1956 - Hungarian Revolution: Anti-Communist Protest in Hungary (00:08:25)
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1956 - Hungarian Revolution: Anti-Communist Protest in Hungary

Rights-Managed, Editorial

Location and time:

Hungary, Budapest, 23-10-1956


The 1956 Hungarian Revolution, also known as the Hungarian Uprising, was a revolt in Hungary. The revolt was brutally suppressed by the Soviet Union. Thousands of Hungarian insurgents and Soviet troops were killed, thousands more were wounded, and nearly a quarter million left the country as refugees. The revolution was a watershed event for Communists in Western countries; some who had formerly supported the Soviet Union now criticized it. On October 23rd, 1956, Hungary"s population rose up against their government. The population achieved control over a large number of social institutions and territory, and the Hungarians began to implement their own policies. One policy on which Hungarians were divided was the status of known ÁVH (secret police) informants; the workers councils and student councils sent armed bands out to arrest ÁVH operatives in preparation for criminal trials; whereas the small ultra-nationalist right-wing groups led by the likes of Jozsef Dudas infamously executed members of the ÁVH. The Hungarian Communist Party made Imre Nagy Prime Minister. After negotiating a ceasefire with Soviet forces in Hungary, Nagy was forced by public opinion to withdraw Hungary from the Warsaw Pact and declare neutrality. Soviet troops were invited into Hungary on two occasions, both in attempts to firm up Moscow line governments (the Gero government that collapsed on the October 23rd and the Kadar government formed on November 3rd). Soviet troops and the Hungarian ÁVH intervened on the night of October 23rd and subsequent days, attacking protestors; this resulted in a ceasefire between Soviet troops and insurgents by November 1st, 1956. On the night of November 4th, 1956, the Soviet army again intervened to halt this process of popular reform. By January, 1957, Kadar had brought the instability to an end. Because of the rapid change in government and social policies, the role of left-wing ideology in motivating some of the population, and the use of armed force to achieve political goals, this uprising is often considered a revolution.

Sound Bite and conversation:

Nagy, Erzsébet

(Daughter of Imre Nagy) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "They squelched us. Like a small bothersome fly. They simply squelched us. "

Krushchev, Sergej

(Nikita Khrushchev’s son) , speaking English:
-  "The Hungarians were victims of the Cold War, as both parties, the Americans and the Russians as well, knew that it would be very dangerous if the balance were upset. "

Pongrácz, Gergely

(leader of insurgents in Corvin Alley) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "One of my soldiers laid on my knees when he died. He told me not to give up. Help must arrive once. We can’t be left alone. "

Fomin, Vitalij

(chief of Soviet political troops in Hungary) , speaking Russian:
-  "For us Russians, this was the only way to solve the situation. Violence was the only model known by our leaders. "

Pongrácz, Gergely

(leader of insurgents in Corvin Alley) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "“We only wanted to have a free and independent Hungary. We wanted to live freely in our country.” "

Krushchev, Sergej

(Nikita Khrushchev’s son) , speaking English:
-  "When the crisis began, my father tried everything to avoid violence. "

Földes, Péter

(employee of the Hungarian Radio at the time) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "As protection they were throwing smoke-bombs out the windows. They wanted to dispel the crowd and stop them from entering. "

Krustsov, Vladimir

(head of the KGB in 1991) , speaking Russian:
-  "Khrushchev in the Kremlin decided to send tanks to Budapest to end the slaughter. "

Kopácsi, Sándor

(Chief of Police in Budapest ) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "The soviet tanks met with furious resistance when they marched in early morning. They even started to shoot at the Hungarian Army and the Police Station. "

Pongrácz, Gergely

(leader of insurgents in Corvin Alley) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "The average age of those who were fighting here was under 18. These were children. Children fought against the Russians. "

Kopácsi, Sándor

(Chief of Police in Budapest ) , speaking Hungarian:
-  "The revolution won. We started to rebuild and restore the order, the air was calm again over Budapest "

Krushchev, Sergej

(Nikita Khrushchev’s son) , speaking English:
-  "Those days the Americans ensured Krustsov that they wouldn’t intervene and they won’t make military action anyway. So we knew that there would be no conflict with the Americans. "




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Original video: This ist the original video - with voice over (English)
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18-12-2010 21:52:07

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