Progressive politics, ideas & culture


50 Years Ago Today

This Magazine Staff

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution. Everyone’s gonna be talking about it all day today, but don’t fear, I’ve combed Wikipedia and offer you the Coles Notes version, cuz as a Hungarian immigrant, if anyone’s gonna be doing internet research on this topic, it should be me.
Ahem. The Hungarian Revolution was a spontaneous and bloody uprising started by students and workers who, after Stalin’s death demanded a reform of the Communist Rule with their 16 point agenda, which included establishing free elections and withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact. What started as a march and protest quickly turned to street fighting as Hungarians fought the Russian Army with whatever they had in hand; guns, gasoline, cobblestones, and even kitchen utensils. The revolt spread across the country, radio stations were taken over, the secret police were disbanded and the government was overthrown. But on November 4th 1956 Soviet forces retaliated with Air Strikes squashing the movement and killing many civilians. When the dust settled, upwards of 10,000 were killed (many executed in months after the uprising), 100,000 were imprisoned, and 200,000 fled the country.
Commemorations are being held all across the world, toast the revolutionaries with a shot of palinka if you get the chance.

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