Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Hungary. Hugo Dewar and Daniel Norman 1957
Summer: Rákosi is replaced by Gerõ as First Party Secretary after Suslov’s and Mikoyan’s visit to Budapest. The Petofi Club is founded by the official Communist youth organisation as a forum for discussions.
Autumn: University students break away from the Communist youth organisation and set up their own Association of Hungarian University and College Students.
4 October: Hungarian Journalists Union, commemorating László Rajk and his companions, pledge themselves not to allow the press ‘to abandon its role of defender of the truth to become an instrument of calumny and persecution of innocent people’.
6 October: Gerõ goes to Moscow. State funeral for László Rajk, András Szalay, Tibor Szönyi and György Pálffy, executed as ‘traitors’ in 1949, now rehabilitated and termed ‘heroes of the Hungarian working class’.
10 October: György Lukács, widely-known literary critic and party theoretician of long standing, long time in disgrace, now reinstated, at a press conference at Budapest University demands complete freedom for writers and the abolition of censorship.
14 October: Rehabilitation of Imre Nagy, former Hungarian Prime Minister, deposed and expelled from the party in 1955.
19 October: Ministry of Education yields to students’ demand to abolish the compulsory tuition of Russian in schools and universities.
20-22 October: Soviet troop moves reported from Soviet-Hungarian frontier areas; assembly of floating bridges; recall of officers on leave.
20-21 October: Open-air meetings are reported to have taken place in Gyor demanding withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the release of Cardinal Mindszenty.
22 October: Budapest students draw up a list of 16 demands and call a demonstration in support of them and to express sympathy with Poland and Gomułka’s election as party leader. Students’ demands include those for the withdrawal of Soviet troops, reconstitution of the government under Imre Nagy, free elections, freedom of expression, improvements in the standard of living.
23 October: Mass demonstration in Budapest. Gerõ’s speech over the radio attacking the demonstrators. Clashes with the Hungarian secret police (ÁVH); shots fired by ÁVH.
23-24 October: Imre Nagy appointed Prime Minister; Gerõ – First Secretary of the party.
7.45am: State of emergency proclaimed.
8.00am: Radio announces appointment of Imre Nagy as Prime Minister.
8.30am: Summary jurisdiction ordered. Decree signed by Nagy, Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
9.00am: Radio reports that the government had appealed for support of Soviet troops to help restore order. (The first Soviet tanks had made their appearance in Budapest at about 2am.)
11.00am: Government proclamation granting exemption from summary jurisdiction for all those laying down arms before 13.00 hours.
12.30am: University Students Association appeals to all students to support Imre Nagy.
1.00pm: Time limit for the surrender of arms extended until 5pm.
7.45pm: Kádár, Party Secretary, declares that only surrender or complete defeat awaits those who continue their ‘murderous and hopeless fighting’. During the day fighting spread to other parts of Hungary. Soviet troops, including tanks, reported to be in action in Budapest.
11.00pm: Radio Budapest announces that ‘the situation has generally improved. The rioters have been isolated, though in some places they have made sudden attacks’. Rail and air communication with Budapest practically at a standstill. Workers Councils spring up all over the country.
25 October: Minister of Defence appeals to troops to report back to their units. In an Order of the Day he states that heavy losses have been inflicted on the rebels, and that with the brotherly aid of the Soviet troops the ‘People’s Democracy’ has been saved. Population of Budapest greatly embittered by Soviet tanks guarding the parliament building opening fire on unarmed demonstrators in support of the ÁVH. Reported that Mikoyan, Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister, and Suslov, Secretary of the CPSU, arrived in Budapest and left at noon. At 11am Radio Budapest announces the appointment of János Kádár as First Secretary of the party in place of Erno Gerõ. In the afternoon, Kádár broadcasts a promise of greater democratisation and of the opening of negotiations with the USSR. Later, Nagy announces that Soviet troops will be withdrawn immediately after the restoration of law and order.
26 October: Gerõ and Hegedus, former Premier, reported to have fled to Russia. Fighting continues in Budapest and throughout the country. Special session of Central Committee of Hungarian Workers (that is, Communist) Party. Resolves to hold elections for new government based on the ‘Patriotic People’s Front’ (founded in the spring of 1954); promises correction of past mistakes; negotiations with the USSR; recognition of the Workers Councils: increase of wages; amnesty (with a time limit). Nagy receives a workers’ delegation and promises formation of a new government with a new programme based on the workers’ and students’ demands.
27 October: Budapest Radio announces formation of a new government under the leadership of Imre Nagy, to include non-Communists (Zoltán Tildy and Béla Kovács, former members of the Smallholders’ Party). National Council of the Trade Unions proclaims that Hungarian factories will now be administered by the Workers Council on behalf of their owners, the people. Workers Council in the province of Borsod announces over Radio Free Miskolcz that it has taken over power in the area with the army and police under its control. Russian troops reported to have taken up ‘a neutral attitude’.
28 October: Nagy orders an immediate cease-fire; promises a general amnesty, withdrawal of Russian troops, early negotiations with the Russian government, dissolution of the ÁVH. In a broadcast, he blames the old leadership of the party for the tragic events; states that the government approves of the Workers Councils, and promises the Kossuth coat of arms as Hungary’s national emblem. Moscow Radio denounces the Hungarian insurgents as reactionaries ‘financed by the United States’. Pravda declares that ‘this anti-popular venture was the result of long underground work carried out by the imperialist powers’.
29 October: Szabad Nép refutes Pravda’s allegations and declares that the insurgents ‘wanted freedom’. Revolutionary Council at Gyor, in West Hungary, demands a democracy of the ‘Western type’, with freedom to form political parties. Radio Budapest reports ‘sporadic fighting’ in the capital.
30 October: Radio Budapest announces that withdrawal of Soviet troops from Budapest began at 4pm. Nagy promises free elections and a multi-party system. Proclaims intention to form an interim five-party cabinet pending preparation of elections, and promises formation of a new police force incorporating personnel of the revolutionary armed forces and free from the evil methods of the ÁVH. Nagy, Tildy (Smallholders Party), and Kádár broadcast appeals for the resumption of work. Cardinal Mindszenty released; his trial declared a frame-up. Insurgents are reported to have burnt down Communist Party headquarters at Buda, and to have stormed the headquarters of the ÁVH at Pest. Hungarian National Air Command issues ultimatum to effect that if the Russian troops not withdrawn from Budapest within twelve hours the Hungarian Air Force would ‘make an armed stand in support of the demands of the entire Hungarian working people’. Immediately following this General Király, in accordance with Premier Nagy’s instructions, forbids any military action on the part of the Hungarian Air Force, in order not to prejudice the peaceful solution sought by the government in its discussions with the Russians.
