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Full text of "Scope of Soviet activity in the United States. Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fourth Congress, second session[-Eighty-fifth Congress, first session] .."

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PART 90 

United Nations Reports and Documents Dealing 

With the Hungarian Revolt 

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 












PART 90 

United Nations Reports and Documents Dealing 

With the Hungarian Revolt 

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 

93216 WASHINGTON : 1959 

^3-3/, ^/^ ^ 

Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

MAY 1 1 1959 


JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman 


OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina WILLIAM LANGER, North Dakota 





SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., North Carolina ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska 


Act and Other Internal Secubity Laws 

JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman 
OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina WILLIAM E. JENNER, Indiana 


SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., North Carolina JOHN MARSHALL BUTLER, Maryland 

MATTHEW M. NEELY, West Virginia ROMAN L. HRUSKA, Nebraska 

Robert Morris, Chief Counsel 
J. G. SouRWiNB, Associate Counsel 
Benjamin Mandel, Director of Research 


Report of the Special Committee of the United Nations on the Problem 

of Hungary, June 12, 1957 5062 

Hungary Under Soviet Rule : A summary of developments since the report 

of the U. N. Special Committee 5249 

The Hungarian Situation and the Rule of Law : Report of International 

Commission of Jurists 5333 

The Continuing Situation of the Hungarian Situation to the Rule of Law 5479 

Justice in Hungary Today : Additional Report of International Commission 

of Jurists 5513 



12 June 1957 

Rapporteur : Mr. K. C. O. Shann (Australia) 

Document A/3592 


Chapter I. Organization and Functions of the Committee: Paragraph 

A. Introduction 1 

B. The Witnesses 6 

C. Conduct of Hearings 24 

D. Documentary Material 27 

E. Attempts to observe in Hungary and to meet Mr. Imre Nagy 32 

F. Arrangement of the report of the Committee 35 

O. General Observations on the Work of the Committee 44 

Annex A: Resolution 1132 (XI) of the Oeneral Assembly of the United Nations. 

Chapter II. A Brief History of the Hungarian Uprising: 

A. Developments before 22 October 1956 47 

B. Meetings and Demonstrations 52 

C. The First Shots 55 

D. The Armed Uprising 59 

E. Revolutionary and Workers' Councils 62 

F. Political Developments 64 

O. Mr. Nagy Clarifies (iS 

H. Declaration of Neutrality 74 

I. Soviet Forces Intervene Again 75 

J. Mr. Kadar Forms a Government 77 

K. The Abduction of Mr. Nagy 80 

L. Soviet Military Occupation 83 

M. Recent Developments 88 

N. Summary of Conclusions 89 

Chapter III. The uprising as seen by the USSR and by the Government of Janes Kadar: 

A. Introduction 90 

B. The Issues at Stake 95 

C. Justification of Soviet Intervention 103 

D. The Progress of Events 113 

1. Legitimate grievances 113 

2. Alleged preparations for counter-revolution 120 

3. Reaction In the saddle 1-32 

E. Conclusion 149 

Part A. Military Intervention and Its Political Background 

Chapter IV. Soviet Military Intervention (24 October-3 November 1956) : 

A. Introduction 151 

B. Movements of Soviet Forces and Areas of Fighting 153 

C. Resistance of the Hungarian People to the Soviet Attack IfiO 

D. The Withdrawal of Soviet Troops from Budapest 171 

E. The Logistic Deployment of New Soviet Forces 178 

F. Conclusions 185 

Chapter V. Second Soviet Military Intervention: 

A. Introduction 186 

B. Relations between the Insurgents and the Hungarian Army 188 

C. The Fighting in Budapest 196 

D. The Fighting in the Industrial Districts of Budapest 199 

E. Fighting in the Provinces 204 

F. Conclusions 215 

Chapter VI. The Political Circumstances of the First Military Intervention: 

A. Introduction 216 

B. The Popularity of Imre Nagy 218 

C. Doubts Arise about Mr. Nagy's Position 221 

D. Delegations' Limited Access to Prime Minister Nagy before 29 October 233 

E. Mr. Nagy's Denials 241 

F. Mr. Nagy's Detention in the Commimist Party Headquarters 246 

Q. Was an Invitation Actually Extended? 259 

H. Conclusions 266 

Chapter VII. The Political Background of the Second Soviet Intervention: 

A. Introduction 267 

B. The Political Position of Mr. K4dSr prior to 4 November 271 

C. Mr. Kadar's Relations with Mr. Nagy 285 

D. The Overthrow of Mr. Nagy's Government 289 

E. The Establishment of Mr. Kadar's Government 296 

F. Conclusions 301 



Chapter VIII. The Question of the Presence and the Utilization of the Soviet Armed Forces in 
Hungary in the Light of Hungary's International Commitments: 

A. Introduct ion 304 

B. Post-war International Instruments Governing Himgary's International Status 306 

C. Applicability of these International Instruments to the Soviet Military Interventions 318 

D. The Demand for Withdrawal of Soviet Armed Forces 326 

E. Question of the Withdrawal of Soviet Armed Forces after 4 November 1956 348 

F. Final Observations 365 

Annex A: Agreement between the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic and the Gov- 
ernment of the USSR on the Legal Status of Soviet Forces temporarily stationed on the Terri- 
tory of the Hungarian People's Republic, concluded in Budapest, 27 May 1957. 

Part B. Effects of the Use or Threat of Use of Force ox the Political IxDEPEN'DE>fCE 


Chapter IX. Background and Aims of the Uprising: 

A. Introduction 370 

B. The Background of the Uprising 375 

C. The Declared Aims of the Uprising 392 

1. The Nature of the Uprising 392 

2. The Resolutions and Manifestos of 20-23 October 1956 401 

3. Analysis of the Demands Stated at the Outset of the Uprising 405 

(a) Political Demands -- 405 

(b) Economic Demands 414 

(c) Cultural Demands - 421 

D. Attitude of the Hungarian People to the State Security Police (AVH).._ 423 


A. Appeal adopted by a meeting of Budapest Technological Students at the Andras Hess 

Students' Hostel (the Central Students' Hostel of the Building Industry Technological 
University of Budapest) held on 19 October 1956. 

B. Appeal issued by DISZ Members of the Medical Faculty of the University of Budapest, 

22 October 1956. 

C. Resolution ad(h-essed to the Participants of the DISZ Mass Meeting on 22 October 1956. 

D. First Draft of the Demands of the Students of the Building Industry Technological Uni- 

versity of Budapest, 22 October 1956. 

E. The Ten Points of the Petofl Club, 22 October 1956. 

F. The Aims of the League of Working Youth (DISZ), the Youth Group of the Hungarian 

Workers' (Communist) Party, 23 October 1956. 
O. Appeal of the Revolutionary Committee of the Hungarian Intellectuals, 28 October 1956. 
Chapter X. Student Demonstrations and the Origius of Armed Conflict in Budapest: 

A. Introduction 435 

B. The Student Meetings on 22 October . 437 

C. How the Demonstrations were Initiated and Organized.. 452 

D. Demonstrations at the Petofi and Bem Statues 456 

E. Demonstration at the Parliament 461 

F. Removal of Stalm's Statue. ._ 467 

G. The Fii-st Shots 468 

H. Further Developments 476 

I. Parliament Building on 25 October 481 

Chapter. XI. Revolutionary and Workers' Councils: 

I. Introduction 485 

II. Revolutionary Councils 493 

A. Territorial Councils: 

1. The Provinces - - 493 

2. The Transdanubian National Council.. 506 

3. Budapest 510 

B. Functional and Representative Councils: 

1. Students and Youth 513 

2. Armed Forces 518 

3. The Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian Intellectuals 523 

C. Establishment of Revolutionary Committees within Government Departments 524 

D. Efforts for the Co-ordination of Revolutionary Councils and Committees 533 

E. Contacts of Revolutionary Councils within the Government 637 

III. Workers' Councils in Factories _ 539 

A. The Establishment and Function of Workers' Councils 542 

B. Authorization and Encouragement of Workers' Councils by Trade Unions, the Party 

and the Government 549 

C. Conclusions 560 

Chapter XII. The Reassertion of Political Rights (26 October-3 November) : 

