyiv in 2004.

After the 1848-1849 War of Independence a rapid development starts in the town of Beregszasz. The city enjoys several privileges. Taxes are abolished, crafts and trade flourishes, people come to settle here from far and wide.

On the wall you can see the photo of the first City Hall which looked like this till 1875.

Long ago people made use of natural materials only, so almost everything was made of flax and hemp. A swindle was of great use. The tow needed combing, so it was done with the help of flax-combes.

This bootstrap is a thing of great interest. It was used by bachelors to take off their top boots; those married did not have to use it: it was their wives’ job  to do that. No nails were used in making it. These are manglers (or wringers) with typical patterns. It is a churner. These are unfinished millstones. They were carved in the neighboring Nagyhegy. Here you can see a traveling potters’ anvil, wrench and auger-stem. Skates that are easily fixed to any footware.

This is a unique weigh scale made by a local blacksmith out of a single spring. You can weigh 100 kilos with it, but if you turn it inside out and use the small crook – you would only be able to weigh about 26 kilos. You cannot find anywhere  similar weigh scales in use nowadays.

This is the predecessor of the automatic washing machine, making linen tidy and clean without the use of Calgon.

These are mortars for crushing rock-salt.

The stocks were used as a means of punishment. People were put in the stocks with their hands in opposite direction.

This is a wafer-iron from 1191.This is the year when king Laszlo I was sanctified. In all probability, Holy Communion and sacrificing wafers in the Catholic faith have been observed and offered since then. Till 1820 the size of sacrificing wafers was like this, but some changes took place and they became smaller. In this wafer-iron four wafers can be made at a time: two big and two small. The priest would break big ones in two and place them in a bowl.

These are samples of homespun cloth with ornaments typical of Berehovo (Beregszasz) and the wider region.

Gray cattle of Hortobagy are considered to be the most massive in Europe. You can imagine how big it could have been if you add the missing horn to it, and the head of an ox.They weigh up to1400 kilos on average. Usually they were put into a yoke and made perfect draught oxen. The ground was marshy in the valleys of the rivers Latorca, Borzsa and Tisza till 1888 and no cattle, except for the gray cattle of Hortobagy, was able to pull the cart or the plough to cultivate the land.

This is a filler for black-pudding (or blood sausage) and a board for making farfalle.

Sari Fedak, one of the best remembered Hungarian female operetta stars, was also a native to Beregszasz. She was born to a family of a local doctor on  October 26th 1879. No one could have even guessed what an unbelievably gorgeous fate was in store for the little girl. She was to become one of the most celebrated operetta singers, stage and screen actress not only in Hungary, but all over the world. Wherever she would perform, the house would always be sold out. Her family was well-to-do, the local intelligence often gathered in their house, which got the name of ‘Fedak’s castle’. The family appreciated the arts and music, Sari’s mother played the piano very well and, as young Sari was growing, her mother would often accompany her daughter’s singing. The audience would adore her, thousands of delighted admirers would follow her, women would envy her. But that was only to come later on…

We have a collection of more than 200 postcards of Sari Fedak. There is no similar collection elsewhere. The first automobile in Beregszasz belonged to Sari. Jeno Huszka, the famous Hungarian composer, wrote the music to his operetta Earl Bob in Beregszasz. In 1902 Endre Ady wrote a poem about Sari under the title Lotty’s Colonels. Why is there a Cross next to Fedak’s Castle? The borderline between the town of Beregszasz and the nearby villages in those times had stretched next to the Fedaks’s real estate  and Sari’s father badly wanted to buy a plot from the local authorities. He was allowed to get a plot only on the condition that a streetcross be put within the plot. The Cross was erected by the family on 31 July 1904. Some details from S.Fedak’s biography: she appeared on stage in 1901,and her first photo album was released in 1903. The first record of S. Fedak with the song I am Sari Fedak’s Chambermaid  composed by Imre Kalman was released in 1931. Songs and several pieces of music (namely 28) from Sari’s repertoir survived and you can buy them on CD here in our museum.

