The Hungarian Revolution
Hungary had been controlled by Russia since 1945. The death of Stalin brought people in many Eastern European countries the hope of freedom and change, but as the 1956 uprising in Hungary proved, this was not to be the case.
1. The death of Stalin led many Hungarians to hope that Hungary also would be 'de-Stalinised'. In July 1956, the 'Stalinist' Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, Rakosi, fell from power.
2. During October 1956, students, workers and soldiers in Hungary attacked the AVH (the secret police) and Russian soldiers, and smashed a statue of Stalin.
3. On 24 October 1956 Imre Nagy - a moderate and a westerniser - took over as prime minister.
4. Nagy asked Khrushchev to move the Russian troops out. Khrushchev agreed and on 28 October 1956, the Russian army pulled out of Budapest.
5. For five days, there was freedom in Hungary. The new Hungarian government introduced democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Cardinal Mindszenty, the leader of the Catholic Church, was freed from prison.
6. Then, on 3 November 1956, Nagy announced that Hungary was going to leave the Warsaw Pact. However, Khrushchev was not going to allow this. He claimed he had received a letter from Hungarian Communist leaders asking for his help.
7. At dawn on 4 November 1956, 1,000 Russian tanks rolled into Budapest. They destroyed the Hungarian army and captured Hungarian Radio the last words broadcast were "Help! Help! Help!".
8. Hungarian people - even children - fought the Russian troops with machine guns. Some 4,000 Hungarians were killed.
9. Khrushchev put in Russian supporter, Janos Kadar, as prime minister.