Budapest Pocket Guide <% Randomize iBanner = CInt(Rnd(2) * 10) iBanner = 1 ' Response.Write("i:" & i & "
" & vbCrLf) If ((iBanner mod 2) = 0) Then Dim Ad Dim ArrTags Dim strHistory ' Set Ad = Application("Ad") Set Ad = Session("Ad") arrTags = Array("gevril", "Ad.Size.Banner","ad.targetframe._blank","ad.border.1" ) strHistory = Session("AdHistory")'Ad server history conatiner ' response.write (Ad.GetAd(Response, arrTags,strHistory)) Response.Write("" & vbCrLf) Session("AdHistory") = strHistory Else %> <% End If %>
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50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution



Attila Szakolczai : The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Struggle for Liberation

On October 16, 1956 appeared a great crack in the monolithic institutional structure of communist Hungary: the students of Szeged founded their own union (MEFESZ), independent of the communist party. They elected their own officers democratically, put forward a programme, and appealed for their organization to become a national one. That initiative led to student rallies up and down the country, where programmes of increasingly political and radical demands were adopted. On October 22, students of Budapest Technical University announced for next day a demonstration of solidarity with the changes happening in Poland. On the 23rd, the party leaders lacked the courage or strength to prevent it. The students were joined in the afternoon by factory workers and Budapest residents. Several hundred thousand demonstrated in Bem tér and then before Parliament, where words from Imre Nagy, the leading opposition figure in the communist party, failed to calm the crowds.
October 24, 1956. Destroying the statue of Stalin: the head of the statue on the ground   The protesters called for several hours for the radio station to broadcast the technical students' 16-point demands. Late that evening, armed special police sent to defend the studios opened fire on the crowd, which responded by obtaining weapons and laying siege to the radio. An initially peaceful protest turned into an armed uprising. When Soviet tanks appeared in Budapest at dawn, this broadened, rather than broke the resistance, and the uprising became a liberation struggle. Nor was order restored by political moves made: the appointment of Imre Nagy as prime minister and the declaration of martial law and a ban on assemblies.
   As the bitter liberation struggle went on in Budapest and party leaders were locked in sterile debate on how to class the situation and what political and military measures to take, the rest of the country joined in. Factories and workplaces were taken over by revolutionary councils, as was local and county government, and the armed rebels assured of support for their demands for a democratic, independent, neutral Hungary.
   On October 28, Imre Nagy, with Soviet approval, ordered a ceasefire and announced that several demands would be met. Most importantly, the ÁVH secret police would be disbanded and negotiations initiated on withdrawal of the Soviet occupation forces. But peace returned only after the multi-party system was restored and Hungary's neutrality declared. In the early days of November, the armed insurgents and the revolutionary bodies recognized the government, ordered a return to work, and began forming a national guard that would be loyal to the revolution.
   But by the time order was restored, Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, had decided to crush the Hungarian Revolution by force. He appointed János Kádár to head a puppet government and spirited him off to Moscow for talks. On November 4 came a renewed Soviet attack that broke up the armed resistance in days, although the struggle continued. The country would not recognize the Kádár regime and stuck by Imre Nagy, who had taken refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy. Attempts to restore the communist system of local government failed; bodies elected during the revolution still ran many communities. At the centre of resistance were the workers' councils, which Kádár and the Soviets also had to recognize. These formed a Greater Budapest Central Workers' Council (KMT) in mid-November.
Red star is taken off the wall of an apartment house at Kálvin square   Up to the beginning of December, Kádár had no administrative apparatus, party organization or Hungarian military force behind him. He was forced to treat with the workers' councils, yet unprepared to make substantive concessions. On November 21, he drew on Soviet military assistance to prevent a National Workers' Council from being inaugurated. Next day, he had Imre Nagy and his associates bundled away as they left the Yugoslav Embassy and deported to Snagov in Romania. By the end of the month, his special police were playing an increasing part in intimidating the country and arresting those who had joined in the revolution.
   The last great clash between a revolutionary nation and Kádárite power came at the beginning of December. The provisional party leadership declared the events to have been a counterrevolution and emphasized the responsibility of Imre Nagy in particular. The KMT, protesting against this, the aborting of negotiations and the wave of arrests, called a general strike for December 11-12. The regime responded by outlawing the territorial workers' councils, declaring martial law, and setting up internment camps. The country was cowed by arrests and special-police raids. Outside help was no longer expected. Hungary, under military occupation, had no more strength to resist. Further waves of refugees sought a new life in the West, while those at home faced mass reprisals: internment, prison, executions, dismissals, police surveillance etc. In the repression of subsequent years, over 20,000 people received prison sentences and 230 sacrificed their lives.

New York City: 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution

New York City: 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution

Institute for 1956 - Hungary

 

   



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