Sunday 4 November 2012

Rising Up Against the Hammer and the Sickle

It was in the early morning hours of November 4, 1956 that Soviet tanks rolled into the capital of Budapest, Hungary to crush an uprising.  Here are ten things you may not know about the Hungarian Revolution.

  1. Fifty thousand protesters gathered on the streets of Budapest to protest the Soviet puppet government on October 23, 1956.  The crowed grew to 200,000 as it walked by Parliament.  It headed toward the radio station where it planned on broadcasting its demands, it was fired on by the Soviets.

  1. In an apparent victory, the Soviets were expelled from the city five days later.

  1. However, on November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks entered Budapest in the wee hours of the morning to crush the resistance.

Soviet tanks enter the city of Budapest.

  1. The protesters boarded trams and showered pedestrians with leaflets which had their 16 demands printed on them.

  1. One of the demands was free, secret elections.

  1. Soviets cornered civilian units (students & workers) in barracks, apartments and flats.

  1. The protesters fought ferociously (2500 deaths).

  1. The bust of Josef Stalin, the deceased Soviet leader, was decapitated by the mob.  Even so, the Soviets crushed the revolt by November 10, 1956.

Stalin's "head" lies on the ground as Hungarians protest.

  1. A general strike ensued throughout the country.  However, Hungarians realized they were committing national suicide and reluctantly returned to work.

  1. Two hundred thousand refugees fled to the West in the aftermath of the revolution.

Hungarian refugees cross the Austrian border.

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