31 October: Hungarian airfields surrounded and occupied by Russian forces. Nagy states that Russian troops have withdrawn from Budapest to their bases in Hungary. He is in favour of Hungary having the same sort of neutrality as is now enjoyed by Austria. At a mass meeting, Nagy declares that the revolution has been victorious: ‘We have chased away the Rákosi – Gerõ gang and will tolerate no interference in our internal affairs.’ He denies having called upon the Russians for armed assistance, which was done without consultation and without his consent. Cardinal Mindszenty returns to Budapest.
1 November: Hungarian government denounces Warsaw Pact, declares neutrality, and asks for guarantees of neutrality by the Four Powers. Nagy requests the United Nations Secretary-General to place the Hungarian question on the agenda of the General Assembly. Anna Kéthly arrives in Vienna to represent the Hungarian Social Democratic Party at meeting of the Bureau of the Socialist International. Dr Edith Bone, Hungarian-born British subject and former member of the British Communist Party, is released from prison after seven years. Kádár absent from cabinet meetings and not to be found; reported to have gone to Russian Embassy. General strike still continues, but in Budapest the population is taking first steps towards clearing debris. General agreement to return to work on 5 November. Reported that ‘this afternoon’ Russian troops of all arms pouring across the frontier into Hungary.
2 November: Reports estimate that between six and eight Russian divisions are in Hungary. Spokesman of Hungarian Revolutionary Military Council states that approximately 700 Russian armoured vehicles, including tanks, have entered Hungary during previous thirty hours. Russians are said to control all main railways, roads, airports. Anna Kéthly attempts to return to Budapest but is prevented by the Russian troops. Nagy again appeals to UN to guarantee Hungary’s neutrality and to bring her case before the General Assembly. Nagy makes three oral protests to Russian Ambassador concerning Russian reinforcements, still pouring across frontier. Government orders ex-members of the ÁVH to report to authorities in order to be sent before screening committee.
3 November: Nagy government negotiates with Russian generals on the technical aspects of the withdrawal of Russian troops. Military leaders of the revolt, General (formerly Colonel) Maléter, now Minister of Defence, his Chief of Staff, General Kovács, and Colonel Szfics go to Russian military headquarters to sign agreement. At the banquet given there ‘in their honour’ they are seized by Russian political police and are not seen again. Anna Kéthly is again prevented by the Russian from returning to Budapest. Government is again reformed. Anna Kéthly, Social Democrat, released from house arrest by the revolution, is appointed Minister of State and envoy to UN. Soviet tanks and supporting vehicles are still entering the country, and now estimated at 3500.
4 November: At 5am Nagy announces over Kossuth Radio that Russian forces are attacking Budapest ‘with the obvious intention of overthrowing the legal Hungarian democratic government’, but that government is at its post and that Hungarian troops are already in combat at the approaches to the capital. Almost simultaneously another radio station announces the fall of Nagy and the formation of a new government by Kádár. Shortly afterwards Kádár broadcasts a declaration that reactionary elements are seeking to overthrow socialism in Hungary and to restore the capitalists and landowners to power. The new government, he says, has requested the aid of Russian troops to defeat these ‘reactionary forces’. Kossuth Radio goes off the air after repeated SOS calls. Reported that a 7am ultimatum delivered by the Russians threatening to bomb Budapest if no capitulation received by 11am. At the UN the Russian use veto to prevent discussion of Hungarian situation in the Security Council.
5 November: Russian Army proclamation broadcast from Budapest says that Russian soldiers have not come as conquerors, but as friends to help crush a fascist revolution. The Russian High Command, in a statement on similar lines, urges Hungarian Army to cooperate in suppressing the revolution, and adds: ‘The Nagy government was wrong, there is no neutrality.’ Kádár government outlines in general terms a programme of economic concessions within the Communist framework and without mentioning free elections. Frontier between Austria and Hungary stated to be completely closed.
6 November: Fighting continues in Budapest and in some parts of the country between Hungarians and Russian armed forces. Russian Command issues an ultimatum to the freedom fighters. Estimated that 10 000 Hungarian refugees have crossed into Austria. Kádár government issues an appeal for food and medical supplies. Budapest now occupied by Russian troops, though some parts of the city continue fighting for another two days, and outlying industrial districts till 11 November.
7 November: Remaining Free Radio Stations broadcast appeals for help and call on the Communists to make the party of ‘the infamous and treacherous Kádár – Rákosi’s successor – a truly Communist Party’. In Moscow, Suslov declares that the setting up of a new Hungarian socialist government was the correct way ‘to bar the road to fascism’.
8 November: Marosán, Kádár’s Minister of State, states over radio that ‘rebel gangs’ are in places still putting up resistance. Russian Command in Budapest orders surrender of all weapons by tomorrow and a relaxation of the curfew; it also orders resumption of work on the railways to enable the transport of food and medical supplies. Ministries and government departments are to resume work immediately. Revolutionary Councils formed during the uprising are allowed to remain in being provided they help to ‘eliminate all counter-revolutionary elements’; they are to be allotted official political advisers. UN Secretary, General Hammerskjöld, asks Hungarian government for permission to send UN observers to Hungary.
9 November: Budapest Radio admits that fighting still continues in parts of the capital and in Western Hungary. General strike continues in spite of repeated government appeals stressing acute food shortage.
11 November: Main resistance in Budapest finally overcome. Russian tanks and armoured troops in control of the main streets. Freedom fighters have gone underground. Centre of Budapest severely damaged. Civilian casualties estimated at over 5000. In a broadcast speech Kádár blames the Rákosi government for the October revolt and admits that ‘the indignation of the masses’ was justified.
12 November: It is learned that Nagy has taken refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest. The Hungarian government rejects UN request to admit observers to Hungary.
13 November: Reports that young Hungarian freedom fighters are being deported to the USSR. Hungarian railway workers stated to have attacked trains and released many deportees. Hungarian government informs UN that it is willing to consider the admission of UN relief workers.
14 November: For the first time in three weeks no reports of fighting received in Vienna. But the general strike and passive resistance continue unabated. Writers, journalists, students decide to continue resistance unless demands are met. Factory councils constitute the Greater Budapest Workers Council in order to present a united front to negotiate with the Kádár government.
15 November: Kádár promises a workers’ delegation free and secret elections in the near future, with the participation of all parties ‘fundamentally adherent to socialism’. He also promises to stop deportations to Russia and a no-victimisation policy; publication of the commercial treaty with the USSR and negotiations with Nagy concerning his return to power. Kádár refuses, however, demands for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops and a declaration of neutrality. Radio Budapest reports the expulsion from the Communist Party of nine Central Committee members, including Rákosi, Gerõ and Hegedus.
16 November: Austria protests against the Hungarian government’s charges that armed fascists have entered Hungary from Austria. Kádár’s ultimatum to workers to end the general strike extended till 19 November. Attorney-General György Non, a Rákosi man, dismissed.
19 November: Hungarian government’s repeated appeals to workers to end the strike have met with only partial response.
21 November: Workers’ representatives in Budapest call for a new 48-hour general strike following the government’s banning of a meeting of workers’ representatives from all over the country. Trade union paper, Népakarat, advocates independence of the trade unions from both party and government; demands that Rákosi and Gerõ be brought to trial for ‘crimes against the people’.