A. Introduction _.. 562 

B. The Transitional Period: The National Government of 27 October (26-29 October) 563 

C. Abolition of the One-Party System and Establishment of the Inner Cabinet of 30 October-.. .573 

D. The Rebirth of Political Parties 576 

E. The Streamlined Coalition Government of 3 November 588 

Chapter XIII. Soviet Intervention Under the Present Regime: 

A. Introduction 595 

B. Soviet Administration of Hungary 596 

C. Soviet Repressive Measures 605 

D. Relationship of Workers' Councils and Soviet Authorities 617 

E. Attitude towards the Government of Hungary 622 

F. The Abduction of Premier Imre Nagy 630 

a. Conclusions 640 


Chapter XIV. Political Rights After the Revolution: „ 

I. Workers' Councils: Paragraph 

A. Relationship of the Workers' Councils and the Government 641 

B. The Role of the Communist Party in the Workers' Councils 663 

C. Workers' Councils and Trade Unions _. 671 

II. Post-Revolutionary Status of Political Organizations: 

A. Negotiations with Political Parties 676 

B. The Fate of other Organizations and the Press 691 

1. Revolutionary Councils 691 

2. The Press 698 

3. Youth Organizations 702 

III. Conclusions _ 708 

Part C. Specific Acts in Violation of Other Rights of the Hungarian People 

Chapter XV. Deportations: 

A. Introduction 713 

B. Investigation by the Committee 720 

C. Seizure of Deportees 723 

D. Experience of Deportees in the USSR 731 

E. Admission of Deportations by Soviet Authorities 737 

Chapter XVI. Other Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: 

A. Preliminary Remarks 741 

B. Hostilities 744 

C. The Repression 752 

D. The Spectre of the AVH 768 

E. Human Rights 778 

Chapter XVII. Conclusions 784 


List of Material Relatuig to the Problem of Hungary. 
Map of Budapest. 
Map of Hungary. 

ChaptebI. Okganization and Functions of the Committee 
A. introduction 

1. The Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary, composed of the repre- 
sentatives of Australia, Ceylon, Denmark, Tunisia, and Uruguay, was established 
by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 January 1957.^ The follow- 

. ing representatives were appointed by their Governments : Australia : Mr. K. C. O. 
Shann ; Ceylon, Mr. R. S. S. Gunawardene ; Denmark : Mr. Alsing Andersen ; 
Tunisia : Mr. Mongi Slim ; Uruguay : Professor Enrique Rodriguez Fabregat. The 
Secretary-General appointed Mr. W. M. Jordan as Principal Secretary of the 
Committee and Mr. P. Bang-Jensen as Deputy Secretary. The Committee held its 
first meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 17 January 
1957, and elected Mr. Alsing Andersen as Chairman and Mr. K. C. O. Shann as 

2. The Committee was charged by the General Assembly with the duty of pro- 
viding the Assembly and all Members of the United Nations with "the fullest 
and best available information regarding the situation created by the intervention 
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, through its use of armed force and 
other means, in the internal affairs of Hungary, as well as regarding developments 
relating to the recommendations of the Assembly on this subject". 

3. The Committee submitted an Interim Report to the General Assembly on 
20 February 1957.^ In this report, the Special Committee defined the scope of 
the inquiry which it had been called upon to conduct, and in a summary statement 
on the course of Soviet intervention in Hungary, indicated certain specific prob- 
lems to which the Committee would direct its attention. 

4. The Committee's task has been to ascertain the facts and, after careful 
scrutiny of the evidence and information received, to present an objective report, 
together with findings, on the situation in question. The Committee regrets that, 
owing to the attitude of the Hungarian Government, it has not been in a position 
to establish and maintain direct observation in Hungary, as enjoined 
by the General Assembly resolution. 

5. After a preliminary examination of the available documentation, the Com- 
mittee gave hearings to thirty-five witnesses at the Headquarters of the United 
Nations in New York. The Committee then proceeded to Europe where, from 
11 March to 16 April 1957, it held hearings at the European Office of the United 
Nations in Geneva, and thereafter in Rome, Vienna, London, and again in 
Geneva. These hearings greatly augmented the range of information at the dis- 

1 Resolution 1132 (XI), attached as annex A to this chapter. 
« A/3546. 


posal of the Committee and contributed significantly to the Committee's under- 
standing of the character of the events in Hungary. An extensive outline of 
the report, submitted by the Rapporteur, received the provisional approval of 
the Committee at its 58th meeting in Geneva on 8 April 1957. After further 
hearings, the Committee returned to New York to complete the preparation of 
the report. The report has been adopted unanimously by the Committee, vehich 
held its last meeting on the report on Friday, 7 June 1957. 


6. The Committee has heard 111 witnesses : thirty-five were heard in New 
York, twenty-one in Geneva, sixteen in Rome, thirty in Vienna and nine in 

7. The first three witnesses were heard in public. They were : Miss Anna 
Kethly, Minister of State in the Hungarian Government of Imre Nagy ; Major- 
General B61a Kiraly, Military Commander of the City of Budapest and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the National Guard during the Hungarian uprising ; and 
J6zsef K6vdg6, Mayor of Budapest during the years 1945-1947 and again dur- 
ing the days from 31 October to 4 November 1956.^ 

8. These three witnesses and other prominent Hungarians requested the Com- 
mittee to hear certain other witnesses. In accordance with the provisions of the 
General Assembly resolution and at the request of the Committee, suggestions as 
to persons to be heard were also made by the Governments of Belgium, Canada, 
Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. These 
Governments submitted data regarding Hungarians in their territory whose 
testimony might, in their opinion, be of special interest. During the hearings, 
witnesses also on occasion proposed the names of other witnesses who might 
confirm or supplement their statements. Some 200 Hungarians sent letters on 
their own initiative to the Committee requesting to be heard ; a decision as to 
the hearing of these persons was reached after obtaining from them further 
information regarding themselves and the testimony which they could offer. 

9. The witnesses were selected under the authority of the Chairman and the 
Rapporteur. The primary consideration in the selection of witnesses was their 
capacity to place before the Committee evidence based on direct and personal 
knowledge of the events in Hungary. Attention was also paid to the need to 
ensure that the witnesses should be drawn from all segments of the Hungarian 
people and from all parts of the country. Towards the end of its hearings, the 
Committee had to exercise increasing discrimination in the selection of witnesses 
in order to ensure that the testimony did not become unduly repetitive. 

10. Among the witnesses the larger number were workers, skilled and un- 
skilled, from light and heavy industry, but a number of white-collar workers, 
and workers who had been active in trade unions within Hungary were also heard. 
Many of these workers had participated in the revolt as ordinary "freedom 
fighters", but several had been leaders in various spheres during the uprising. 
Among these were members of the Revolutionary Councils in Budapest and the 
provinces and leading members of the Workers' Councils in Budapest and the 
provinces, including members of the Central Workers' Council of Csepel. 

11. Testimony was also received from engineers and technicians, and from 
managers in state enterprises, including the uranium mines in Pecs. 

12. Relatively few peasants were heard by the Committee, since comparatively 
little fighting had taken place in country areas. Many of the workers and 
students who testified before the Committee were, however, of peasant origin. 

13. The witnesses included both Communist and non-Communist intellectuals. 
The Committee heard several members of the Pet(\fi Club, some outstanding 
Hungarian writers and journalists, an actress, an artist, an architect, professors 
of law, medicine, philosophy, history, science, technology, economy and agricul- 
ture, and several lawyers, including an assistant public prosecutor. The Com- 
mittee also gave hearings to a number of high school students of both sexes 
and to young men and women from universities, including members of students' 

14. Besides several ofllcers and soldiers of the Hungarian army and members 
of the Air Force, the Committee heard members of the National Guard and of 
the ordinary police as well as certain leaders of revolutionary forces, viz., the 
Commander and Deputy Commander of the National Guard at Csepel ; the Com- 

* See chapter XI, para. 512. 


mander of the Corvin Block ; the Commander of the revolutionary forces ot 
southern Budapest ; and the leader of the "freedom fighters" and guerilla forces 
in southwestern Hungary. Valuable information was received from doctors and 
nurses who had taken care of the wounded and carried out Red Cross duties, 
and from railroad and communication workers regarding troop movements. 