People of 76 nationalities live in Transcarpathia. The indigenous people are the Ruthenians (or Rusins).

There are 4 wineries in Berehovo now, but the history of vinegrowing, orcharding and winemaking dates back to 1247. Berehovo was the first to organise an international Wine Festival in the oblast in 2000.These statutes are related to viticulture  and date from 1470 through 1846.They were called ’mountain statutes’,  because they mostly concerned viticulture  in the highlands of Beregszasz, Muzsaj, Bene and Kaszony. Filox epidemic breaks out in 1863 and destroys all the vineyards. Very little is known and spoken about Nandor Czeiner, the man who invented a new type of grafting, the greengrafting. Doctor Bertalan Linner, a famous surgeon, who had performed more than 27000 operations, is considered  one the best selectionists. His family owned several vineyards and viticulture became one of his favourite pastime activities. Dr Linner selected a variety of rootstocks and raised or refined 140 types  of vine: Royal leanka, Memory of Gizella, Pearl of Beregszasz, L-1 and L-6 among them. The rootstocks of vines from Beregszasz plantations were planted  in Tokay and Matra (parts of the Hungarian Carpathians). At  the 1936 Wine Fair oenologists of the time praised vintners from Beregszasz for distinctive quality of wine produced in our region and awarded them with  this diploma, certifying they eventually won the competition.

The Berehovo winery,  were the muscatel wine ’Rose of Transcarpatia’ was produced and bottled, used to be a cellarage at the hunting castle of count Schonborn-Bucheim. In the Soviet era, if you were a lucky holder of a bottle of ’ Rose of Transcarpathia’,  any door would  open for you. The wines produced at  this winery won 20 gold and 40 silver medals at different fairs and exhibitions. 

When Carpathian Ruthenia was a constituent part of Czechoslovakia(1918-1939) special badges were designed for the mountain rangers with inscriptions in Czech and Hungarian. Here you can see one of them.

For a short period (1986-1987), Soviet Communist Party leader Andropov banned all kinds of alcohol beverages. A lot of vineyards were distroyed in Berehovo and the neighbouring settlements. Adult population was forced to join the all-union Antialcohol Society, and this is a certificate and an emblem given to each member of the society.

Here you can see some vintage instruments: a grafting knife, a knife for cutting grapeclusters, some secateurs and several keepsake winefestival programmes in Ukrainian and Hungarian.I have collected  prize awarding wines from local winemakers: Urszta Janos, Paraszka Gyorgy, Sass Karoly, Varga Bela, Dancs Janos, Jakab Sandor and Tompa Tibor. You can have a look at the Wine Drinking Commandments( in Ukrainian and Hungarian).

Before World War I Transcarpathia consisted of 4komitats: Ung, Ugocsa, Maramaros and Bereg. Bereg komitat consisted of 313 settlements and was the largest. Bereg komitat was famous for its cast iron foundries. Iron stoves, different in size and shape,  were widely used at the time in Frigyesfalvi foundry alone, more than 193 types were produced. The smallest foundry was in Janosi.

Bathy Anna, an opera singer famous all over the world, also comes from Beregszasz. You can see here the list of operas she performed in as well as her biography. The Embassy of Denmark is located in her former  Budapest residence now.

There used to be a caolin plant in Beregszasz which was transformed into a ceramic plant in  Soviet times. Unfortunately it was destroyed.

During World War II, once the legal government of Hungary was overthrownby the Germans, the ’ Final Solution’ of the Holocaust was also extended to Carpathian Ruthenia. The Jewish community of Transcarpathia was delivered over to the death camps by Horty’s Hungary. 15,000 Jews from Berehovo were deported  to Auschwitz.  One of them – Hugo Gryn – miraculously survived two death marshes and

went to Britain after the war. He returned to Berehovo in 1989 with his daughter Naomi to make a film about his childhood. Towards the end of his life, Hugo devoted much time to combating ’ the obscene attempts to play down the Jewish Holocaust as a fabrication perpetrated by the Jews themselves’. The book ’ Chasing Shadows’, written by Hugo and Naomi Gryn is an essential witness to the horrors of the 20th century. 60,000 people from Transcarpathia perished during WWII.