22 November: Nagy and 15 others, including László Rajk’s widow, all of whom took refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy, leave their sanctuary on promise by Kádár government of safe conduct to their homes. However, they are driven instead to the Russian military headquarters, where the two accompanying Yugoslav Embassy officials are forced to leave the bus, which is then driven off to an unknown destination.
23 November: One-hour general strike carried out in response to call of Revolutionary Workers Council to commemorate 23 October, the day of the rising.
25 November: Kádár, addressing representatives of the Budapest Workers Council, trade union officials and factory managers, declares that his government ‘cannot and will not be soft’. Only after restoration of law and order and ‘complete destruction of the counter-revolution’ will the withdrawal of Russian troops and the formation of a coalition government be considered.
26 November: Antal Apró, Minister of Industry, states in a broadcast speech that the total loss of production since the uprising amounts to Ł200 million. A representative of the Budapest Workers Council, commenting on Kádár’s speech, declares that as long as the rigid and uncomprehending attitude of the government persists the Workers Councils will be unable to exert their influence to induce the workers to return to work.
27 November: Travellers from Budapest report that General Strike has lost its momentum, and that there is general bitterness at the passive attitude of the West and the UN towards Hungarian events, and a mood of sullen frustration because Stalinism once more dominant. Ministry of Defence orders that discrimination against ex-members of ÁVH, who are finding it difficult to get new jobs, must cease.
30 November: Reported that Russian troops in Hungary have withdrawn to their winter quarters there. Kádár’s government is engaged in forming a new national militia which will gradually take over security duties from the Russian troops. Reported that by now the number of refugees from Hungary to Austria has exceeded 100 000. Hammerskjöld tells the UN General Assembly that no reply has been received from the Hungarian government or the Russian government concerning UN resolution on the Hungarian situation and the sending of observers. Anna Kéthly addresses a meeting of the Socialist International at Copenhagen on Hungary.
2 December: Negotiations between Kádár’s government and Workers Councils at a deadlock, the government having raised three points:
1. Constitution of different political parties must be postponed until the ‘people’s democratic regime’ is strengthened.
2. Shortage of skilled personnel has forced the government to re-employ people whose dismissal had been demanded by the Workers Councils.
3. A new and independent newspaper could only be allowed if it could be ascertained that if would serve the interests of the people’s democracy.
Leaflets are being distributed in Budapest to call for a new general strike as a protest against the government’s refusal to negotiate further with the workers’ representatives. Népszabadság, official party and government paper, admits that the majority of the population still distrusts the Kádár government. In Budapest, a gathering of people burns, copies of Népszabadság in the streets and has to be dispersed by Russian troops.
3 December: Budapest Radio announces that a committee to investigate the activities of ex-members of ÁVH will begin work on 5 December. István Szirmari, Kádár’s press chief, admits to Western reporters that Hungarians have been deported to the USSR, but assures them that ‘every one of them has come back thanks to the intervention of the Hungarian government’. He admits that law and order have not yet been fully restored in the capital and that the Hungarian mines are producing only a third of their pre-October coal output.
4 December: Demonstrations in front of Western embassies in Budapest.
5 December: Demonstrations continue. Budapest Radio reports that 39 ‘counter-revolutionaries’ have been arrested in front of the British and French legations.
6 December: Reported that more Russian troops enter Budapest; patrols are more in evidence; they break up group of demonstrators.
7 December: Budapest Radio broadcast an official statement that the Hungarian police has been forced by popular pressure to carry out some arrests in order to prevent further bloodshed. Kádár government rejects Yugoslav note protesting against the abduction of Nagy as interference in the internal affairs of the country. (Nagy was previously stated to have been taken to Rumania upon his own request.) Central Budapest Workers Council issues a proclamation protesting against the wave of arrests of workers’ leaders. It states that four weeks’ negotiating with the Kádár government has shown no results and that the government clearly has no power to rid itself of certain persons in the state administration whose removal is demanded by the workers.
9 December: Introduction of martial law. Central Workers Council in Budapest declared illegal; government orders its immediate dissolution, together with that of the councils in the provinces above factory level. Budapest Radio says these ‘extraordinary measures’ are necessary because of the ‘continued counter-revolutionary activities’; clashes involving injuries and deaths occurred in several parts of Hungary on the previous day. Kádár government, in order to stem the flow of refugees from Hungary, declares the area along the Austrian frontier a forbidden zone. Austrian Chancellor Raab, in a broadcast, ridicules Hungarian and Russian charges that Austria had smuggled arms into Hungary to the freedom fighters.
10 December: Following the decree on martial law, Hungarian police and Russian troops begin an extensive search in Budapest for arms. ICFTU issues a statement calling on the workers of the world to ‘demonstrate their solidarity with their Hungarian brothers by all possible means of action’.
11 December: The Budapest Central Workers Council’s call for a 48-hour general strike in protest against the ban on the Workers Councils meets with great response and life of the capital is brought to a standstill.
12 December: Two leaders of the Budapest Central Workers Council, Sándor Rács and Sándor Bali, are arrested. The 48-hour strike continuous and even spreads. Népszabadság writes that ‘the workers’ movement has never yet seen such a strike’, but claims that it is the result of intimidation by counter-revolutionaries. In Budapest, policemen with tommy guns accompany drivers of such means of transport as are operating.
13 December: Strike continued by many workers after learning the news of the arrest of the two workers’ leaders.
14 December: Kádár government bans public assemblies and demonstrations, unless police permit is obtained three days beforehand. Radio Budapest broadcast government appeal to coal miners to return to work in view of exhaustion of coal reserves, danger of inflation and of unemployment.
16 December: Trade union paper, Népakarat, calls for new elections of Workers Councils (that is, as part of the government’s design to destroy the authority of these councils and reassert the grip of the party-controlled trade unions).
17 December: Sentences of death passed by the Budapest military courts on people charged with offences under martial law. Most workers back at the factories in Budapest; but little work is being done owing to shortage of fuel, power and raw materials. Main factories occupied by government militia supervised by government commissars.
20 December: Budapest Radio announces that government has empowered the police to intern persons for periods of up to six months without trial if they are held to endanger state security or to interfere with production. The announcement also states that an ‘office of information’ has been set up to deal with internal press affairs.
21 December: Radio Budapest announces that to date three persons only have been sentenced to death and executed under the martial law decree. Summary courts have so far dealt with only 18 cases. The announcement continues that the Hungarian Presidium has rejected appeal for mercy by two men sentenced to death for illegal possession of arms and that the sentences have already been carried out.
23 December: The government announces its refusal to allow three former British Attorney Generals to attend the Budapest treason trials as observers.
