Budapest 1948 - Home Movie

The image to the left is a frame capture from a movie I recently uploaded to YouTube (Click Here to View). It's been converted from a 1948 film reel shot by my grandfather showing life in and around Budapest shortly after the end of World War II. The image is interesting because it shows the destroyed Széchenyi Chain Bridge as seen from a car traversing a temporary bridge over the Danube. Although all of Budapest's bridges were destroyed by the Germans during the Siege of Budapest, the Chain Bridge is one of the city's iconic structures and it's still shocking to see it destroyed.
While on the surface, the people in the film seem to be living relatively normal lives, if you look at the background you can still see a lot of rubble from the war. What you cannot see are the mental scars from the brutality that all of these people would have gone through only a few years earlier.
I cut the nearly 25 minutes of film footage down to about two and a half minutes to show life across four seasons of 1948. The film is set to music from an old 78rpm record sung by my Great Uncle, Miklós Vig, who unfortunately did not survive the war.
The footage includes the following:


  1. Dear Alastair, thanks for posting this real nice video! Can I somehow get the original 25 minute film footage on a CD maybe?

    Pal Negyesi
    Balatonalmadi, Hungary

  2. Pal, Glad you like the video. The full reel is a family home video with very little background (mostly family closeups). If you let me know what you are interested in, I can create a clip for you with a focus on that area. Note that when you leave me a comment I cannot reply to you via e-mail. If you go to the main page ( there is a link to my e-mail address, please contact me using that link.

  3. This video has received good reviews here:

    Refer comments 22530 and 22531 dated 3 Jul 09.

  4. Hi Alastair - the zoo in the movie is the Budapest Zoo / Budapesti Allatkert, recognizable from the concrete elephants that flank the entrance (still there!). Really enjoyed the movie!
    Aniko (the one you know from college)

  5. Hello Alastair: I have been researching family connections. My grandmother's family is from Budapest. Her brother and sister in law owned, I believe a corset shop at 23 Elizabeth in 1948. Would you be aware of such a place? I believe the family name was/is Steiner. Please respond! Thank you!

  6. Hi! Thank you the nice video! Who is the boy?
    Csongor Keri