15. Testimony was also received from a considerable number of Government 
officials, including diplomats. Certain of these had held high rank or had been 
assistants to leading Hungarian politicians or Cabinet ministers of various 
parties. Some had been present in the Parliament Building with Prime Minister 
Nagy until 4 November and were able to provide valuable and detailed infor- 
mation about events within the Hungarian Government during this critical 

16. Among the witnesses were Catholics, Protestants and .Tews. 

17. Several of the witnesses had formerly been members of Parliament or 
leaders of political parties. Many of the witnesses were Communists or had 
formerly been Communists. Others were members of the Social Democratic 
Party or of the Independent Smallholders' Party. 

18. The witnesses also included a convinced pacifist who, under the stress 
of events in Hungary, forgot his principles and found himself participating in 
the fighting. 

19. Many of the witnesses had spent years in prison before 1945 on account 
of anti-Horthy or anti-Nazi activities. Some of these had spent more years in 
prison under the Communists. Among the witnesses were some who had been 
accused in the Rajk trial : all of these had undergone extreme torture, had been 
forced to sign confessions, and had been kept in prison or forced labour camps 
for many years without proper legal proceedings. Some of them had, later, 
after the fall of Rnkosi in 1953, been released and reinstated in the Communist 
Party. One witness had been a stenographer for the security police. 

20. None of the witnesses had left Hungary before the October revolution; 
some had escaped only a few weeks before being heard by the Committee; one 
witness had revisited Hungary several times in order to bring out his family 
and various friends. 

21. Most witnesses gave the explanation that they had fled because they feared 
arrest and deportation. Eight witnesses had themselves been deported to the 
USSR, but had escaped or been returned; other witnesses had been liberated 
from deportation trains. Many stated that their apartments had been searched 
and were watched, so that they did not dare to return. Several had been mem- 
bers of Workers' and Revolutionary Councils of which other members had been 

22. The great majority of the witnesses were under thirty-five years of age ; 
many were much younger, the youngest being sixteen years of age. 

23. The Committee has been impressed by the bearing of the witnesses in the 
sometimes trying circumstances of the hearings, and by the cogency and 
coherence of their evidence. Despite the events which they had lived through, 
their testimony was usually tendered in a level-headed and sober manner. The 
members of the Committee were especially impressed by the bearing and earnest- 
ness of the younger witnesses. 


24. The first three prominent witnesses, Miss Anna Kethly, Major-General 
Kiraly and Mayor Kovago, were heard before the Committee in open meetings. 
It was, however, found more practical to hold closed meetings, since most of the 
refugees feared retaliation against their family and friends in Hungary, and 
since questioning could be more insistent in closed meetings. Eighty-one out 
of the 111 witnesses were, at their request, heard anonymously ; their names were 
made known to the Chairman and Rapporteur, and to other members of the 
Committee when they so desired. 

25. At the beginning of his testimony, each witness would usually give his 
personal data and background, and would then make an introductory statement 
regarding those events of which he had special knowledge. The witnesses were 
instructed to give evidence based on their personal experience. After the intro 
ductory statement, which might last from a few minutes to a few hours, the wit 
nesses were subjected to close cross-examination by the members of the Com 
mittee. Some witnesses submitted important documents and original drafts, 
and some prepared memoranda to support or elaborate their testimony. Th«', 
verbatim records of the testimony comprise some 2,000 pages of evidence. 


26. Throughout its work, the Committee has sought scrupulously to assess the 
value of the testimony and of the documentation placed before it. Care has been 
taken to subject witnesses to detailed interrogation in order to test the re- 
liability of their evidence. The Committee has on many points been in a posi- 
tion to check the testimony of one witness with the testimony of others and with 
the documentation available to the Committee. As the hearings progressed, it 
became possible to put to witnesses questions of a more and more precise 


27. As mentioned in the Interim Report, the Committee, through the Secre- 
tary-General, requested the Member States to make relevant information in their 
possession available to it. Governments having diplomatic representation in 
Budapest received a special request from the Committee to this effect. 

28. The Committee is grateful for the helpful and voluminous material re- 
ceived from Member States in response to these requests. Besides otlier docu- 
mentary material, the Governments of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, 
the United Kingdom and the United States submitted reports giving a detailed 
and extensive picture of events in Hungary based on information available to 
them. The Australian Government transmitted a valuable memorandum based 
on interviews with thirty-eight Hungarian refugees in Australia. 

29. Several nongovernmental organizations have transmitted memoranda and 
documentary material. A detailed study was received from the International 
Commission of Jurists at The Hague. Sir Hartley Shawcross, Q. C, had the op- 
portunity to present this material orally to the Committee, and submitted to 
questioning by the Members regarding the facts and the views expressed In 
the memorandum. 

30. The initial studies of the Committee were in the main based on monitor- 
ing reports, in English and Hungarian, of official Hungarian broadcasts up to the 
present time and of the unofficial stations which were broadcasting during the 
Revolution. Use has been made of the available official Hungarian documenta- 
tion, including issues of the Hungarian Gazette, the Hungarian White Book, 
and official statements by the Hungarian Government. The documentation 
utilized for the preparation of the Report comprises also Hungarian newspapers 
covering the time before, during and after the Revolution, including several 
revolutionary newspapers and leaflets published during the uprising. Annexed 
to the Report is a list of material of this nature available to the Committee. 

31. The Committee has also had the opportunity to view certain films which 
were made during the uprising. 


'62. AS Stated in the Interim Report, the Committee requested at an early 
stage, through the Secretary-General, that the Hungarian Government extend 
assistance or facilities for the Committee's work, especially with regard to the 
entry of the Committee and its staff within the territory of Hungary. In his 
reply of 5 February 1957, the Permanent Representative of Hungary informed 
the Secretary-General that, in the opinion of his Government, the Committee 
"violates, in its function, the Charter of the United Nations", and that "conse- 
qently, the Hungarian Government is not in a position to permit the members of 
the Special Committee and its staff to enter into the territory of Hungary". 

33. In accordance with the undertaking stated in the Interim Report, the 
Committee renewed its request to the Hungarian Government during its stay in 
Europe. The Hungarian Government replied in a Note of 25 March 1947 that it 
maintained its position. 

3i. On 14 March 1957, the Committee also requested the Secretary-General 
t() inform the Government of Romania that the Committee desired to meet Imre 
Nagy in the interest of a full and effective perfonuance of the functions en- 
trusted to it by the General Assembly. The Permanent Representative of 
Romania replied on .30 March that his Government ((jnsidered the establishment 
<»f tlie Committee as contrary to the spirit and provisions of the United Nations 
Charter, as well as to the interests of international cooperation. 


35. In deciding the arrangement of information within the report, the Com- 
mittee has sought to ensure that the form of the report should reflect the 
nature of the task assigned to the Committee by the General Assembly. 


36. The Committee noted in its Interim Report that its primary concern was 
"to ascertain the extent and the impact of foreign intervention, by the threat 
or use of armed force or other means on the internal affairs and political in- 
dependence of Hungary and the rights of the Hungarian people". The internal 
affairs of Hungary and political and other developments of that country before 
1956, vpere to be considered by the Committee as outside the framework of its 
investigation, save in so far as those developments had a direct bearing on the 
uprising of October 1956, the subsequent interventions of the USSR and the 
resultant aspects of the continuing situation within Hungary. 

37. In view of these considerations, the Committee has considered that a 
chronological survey of events would not be an appropriate form for the report. 
It has seemed more appropriate that each chapter should deal with a defined 
aspect of the situation which the Committee has been called upon to investigate. 
Since this arrangement has involved a departure from chronological sequence in 
the presentation of information, the Committee has considered it proper in the 
following chapter to present a brief outline, in chronological order, of develop- 
ments in Hungary from 22 October 1956, prefaced by a summary of the political 
development of Hungary in preceding years. In chapter II references will be 
found to the places in the report where points at issue are developed at greater 
length. At the same time, the Committee has sought to present this chaper as 
an account of the events in Hungary which can be read independently. 