Here you can see the list of Transcarpathians, who fell victims to Stalinist reprisals. This is the poem  A Prisoners’ Song by an unknown author from Szolyva POW camp and A Prisoners’ Prayer .

In 1943 the population of Beregszasz was 19,000  of whom  6,250 were Jews. More then 5 thousand of  them perished. Gyula Richter, Holocaust survivor, who experienced the hell of 4 different concentration camps still lives in Berehovo. He says that he managed to survive the after-war years only thanks to the local soup kitchen.

Gyula Richter donated to the museum the blanket and the belt he had been using while he was in the concentration camps. The certificate in Hungarian is added. You can see the list of the soup-kitchen founders on this 500 kilo marble stab. Since 1830 till 1946 about 200 people daily were provided with bread and soup. This is a prayer book in wooden cover and a key to the Old Synagogue.Here is the list of 3,500 identified Holocaust victims. This is a tunnel lamp from the second brick&tile factory, which was the starting point of Holocaust in Transcarpathia. And this is an NKVD interrogation lamp and a KGB telephone.

These are secret NKVD and KGB documents concerning the ’liberation’ of Transcarpathia and Berehovo. In October relocation of detachments took place in Beregszasz and then it was said that the Red Army liberated Beregszasz on the 26 October 1944. Three weeks later on 13 November a top secret document –Resolution #36 signed by Dmytry Ustinov appears  which states that 15152 people from Transcarpathia were taken to different Soviet camps: 154 officers(132 Hungarian,

3 Czech, 3 Slovak, 16 Ruthenian); 7729 soldiers( 60 German, 7629 Hungarian); 7093 men liable for call up( 68 German, 7025 Hungarian); 176 policemen( 164 Hungarian, 1 German, 4 Ukrainian, 5 Ruthenian, 1 Slovak, 1 Romanian), that is a chase after people and weapons had started. 22951 people from Transcarpathia were taken to the Soviet military camps till 17 December 1944.

This is a copyof the above mentioned top secret document –Resolution# 0036.

These two men ’liberate’ our town  by bombing it. As a result 42 people die.  The military,buried in Beregszasz during World War II, consisted

of 92 Hungarian and 60 German soldiers. This is the list of the  deceased Hungarian soldiers . One of the pilots, Sergej Majko, was shot dead. This is his map. He was buried in the Square of Heroes among four tuja trees, and not where the epitaph is now. One of the streets in the city was renamed after him, but several years ago  it got back its historical name – Kiserdo street. The other pilot, who happened to visit our town ten  years ago, became indignant on that fact.

Transcarpathia was quickly brought under Soviet control. On 26 November 1944, a congress of people’s committees of Transcarpathian Ukraine was organized in this theatre in Mukachiv which expressed its desire for the unification of Transcarpathia with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. After World war II, in the month of June, a Treaty was signed between Czechoslovakia and  the Soviet Union ceding Carpato-Rus to the Soviet Union. The newspapers wrote ’ Carpato-Ukraine unified with its mother Soviet Ukraine forever’. This newspaper was issued on 30 June 1945 and cost 40 filler. Hungarian currency in the Soviet Ukraine? In 1946 Transcarpathia was incorporated into the USSR.

When we read the memoirs of the people who liberated Transcarpathia we may come across many contrasts. For example, one of the officers, a major, in order to receive an Alexander Nevsky order reported to Stalin: ’It took 4 hours to liberate Beregszasz, 573 officers and soldiers were taken prisoners, 32 carriages and 238 luggage vans’. It is an exaggeration,238 luggage vans each 52,5 feet long is impossible  to place at Berehovo railway station.

