Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution

Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution

Jacob Miller - October 28, 2017

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a nationwide revolt against the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from October 23 until November 10.

The revolution began as a student demonstration, which attracted thousands as they marched through central Budapest to the Parliament building. A student group entered the radio building to attempt to broadcast their list of demands but they were quickly detained. When the student group’s release was demanded by the demonstrators the State Security Police (AVH) starting shooting at the protestors from within the building. One student was killed. The protestors wrapped him in a flag and lifted him above their heads.

The revolt spread across Hungary and the government collapsed. Thousands organized into militias, battling the AVH and the Soviet Troops. Pro-Soviet communists and AVH members were executed or imprisoned and anti-communist political prisoners were released and armed.

A new government was formed which disbanded the AVH, declared its intentions to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-established free elections. By the end of October, the fighting had paused.

After first stating their willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces withdraw, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union changed its mind. On November 4, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest. The Hungarian resistance continued until November 10.

Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict. 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees.

The list of student demands:

  1. We demand the immediate evacuation of all Soviet troops, in conformity with the provisions of the Peace Treaty.
  2. We demand the election by secret ballot of all Party members from top to bottom, and of new officers for the lower, middle and upper echelons of the Hungarian Workers Party. These officers shall convene a Party Congress as early as possible in order to elect a Central Committee.
  3. A new Government must be constituted under the direction of Imre Nagy: all criminal leaders of the Stalin-Rákosi era must be immediately dismissed.
  4. We demand a public inquiry into the criminal activities of Mihály Farkas and his accomplices. Mátyás Rákosi, who is the person most responsible for crimes of the recent past as well as for our country’s ruin, must be returned to Hungary for trial before a people’s tribunal.
  5. We demand general elections by universal, secret ballot are held throughout the country to elect a new National Assembly, with all political parties participating. We demand that the right of workers to strike be recognized.
  6. We demand revision and re-adjustment of Hungarian-Soviet and Hungarian-Yugoslav relations in the fields of politics, economics, and cultural affairs, on a basis of complete political and economic equality, and of non-interference in the internal affairs of one by the other.
  7. We demand the complete reorganization of Hungary’s economic life under the direction of specialists. The entire economic system, based on a system of planning, must be re-examined in the light of conditions in Hungary and in the vital interest of the Hungarian people.
  8. Our foreign trade agreements and the exact total of reparations that can never be paid must be made public. We demand to be precisely informed of the uranium deposits in our country, on their exploitation, and on the concessions to the Russians in this area. We demand that Hungary have the right to sell her uranium freely at world market prices to obtain hard currency.
  9. We demand a complete revision of the norms operating in industry and an immediate and radical adjustment of salaries in accordance with the just requirements of workers and intellectuals. We demand a minimum living wage for workers.
  10. We demand that the system of distribution is organized on a new basis and that agricultural products be utilized in a rational manner. We demand equality of treatment for individual farms.
  11. We demand reviews by independent tribunals of all political and economic trials as well as the release and rehabilitation of the innocent. We demand the immediate repatriation of prisoners of war (World War II) and of civilian deportees to the Soviet Union, including prisoners sentenced outside Hungary.
  12. We demand complete recognition of freedom of opinion and of expression, of freedom of the press and of radio, as well as the creation of a daily newspaper for the MEFESZ Organisation (Hungarian Federation of University and College Students’ Associations).
  13. We demand that the statue of Stalin, a symbol of Stalinist tyranny and political oppression, be removed as quickly as possible and be replaced by a monument in memory of the martyred freedom fighters of 1848-49.
  14. We demand the replacement of emblems foreign to the Hungarian people by the old Hungarian arms of Kossuth. We demand new uniforms for the Army which conform to our national traditions. We demand that March 15 be declared a national holiday and that October 6th be a day of national mourning on which schools will be closed.
  15. The students of the Technological University of Budapest declare unanimously their solidarity with the workers and students of Warsaw and Poland in their movement towards national independence.
  16. The students of the Technological University of Budapest will organize as rapidly as possible local branches of MEFESZ, and they have decided to convene at Budapest, on Saturday, October 27, a Youth Parliament at which all the nation’s youth shall be represented by their delegates.
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
‘On a man’s mission,’ Paul Pruck, 15, was one of the many brave teenagers who fought in the rebellion. He is standing in a rubble-strewn Budapest street. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The work of Hungary’s state security agency – Államvédelmi Hatóság or ÁVH – created a climate of fear, and it was much hated. During the revolution, some of its members were publicly lynched. Here some leave their headquarters after rebels stormed the building. Time
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
26 October- a rebel flag-bearer triumphantly signals that the state security agency headquarters have been taken and the secret police are ready to come out. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A close-up of rebels through the cutout Hungarian flag. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A communist sympathizer hung by rebels during the Hungarian Revolution, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A fallen rebel on a destroyed street in Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A fighter triumphantly holds up a looted Soviet tank shell, to be used in rebel tanks flying Hungarian flags. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A first-aid team rescues wounded rebel fighters under fire. The only cover in the middle of a Budapest square was provided by thin trees. The man in white is a rescuer who was hit. He was later saved. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A rebel holding a molotov cocktail, waiting for action. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A woman and a man being brought out from the AVH building. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A woman cleans out broken glass from a shopfront. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A young Hungarian, on of a crowd of 400, who came to the U.S. legation to demand U.N. help for their cause, grimly sings the words to his country’s song, ‘Magyars rise, your country calls you.’ The police violently cleared the square. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A young partisan rebel with his weapon. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
A young rebel takes cover. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Among the few buildings looted after the battle was the ‘cultural centers’ of the Communist party. Lots of books and photographs were thrown or carried out to bonfires in streets. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
An exhausted rebel – his head leaning on a gun. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
An overturned tram in Budapest, Hungary. Michael Rougier. The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Budapest, 1965. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Carrying flags of old Hungary and singing patriotic songs, Budapest women march in honor of the men who died fighting the communists. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Civilians react to the death and the violence in the streets of Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Col Pal Maleter, 36 and two meters (6ft 6in) tall, defected to the rebels when he was told to take five tanks to fight them, making him a national hero. The Guardian

Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Death and destruction in the streets of Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Firing at the secret police, insurgents emplace old machine guns in a doorway on Rakoczi Avenue, where they have taken hasty refuge from police fusillade. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Graves of Hungarian freedom fighters lie in the same cemetery with the Soviet dead but are covered with offerings of flowers and wreaths. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Hungarian rebel fighter, Budapest, 1956. Michel Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Hungarian rebel fighters in the ruins of Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Hungarian rebel fighters, Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Hungarian rebel fighters, Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Hungarian Revolution, 1965. Michael Rougier- THe LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Maleter was later deceived into meeting senior officers of the Soviet occupying force and arrested on 3 November by the head of the KGB. He was executed on 16 June 1958. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Passersby look up at a disabled Soviet tank after the first Soviet departure. People wandered the streets, finding it hard to believe they had driven the enemy away. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Potatoes are delivered from the countryside to supply the rebels. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Rebels firing on Soviet troops during the Hungarian Revolution, Budapest, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Rebels shoot vainly at observation craft flying over Jozef Circle. Soviet jet planes also….strafed the streets in support of the Soviet ground forces. Micael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Rubble in Budapest, Hungary, 1956 Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The scene in a barricaded hospital room during the Hungarian Revolution, 1956. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Children walked the streets armed. Michael Rougier- The LIFE Picture Collection
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The body of a member of the Soviet security police, who was beaten to death. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The Hungarian security police face their captors, after protesting their innocence. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The second of a series of shots showing an execution at close range. All those pictured were killed, except the man in the upper right corner, who was protesting his innocence. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
This woman was thought to be collaborating with the AVH. She was attacked in the street. One of the rebels put her on a bus standing nearby, and although there were shouts of ‘no prisoners’ she was apparently spared. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
Young rebels later cut out the Communist Rakosi coat of arms from the Hungarian flag. The Guardian
Inspiring Photos of the Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution
The flag, with a hole with the communist coat of arms cut out, became the symbol of the revolution. Wikipedia

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