The 1956 Uprising

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The “1956 revolution” also known as the “1956 uprising” began on October 23, 1956 and resulted in the establishment of the Nagy government which stood until November 11th when Soviet forces declared victory over Hungarian freedom fighters. Around the (western) world the revolution while short lived was seen as “A Rip in the Iron Curtain” and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. This essay will explore the major events that happened in Hungary during October and November 1956 as well as how different new sources responded to some of these events.
The Revolution
After World War Two Hungary was set up a democracy. A general election was held in 1945 in which six parties ran and five were elected to seats in parliament.
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Many leaders such as Foreign Minister László Rajk, who was arrested in June of 1949, were hung in show trials on what was later admitted to be “fabricated charges”. Official admission of crimes by the Hungarian regime in March of 1956 resulted public reburials of the 1949 victims and in the dismissal of Rákosi as First Secretary of the General Committee.
The 1956 revolution in Hungary took place in a world that was changing for communism. Communism's great leader Stalin had died in March of 1953 after ruling the Soviet Union for 30 years. With his death came a change in the Hungarian regime from the “hard line” communist leadership of Matyas Rakosi to the reformist Imre Nagy and his belief in communism “with a human face.” Not long after Stalin’s death there was a revolt of workers in Eastern Germany on the 17th of June 1953. The Soviets suppressed this revolt militarily and set a precedent for how they handled future revolts. When Poland had an anti-communist revolt in June of 1956 the Soviets imposed martial
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As reports of Soviet troops coming back across the border reach Nagy he appeals to the United Nations to defend Hungary’s borders and Neutral status.
November 4: Tanks Return to Budapest On November 4, 1956 an estimated 1000 tanks attack before dawn and after heavy fighting enter Budapest. Nagy broadcasts a final appeal for help at 5:15 am shortly before Radio Hungary goes silent. At this point the United Nations calls for Soviet withdrawal.
November 11: Soviets Claim Victory Fighting in Budapest dies down and on November 11, 1956 Soviet forces claim victory over the Hungarian freedom fighters. Refugees begin to flee from Hungary into Austria and the west the total number estimated at around 200000 people. In the end up to 5000 civilians were reported dead or wounded and about 700 Soviet soldiers were killed including those who were executed for refusing to fight. Many buildings in central Budapest were damaged or destroyed during the

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