There are many talented artists in Berehovo, but unfortunately there is no art gallery in the town. They are more popular abroad than in their native town. Therefore hall #4 is dedicated to the contemporary artists. Paintings of Jozsef Garanyi are on display here. He kindly presented 30 of his pictures to the city museum of Berehovo in 1986.In 1988 the museum was closed down and all Garanyi’s works were passed to the District Authority Offices. There  the paintings by Garanyi decorated the walls of the offices. Luckily, I stumbled upon a letter of Jozsef Garany in which he wrote ’ I ask for one thing only that my paintings be put on display in an honorable place accessible to everyone’. I think I did my best to fulfill the request. 4 paintings by the Master were added to the existing collection. The works are done in different technique: oil, pastelle, pencil, aquarelle, coal and combined technique.

When Anna Horvat, an Honoured Art Worker, learned that we would reopen the museum on 30 March 2002, she presented 174 plaques to our institution.

Laszlo Muszka, an architect, artist and sculptor loved his father dearly. When his father died, he designed and cast in bronze a sculptural composition then fixed it to a 10 feet high marble obelisk. The obelisk was put by his father’s grave. The vandals destroyed it: their plan was to seperate the 397 pound sculpture composition from the marble and sell it at the scrapyard. Fortunately they were prevented from doing that. This is the sculpture composition I spoke about. This man was the father of four children. He holds all his children in his left arm: one child, who was still-born is aside;  his three sons are depicted together in a form of a swan symbolising the parental devotion, care and love. Each of the three boys got a university degree. Their father had to work hard in order to support them, so his hands are veiny; at times they had to endure privation - the apple in his right hand symbolises that. We are proud of our artists- Jozsef Garanyi and Laszlo Muszka.Regrettably, Anna Horvat passed away in 2005. Please, take a view of the paintings and sculptures. Then I would like to show you the photo gallery.

As it has already been mentioned, Beregszasz belonged to Hungary from 1938 till 1944. After the First Vienna Arbitration on 9 November 1938 the city was allocated to Hungary. This day is reflected in 100 pictures in our museum. A  film about the events of 1938-1941 was made by Hungarian war reporters. The original copy of the film was taken to Australia in 1944. I managed to obtain a copy of it and you may have a look at the start of World War II from a different point of view. I would also like to translate it into Russian. The war of independence started from this building and the Market square in front of it. In the top right picture you can see the Market square.Poultry was sold from baskets and there is a folk song about it: Beware, oh, coach men For holes are in baskets Spring out will your peacocks Just in a moment! Trees are planted and a map of Hungary is made of stones and flowers in Rakoczi square with a following inscription: I believe in the resurrection of Hungary. This period didn’t last long.The Soviets arrive and erect a monument to Stalin in Market square. Now there is a monument to Virgin Mary.  To the left in the upper row you can see 56 reproductions of our predecessors from 900

to 1900. Beregszasz in pre-war times. These are fragments of streets, parks and squares. I think life in Beregszasz differed a lot from what the Soviet propaganda said about us .

I have been  collecting Soviet currency for several reasons. I have got 84 pounds of money and I can do many things with it: buy, sell, change, etc. But first of all I would like to set an example to young people to collect anything – it is much better than cigarettes, drugs, alcohol or one-armed bandits.

I would like to show you every item put on display, because they say it is better to see than to hear.What changes took place in Beregszasz  since 1900?

How could a Market place be transformed into the Soviet War Dead Memorial? In the

first picture you can see a busy bazaar. There is cattle fair every second week. This church has burnt down to ashes in 2 hours time. The Hungarian Army marshes in. The scouts make a flowerbed and install the National flag there ; the girl scouts salute. In 1931-1940 the Market place is turned into a park. In 1941 the Hungarian War Dead Memorial is erected. Very soon the Memorial is destroyed by the Soviets and the Soviet

War Dead Memorial is erected there; presumably 16 Soviet soldiers were buried there. I

think a dead soldier is not a foe but a hero, and if there are Soviet heroes elsewhere  why

shouldn’t there be Hungarian heroes or heroes of other nationalities in our town. I have restored the tombs of two Hungarian soldiers on the territory of the Catholic cemetery.