26 December: Radio Budapest announces that Kádár is working on a new programme which envisages a broadening of the basis of the present government to include all ‘progressive elements’. Népszabadság admits that many former Communists hesitate to rejoin the Communist Party (formerly known as Hungarian Workers Party and now renamed Socialist Workers Party), because they fear the anger of the people.
28 December: Népszabadság suggest steps to prevent the exodus of Hungarian technicians to the West. Budapest Radio announces that lack of electric power has caused one-third of the workers in the uranium mines near Pécs to be dismissed or transferred to coal mines. Reported from Budapest that Russian tanks and armoured vehicles are gradually being withdrawn from the capital.
30 December: Radio Budapest announces the creation of a price-control body and the government’s approval of ‘small commercial activities’ by private traders. It also announces that the government has appealed to Western countries for loans and credits. Hungarian newspaper and Radio Budapest announce ‘radical changes in Hungarian economic policy’, which will entail the dismissal of thousands of workers from 1 February on. The press emphasises that those dismissed will receive unemployment pay.
1 January: A conference of Russian and satellite Communist leaders in Budapest. Khrushchev and Malenkov represent USSR; Kádár and Münnich represent Hungary. Subsequent communiqué states that Hungary troubled by counter-revolutionary forces, but that danger of establishment of fascist dictatorship has been eliminated.
3 January: Chief of Budapest police declares at press conference that Russian troops are gradually withdrawing from Budapest.
6 January: Kádár issues policy statement in which it is said that Russian troops will remain in Hungary ‘for the time being’ in order to ‘repel the whole imperialist attack’. The question of their withdrawal will be a matter of negotiations between USSR and Hungary. ‘The Kádár government will never allow any tendencies towards the anti-Leninist proclivities of the Rákosi – Gerõ clique. In future the wishes of the masses will always be taken into consideration.’ The government also declares the Five-Year Plan no longer in force. Plans for the next two to three months will be worked out ‘to surmount the difficulties of the transition period’. Only later will a new Three-Year Plan be put into operation.
8 January: Announcement that a decree has been promulgated setting up a special police force for the suppression of counter-revolutionary intrigues.
9 January: Népszabadság states that 11 persons charged with counter-revolutionary crimes and the publication of illegal newspapers.
10 January: Kádár declares the UN vote to send a commission of enquiry to Hungary is an ‘unprecedented interference in the internal affairs of Hungary’.
11 January: Violent demonstrations against the director and government commissioner of the Csepel engineering works: official sources state one killed, six injured.
13 January: Radio Budapest announces strengthening of martial law to combat counter-revolutionary actions. Tribunals will be composed of an ordinary judge assisted by two ‘people’s judges’. This procedure will affect ‘those who endanger the lives of our citizens or who commit acts aimed at overthrowing the present regime, as well as those who commit sabotage or incite to sabotage in the factories’.
14 January: Béla Kovács forced to resign from post of General Secretary of Smallholders Party. Declares that he will renounce politics ‘for the time being’.
16-17 January: Chinese Communist leader, Chou En-lai, visits Budapest.
17 January: Hungro-Chinese communiqué states that the ‘imperialist and counter-revolutionary forces took advantage of the discontent of the workers and youth – discontent caused by the errors committed by the former leaders – in order to foster counter-revolutionary action aimed at liquidating democratic government and the achievements of socialism. The Hungarian people and their government have, with the aid of the Soviet Army, brought to nought the uprising of the army of reaction, thus preventing Hungary from becoming a seat of war in Europe.’ Radio Budapest announces the discovery of a ‘counter-revolutionary plot’ at Gyarfa, near Tapolcza. The Writers Association dissolved by decree. Hungarian government sends note to Hammerskjöld, Secretary-General of the UN, accusing some governments of preventing Hungarian refugees from returning to their country. The note further states that other governments force refugees to work in the mines or on work of a military character.
19 January: The Journalists Union dissolved by decree. Dudás and Szabó sentenced to death by special tribunal and executed.
20 January: Minister of Interior entrusts special commission with task of investigating circumstances in which collective farms were dissolved. If this was done by force, they will be immediately reconstituted. Serious incident at Austro-Hungarian frontier near Nickelsdorf, where a group of Hungarian soldiers penetrated some 50 yards into Austria in pursuit of Hungarian refugees, who were forced to return to Hungary.
23 January: TASS announces that ‘a counter-revolutionary gang under the leadership of József Varga’ was brought before Budapest garrison’s military tribunal. Varga, the brothers László and István Batonai, sentenced to death; four others receive sentences of from five to 10 years.
25 January: Radio Budapest broadcasts Ministry of Interior statement on arrest of writers Tibor Tardos, Domokos Varga, Gyula Háy, Balázs Lengyel, and Zoltán Róth, and journalists Sándor Novobáczky and Pál Letay.
27 January: Finance Minister, Kassa, speaks on danger of inflation. Police announce 34 new arrests in Budapest. Minister of State Marosán declares that ‘the insurrection was organised by international imperialism’. Népszabadság declares that ‘the revolution occurred as a result of errors of the former system’.
28 January: Social Democratic leader, Anna Kéthly, demands recognition as Hungary’s representative at UN.
29 January: Kádár declares in a speech to trade unions that he has never counted on his government being popular with the Hungarian people. Radio Budapest announces that the government has suspended activity of the Workers Council of the Railways.
30 January: Dögei, Minister of Agriculture, in a speech to the National Council of Cooperatives, praises the merits of Stalin, vehemently criticises leadership of cooperatives for having demanded that they should be independent of all parties and for having demanded the removal of those regarded as Rákosi-ites, or Stalinists. Vas, President of the National Council, is removed from office, replaced by Rezso Nyers, former government commissar for food.
2 February: Radio Budapest announces that Imre Nagy, together with his ‘supporters’, Mátyás Rákosi, Erno Gerõ, Géza Losonzcy and others ‘have definitely been excluded from the ranks of the Hungarian Communists’. Decree announcing that within certain limits the sale and renting out of land will be permitted. Kónya, Minister of Education, addresses appeal to students in which he reveals that ‘a certain number of students and professors continue on strike in the universities’.
3 February: Marosán declares that the government ‘will create a climate of terror for the enemies of the people’.
4 February: Budapest University, closed since 23 October, reopens. Hungarian provinces along the Yugoslav border declared ‘forbidden zones’.
5 February: New measures aimed at ‘restoration of discipline and public order’ decided upon at discussions between public prosecutors and Münnich, Minister of Interior and State Minister Marosán. In particular, the amnesty promised by Kádár on 4 November would be withdrawn from ‘counter-revolutionaries who laid down their arms in order to take advantage of the armistice offer’.
6 February: Radio Budapest broadcasts text of decree making liable to imprisonment all those aiding people to escape abroad.
7 February: Népszabadság accuses Mindszenty, in refuge at US legation, of political activities hostile to the regime.
8 February: three professors and seven students of Budapest University arrested.
10 February: Deputy Minister of Education, Mrs Jóbaru, declares at teachers’ conference that ‘basis of education in Hungary will remain the materialist conception of Marxism-Leninism’.
