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The Hungarian Uprising

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The Hungarian Uprising

  1. 1. The Hungarian Uprising • After WWII, the growth of the Hungarian Communist Party was encouraged and joined with three other parties to form a national council to led Hungary. • The Party was led by Matyas Rakosi, Erno Gero and Laszlo Rajk • By 1948, all other party leaders had been discredited and the communists formed a one party state, led by Rakosi: authoritarian; had hung Rajk for treason, mini-Stalin. • The Soviets have control over Hungary by 1949: collectivism means a lack of food, and as well as a lack of consumer goods and freedom, the Hungarians are really upset. • 1953: Stalin dies, Khrushchev starts destalinisation • 1955: Occupation of Austria ends; neighbouring countries hope Soviet troops will soon leave their nations • 1956: Khrushchev’s Secret SpeechJuly 1956: Demonstrators call for end of rule of Rakosi. Demand democraticsrights, the sacking of stalinisists and the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Rakosiforced to resign and is replaced by Gero.23 October 1956: Demonstrations in Budapest; Soviet tanks are called in24 October 1956: to keep order, Khrushchev orders two moderates Imre Nagy(PM) and Janos Kadar (Party leader) to take power – under pressure to makechanges as demonstrations continue28 October 1956: Troops withdraw; demonstrations turn into general strike31 October 1956: Nagy announces new program of reforms • Hungary would leave the Warsaw Pact • Would be a neutral country • Would hold democratic elections4 November 1956: Soviet forces return to Budapest and bitter street fightingfollows; 2000 tanks & 60000 troops – people throw petrol bombs at tanks andpour liquid soap on the roads14 November 1956: Resistance is crushed. New government set up under Kadar • ½ of Budapest destroyed • 200,000 flee country • 3000 killed • Nagy arrested and hanged • West condemns use of force but does not send troops to help Hungary • sends message to satellite states about the limits of destalinisationUnlike Gomulka who had been allowed to stay in power in Poland because hewas acceptable to both the USSR and the Polish people, the anti-Soviet feelingunder Nagy and the turning point of leaving the Warsaw Pact meant that Sovietcontrol in Hungary was threatened.Ideas: destalinisation, maintenance of a buffer zonePeople: Nikita Khrushchev, Matyas Rakosi, Erno Gero, Laszlo Rajk, Imre Nagy,Janos Kadar
  2. 2. Events: Warsaw Pact, Secret Speech, Hungarian Uprising, death of Stalin

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