Hungary 1956: A workers' revolt crushed by the "workers' state"
Year Published: 1973
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX5416
The Hungarian revolution, brief though it was, did as much as a century of socialist theorizing to show what a united and determined people could do to transform their society.
in the summer of 1956, intellectual agitation, for freedom of speech, for the abolition of exploitative trade treaties with the Soviet Union, for an end to repression, swept Hungary. A demonstration was called in Budapest - first forbidden, and then, when it had already formed, 'permitted' by the government. The demands were fairly mild - certainly none of them were counter to the rhetoric, if not the practice, of the Communists. The demands called for independence, socialism, secret ballots, the right of workers and specialists to run the factories, and the removal of the hated 'Rakosi group' from the government. .
When the demonstrators - numbering over 100,000 but peaceful - asked that their views be broadcast over the State radio, they were fired on by the machine guns of the secret police, and the demonstration had turned into a revolution.