38. In chapter III the Committee has endeavoured to state objectively the 
contentions advanced by the Governments of Hungary and of the USSR in 
justification of recourse to the assistance of the armed forces of the USSR. The 
Committee has also endeavoured to indicate within this chapter the degree to 
which the general contentions of the Governments in question correspond with 
known facts. 

39. The remainder of the report is divided into three parts. The first part 
covers aspects of the situation directly related to the intervention of the armed 
forces of the USSR. Two chapters are devoted to an account of the military 
movements of the Soviet armed forces within Hungary in the last days of 
October and the early days of November 1956. These are followed by two 
chapters which deal with the alleged invitations by the Government of Hungary 
to the Government of the USSR to intervene. This first part closes with an 
examination of the international instruments bearing on Soviet intervention and 
gives an account of the negotiations between the Government of Hungary and 
the Government of the USSR regarding the withdrawal of Soviet troops from 

40. Having in this first part dealt with the direct problems of Soviet inter- 
vention, the Committee has in part II endeavoured to assess the impact on the 
political independence of Hungary of the use of force by the Government of 
the USSR. For this purpose the Committee has found it essential to inquire with 
care into the immediate background of the uprising and into the aims of the 
different sections of the Hungarian people. In order to present a clear statement 
on their aims and aspirations, the examination of their social and political 
thought has been dealt with in chapter IX separately from the narrative of events. 
The course of events during the uprising is related in chapter X, commencing with 
the students' movements in the middle of October 1956. 

41. Since a major aspect of the uprising was the establishment of Revolutionary 
Councils and of Workers' Councils in Budapest and in the provinces, the relevant 
information is brought together in chapter XI, which contains data regarding the 
course of the uprising in parts of Hungary other than Budapest. In chapter XII 
the Committee has sought to provide an accurate account of political developments 
in Hungary in the brief i)eriod between the successful termination of the uprising 
and its repression by a second intervention of Soviet armed force. Two further 
chapters of part II deal with the characteristics of the regime in Hungary since 
4 November, the first providing information relating to the continuance of Soviet 
intervention in Hungary, and the second relating to the suppression of those 
political rights and freedoms which the Hungarian i)eople had sought to establish. 

42. Part III of the report deals with matters relating to the treatment of 
individuals within Hungary, under the heading: "Specific acts in violation of 
other rights of the Hungarian people". One chapter deals with evidence of the 
violation of human rights in general. A second chapter deals with the problem 
of the deportation of Hungarians to the USSR. 

43. In a final chapter the Committee states its general conclusions and find- 



44. The Committee regrets that the refusal of the Hungarian Government and 
of the Government of the USSR to co-operate has prevented it from obtaining 
the information which those Governments are in a position to place at its dis- 
posal. The Committee would undoubtedly have profited by the data which the 
two Governments could have placed before it. However, in view of the com- 
prehensive and detailed documentation and testimony wJiich have been made 
available, it is the opinion of the Committee that the data which might have 
been presented by the Government of the USSR and by the Hungarian Govern- 
ment would not have modified the Committee's main conclusions i-egarding what 
actually took place in Hungary, though it might possibly have changed or elab- 
orated certain specific points in this report. Conscious of its obligation to take 
all views into account, the Committee has examined carefully all evidence, both 
in documentation and in testimony, which might be adduced in support of the 
views of the two Governments. Moreover, in the questioning of witnesses, the 
members of the Committee have throughout borne in mind the description and 
interpretation of events in Hungary maintained by the two Governments and 
have endeavoured to test their validity. 

45. Though the Committee is aware that in the course of time further docu- 
mentation and evidence will undoubtedly come to light regarding the situation 
with which the Committee has been concerned, the range of information at its 
disposal has been far greater than could have been anticipated at the outset of 
the inquiry. The Committee has sought throughout its Wiork to apply to the 
evidence the tests of authenticity and coherence which provide the essential 
criteria of the objectivity of any such investigation. 

46. While therefore bearing in mind the resolutions of the General Assembly, 
the Committee has approached its task of investigation without prejudgment, 
deeming it essential to present a factual report based exclusively on the careful 
examination of reliable evidence. It has consistently sought to avoid any emo- 
tional evaluation of the facts. It has endeavoured to depict in restrained lan- 
guage the situation as revealed by the evidence received. The Committee has 
felt that it would best fulfil its task by rendering to the General Assembly a 
dispassionate survey of the situation which it has been the duty of the Com- 
mittee to investigate. 


Resolution 1132 {XI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations 

The General Assembly, 

Recalling its previous resolutions on the Hungarian problem, 
Reaffirming the objectives contained therein and the continuing concern of 
the United Nations in this matter. 
Having Received the report of the Secretary-General of 5 January 1957,* 
Desiring to ensure that the General Assembly and all Member States shall be 
in possession of the fullest and best available information regarding the situ- 
atiou created by the intervention of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 
through its use of armed force and other means, in the internal affairs of 
Hungary, as well as regarding developments relating to the recommendations of 
the General Assembly on this subject, 

1. Establishes, for the above-mentioned purposes, a Special Committee, 
composed of representatives of Australia, Ceylon, Denmark, Tunisia and Uru- 
guay, to investigate, and to establish and maintain direct observation in Hungary 
and elsewhere, taking testimony, collecting evidence and receiving information, 
as appropriate, in order to report its findings to the General Assembly at its 
eleventh session, and thereafter from time to time to prepare additional reports 
for the information of Member States and of the General Assembly if it is in 
session ; 

2. Calls upon the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Hungary to co- 
operate in every way with the Committee and, in particular, to permit the 
Committee and its staff to enter the territory of Hungary and to travel freely 
therein ; 

3. Requests all Member States to assist the Committee in any way appro- 
priate in its task, making available to it relevant information, including testi- 

* Official Records of the General Assembly, Eleventh Session, annexes. Agenda Item 67 
document A/3485. ' 


mony and evidence, which Members may possess, and assisting it in securing 
such information ; 

4. Invites the Secretary-General to render the Committee all appropriate 
assistance and facilities ; 

5. Calls xtpon all Member States promptly to give effect to the present and 
previous resolutions of the General Assembly on the Hungarian problem ; 

6. Reaffirms its request that the Secretary-General continue to take any 
initiative that he deems helpful in relation to the Hungarian problem, in con- 
formity with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the reso- 
lutions of the General Assembly. 

636th plenary meeting, 
10 January 1957. 

Chapter II. A Brief History op the Hungarian Uprising 


47. Immediately after the Second World War, the Hungarian people sought 
to give expression to their political views. A general election was fought in 
1945 by six political parties, authorized by the Allied Control Commission. Five 
of these won seats in Parliament. The Smallholders emerged with 245 seats. 
the Social Democrats with sixty-nine, the Communists with seventy, the National 
Peasants with twenty-three and the Democratic Party with two. The four major 
parties formed a coalition, but Communist influence steadily asserted itself. By 
1948, leaders of the non-Communist parties had been silenced, had fled abroad 
or had been arrested, and in 1949, Hungary officially became a People's Democ- 
racy. Real power was in the hands of MStyas Rakosi, a Communist trained 
in Moscow. Under his regime, Hungary was modelled more and more closely 
on the Soviet pattern. Free speech and individual liberty ceased to exist. Arbi- 
trary imprisonment became common and purges were undertaken, both within 
and outside the ranks of the Party. In June 1949, the Foreign Minister Mszlo 
Bajk, was arrested ; he was charged vdth attempting to overthrow the democratic 
order and hanged. Many other people were the victims of similar action. This 
was made easier by the apparatus of the State security i>olice or AVH, using 
methods of terror in the hands of the regime, which became identified with 
Rdkosi's regime in the minds of the people. 

