No, this is not a photo montage! This is a simple photo shooting of touristy U.S. marine sergeants getting slightly out of hand when the ever amorous Sgt. Zahary suddenly spots an elegant young Hungarian lady passing by on the now dismantled Kossuth bridge at the Southern tip of the Parliament in early 1956.
It’s difficult to say what gave the Hungarian lady more reason to be shy: Zahary’s unconcealed attraction, the fact that the men were Americans in Budapest in the middle of the Cold War, or that on top of everything she was walking into the frame of the picture.
Kudos for Sgt. Parauka for keeping a straight face in the middle of this turmoil.
While it was forbidden for U.S. diplomats to engage in romantic relationships with Hungarian women for fear that the AVO might exploit it, it was alright for the Marine Security Guards to seek sexual relationships and have “girlfriends”. As opposed to the diplomats, the marines were mostly young, unmarried men, and knew next to nothing about the actual operations of the diplomatic mission. Still, like all American newcomers to the Legation, they had to go through a thorough security briefing about the methods of the AVO upon arrival.
Nevertheless, most marines had a pretty good time with Hungarian girls during their tour of duty, and if some of those girls were AVO (and some of them indeed were), well, thank you for the AVO.
Come to our “Spies and Masters” walking tour in Budapest to hear dozens of original stories about what it meant to serve behind the Iron Curtain for American diplomats and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Beware: most of them are a lot more sinister than this one. Gather your friends for the best price and book now!