Better to Let Miserable History Go / Junpeng Zhang

The Czech Republic and Hungary are countries whose histories have struggled and suffered from communism. Many people here don’t want to talk about that part of their history. We probably won’t know the exact reasons about why they want to avoid it so much. However, I think to stop asking them about communist history can make them more comfortable, and they can have more joy for the life they have right now.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Hungary and Czech Republic have become capitalist countries. When I walk on the streets, people here enjoy what they have. They have the high consuming ability, and they seem like that they have walked through the shadow of the past.

I still remember when we were in a class of the first week, Clara Ruth tried to ask Elizabeth a question about her memories of communism from the past; however, Elizabeth hesitated to share any memories on communism, which really surprised me. Because nowadays, Hungary is a capitalist country instead of a communist country, so is the Czech Republic. There are absolutely no restrictions talking about communism.

But people here, not only just Elizabeth, old people in Budapest (who can understand English) have a hard time telling their stories about communism. When you pass by them, you can see their joyful faces, which show how much they like the life they have right now.


After I went to visit the Communism Museum in Prague, I finally realized what the Soviet Union did to people in these two countries that was such a disaster. Soviet soldiers suppressed people who were protesting. The biggest party eliminated other parties that disagreed with their opinions. There is no liberty and connections between borders.

They have high consuming ability, and they seem like that they have walked through the shadow of the past.

According to experiences of Professor Parrish over many years, he saw few communist symbols during his trips here. Like castles on the hills of Buda side, they usually had red flags on the top of the buildings. Communist symbols were everywhere, but now they are all gone, just like they welcomed a new era.

The buildings here look very European, but they can’t cover the tracks from communism. We can still see iron walls have holes made by gunshots outside the Parliament building. What’s more, Elizabeth took us to a field trip to visit the communistSKB-170615-032914 camp. I remember it is in a very deep valley, which Maddie described as “in the middle of nowhere.” It seems like not many people know it’s there.

In general, from all the evidence I saw and heard here, I sincerely hope that we as foreigners can just let that part of history fade away when we visit here instead of specifically mentioning it because of our “desire” to search for hidden knowledge. Knowing others’ miserable history when you can’t feel or understand the same way they do, that won’t make people feel comfortable. Besides, letting it go could be a better way, just as they do.

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