The “Virtual Museum” program of the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum aims to create a complex museum experience in the online space as well, by creating interactive and informative content for those interested, and presenting the museum’s digitized collection material in its own context, embedded in exciting stories. We created our informative videos in collaboration with historians, museum educators, and digital content production professionals around three topics: Storytelling Objects, Secrets and Stories, Storytelling Sites.

What are these videos going to be about? Objects that we do not have the opportunity to present in detail during the museum visit. About stories that are not told during our guided tours. About places we can’t show during the visit.

Who do we recommend our virtual museum content to? Everyone who has visited us, everyone who wants to come and visit us and everyone who is interested in the history of the Hospital in the Rock. Our contents are available free of charge in Hungarian with English subtitles.

Until December 2020, we will be featuring exciting new virtual content every Friday, which can also be viewed on our website, Youtube channel and Facebook page.

 

“We warmly recommend our Virtual Museum content to anyone interested. We hope that as a result of the enthusiastic and persistent work of our colleagues, we will be able to provide you with educational materials that will bring precious moments into your everyday life in the spirit of lifelong learning. ”

Anikó Hegyes-Szikszai, museum director

If you would like to be informed about our latest content, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook!

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Secrets and Stories – Part 5

 

How to treat radioactive contamination?

When in 1898 Pierre and Marie Curie revealed that certain elements could be radioactive, they did not know the horrible consequences their discovery might had. Even Marie Curie became a victim of her own work, when she died because of the effects of radiation. Still, certain products containing radium or other radioactive materials stayed popular until the 1950’s, since their true danger was not, or just barely acknowledged. At the time of the Cold War this seemed to change, and no nuclear weapons were used during an armed conflict, partly because of the recognition of long lasting contamination. Unfortunately radiation decontamination still had to be done throughout history, due to accidents with nuclear weapons, power plants or other radioactive materials.

Livestock being decontaminated during a training, during the 1960’s.

Urban decontamination training, during the 1960’s.

Picture from a civilian defense slide, from the 1960’s

Sign showing danger of radiation.

Cloth showing contaminated territory, in Hungarian and Russian.

Mushroom cloud shaped lamp, used during civilian defense trainings.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Secrets and Stories – Part 4

 

Aristocrats in  the Hospital in the Rock

The Horthy Era can be considered the last golden age of the Hungarian aristocracy, when they could still live in huge mansions, go to balls at night, and live the life of the privileged. However, the one-sided image of an exploitative nobleman rooted in communism was much more complex in reality. Many people of noble origin used their wealth for charity.

From the Reform Era we know of many examples for certain important matters being financially supported by private individuals, and this custom lived on in the 20th century as well. During World War I and World War II, young gentlemen in many cases volunteered to the Army, and ladies for medical service. A good example is the organizer of the Hungarian Voluntary Red Cross Service, Baroness Gizella Apor, from whom the noble ladies mentioned in the video also studied.

Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai on a frontline visit

Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai during the opening ceremony of the Hospital in the Rock

Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai once again in the Hospital in the Rock in 2010

Ilona Andrássy on the cover of Képes Krónika magazine

Ilona Andrássy in a Polish refugee camp’s kitchen

Ilona Széchényi’s Red Cross volunteer nurse certificate

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Secrets and Stories – Part 3

 

What is left after a Nuclear Explosion?

In early 1945, even scientists who had developed the atomic bombs did not know exactly what effects the new miracle weapon they created would have. During the first nuclear test – the so-called Trinity experiment – participants were not even sure that the detonationn would be successful.

However, on July 16, 1945, an implosion-type plutonium bomb called Gadget was successfully put into operation and the first nuclear explosion in the world was carried out. The leader of the experiment, Robert Oppenheimer, later described the event as follows: “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.‘ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Little Boy.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Fat Man.

View in Hiroshima after the nuclear attack. In the middle, the remnants of the Industrial Promotion Hall.

Melted coins fused together, from Hiroshima.

Melted rosary from Nagasaki.