48. The Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR early in 
1956 encouraged a movement within the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party 
which aimed at a measure of democratization and national indei)endence and 
a relaxation of police rule. In March 1956, Rdkosi announced that the Supreme 
CJourt had established that Rajk and others had been condemned on "fabricated 
charges". This official admission that crimes had been committed by the regime 
had profound repercussions in Hungary. It was followed in July by the dismissal 
of Rdkosi and, early in October, by the ceremonial reburial, in the presence of 
a large crowd, of Ldszlo Rajk and other victims of the 1949 trials. Rdkosi 
was succeeded as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party by 
Erno Gero. From the date of Rdkosi's fall, the Hungarian people looked for a 
softening of the regime. Associated in their minds with better days was the 
former Premier, Imre Nagy, whose period of office from 1953 to 1955 had been 
marked by a loosening of the controls imposed earlier by Rdkosi. Nagy had 
also been attacked as a deviationist and, while he had escaped trial, had been 
expelled from the Party and divested of all his offices. His name continued to 
stand for more liberal policies in the minds of many Hungarian Communists, 
who wished for his return to public life. 

49. The first protests against the dictatorial regime of the Party were voiced 
by certain Hungarian writers, as early as the autumn of 1955. Articles pub- 
lished by these writers concerned mainly the doctrine of Party allegiance in 
literature and interference with creative writers and artists by Party spokesmen 
and bureaucrats. Although a number of writers were arrested, the scope of these 
protests gradually widened to take in other grievances of the Hungarian people. 
In the summer of 1956, the foundation of the Petofi Club provided a new forum 
for discussions, which were often critical of the regime. This Club was spon- 
sored by DISZ, the official Communist Youth Organization and its debates were 
mainly attended by young Communist intellectuals. 

50. On 19 October, the Minister, of Education, Albert Konya, announced 
certain changes as a result of requests put forward by Hungarian students. 


One of these was an undertaking to abolish the compulsory teaching of Russian 
in schools. This announcement was followed by student manifestations in 
Szeged and other towns, during which various demands of a more far-i-eaching 
character were discussed and adopted. Also on 19 October, news of Poland's 
move towards greater independence of the USSR was received in Hungary 
with enthusiasm. Friendship between the two peoples had been traditional 
for centuries. 

51. Although Soviet troops are said to have been called in to deal with dis- 
orders that began during the night of 23-24 October, there is evidence that 
steps were being taken by the Soviet authorities from 20-22 October with a 
view to the use of armed force in Hungary. On 20-21 October, floating bridges 
were assembled at Zahony on the Hungarian-Soviet frontier. On 21-22 October, 
in neighboring areas of Romania, Soviet officers on leave and reserve officers 
speaking Hungarian were recalled. On 22 October, Soviet forces in Western 
Hungary were observed moving towards Budapest. 


52. On the day before the holding of mass demonstrations, namely 22 October, 
a number of student meetings took place in Budapest. At the most important 
of these, held by students of the Building Industry Technological University, 
the students adopted a list of sixteen demands which expressed their views on 
national policy. These demands contained most of the points put forward dur- 
ing the uprising itself. They included the immediate withdrawal of all Soviet 
troops, the reconstitution of the Government under Imre Nagy, who had mean- 
while been re-admitted to the Communist Party, free elections, freedom of ex- 
pression, the re-establishment of political parties, and sweeping changes in the 
conditions both of workers and peasants. It was learnt during the meeting 
that the Hungarian Writers' Union proposed to express its solidarity with 
Poland on the following day by laying a wreath at the statute of General 
Bem, a hero of Pluugary's War of Independence of 1848-49, who was of Polish 
origin. The students thereupon decided to organize a silent demonstration 
of sympathy on the same occasion. 

53. Early next morning, the students' demands had become known throughout 
Budapest. Witnesses speak of an atmosphere of elation and hoi>efulness. Radio 
BudaiJest referred to the planned demonstration, but later announced a com- 
munique prohibiting it from the Minister of the Interior. The ban was, how- 
ever, lifted during the early afternoon, when the demonstration was already 
under way. Thousands of young people took part in it, including students, 
factory workers, soldiers in uniform and others. A similar demonstration took 
place at the statute of Petofi. 

54. Standing beside the statue of General Bem, Peter Veres, President of 
the Writers' Union, read a manifesto to the crowd, who also listenetl to a 
proclamation of the students' sixteen demands. Most of the crowd afterwards 
crossed the Danube to join demonstrators outside the Parliament Building 
where, by 6 p. m., between 200,000 and 300,000 people were gathered. Rei)eated 
calls for Imre Nagy eventually brought the former Premier. Mr. Nagy ad- 
dressed the crowd briefly from a balcony of the Parliament Building. 

55. There had so far been nothing to suggest that the demonstration would end 
in any other way than by the crowds' returning home. An episode, however, at 
8 p. m. greatly embittered the people. The First Secretary of the Central Com- 
mittee of the Party, Brno Gero, had returned that morning from a visit to 
Marshal Tito, and the public was eagerly awaiting a speech which he was to 
broadcast at that time. The general hope was that he would take account of 
the popular demands voiced by the students and would make some conciliatory 
announcement in connection with them. The speech, however, made none of 
the hoped-for concessions and its whole tone angered the people. At the same 
time, another crowd had taken it into their own hands to carry out one of the 
students' demands, namely that for the removal of the great statue of Stalin. 
Their efforts caused it to overturn at 9.30 p. m., by which time resentment was 
being freely expressed over Mr. Gero's speech. 

56. On the evening of 22 October, some of the students had sought to have 
their demands broadcast by Budapest Radio, in order to bring them to the at- 
tention of the people as a whole. The censor had been unwilling to broadcast 
the demands for the withdrawal of Soviet troops and for free elections, and 
the students had refused to allow incomplete publication. The following day, 
some of the students went from the Bem statue to the Radio Building, with 


the intention of making another attempt to have their demands broadcast. A 
large crowd gathered at the Radio Building, which was guarded by the AVH 
or State security police. The students sent a delegation into the Building to 
negotiate with the Director. The crowd waited in vain for the return of this 
delegation, and eventually a rumour spread that one delegate had been shot. 
Shortly after 9 p. m., tear gas bombs were thrown from the upper windows and, 
one or two minutes later, AVH men opened fire on the crowd, killing a number 
of people and wounding others. In so far as any one moment can be selected 
as the turning point which changed a peaceable demonstration into a violent 
uprising, it would be this moment when the AVH, already intensely unpopular 
and universally feared by their compatriots, attacked defenceless people. The 
anger of the crowd was intensified when white ambulances, with Red Cross 
license plates, drove up. Instead of first aid teams, AVH police emerged, wearing 
doctors' white coats. A part of the infuriated crowd attacked them and, in this 
way, the demonstrators acquired their first weapons. Hungarian forces were 
rushed to the scene to reinforce the AVH but, after hesitating a moment, they 
sided with the crowd. 

57. Meanwhile, workers from Csepel, Ujpest and other working-class districts 
learnt of the situation by telephone. They seized trucks and drove into Buda- 
pest, obtaining arms on the way from friendly soldiers or police, or from mili- 
tary barracks and arms factories known to them. From about 11 p. m., the 
Radio Building was under attack with light arms and, at midnight, the radio 
announced that clashes had taken place at "various points" in the city. During 
the early hours of 24 October, the demonstrators seized the Radio Building, but 
were driven out of it again. At the oflices of the Communist Party newspaper, 
Szabad N^p, other AA'^H guards opened fire on unarmed demonstrators. Later, 
insurgents who had obtained arms overcame the AVH and occupied the news- 
paper oflSces. 

58. While fighting was in progress at the Radio Building, the first Soviet 
tanks made their appearance in Budapest at about 2 a. m. on 24 October, and 
were soon in action. However, no official announcement was made of the Soviet 
intervention until 9 a. m. 


59. Before referring to the Russian troops, Budapest Radio had announced 
at 8 : 13 a. m. that Imre Nagy had been recommended to be the next Chairman 
of the Council of Ministers, at a night meeting of the Central Committee of the 
Hungarian AVorkers' (Communist) Party. Half an hour later came a statement 
that summary jurisdiction had been ordered, and this was read by the announcer 
as "signed by Imre Nagy, Chairman of the Council of Ministers." Only after 
this, at 9 a. m., was it reported that the Government had "applied for help to 
the Soviet formations stationed in Hungary". No indication was given as to 
the manner in which this alleged application was made. In spite of the skilful 
manner in which the radio presentation of developments gave the impression 
that Mr. Nagy was responsible for decisions, some, remembering his opposition 
to arbitrary measures and his fight for the relaxation of the regime, suspected a 
fraud. Moreover, Mr. Nagy had no official status the day before. If the appeal 
for help had, indeed, come from him, it was realized that the Soviet forces from 
Cegl^d and Szekesfehervar could not have arrived in Budapest by 2 a. m. on 
the 24th. 

