Rare color photo of the U.S. Legation in Szabadság tér in the spring of 1956, taken by a Marine sergeant from where Ronald Reagan’s statue now stands. This was the building the Communist government of Hungary most wanted to penetrate during the Cold War, and they did have some success sometimes.
The AVO also kept constant surveillance on the building from the outside.
In the early 1950s, they were monitoring the offices of the mission chief, the political officer and the military attaché from an apartment “right under the left roof dome” of one of the buildings in Liberty Square. On winter days, when the trees were bare, it was also a good spot to observe who dared to visit the Americans through the front entrance. Needless to say, quite a few agents were employed in addition to “read the newspaper” on the benches in front of the American building for that end.
If you sign up to our walking tour, I will show you from which building the U.S. diplomatic mission was being watched from, and tell you about the other ways the AVO tried to gain access to the secrets of the U.S. Government during the height of the Cold War.