Roof tile with surface melted next to the fitting, from Hiroshima.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Storytelling Objects – Part 1

 

How the gas masks work

Most people associate the development of gas masks with the hell of World War I, but they appeared earlier to protect those working in various dangerous areas. You are probably familiar with the image of a doctor wearing a beak mask during a major European plague epidemic between 1347-52, which, although not intentionally, can be regarded as a rudimentary respiratory protection device.

During the nineteenth century, the first masks providing targeted protection began to appear among miners and firefighters. Their common use for military purposes was indeed due to the emergence of various chemical weapons during the First World War, and their use soon seemed inevitable to the civilian population as well. Nuclear mass hysteria during the Cold War briefly made gas masks a basic item in households, but today, fortunately, it has once again become a feature of only a few specific jobs.

51M type gasmask used by the Hungarian People’s Army.

First Aid Kit used by the Civil Defense in 1940’s.

The Hospital in the Rock was expanded between 1958 and 1962, for example the ventilation with this chemical filter system.

Poster from the 1940’s show to properly put on a gasmask.

Poster showing how the gasmask seen in the video functions.

Poster educating about the proper cleaning and storing of a gasmask.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Secrets and Stories – Part 1

 

Provisions in the Hospital in the Rock during the siege of Budapest

1944/1945

During World War II, the total war spared no one, be it a soldier or a civilian. Continuous saving, the ticket system, and then hunger soon reached the hinterland as well. During the protracted siege of a larger city, the population could be completely cut off from the outside world, and with it food from the countryside. During the infamous 872-day blockade of Leningrad, nearly one and a half million died, largely due to starvation.

During the siege of Budapest in 1944-45, the survival of people in many cases depended on their own ingenuity. Whoever had food could ask for anything in return, and so bartering soon developed among the population, or even with desperate soldiers. Unfortunately, however, many people living in the capital could not survive the siege: the number of deaths among the population is estimated at 37-38,000.

Food delivery coming to the Hospital in the Rock in 1944.

The kitchen was not designed for cooking, but during the Siege of Budapest it was needed.

Life in the Hospital in the Rock’s kitchen in 1944.

As all the equipment, the dinnerware was from Saint John’s Hospital too.

Food came to the Hospital in the Rock from Saint John’s Hospital in containers like this, where it was heated and portioned.

Refrigerating in the 1950’s. It used real ice for cooling.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Secrets and Stories – Part 2

 

The Legend of the Burning-out of the Hospital in the Rock

World War II was one of the most devastating events in the twentieth century, with the goal of not only occupying a country or territory, but in many cases also completely annihilating certain cultures.

The systematic destructive campaigns of the Axis powers – Germany, Japan or even Hungary – are well known, but of course the soldiers living in constant danger could also carry out horrible atrocities on their own. These atrocities could happen on all sides, the long war could grind anyone’s nerves or bring out deviant behavior. Soldiers of the Soviet Red Army were notorious for their indiscipline and atrocities against the inhabitants of the occupied countries. But how much of all this is actually true?

Reinforced air-raid shelter in the cave system of Buda Castle Hill, int he 1940’s.

Ward No. 1 of the Hospital in the Rock, during the opening ceremony in 1944.

Friedrich Born, the delegate of the International Red Cross in Hungary during the II. World War. Whit his presence, he protected the neutrality of the Hospital in the Rock.

Soviet soldier with a flamethrower during the end of the II. World War.

Part of an official document detailing the July 1. closing of the Hospital in the Rock and that it is still unharmed.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM – PROPOSER

Hover Box Element

All content production starts with brainstorming. We figure out what the video should be about, make a script, collect material, do the shooting and the finishing work. Making a video takes approx.  1 week.

The shooting

Shooting a video takes approx. 3-4 hours. We prepare the scene, lights, shoot, shoot and shoot again until it works.

Hover Box Element

Our Virtual Museum contents are created by the museum staff. Together we brainstorm, create a script, make filmings, and then a colleague who is experienced in content production makes the finished short film from the raw material.

Our Virtual Museum content was created with the support of the NKA.

 

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