60. The first shots at the Radio Building marked the beginning of a hard- 
fought five-day battle, in which the people of Budapest found themselves in 
combat with Soviet armour and with the AVH. The ordinary police sympa- 
thized with the insurgents, giving them weapons or fighting at their side. Cer- 
tain units of the Hungarian Army fought as such on the side of the insurgents, 
but the Army as a whole disintegrated from the start of the uprising. Wherever 
they could succeed in doing so, Hungarian soldiers handed over weapons and 
ammunition to their fighting compatriots and, in very many cases, deserted, 
individually or in groups, to their ranks. However, in general, the senior officers 
were pro-Soviet and the insurgents mistrusted them. There was no single 
instance recorded of Hungarian troops fighting on the Soviet side against their 
fellow countrymen. 

61. The freedom fighters, most of whom were workers, with a proportion of 
students, usually fought in small groups, although some of them occupied 
strongholds such as the Corvin Cinema. A frequent weapon used against 
Russian tanks was the "Molotov cocktail", a loosely-corked bottle filled with 
gasoline, which exploded when thrown against a tank. Such improvised meth- 


ods proved highly effective against the power of Soviet armour, which found 
it difficult to manoeuvre, especially in narrow streets, and to compete with the 
mobility of the young Hungarian fighters, who included some not yet out of 
childhood. The Soviet mechanized forces were also hampered by insufficient 
infantry support and inadequate food supplies. There was evidence that some 
of the Russian soldiers disliked the task assigned to them. Those who had spent 
some time in Hungary had often established friendly relations with the people, 
many of whom could talk to them in Russian. There were a number of cases 
of fraternization with the Hungarians. 


62. Most of the available Soviet forces had been dispatched to Budapest and, 
meanwhile, there was comparatively little fighting in the provinces. Here, the 
first days of the uprising saw a transfer of power from the Communist bureauc- 
racy to the new RevoIuti(,)nary and Workers' Councils. In most cases, these 
Councils took over without opposition, although some incidents were reported 
during this process. These Councils represented a spontaneous reaction against 
the dictatorial methods of the regime. The Revolutionary Councils took over 
the various responsibilities of local government. There were also Revolutionary 
Councils or Committees in the Army, in Government departments and in pro- 
fessional groups and centres of activity such as the radio and the Hungarian 
Telegraph Agency. Members of the Councils were usually chosen at a meeting 
of those concerned. They were intended to prepare for the setting up of a 
genuinely democratic system of government. The Councils also put forward 
various political and economic demands, calling for the withdrawal of Soviet 
troops, free and secret elections, complete freedom of expression and the aboli- 
tion of the one-party system. The most influential of these bodies was probably 
the Transdanubian National Council, which represented the i>eople of Western 
Hungary. Using the Free Radio Station at Gyor, this Council demanded that 
Hungary should renounce the Warsaw Treaty and proclaim her neutrality. 
Should its demands not be accepted, it proposed to set up an independent Govern- 

63. The Workers' Councils were set up in a variety of centres of work, such 
as factories, mines, industrial undertakings and so so. They also put forward 
political demands and wielded conisderable influence. However, their principal 
purpose was to secure for the workers a real share in the management of enter- 
prises and to arrange for the setting up of machinery to protect their interests. 
Unpopular measures such as that of establishing "norms" of production for 
each worker, were abolished. The emergence of Revolutionary and Workers' 
Councils throughout Hungary was one of the most characteristic features of the 
uprising. It represented the first practical step to restore order and to reorganize 
the Hungarian economy on a socialist basis, but without rigid Party control or 
the apparatus of terror, 


64. A serious episode occurred on 25 October, which greatly embittered the 
people and turned popular sympathy away from Mr. Nagy, whose part in the 
alleged invitation to the Soviet troops remained obscure. Soviet tanks guarding 
the Parliament Building, in which the Chairman of the Council of Ministers 
had his offices, oiiened fire on unarmed demonstrators, in support of the AVH, 
This massacre, in which many people lost their lives, shocked the nation. The 
Hungarian people did not know at this time that Mr. Nagy was detained at the 
Communist Party Hedquarters when the Russian tanks were firing on the un- 
armed crowd. 

65. On the same day, the insurgents derived some encouragement from the 
news that Erno Gero had been replaced as First Secretary of the Central Com- 
mittee of the Party by Janos Kadar. The following day Mr. Gero sought the 
security of Soviet tanks — and later Soviet territory. The former Premier, 
Andras Hegediis, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers, also fled from the 
Communist Headquarters. 

66. Mr. Nagy was now free to move to the Parliament Building. On 27 Octo- 
ber, he formed a Government into which he invited both Communist and non- 
Communist Ministers. These included Zoltan Tildy, former Head of State, 
B61a Kovacs, former Secretary-General of the Independent Smallholders, and 
Ferenc Erdei of the National Peasants. The non-Communists, however, were 
serving in a personal, non-party capacity and several "Stalinists" were retained. 

93215 — 59 — pt. 90 2 


67. With the departure of Messrs. Gero and Hegediis, the Central Committee 
of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party announced that tlie Government 
would start negotiations with the USSR for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet 
forces. On 28 October, Mr. Nagy's Government ordered a cease-fire. Fighting 
stopped largely on the insurgents' terms. Apart from the successful adoption of 
guerilla tactics by the fighters, larger groups of the insurgents had withstood 
Soviet tanks in strongholds such as the Corvin Block. At the Kilidn Barracks, 
Hungarian Army units had fought successfully against repeated attacks under 
their leader. Colonel Pal Maleter, who had gone over to the insurgents after 
being sent with instructions to fight against them. 


68. On the same day when Mr. Nagy's Government ordered a cease-fire, the 
Prime Minister announced that he would abolish the AVH, after the restoration 
of order. Popular resentment against the AVH was so universal and so deep 
that Mr. Nagy was obliged to take this decisive step on the following day, 29 
October. As a result, he was himself freed for the first time from the control 
of the AVH, acting on behalf of the Communist hierarchy. The fall of a 
regime for which, in all Hungary, only the AVH was prepared to fight, followed 
as an inevitable consequence. On 30 October, Mr. Nagy announced that the 
Cabinet had abolished the "one-party system". Speaking in the name of the 
Communist Party, Mr. Kadar, still First Secretary of its Central Committee, 
agreed with this step to avoid, as he said, "further bloodshed". Zoltan Tildy, 
former leader of the Smallholders Party, announced that free elections would 
be held throughout Hungary. Representatives of both the Smallholders and 
National Peasants entered the Inner Cabinet in which they had, between them, 
as many posts as the Communists. A post was set aside for a Social-Demo- 
cratic nominee. 

69. Once the AVH had been disbanded, Mr. Nagy felt free to explain his 
actions on and immediately after 24 October. A series of statements was made 
by himself, or on his behalf, in the press and on the radio. The most important 
of these declared that Mr. Nagy had not signed any decrees asking for Soviet 
military intervention or proclaiming summary jurisdiction. It was also stated 
that he had not subsequently approved of the invitation to the Soviet forces. 
These clarifications and the i)olitical steps taken by Mr. Nagy served to dispel 
popular doubts regarding his attitude towards the uprising, and his popularity 
rapidly returned. 

70. Although a cease-fire had been ordered on 28 October, a few isolated 
skirmishes took place after that date, but the cease-fire became fully effective 
by the time the new Cabinet took office on 30 October. That same day saw 
the beginning of a withdrawal of Soviet armed forces from Budapest. The 
general expectation was that negotiations for their complete withdrawal from 
Hungarian territory would soon attain their objective. A number of revolu- 
tionary organs, the new political parties and newspapers beginning to appear 
on the streets all joined the Government in its efforts to stop the last mani- 
festations of lawlessness which had occurred. A fact reported by many credible 
witnesses, however, was that no looting occurred, although numerous shop win- 
dows had been destroyed and goods of value, including even jewellery, lay un- 
touched within reach of passers by. Hundreds of buildings in Budapest had 
become ruins as a result of the gunfire, and thousands more were severely 
damaged, although some areas of the city had suffered little. 