12 February: Steps taken to reorganise army virtually disbanded during revolution. General László Hegyi removed from post of Chief of Staff – to which he was appointed by Kádár government – and replaced by a Colonel of artillery, Ferenc Ugrai. Five Hungarians sentenced to death for being in possession of arms, and summarily executed.
13 February: Budapest newspapers celebrate twelfth anniversary of entry into capital of Russian Army.
18 February: Armed ‘workers’ militia’ established for purpose of ‘maintaining order among the workers’.
19 February: István Kineses and Ferenc Hidas relieved of their posts as deputy ministers; Ibiry Máté, Rector of Budapest College of Agriculture, dismissed.
21 February: Tribunal at Miskolcz sentences Béla Barta to 14 years’ imprisonment for organising demonstration on 10 December, as a result of which people killed and injured in clashes with police.
21-23 February: Clashes reported between workers and police, provoked by re-erection of red stars over industrial plants in the suburbs of Budapest.
25 February: Numerous arrests reported of Hungarians visiting foreign legations.
26-27 February: Conference of ‘Provisional Central Committee’ of new Socialists Workers (that is, Communist) Party in Budapest. Loyalty to Marxist-Leninist principles and leadership of USSR reaffirmed. Conference further declares Hungary bound by all treaties, etc, previously signed by ‘representatives of the Hungarian People’s Democracy’.
27 February: Government reshuffle announced.
28 February: Trial of 11 freedom fighters begins.
3 March: István Doby, President of the Republic, addresses radio appeal to peasants to aid rehabilitation of the economy. Assures peasants that the Kádár government will not repeat errors of the past, when the peasants were forcibly made to join collectives.
4 March: Minister of Interior announces over radio that chief organisers of the ‘counter-revolution’ of October and November have been arrested in the province of Heves.
5 March: More arrests of ‘counter-revolutionaries’ in the region of Szolnok. Gyula Kállai, Minister of Culture, declares at a meeting that: ‘A systematic ideological propaganda is necessary to liberate the intellectuals from the counter-revolutionary influence.’
6 March: A new literary weekly, Magyarözag, published in Budapest to replace Irodalmi Újság, former organ of dissolved Writers Union. New weekly announces formation of literary club, Tancsis, to replace dissolved Petofi Club.
7 March: Népszabadság publishes article by József Révai, former member of Political Bureau and former Minister of Culture, in course of which Rákosi and Gerõ praised for ‘at any rate’ not rallying to the forces of counter-revolution. Imre Nagy and his friends must receive ‘exemplary punishment’, writes Révai. Radio Budapest announces that a special tribunal has pronounced two sentences of life imprisonment, two of 15 years, and two of eight years, for ‘counter-revolutionary activities’.
13 March: Official statement states that between 16 December and 25 February 197 courts martial held, involving 312 accused; 40 death sentences pronounced, 15 executions carried out, 11 reprieves granted. Total courts martial executions to date: 26.
17 March: Announcement that a new Communist youth organisation to be formed.
18 March: István Nádor, formerly member of the secretariat of Kádár’s government, requests political asylum in Switzerland.
20 March: Hungarian government delegation, headed by Kádár, arrives in Moscow. By order of the Ministry of the Interior, persons ‘dangerous to the state or to public security’ are made liable to forced residence at places specified by the authorities. A tribunal at Debrecen pronounces a death sentence for participation in the ‘counter-revolution’.
21 March: At a reception in Moscow, Kádár hails ‘Soviet-Hungarian friendship’, proclaims ‘solidarity of the socialist camp’, and refers to ‘the mistakes of the former leadership and the betrayal of Nagy’s clique of renegades’ as among the causes of the Hungarian ‘counter-revolution’.
23 March: Marosán declares at a meeting at Csepel that Russian troops will remain in Hungary ‘as long as the interests of the workers require their presence’. Budapest tribunal pronounces sentences in trial of seven ‘counter-revolutionaries’. Gábor Folly, chief accused, sentenced to life imprisonment. Népszabadság announces that a tribunal in Miskolcz has sentenced to death three leaders of the ‘counter-revolution’, Dr Tokár, Dr Mizsei, and Gábor Mikulas.
25 March: Kádár declares in speech at Sverdlovsk that: ‘The theories concerning the different roads to socialism have every chance of leading into an impasse.’
27 March: Marosán declares at conference of Communist press that ‘although the counter-revolutionaries have suffered defeat’, it cannot be said that ‘disturbing elements have been definitely eliminated’.
1 April: Devaluation of currency ‘to facilitate tourist traffic’.
5 April: Radio Budapest announces government decision to set up an extraordinary tribunal, attached to the Supreme Court, to judge ‘counter-revolutionary crimes, and crimes against the regime and the internal security of the state’.
8 April: Three of the accused in a Budapest trial sentenced to death. Playwright and writer József Gáli, and journalist Gyula Obersovszky, responsible for publishing an illegal journal, sentenced to one and three years respectively for ‘agitation’.
11 April: Trial of 20 inhabitants of Miskolcz opens in Budapest. They are accused of ‘having in October 1956 organised an armed uprising in order to overthrow the regime, and of having killed, in the course of a riot, several police officers’.
17 April: Radio Budapest announces that ‘counter-revolutionary’ Miklós Oláh, aged 21, has been condemned to death for ‘killing an officer of the Hungarian Army’, and executed, at Borsod.
20 April: A communiqué of the Ministry of the Interior states that the writer, Tibor Déry, has been arrested for ‘an attempt against the security of the state’.
24 April: Mihály Farkas, former Minister of Defence, sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. (Among the demands of the revolutionaries was one for the public trial of Farkas and Rákosi. Of the two, Rákosi was regarded as the greater criminal.) Anna Kéthly, Minister of State in short-lived Nagy government, states at press conference in London that ‘the Kádár regime want to force Imre Nagy to confess that he has collaborated with foreign secret services and that in 1953, when he adopted his “liberal” policy, he was already an agent of the imperialist powers’.
25 April: Radio Budapest announces that the police have discovered a fresh plot of an armed uprising against the Kádár government. The conspirators have been brought before a military tribunal.
29 April: Announcement that Marosán, Minister of State and member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers (that is, Communist) Party, has been appointed First Secretary of the Budapest organisation of the party.
1 May: Speeches by Kádár and Marosán. Kádár refers once more to the ‘counter-revolutionary treason’ of Nagy and couples the name of Mindszenty with his. Marosán pays tribute to Kádár for ‘creating the conditions that have made possible the existence of the party and of socialist Hungary’.
