The Hungarian Revolution of 1956
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Courtesy of www.bbc.co.uk
Flag of the Hungarian Revolution; courtesy of wikipedia.org
Flag of the Hungarian Revolution; courtesy of wikipedia.org

When the Second World War ended, Hungary was finally freed from Germany's Nazi regime. However, a series of uprisings against the Soviet-influenced Communist Party shattered Hungary's short-lived peace.


After World War II, Soviet's control of Hungary steadily increased. In 1945, general elections involving six political parties. The Independent Smallholders won 245 seats in the Parliament, with about fifty=seven percent of the votes. The Communists won seventy, The Social Democrats won sixty-nine, the National Peasants won twenty-three, and the Democratic Party won only two. Four of the political parties, excluding the Communist Party, formed a coalition government. However, by 1948, Communists forced non-Communist politicians out of power, Some fled, while others were arrested. In 1949, Hungary's People's Democracy was established, headed by Communist Matyas Rakosi. Rakosi modeled Hungary's government on the Soviet regime. Rights of individuals and freedom of speech were virtually abolished. Anyone who spoke out against the Communist government was arrested, Many were imprisoned or executed, including László Rajk, the Foreign Minister on June 1949.

Stalin's death in 1953 contributed to the political instability of Hungary. Imre Nagy replaces Rakosi as Hungary's Prime Minister on July 1953. He introduced a program known as the "New Course." Nagy released anti-Communist prisoners, ended the nationalization of various industries, and encouraged freedom of speech. Many attacked Nagy's liberalist attitude including Hungarian newspapers and Rakosi. The Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers Party accused Rakosi of going against the People's Democracy and was dismissed from power on April 18,1955. On February 1956, Nikita Kruschev, the new leader of the Soviet Union, denounces Stalin's policies in his "secret speech.' On March 1956, Rakosi declared that Rajk and many others had been accused based on "fabricated charges." In July, Rakosi was dismissed from his influential post and was replaced by Erno Gero.A ceremonial reburial was held in October in remembrance of Rajk and the victims who were unjustifiably condemned.

Students formed anew organization called Mefesz on October 16, 1956. On October 23, students protested peacefully at Budapest. The students' sixteen point resolution included the restoration of Imre Nagy to his post. However, the demonstration became violent when the students attempted to free prisoners and the police open fired. The next day, soldiers and commission officers joined the protest and Stalin's statue was brought down. The Hungarian people were looking optimistically at the years ahead as Imre Nagy once again became Prime Minister on October 24, 1956. On October 28, Kruschev agreed to Nagy's request for the removal of Soviet troops in Budapest. For the next few days, Hungary enjoyed freedom of speech and religion and democracy. The leader of the Catholic CHurch, Cardinal Mindszenty, was also released from prison. However, when Nagy declared his intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact on November 3, several tragic events ensued.

On November 4, Kruschev sent 1000 soviet tanks into Budapest. The Hungarian troops were destroyed. Civilians continued the fight but defeat was inevitable. Nagy, who had sought asylum in the Yugoslav embassy at Budapest, was captured on November 23, 1956. Janos Kadar, who became Hungary's leader, revoked his promise to grant Nagy an escape from the country. On June 16, 1958, Nagi and his supporters were accused of treason and executed.


Fall of Stalin's Statue; courtesy of  www.onthisdeity.com
Fall of Stalin's Statue; courtesy of www.onthisdeity.com

Overview of the Hungarian Revolution; courtesy of www.youtube.com


1)"BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Hungarian Revolution." BBC - Homepage. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/ir2/hungaryrev1.shtml>.
The site showed chronological events that led to the Hungarian Revolution after 1956. It also had the causes and effects of the revolution. I also took the image of the USSR leaving Budapest from this site.

2)"Introduction: Hungarian Uprising 1956." Society for Hungarian Philately. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://www.hungarianphilately.org/introduction/Intro_Uprising.htm>.
This is a reliable site on the history of the the revolution in Budapest. Unlike, the first site, it included events that happened from 1945 onwards.

3)Gold, Jennifer A. "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution." Oldrich Kyn. Web. 25 May 2011. <http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/NatIdentity/EE/Hungary/1956.htm>.
I used this source as a support to my other sources. I did not rely too much on this site because it doesn't seem as credible as the others.

4)Eszterhas, Joe. "Imre Nagy | TIME Europe Magazine | 60 Years of Heroes." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2006/nagy.html>.
The other sites did not really give specific information about Imre Nagy. The site. which is is a companion to Time magazine, gives a detailed account of Nagy's service as the former Prime Minister of Hungary/

5) "People's Republic of Hungary." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 28 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Republic_of_Hungary>.
I only used Wikipedia as a source for the image of the flag of the Hungarian Revolution. I did not use it for any information.

6) Fowkes, Reuben. "Ungarn 1956 Geschichte und Erinnerung."Ungarn 1956 Geschichte und Erinnerung. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2011. <http://www.ungarn1956.de/site/40208667/default.aspx>.
The image of Stalin's fallen statue is shown in the site. It also gives a more detail account of the day Stalin's statue was brought down.

7)"YouTube - The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 ‏." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHaaolTGG_Y>.
Youtube is a very reliable source of historical videos. This clip is a narration of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.