71. The days that followed the cease-fire, up to 4 November, saw the people 
of Budapest take the first steps to clear away rubble and broken glass, to restore 
order and to bring life back to normal conditions. It was generally agreed that 
everyone would resume work on Monday, 5 November. The disbanding of the 
AVH and the renewed confidence in Mr. Nagy, together with the victory of those 
who had fought in the uprising, combined to create a general feeling of well- 
being and hopefulness, which impressed all observers. On 2 November the 
Government called on members of the AVH to report to the authorities, in order 
to appear before a screening commitee and, by the next day, great numbers of 
the former security police were reporting to prosecutors' offices. Meanwhile, 
political prisoners whom they had detained and tortured were released by the 
people. The most celebrated political prisoner to regain his freedom was Cardi- 
nal Mindszenty, who returned to Budapest and broadcast to the nation. When 
the prisons were opened, some common criminals also appear to have been 
freed. On 1 November, the freedom fighters, while maintaining their Identity, 


agreed to be amalgamated into a National Guard whose members would be the 
«jnly Huugariaus, apart from the Anny and police, authorized to bear arms. 

72. On 3 November, the Government was again reconstituted. Several Com- 
munists were dismissed, some of them having been ousted from their offices by 
the staff of their respective Ministries. Three Ministries each were allotted to 
the Communists, the Social Democrats, the Independent Smallholders, and two 
to the Petofi Party. The parties of the coalition were the same which in 1945 
had received the blessing of the Allied Control Commission, on which the USSR 
was represented. Imre Nagy was now the head of a caretaker Government. 
The people regarded him as a good Hungarian who could be entrusted with 
the organization of the free general elections on which all Revolutionary and 
Workers' Councils had insisted, and as a suitable negotiator with the Soviet 
leaders on the withdrawal of Russian troops and on future relations with the 
USSR. One of the most trusted leaders of the Revolution, now Lieutenant 
General PSl Mal6ter, had become Minister of Defence. Reassuring statements 
were issued by various leaders regarding the policy to be followed. A Minister 
of State, Ferenc Farkas, himself a member of the National Peasant Party, 
announced that the four parties were unanimously agreed to retain from the 
socialist achievements everything which could be used in a free, democratic 
and socialist country, in accordance with the will of the people. It was made 
very clear that the condemnation of the old system which the uprising repre- 
sented would not affect those reforms under which ownership of the land and 
industrial undertakings had been transferred. The jjeasant parties did not 
agree on all issues with the Social Democrats, but they also were solidly opposed 
to the restoration of large estates, as they were to the forced collectivization 
and obligatory deliveries of produce imposed by the Communist regime. 

73. The Communist Party itself realized that a drastic overhaul of its methods 
would be necessary to regain the confidence of its disillusioned supporters. At 
about 9 : 50 p. m. on 1 November, Mr. Kadiir read over Budapest Radio a message 
from the Preparatory Committee of what was to be a reformed party under the 
name of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. He spoke of the uprising in 
which "the Communist writers, journalists, university students, the youth of the 
Petfifi Club, thousands of workers and i)easants, the veteran fighters who had 
been imprisoned on false charges, fought in the front line against the RSkosi 
despotism and political hooliganism." The new party would defend the cause 
of socialism and democracy, "not by slavishly imitating foreign examples, but by 
taking a road suitable to the economic and historic characteristics of our 
country . . .". Mr. Kjld^r appealed to the "newly formed democratic parties" 
to "overcome the danger" of intervention from abroad by consolidating the 
Government. The people of Hungary had proved their intention unflinchingly 
to support the Government's efforts aimed at the complete withdrawal of the 
Soviet forces. "We do not want to be dependent any longer ; we do not want 
our country to become a battlefield." 


74. On the morning of 1 November, Mr. Nagy took over direct responsibility for 
foreign affairs. He told the Soviet Ambassador that he had received authorita- 
tive information on the entry of new Soviet military units into Hungary. This, 
he informed the Ambassador, was a violation of the Warsaw Treaty and the 
Hungarian Government would denounce the Treaty if the reinforcements were 
not withdra\vn. Later that day, the Soviet Ambassador stated that the Soviet 
troops had crossed the border only to relieve those troops who had been fighting 
and to protect the Russian civilian population in Hungary. He said that the 
Soviet Government was ready to negotiate a partial withdrawal of Soviet troops 
and suggested that two delegations be appointed, one to discuss political, and 
the other technical, questions associated with the withdrawal. At 2 : 00 p. m. 
Mr. Nagy telephoned the Ambassador and informed him that new Soviet troops 
had crossed the frontier within the last three hours. For this reason, effective 
immediately, Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Treaty. At 4 : 00 
p. m., the Council of Ministers, which included Mr. Kfiddr, approved this action 
without dissent and, at the same meeting, adopted a Declaration of Neutrality 
for Hungary. At 5 : 00 p. m., the Council of Ministers invited the Soviet Am- 
bassador to a meeting and informed him of these decisions. The same news was 
conveyed by the Hungarian Government to various heads of diplomatic missions 
in Budapest, who were also told of a request by Mr. Nagy to the United Nations, 
asking for the aid of the four Great Powers in defence of Hungary's neutrality. 


At 7 : 54 p. m., Mr. Nagy broadcast to the Hungarian i)eople the Declaration of 
Neutrality. His statement ended with the words : "We appeal to our neighbors,, 
countries near and far, to respect the unalterable decision of our people. It 
is indeed true that our people are as united in this decision as perhaps never 
before in their history. Working millions of Hungary ! Protect and strengthen 
with revolutionary determination, sacrificial work and the consolidation of order, 
our country — the free, independent, democratic and neutral Hungary". 


75. While news came in of the massing of Soviet armoured forces, negotiation* 
continued for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary. By the afternoon 
of 3 November, agreement appeared to be near and only certain technical details 
of the withdrawal remained to be settled. A Hungarian delegation consisting 
of the Minister of Defence, now General Mal6ter, the Minister of State Terene 
Erdei, the Chief of Staff General Kovacs, and Colonel Sziics was invited to settle 
these details at the Soviet Military Command at Tokol near Budapest, at 10 p. m. 
The Hungarian negotiators attended a banquet given in their honour by the 
Soviet military representatives at Tokol. It was nearly midnight when the 
party was interrupted by the arrival of General Serov, Chief of the Soviet Secu- 
rity Police, who entered the room accompanied by NKVD officers and ordered the 
arrest of the Hungarian delegation. 

76. Communication having been interrupted between Mr. Nagy's Government 
and General Maleter, considerable anxiety was felt at the Parliament Building 
regarding developments. During the night, the gravity of the position was 
emphasized by numerous telephone calls received in the Parliament Building. 
These came from industrial districts surrounding Budapest and from various 
Revolutionary Councils in the provinces. They all reported that Soviet forces, 
in battle formation, were steadily advancing, and the Revolutionary organs 
asked urgently for permission to oppose them by force of arms. It has been 
estimated that some 2,500 Soviet tanks and 1,000 Soviet supporting vehicles were 
in Hungary by 3 November. All strategic centres, airfields, railroads and high- 
ways had been brought under Soviet control. Mr. Nagy, however, gave specific 
instructions not to open fire on the Russian troops, since he understood that a 
successful outcome of the negotiations for withdrawal of the Soviet troops was 
still expected. These instructions were not changed until news was received 
that Mr. Kaddr had set up another Government, whereupon Mr. Nagy sum- 
moned a Cabinet meeting at which it was decided to resist the Soviet troops by 
force of arms. At 5 : 20 a. m. Mr. Nagy announced over Budapest Radio that 
Soviet troops had attacked the capital "with the obvious intention of overthrow- 
ing the legal Hungarian democratic Government". He declared that that Gov- 
ernment was at its post and that the Hungarian troops were in combat. Battles 
were, in fact, being fought on the arterial roads at the approaches to Budapest. 
Notwithstanding the overwhelming power of the Soviet forces, barricades hastily 
erected by the Hungarian fighters presented a first obstacle to the Russian 
advance. The Hungarian Army, the National Guard, and groups of freedom 
fighters, mostly equipped only with light weapons fought side by side against 
the advancing tanks. Shortly after 8 a. m. Budapest Radio broadcast its last 
message before going off the air. Tliis was an appeal to the writers and scien- 
tists of the world to help the people of Hungary. By that time, Soviet ar- 
moured units had broken through the defences of Budapest and were in control 
of the Danube bridges, the Parliament Building and the Central telephone 


