By:Maria Roggero, Milagros
Mendez, Otto Kreutzer, Rosario
Segura and Jeronimo Leguizamon
Background to the crisis
● A Communist country in 1947
● Communists imprisoned opposition politicians
● Attacked the Church leaders
● Communist leader was Mátyás Rákosi
● No freedom of speech
● Fear of the secret police
● Hungarians resented the presence of the Soviet troops and officials
● Areas had Russian street signs, schools and shops
● June 1956: Communist party opposed Rákosi
● Moscow didn’t back up Rákosi and was forced to retire
● Ernö Gerö, new leader
● 23 October: Hungarians pulled down the giant statue of Stalin in Budapest
● 24 October: new government established with Imre Nagy
● Nagy wanted to leave the Warsaw Pact and declare Hungary neutral
● Khrushchev accepted some of the new reforms except the one of the Warsaw Pact.
● Soviet troops and tanks moved into Budapest
● Hungarians were defeated
● New leader, János Kádár
Witness in the crisis
I was a student in the Agricultural University (AU) in Budapest, and was elected to represent AU in the University Revolutionary Council. I
attended the nightly meetings of the Council at the Piarist School during the revolution.
The normal food supply chain has broken down during the street-fighting.
Most of the students of the AU returned home to the countryside and when they heard the need, they started to send truckloads of potatoes,
chicken and other food to help.
They thought the best place to send the food was to their university, and so I ended up receiving the trucks with food and helping to distribute
the food in needy areas.
So, I went to places in Budapest where the fighting had just ended, as these were the most needy places, and took many photographs of the
I gave the film to a western journalist to take to Vienna, but he was caught by the Russians and the negatives taken from him. What a shame!
I was there at the Council meetings, perhaps the last one, when we heard that the Russians were re-invading Budapest.
We heard of the catastrophic decision to make war over the Suez Canal, and knew that the Hungarian cause was abandoned and lost.
We more or less agreed at that sad meeting that those who are in danger should escape to Austria, but do not fight.
It was hopeless now and we did not want our town destroyed by war as Korea was ruined.