3 May: Request from ILO to be allowed to send a commission of enquiry into situation of Hungarian trade unions rejected. Hungarian building worker, János Tóth, aged 51, sentenced to death in Miskolcz for organising ‘a movement to overthrow the People’s Republic. Another defendant, former police sergeant, Géza Kiss, aged 41, sentenced to life imprisonment. The arrest of a ‘counter-revolutionary band’ of nine in the Nógrád area reported by the Hungarian trade union paper, Népakarat. They are accused of obstructing Russian tanks in their movement on the industrial town of Salgótarján. Travellers returning from Budapest report that many wounded persons discharged from hospital have been arrested, charged with having fought against Russian troops or Hungarian militia. Trial opens in Budapest of five persons, members of the Dudás group, which operated from headquarters in the Budapest offices of Communist newspaper, Szabad Nép.
6 May: Trial opens in Budapest of seven journalists.
7 May: Radio Budapest announces verdict of death sentences in trial of Dudás group members, Ferenc Pálházi, Rezso Varga, and Zoltán Preisz. Announces also death sentences on four other insurgents accused of having blown up a bridge at Pásztó on 8 November. Two of them, L Gezko and László Alapi, immediately executed.
9 May: National Assembly accepts resignations of 28 of its former members, including Mátyás Rákosi, Erno Gerõ, András Hegedus and György Lukács. Eight other deputies deprived of their mandates, including Mikias, who has escaped abroad. National Assembly votes to extend its mandate until 1959.
10 May: Népszabadság published three ‘self-criticisms’ by Imre Nagy to demonstrate that ‘the right-wing deviationism’ of the former chairman of the Council of Ministers showed itself as early as 1930. Announcement that. Pálházi and Preisz, two of the members of the Dudás group sentenced to death on 7 May, have been executed.
11 May: Decision that the Hungarian flag should carry no emblem. (It formerly carried the Russian emblem, and the students had demanded its replacement by the Kossuth coat of arms, symbolical of the Hungarian struggle for independence in 1848-49, defeated with the powerful assistance of Russian troops of Tsar Nicolas.)
16 May: Fourteen ‘counter-revolutionaries’ accused of having killed seven ÁVH (security police equivalent to the notorious Russian MVD, to which Beria was chief for many years during Stalin’s reign and after his death, Beria was executed in 1953 for abuse of power’, murder and high treason) are sentenced to death.
20 May: Trial of eight ‘leaders of the counter-revolution at Dunapentele’ [Dunaújváros, Sztálinváros – MIA] opens before military tribunal in Budapest.
21 May: Trial of Ágoston Preszmajer, accused inter alia of having been liaison agent of General Maléter, opens in Budapest.
27 May: Marshal Zhukov arrives in Budapest together with Gromyko. Agreement on continued stationing of Russian troops in Hungary signed.
29 May: Vienna Radio reports arrest of István Bibó, former Minister of State in Nagy government.
31 May: Start of press campaign against the Petofi Party, formed during the revolution.
3 June: Trial opens at Gyor of five members of Writers Union, now dissolved: Michel Lendvai, György Peterdi, Imre Kéry, Emile Szabó and Federic Grozits.
8 June: Three persons condemned to death by a special tribunal, including one accused of killing a Communist official during revolution. MTI (Hungarian press agency) announces ‘suspension’ of 13 actors for ‘their condemnable attitude during and after the counter-revolution’.
10 June: Six death sentences in a trial at Mosonmagyaróvár.
15 June: Promulgation of new decree-law regarding political trials: majority of judges of ‘People’s Court’ to be laymen appointed on political grounds; Counsel for Defence to be approved by government; death penalty obligatory for wide range of cases.
19 June: Actors Iván Darvas and Miklós Szakáts arrested. Former won award as ‘country’s favourite actor’; accused of having used a gun to free brother from prison during the revolution; brother was serving 15-year sentence for ‘spying for the Americans’. Szakáts accused of having been president of revolutionary council of actors. The two leading theatres in Budapest have had to change their programmes because of lack of leading actors.
20 June: Playwright József Gáli and journalist Gyula Obersovsky and former policeman Ferenc Kovács, previously sentenced to terms ranging from one to 10 years, now sentenced to death. Other prison sentences of accused in same trial raised. Numerous appeals for reprieve sent by well-known persons, including French Communists Aragon and Picasso. Hungarian Supreme Court upholds three death sentences passed by a lower court previous April on 25-year-old medical student Ilona Tóth; former Army lieutenant Ferenc Gönczi; and Miklós Gyöngyösi.
21 June: MTI announces that a military tribunal at Gyor has sentenced Gyula Hetz to death for illegal possession of arms. Trade union journal Népakarat reports recent opening of a trial of 26 ‘counter-revolutionaries’ in Budapest.
22 June: A Budapest tribunal sentences to death Sigismon Gsibor, József Erdész and Pál Rákosi.
24 June: Radio Budapest announces that Miklós Pulay, ex-Deputy Minister of Finance, has been expelled from the party for his ‘activity during the counter-revolution’, which was ‘not worthy of a Communist’.
25 June: Official communiqué announces re-trial of the writers Gáli and Obersovsky. In meantime, sentences of death suspended.
27 June: National conference of Socialist Workers (Communist) Party opens in Budapest. Kádár gives report on political situation and outlines future tasks. Couples Nagy with Rákosi as guilty of treason.
28 June: Radio Budapest announces execution of Ilona Tóth, Ferenc Gönczi, Miklós Gyöngyösi and Ferenc Kovács. József Petrus, leader of an ‘armed gang’ that had ‘planned an uprising at Pécs (SW Hungary) last March’, condemned to death; 21 others given sentences up to 15 years.
29 June: Conference of Communist Party terminates. Resolution passed condemning the ‘counter-revolution of October-November 1956’ and admitting that not yet defeated: ‘Those who have committed crimes and who continue to undermine the people’s regime will be severely punished.’ Tribute is paid to the ‘brotherly help of the Soviet Union’. Party membership said to be 346 000, that is 42 per cent of the pre-October membership.
30 June: Radio Budapest broadcasts declaration of a government spokesman that ‘the telegrams sent by certain French, British and Norwegian intellectuals to the President of the Hungarian Council asking mercy for József Gáli and Gyula Obersovsky will in no way influence the Supreme People’s Tribunal’.
4 July: Budapest Supreme Court quashes sentences of death on Obersovsky and Gáli and condemns them respectively to life imprisonment and 15 years.
8 July: Radio Budapest reports that the Minister of the Interior, Béla Biszku, has stated at a meeting of the Communist Party at Szolnok that the enemies of the regime are ‘attempting to provoke new agitation’.
9 July: Tass (Russian news agency) reports opening of another trial in Budapest, in which the principal accused, László Schmidt, leader of a group of insurgents, is charged with the assassination of Imre Mezo, secretary of Communist Party in Budapest. Népszabadság announces that the police have had to be called in to put an end to a strike of building workers, called on 5 June, at Sajószentpéter, for an increase in wages.
13 July: Opening in Budapest of trial of József Balogh and others charged with ‘plotting against the popular democratic regime, murder and espionage’. A tribunal at Debreczen condemns 12 ‘counter-revolutionaries’ to terms ranging from eight to 12 years’ imprisonment.
