Chain Wall

I witnessed much suffering at the House of Terror Museum in Budapest. If you missed my post on this dark place, please read Unknown Place below and look at the only photograph I was permitted to take. It is of a tank in a large foyer, and behind it are thousands of black and white faces staring out from the wall, faces that continue to haunt and pluck at the strings of my heart.

These faces are the men and women who died in the name of freedom in Hungary. They remind us that, even today, there are places in the world governed by terror and corruption. How can this be? Why hasn’t mankind evolved and learned from the mistakes of the past? What will it take for humanity to realize that we are all one on this Earth, that our differences are insignificant, that our interconnectedness is what makes us human? What will it take for our governments to listen?

Since the beginning of human history, men have grabbed the lands and possessions of others. This was the story of much of Europe during the two world wars.Hungary fell victim to the greed and lust for power of Communist Russia. For what seemed like eternity, Communist Russia reigned over the hefty chunk of Europe that it took by force, spilling the blood of thousands. Hungary revolted in 1956 and lost the final battle in November of that year, but for a few short days, she tasted freedom and never gave up on that dream.

The photograph you see here is of a rusted, thick, chain wall. Along the edge is a message sent by Hungary to the world: “1949–1989. Shall we live as slaves or free men? The Iron Curtain: It isolated the East from the West. It split Europe and the world in two. It took away our freedom. It held us in captivity. It tormented and haunted us. And we finally tore it DOWN.”

I ask you: What is our dream for a better world today? What chained walls must we tear down to live in peaceful coexistence?

About Sheila Bali

Sheila Bali, historical fiction writer, is soon to complete her novel, Swans and Cranes, based on a family’s escape from the iron grip of post–WW II Russia during the turbulent 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The book focuses on a young girl’s experiences as her family’s world is uprooted, forcing them to flee their home and country to save their lives. Sheila holds a Fine Arts Degree from Concordia University, plus two graduate degrees from McGill University in art education and special education. She now lives in San Francisco Bay Area of California and paints with colorful words. Sheila is a member of CWC Tri-Valley Branch.
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2 Responses to Chain Wall

  1. Stan Grimes says:

    Poignant and pointed…thanks so much for this blog.

  2. SheilaBali says:

    Thank you for reading, Stan. There was much to point.

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