Hungary Marks the Day of 1956 Revolution
31 October, 2013
Hungary Marks the Day of 1956 Revolution
October 23 is the day of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. In memory of this day, the reception was held at the Embassy of Hungary in Georgia. After the traditional hymns, Mr. Sandor Szabo, Ambassador of Hungary to Georgia, delivered a short speech: “This is the day when we commemorate those people who died during the revolution for freedom and independence. There was a big pressure on the part of a foreign state and Hungarian people could not stand it. Unfortunately, the
revolution failed. It was lost. Hungary was alone. There was no reaction as a token of help.
The only reaction was the tanks. The tanks turned out to be stronger than the will of Hungarian people. Like us, Georgian society and Georgian people are very sensitive towards such values as freedom, independence and regaining sovereignty and territorial integrity. Maybe that’s why we have such close and friendly relations. Hungarian government has very good relations with the new government of Georgia and I am proud of it. I want to stress that cooperation and our active support for the Georgian integration into the European and Euro- Atlantic structures is still topical. “
Davit Usupashvili, Speaker of Georgian Parliament was the next to take the floor: “Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen! Let me greet you on behalf of the parliament of Georgia, the government of Georgia, the Georgian people – today we all are with the fallen Hungarian heroes. We remember what the people of Hungary went through in those days of 1956. As Mr. Ambassador underlined, the call of the Hungarian people was not heard by most of the countries of the world. Now, I am glad that we can hear each other, we can be helpful to each other, building the peaceful European house for everybody. Yes, Georgia more than any other country can understand what were the problems of Hungary. We confirm that our bilateral relations at all levels are very good. You can believe that we are always with you. Thank you.”
October 23 marks the first day of the Revolution of 1956. Peaceful rallies were held on this day fifty seven years ago throughout Budapest, many of them organized by students demanding free elections, freedom of press, and withdrawal of Soviet troops stationed in Hungary. Protestors also demanded the return of former Prime Minister Imre Nagy, dismissed for his liberal policy. International events, such as “Polish October”, the Poland’s successful uprising, when the Soviets gave in and acknowledged Poland’s liberal leader gave hope to Hungarians. As more and more people joined the protest rallies, they turned into a mass demonstration. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets. At 8 pm, the Hungarian Communist Party made an unscheduled radio announcement denouncing the protestors’ demands. After the announcement, the crowd headed to the radio station to air their demands. They were driven back by state security police with brutal force, causing fatalities. The incident marked the start of an escalation of violence, creating a nationwide uprising.
Despite the police brutality and the presence of Soviet tanks on the streets, the uprising continued for days. Clashes between demonstrators and armed police broke out in many places, killing hundreds. Following the ceasefire achieved on 28 October, Soviet troops began pulling out from Budapest on 30 October. Imre Nagy was named Prime Minister and he formed a new government. By 4 November, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev sent in the tanks with reinforcement to bring a bloody end to the revolution. Thousands of people died and over 200,000 fled the country.
In the immediate aftermath, thousands of Hungarians were arrested. Several hundred were executed and hundreds were deported to the Soviet Union. Besides reinstating a Soviet-controlled government, the Soviet Union increased the amount of its permanent troops deployed in Hungary. Imre Nagy was executed in 1958 after a secret trial in Budapest.
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