14 July: Internment of persons ‘endangering order and public security’ is by government decree prolonged for an indefinite period.
17 July: Hungarian Supreme Court commutes six death sentences to life imprisonment and confirms seven other death sentences, in the case of the attack on the Miskolcz prefecture.
19 July: Hungarian literary weekly, Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature) admits that majority of Hungarian writers still persisting in their ‘strike of the pen’, begun last November in protest against repressive policy of the Kádár government. Austrian socialist paper Arbeiter Zeitung states that reliable sources in Budapest report large-scale arrests in that city, particularly among intellectuals.
20 July: A ‘People’s Tribunal’ condemns two Hungarians to death for attacks on Russian soldiers and for ‘activities harmful to the Communist regime’.
25 July: Marosán, Minister of State, reveals in the course of a speech that hundreds of arrests carried out over the past weeks. He also states that Russia has agreed to Hungarian government’s request that Rákosi should remain in exile in the USSR.
30 July: Népszabadság reports the Minister of Labour, Ödön Kisházi, as informing a meeting of trade unions that some wages have risen too much. MTI announces that the death sentences on Imre Farkas and József Nagy (both condemned as ‘counter-revolutionaries) have been commuted to life and 20 years respectively. New trial opens in Budapest. Albert Lachky, József Burgeszmeiszter, and Attila Oláh charged with having participated in the attack on Radio Budapest and the Communist Party headquarters and having committed atrocities on members of the secret police.
31 July: Ministry of the Interior communiqué accuses Mindszenty of having ordered ‘pillage’ of the government religious affairs office during the revolution. The arrest of ‘an important group of counter-revolutionary priests’ also announced.
1 August: MTI announces that in a communiqué the Ministry of Interior accuses the recently arrested priests of having ‘personally attacked the regime and supplied the terrorists during the October 1956 fights’. Ho Chi-minh arrives in Budapest.
2 August: MTI reports that the people’s tribunal of Gyor has sentenced Sándor Berger to life imprisonment, István Tóth to twelve years and Endre Csincsák to five years for ‘counter-revolutionary activities’.
3 August: Népszabadság reports the arrest of a certain number of leaders of the three non-Communist parties set up in October 1956: the Christian Party, the National Bloc of Non-Party and the Christian Democratic Union.
4 August: Minister of Education threatens writers and artists with new arrests. Ho Chi-minh leaves Budapest for Belgrade.
5 August: Kádár returns from visit to Moscow.
7 August: Radio Budapest broadcasts attack by the Minister of Foreign Affairs against UN commission report. János Gergely, described as ‘bodyguard’ of General Maléter, sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. Forthcoming trial announced of seven persons accused of anti-regime activities in the Tatabánya coalfields, where strikes continued long after the revolution had been defeated. Alleged leader of the group, Dr J Sárközi, described as a lawyer.
9 August: Esti Hírlap reports that 25 people have been sentenced to various years of imprisonment by the tribunal of Veszprém for having ‘attempted to overthrow the people’s regime, burned red flags and destroyed the Soviet war memorials’.
13 August: János Horváth, leading member of Smallholders Party, arrested.
19 August: Hungarian delegation arrives in Colombo trying to obtain Ceylon’s support against the UN’s report.
20 August: Purge of schoolteachers in Miskolcz reported. Speaking at Kisújszállás to the peasants, Kádár states ‘the invitation to Mr Hammerskjöld is still valid’. Népakarat publishes speech by Sándor Gáspár, trade union’s secretary: ‘Absenteeism, late arrivals and unjustified early departure from work have increased in Hungarian factories during the last months.’ At Kaposvár, Antal Apró, Deputy Premier, demands that Imre Nagy should be tried.
22 August: Kádár government calls on UN General Assembly to reject the Five-Power Commission’s report as an interference in the internal affairs of a member state.
24 August: Hungarian press agency announces that the Gyor tribunal sentenced to death László Mindszenty, a priest, accused of ‘counter-revolutionary crimes’ and of illegal detention of arms; Anna Spranitz, accused of complicity, sentenced to five years of imprisonment. It is reported that Milan Ognyenovics, sentenced in 1949 at the Rajk trial to nine years’ imprisonment and subsequently released and rehabilitated, has made a come-back to politics.
25 August: Russian again compulsory in Hungarian schools and universities.
27 August: Népszabadság begins publication of extracts from UN report. Budapest Radio attacks Cardinal Mindszenty who is still a refugee at the US Legation and accuses him of having ‘revised and corrected’ the UN special Commission report on Hungary.
29 August: Hungarian railways are to adopt Russian wide gauge.
30 August: The bishops of Veszprém and Vác are reported under house arrest in a small village, at Hejce.
1 September: Budapest publishes third volume of the official White Book, which gives the total number of Stalinists killed during the revolution as 201 (of which 166 ÁVH members, 26 party officials or in service of the ÁVH, and only nine civilians). This contrasts strongly with previous propaganda claim that ‘tens of thousands of Communists succumbed to the terror of the counter-revolutionaries’. Total killed in fighting given as 2700 (of which 1945 in Budapest). Number of Russian casualties not given. (The victims of Kádár’s repression, according to reliable estimates: executed: 3000; imprisoned: 20 000; in forced labour camps: 15 000; internal deportation: 10 000; deported to the USSR: 12 000 (mainly youth); total: 60 000.) Celebrating Miners’ Day at Tatabánya, Kádár boasts that he is not ‘frightened’ by the forthcoming UN debates on Hungary. He also admits that the ‘October mood’ still prevails among the miners. Népszabadság claims that only a small number of teachers ‘turned against Socialism in October’, the others were simply in ‘temporary ideological and political confusion’.
3 September: Tibor Déry reported ill in prison hospital.
4 September: The campaign against forthcoming UN debates on Hungary reaches climax with the rally of the resuscitated People’s Patriotic Front. The main feature of the meeting is the reading of a statement allegedly signed by 216 writers and journalists in which they ‘at last’ recognise the ‘counter-revolutionary nature’ of the October events and approve Russian intervention. Magyar Nemzet – daily of the People’s Patriotic Front (PPF) from 14 November 1954 to the revolution, which became the official paper of the Smallholders’ Party during the revolution and ceased to appear after the second Russian intervention – is republished as the PPF’s official journal.
9 September: Refugee worker from Csepel reports use of fraud and duress to obtain signatures to a resolution of protest from iron and steel workers in the factories there against UN report. The signatures were collected during the distribution of wages and many signed in the belief of merely endorsing receipt-forms. Information Bureau of the Hungarian Council of Ministers issues the fourth volume of the White Book.
