News from Hungary

An October Hungary will always remember. How long can communist chains bind you?

Hungary marks the 62 st anniversary of the anti-Soviet uprising
More than sixty years ago, 10 million Hungarians rose up against the communist regime and defied the Soviet Union in a 13-day stand off. The new Hungarian government introduced democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Cardinal Mindszenty, one of the heroes of the revolution, the leader of the Catholic Church, was freed from prison.


The Hungarian Communist Party met the same night in emergency session and re-instated Imre Nagy as prime minister. Soviet tanks were still on the streets, however, and the uprising continued.

On 25 October, tanks and machine guns opened fire on a peacefully demonstrating crowd in Parliament Square.

But it didn’t last long. After announcing a willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Soviet Union changed its mind and moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country.

1,000 Russian tanks rolled into Budapest, they destroyed the Hungarian army and captured the building of the Hungarian Radio. The last words broadcast from there were “Help! Help! Help!”.

The Hungarian resistance continued until 10 November. People – even children – tried to fight the Russian troops. Over 2,500 Hungarians were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees.

Prime Minister Imre Nagy took refuge in the Yugoslav embassy but was abducted by Soviet agents. He was executed in 1958 after a secret trial in Budapest in which he was accused of betraying the communist system.

Cardinal József Mindszenty fled to the embassy of the United States in Budapest, where he lived for the next fifteen years as he was not let safely leave by communist authorities. He was finally allowed to leave the country in 1971. He died in exile in 1975 in Vienna, Austria.

Hungary remained under Soviet control until the collapse of communism in 1989.

After the revolution was beaten down mass arrests and denunciations continued for months. Eventually 26,000 people were brought before the Hungarian courts, 22,000 were sentenced, 13,000 imprisoned, and several hundreds executed. Hundreds were also deported to the Soviet Union, many without evidence.

By January 1957, the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition. The 1956 revolution lasted from 23 October until 10 November 1956. Only 19 days, but they determined the fate of Hungary for long years.

People had to wait until 1989 to experience the long awaited freedom they had longed for so much to finally get rid of the chains of communism. Imre Nagy was officially rehabilitated and reburied with full honours. Since then, the heroes of 1956 are commemorated every year. 


Hungarian dedicated Pesti Srác

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