After long search I found and got in touch with the bride of one of the soldiers and with the daughter of another. The daughter came to her father’s grave 57 years after his death.

With the help of Hungarian Government I could place crosses on the graves of Hungarian

war dead soldiers and officers on 19 June 2006. It is the second park of of such type in Ukraine.In 2005 crosses were placed on the tombs of  the 114 war dead  Hungarian soldiers and officers in Uzhhorod( Ungvar).

The Grand Royal was considered buildings one of the best buildings in the city., but in

the Soviet era it was simply an average canteen.

It was the city architect Samuel Mehes who designed the building of the Noblemen’s Casino. In Czech period the roof  was removed and an extra floor was added.

The Verke was wider than nowadays and there used to be a landing place for boats

in front of the Casino. In 1937 the Verke was transformed into a 1,37 mile long canal.

Regrettably its pollution exceeds the permissible level about 5 – 6,000 times.

Bertalan Linner did 40,000 operations. Joseph Stalin was one of his patients. This hospital was built by the Czechs in 1936.This bust was set up in the hospital park in 2005.

Endre     Korlath is inaugurated as Governor of Bereg komitat. The inauguration of Endre            Korlath in 35 photos. Later he becomes a member of parliament.

Festive procession to celebrate the name-day of Miklos Horthy on 6. December, 1938. There is an  inscription on the first banner: ’In commemoration of the return Godollo Reformed Women Club’.A 92 year old woman took care of the first flag of Bergszasz; she could have been punished for hiding it in Soviet times if it had been disclosed.

6250 Jews lived in Beregszasz and there were 6 synagogues, 4 baths and a ritual bathhouse. This synagogue was rebuilt into a concrete monster to mark the 50-th anniversary of the Soviet Union. 15 stipes symbolize 15 Soviet republics. A monument to Lenin is erected to mark his 100th birthday. The monument is dismounted and replaced by this fountain. Thaks God, that tripe has been removed from the city centre. This was the brief visual history of Bergszasz.

From the unpublished manuscripts we have written a series of articles on the history of castles and fortresses of Bereg komitat.

This exhibition could have been called: ’The Devils Year’ or ’The Reformation of the Fire Station’.

More than 500  photos are exhibited here. Let me draw your attention to some  of them. With this collection of photos we would like to honour all Hungarian martyrs ever.

The first car of Sari Fedak with the winery in the background.

Look-out tower in Nagyhegy.

This is the railway station in Borzsa plain.

The Czech Army peacefully marshes out at night on 8 november 1938.In 100 photographs you can see the 9th of November 1938, when the Hungarian Army marches in. The change of statehood takes place without a single shot. I think,that is a real democracy!

Let me introduce some paintings by Transcarpathian artists donated to the museum. This is a picture by Andras Kutlan. Two pictures by Katalin Kadas. Both Ferenc Haba and his wife worked as teachers of Art at the Hungarian Royal Gymnasium.They donated several paintings to the Roman Catholic Church. Judit Kaszab, the British Royal Family’s portrait painter, is a native of Beregszasz; she is the most popular artist in Australia.

Many famous people come from Beregszasz and this is the only museum in Ukraine that is concerned with Hungarian identity so I would like visually introduce those people to you.

As to Elections-2004 I want to tell you the following: we are not angry with anyone, and we do not forget either. You can see some poems and quotations on the walls...and if it is not your shirt don’t put it on.

There is a guest-book you can have a look at and, if you want to support the museum, there is a money-box.

If there are any questions I will answer them willingly. Thank you for your attention.