10 September: UN General Assembly discusses Hungary. The representatives of Hungary and the USSR complain that UN report takes no account of information they could have supplied. The UN special committee’s rapporteur Keith Shaun (Ceylon) points out that ‘the committee made repeated efforts to secure the cooperation of the Hungarian government’ and to go to Budapest to receive evidence, but was prevented in its efforts by the very Hungarian government which is now complaining. In the course of his speech, the USA delegate, Cabot Lodge, lists eight promises made by the Kádár government which have all been broken. Present number of Russian troops, excluding air force contingents, estimated at 68 000 men as compared with 25 000 before the revolution.
13 September: UN General Assembly adopts by 60 votes against 10 and 10 abstentions the 37 nations’ resolution condemning Russian actions of aggression in Hungary.
15 September: Speaking at Nagykorös, President István Doby denies that writers’ declaration against UN report was given under pressure.
17 September: Népszabadság scolds the managers who in their factories throw the responsibility for the ‘tightening of norms and reductions of wages’ on the government, instead of ‘explaining the need for such unpopular moves’ taken nevertheless ‘for the good of the workers’.
21 September: The widow and daughter of Béla Kun, the founder of the Hungarian Communist Party executed in Moscow during the great purges for ‘deviationism’ and rehabilitated just after the Twentieth Congress [of the CPSU – MIA], in February 1956, return to Budapest.
21-23 September: Marosán, speaking in Budapest’s ninth district and at the Technical University, warns against any demonstrations on 23 October and admits the arrest in July of 1200 people.
24 September: Kádár and Marosán leave for Peking, via Moscow.
27 September: Népszabadság states that party membership has reached 380 000.
28 September: Army Day celebrations. Minister of Defence Révész pays tribute to Russian troops fallen during the fighting and claims that only ‘cowards’ or ‘careerists’ such as Pál Maléter have passed over to the insurrection. ‘The people’s army as a whole’, he said ‘did not betray the people’s regime.’
29 September: At Kecskemét, Deputy Premier Antal Apró announces that the regime ‘intends to replace the Workers Councils by works councils, under the leadership of the trade unions’.
3 October: Interview of Harrison Salisbury with First Deputy Premier Ferenc Münnich in the New York Times. Münnich attempts to excuse the delay in bringing to trial of Sándor Rácz, Sándor Bali and Béla Annicz, the Workers Councils’ leaders arrested in January. He also claims that only 3000 to 3500 cases are still outstanding. He declared that General Maléter will be tried for violating his oath and that a ‘legal inquiry’ into the acts of Imre Nagy and his associates is continuing.
5 October: Kádár and Marosán arrive in Moscow from Peking. They are welcomed by Mikoyan and Suslov, and meet, at a dinner in the Kremlin, Bulganin and Khrushchev. (On 5 October 1956, Kádár was also returning from party congress in China and had talks with Mikoyan and Suslov in Moscow. They were joined then by Erno Gerõ, arriving from his talks in the Crimea with Khrushchev and Tito.)
9 October: Four young writers, Zoltán Molnar, Domonkos Varga, Aron Tobias and Gyula Fekete, sentenced to three, two and one year imprisonment respectively, for ‘aiding counter-revolutionary movement’.
15 October: Népszabadság repeats threats against would-be disturbers of the peace on 23 October and emphasises the need for ‘increased vigilance’.
16 October: Marosán again warns students against any demonstrations on 23 October.
19-20 October: Congress of the Hungarian Social-Democratic Party in Exile in Bonn. Anna Kéthly is elected chairman, Imre Szélig, the former chairman, is elected secretary. In its final resolution the congress states that the Hungarian Social Democratic Movement in Exile ‘stands by the Hungarian October Revolution in its entirety, determined to fight for the attainment of its aims by every means at their disposal’.
22 October: Rally of the People’s Patriotic Front in Budapest. Main speakers Kádár, Marosán and Antal Apró. The latter emphasised the supremacy of the party over all other groups and organisations in the country and made a savage onslaught against ‘revisionism’ and particularly against Imre Nagy, whom he accuses of having plotted since 1953 and ‘ideologically prepared’ for the uprising.
23 October: Budapest, under heavy guard by ÁVH troops, with Russian armed forces in attendance, had a calm day. Only incident reported, the arrest of an American journalist who tried to photograph the statue of General Bem, starting point of the revolution. Anniversary celebrations in all Western capitals. In Paris during an official ceremony, the municipal council changes the name of Place Carrefour – site of the French CP headquarters – to that of Place Kossuth, in memory of the leader of the 1848-49 Hungarian Revolution, defeated like the October 1956 one, by Russian troops.
26 October: First National Conference of KISZ (the new youth organisation). In his speech János Kádár asserted that it is logical and perfectly in order to demand freedom and democracy in a community such as the USA, which denies them to its citizens. But in Hungary, where freedom and democracy already prevailed, such demands are the hallmarks of a traitor. The secretary of the Communist Youth League emphasised that the youth in KISZ has only duties and no rights.
29 October: Radio Budapest announces that those who took an active part in crushing the revolution will be decorated with the ‘Order of Liberty’.
2 November: Budapest city council decides to erect a statue to Lenin on the very pedestal where there was the statue of Stalin pulled down by the demonstrators on 23 October 1956. Reports of a secret trial of Tibor Déry, Gyula Háy, Zoltán Zelk and Tibor Tardos reach the Hungarian Writers Association Abroad.
3 November: In Népszabadság, Ferenc Münnich draws up a balance-sheet of the first year of the Kádár government and attacks the Workers Councils which, he said, ‘were led by class-alien elements’. That is why it is necessary to replace them as soon as possible by new organisations.
4 November: Meeting of protest against the Russian intervention in Hungary, organised by the Hungarian Writers Association Abroad, Tribune and the New Statesman at Caxton Hall in London. Speakers: Hungarian, British and French writers and journalists.
6 November: A grave of honour for 24 Russian soldiers killed during the intervention, is unveiled in Csepel.
13 November: Radio Budapest announces the verdict of the Supreme Court on the writers’ trial, held in camera since the beginning of the month: Tibor Déry (63) is sentenced to nine years, Gyula Háy (57) to six years, Zoltán Zelk (51) to three years and Tibor Tardos to 18 months’ imprisonment. Déry is alleged to have been the ‘leader of an organisation aiming at overthrowing the state order’, and his co-defendants of having taken part in its activities. The sentence on Déry, because of his age and illness, is equivalent to a death sentence. According to reliable reports Déry declared during the proceedings that if a similar situation arose today he would behave exactly as he did in October 1956.
17 November: The abolition of the Workers Council is officially announced. With the abolition of what remained of the Workers Councils, the regime has destroyed the last trace of the revolutionary conquests and Kádár has proved himself a worthy pupil of his masters in the Kremlin. He has demonstrated that in the manipulation of the method perfected by the Stalinists and aptly described by Rákosi as the ‘salami tactics’, he can do as well as the fallen dictator of Hungary. ‘Slice by slice’ he has destroyed all the freedoms conquered by the Hungarians during, and all the institutions created by, the revolution. But what cannot be destroyed is the spirit of a people and the idea of freedom.