Hungarian Revolution

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Imre Nagy (1896—1958) Hungarian communist statesman, Prime Minister 1953–5 and 1956

Communist Party

Warsaw Pact

Laszlo Rajk (1909—1949)

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(23 October–4 November 1956)

A revolt in Hungary. It was provoked by the presence in the country of Soviet troops, the repressive nature of the government led by Erno Gerö, and the general atmosphere of de-Stalinization created in February at the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU. Initial demonstrations in Budapest led to the arrival of Soviet tanks in the city, which served only to exacerbate discontent, Hungarian soldiers joining the uprising. Soviet forces were then withdrawn. Imre Nagy became Prime Minister, appointed non-communists to his coalition, announced Hungary's withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, and sought a neutral status for the country. This was unacceptable to the Soviet Union. Powerful, mainly Soviet but some Hungarian, forces attacked Budapest. Resistance in the capital was soon overcome. Nagy was replaced by János Kádár, while 190,000 Hungarians fled into exile. The Soviet Union reneged on its pledge of safe conduct, handing Nagy and other prominent figures over to the new Hungarian regime, which executed them in secret.

Subjects: World History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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