Cold War Flashpoints - Hungary

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Cold War Flashpoints - Hungary

  1. 1. Hungary is a country located in Eastern Europe. It was also one of the main flashpoints at the start of the Cold War.
  2. 2. During WW2, the Soviet Union stationed soldiers in Hungary. They did not leave after the war ended and instead took control. Hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were killed or sent to prison for opposing Soviet rule.
  3. 3. The occupation of Hungary proved to countries such as the USA and UK that the Soviet Union could not be trusted. By controlling smaller countries, it showed the Soviets wanted to impose Communism.
  4. 4. Large number of Hungarians lived in poverty, which made them angry. Political and religious freedoms were limited e.g. Catholic leaders were imprisoned. Hungarian leader Matyas Rakosi used terror to rule the country, including the secret police (AVH).
  5. 5. Joseph Stalin died in 1953, meaning people believed changes would happen in the USSR. In 1956 there was political change in Poland. Due to all this, Hungarians were inspired by this to have their own revolution.
  6. 6. Small groups of Hungarians started attacking Soviet troops and spies. In October 1956, a new Prime Minister, Imre Nagy took power. He negotiated with a deal with the USSR to start moving troops out of Hungary.
  7. 7. After the 1956 Revolution, many political changes were introduced in Hungary. These changes included having free elections and also Hungary leaving the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Union was very angry at this.
  8. 8. The Soviet Union decided to again take control of Hungary. It invaded Hungary with a large army and once more ran the country. Anyone opposed to the Soviets was killed, jailed or left the country.
  9. 9. Even after the Soviet invasion, it can be argued people’s lives were better because of the revolution. Under new Communist leader Janos Kadar, many people were released from prison and the country became a little richer.
  10. 10. The Hungarian Revolution is important to the Cold War because it showed two things: 1) The Soviets were prepared to use the military to control other countries 2) The USA and other NATO countries wouldn’t stop them

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