The Statue of Liberty , the lovely lady with the palm frond, was erected on the top of the Gellért Hill in 1947. The „Lady” originally did not stand alone, but was accompined by two enormous statues of Soviet soldiers. The Liberty Statue – told to be made to commemorate the Soviet conquest of Hungary towards the end of the WWII – according to the urban legends was actually designed much earlier, still for government of Admiral Miklós Horthy’ deceased son, by a politically flexible sculpture, Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl. The 14 m tall bronze statue stands atop a 26 m pedestal, and holds a palm leaf. The palm is Soviet addition, the design originally would have featured a human child. After the war, when procommunist monuments were in short supply, Kisfaludi Strobl passed his statue off as a memorial to the Soviets. According to the reminescencies, marshall Vorosilov appointed the sculptore personally, and the setting –up was even enacted , but all the costs were paid by the that time Hungarian goverment.
At the time of the monument’s construction, the defeat of Axis forces by the Red Army was officially proclaimed “liberation”, so the original inscription upon the memorial (both in Hungarian and Russian) said: „To the memory of the liberating Soviet heroes (erected by) the grateful Hungarian people 1945”. Under the table also the victims’ names (previously in Cyrillic letters on the plinth) were listed, who lost their life during the siege of Budapest in 1945. Over the following years, public sentiment toward the Soviets decreased to the point of a revolution, and during the Uprise of 1956 the monument was in some portions damaged. After the transition from communist to a democratic state, in 1990 the statues of the two Soviet soldiers were removed from the side of the „Lady”, and was delivered to the Memento Park, where similar monuments of the communist regime were collected from all over Budapest. The engraved list of the victim’s name was also removed, and substituted by another inscription: „To the memory of those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary”. The „Lady” was left on her place. As a result of a referendum, citizens of Budapest decided to give her mercy, as She stricktly belongs to the panoramic view of the city. In fact, it is so much true, that the miniature copy of the Liberty Statue was taken by the first and only spaceman, Bertalan Farkas to the space in 1980.
Liberty Statue of Budapest had got as model a living person, a 16 year old girl, whom the sculptor met with on the street. There was no any honorary given to her, the Communist Party declared this task as her patriotic obligation. She had never got fame either, died some years before in an elderly’s home. The statue got more nicknames during the times, was call even to ‘Huge Beer Opener’. A satirical newspaper of the 60’s depicted Liberty Statue with a fish in her hands instead of the palm. The titel of the pic was ‘we have got it’.