77. At 5 : 05 a. m., only a quarter of an hour before Mr. Nagy broadcast news 
of the second Soviet intervention, another radio station had announced the for- 
mation of a Government by Mr. Kadar. The announcement consisted of an open: 
letter signed by Mr. Kadar and three other former members of the Nagy Gov- 
ernment. They declared that they had left that Government on 1 November, 
because of its inability to fight the "counter-revolutionary danger". In order 
to defeat "fascism and reaction", they had established the Hungarian Revolu- 
tionary Worker-Peasant Govemnaent. At 6 a. m. Mr. Kadar's voice was heard 
over the same wavelength announcing the composition of his Government. He 
declared that reactionary elements were seeking to overthrow socialism in 
Hungary and to restore the capitalists and landowners to iwwer. The new 
Government, he said, had requested the help of the Soviet troops to defeat these- 
"reactionary forces". 


78. Mr. Kadar gave no explanation of his change of attitude since his broad- 
cast supporting Mr. Nagy on the night of 1 November. There is no evidence 
that he had taken any steps to di.«sociate himself from Mr. Nagy's policies or 
to resign from his Government. It is known that he visited the Soviet Embassy 
after his broadcast on the night of 1 November, but he was present at negotia- 
tions with representatives of Revolutionary Councils the following day. If the 
circumstances in which he constituted his Cabinet are obscure, so also are his 
movements and those of his fellow Ministers at the time. According to wit- 
nesses, Mr. Kadar was in Moscow early in November and he and his Ministers 
made no public appearance in Budapest until they took the oath of office on 
7 November. The controlling authority in Hungary was the Soviet Military 
Conmiand, which issued orders to the Hungarian people regarding the surrender 
•of arms, circulation in the streets, the supply of food and other matters falling 
within the province of civil administration. There is no evidence to suggest 
that any Hungarian group opposed the actions of Mr. Nagy which, in most cases, 
merely reflected what the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils had insisted 
upon from the outbreak of the uprising. All the evidence shows that the Soviet 
troops fought alone against the Hungarians. With the exception of former 
members of the AVH and a small number of former Party officials, no Hun- 
garians, whether organized or unorganized, fought on the Russian side. Many 
of the new Soviet troops brought into Hungary for the second intervention 
came from di-stant regions of Central Asia. Many believed that they were in 
Egypt, with the mission of fighting the Anglo-French "Imperialists". It would 
seem that the Soviet authorities had more confidence in troops who had had no 
opportunity to be affected by European associations and who might be counted 
upon to behave with indifference to the attitude of the Hungarian people. 

79. After the Soviet forces had occupied Budapest, local resistance continued 
in various centres. Bitter fighting went on until Tuesday evening, 6 November, 
when most of the Hungarian fighters ran out of ammunition. Some centres 
within the city continued, however, to resist until the 8th and in the outlying 
industrial districts fighting went on until the 11th. Heavy destruction and 
considerable loss of life were caused by the Soviet armed forces, which often di- 
rected gunfire into buildings lining the streets. During this second armed inter- 
vention by Soviet forces, the fiercest fighting took place in working class suburbs 
of Budapest, such as Ujpest and Csepel Island. The workers at Csepel refused 
several Soviet calls to surrender and held out until the evening of 9 November, 
despite the use of artillery against them from various directions, supplemented 
by aerial bombardment. At the important industrial centre of Dunapentele, 
formerly Sztalinvaros, the workers showed an equal determination to resist 
the Soviet troops. On 7 November, during an all day battle, they repelled a 
Soviet attack from three directions using a large armoured force, self-propelled 
guns and tactical airforce. Eye witnesses described how the factory workers, 
with the Hmigarian officers and men of the local garrison, were entirely united, 
irrespective of party or religious affiliation. Only former members of the AVH, 
it was said, dissented from the policies of the Revolutionary Council. 


80. When Mr. Nagy's Government was overthrown by Soviet armed force, it 
was the Russian commanders, and not Mr. Kadsir's Government, who assumed 
control. The fate of Mr. Nagy and his immediate entourage soon showed the 
inability of the Hungarian Government to maintain its sovereign independence 
against Soviet intervention. Mr. Nagy left the Parliament Building at about 6 
a. m. on 4 November and sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy. Later in the 
day, other leading Hungarians, including the widow of LSszlo Rajk, with fifteen 
women and seventeen children, sought asylum in the same building. During 
negotiations between the Yugoslav Government and Mr. KadSr that took place 
in November, the Yugoslav Government proposed that Mr. KadAr should provide 
a written guarantee that Mr. Nagy and his party would be allowed to return 
freely to their homes or, if this were not possible, to go to Yugoslavia. A sug- 
gestion by Mr. KadSr that the Nagy party should seek refuge in Romania was 
rejected by Mr. Nagy. Other demands by Mr. Kadar's Government considered 
unacceptable by Mr. Nagy were that he should resign from his position in the 
Government, should offer a self-criticism of his activities and should declare 
himself in sympathy with Mr. Kadar's Government. Eventually, the Yugoslav 
Government wrote to Mr. Kaddr that it would agree to the departure of Mr. 
Nagy and his friends only if Mr. KadSr, as President of the Hungarian Govern- 


ment, guaranteed in writing that the party would be granted safe conduct to 
proceed freely to their respective homes. In his reply, Mr. Kad^r confirmed in 
writing that the Hungarian Government did not desire to apply sanctions against 
Imre Nagy and the members of his group for their past activities. 

81. The next day, 22 November at 6:30 p. m. a bus arrived at the Yugoslav 
Embassy to take the party to their homes. Soviet military personnel arrived 
and insisted on entering the bus, whereupon the Yugoslav Ambassador asked that 
two Embassy officials should accompany the bus, to make certain that Mr. Nagy 
and his party reached their homes as agreed. The bus was driven to the Head- 
quarters of the Soviet Military Command, where a Russian Lieutenant-Colonel 
ordered the two Yugoslav oflicials to leave. The bus then drove away to an 
unknown destination escorted by Soviet armoured cars. 

82. In a note verbale, the Yugoslav Government condemned the Hungarian 
action as "a flagrant breach of the agreement reached." The note declared 
that Mr. Nagy and his party had refused to go to Romania and it condemned the 
Hungarian action as completely contrary to the generally accepted practices of 
international law. Notwithstanding this reaction, Mr. KadSr's Government 
announced publicly that Mr. Nagy and some of the colleagues who had sought 
refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy had gone to Romania in accordance with a re- 
quest they had submitted previously to be permitted to go to the territory of 
another socialist country. 


83. The action of the Soviet Military Command in intervening in an arrange- 
ment between Mr. Kiiditr's Government and the Yugoslav Embassy illustrates 
the degree of his subordination to the Soviet forces. Having taken over Hungary 
by armed intervention, the Soviet authorities were compelled by reason of the 
administrative vacuum to administer a country whose popularly supported Gov- 
ernment they had overthrown. The Soviet-installed Government of Mr. K^dar 
commanded no following in the country, with the exception of individual mem- 
bers of the former AVH, a few senior officers of the Hungarian Army and a 
small segment of former Communist Party officials, who had been dismissed 
during the uprising. Having broken the armed resistance of the Hungarian 
people in a massive attack, the Soviet authorities found themselves facing the 
passive resistance of the Hungarian population. This was particularly marked 
in the case of the workers who had borne the brunt of most of the fighting. In 
the industrial and mining districts, they steadily maintained their demands. 

84. Finding themselves confronted by this nation-wide resistance, the Soviet 
Military Command began by resorting to mass arrests. Many of the people thus 
apprehended had not been directly involved in the fighting. In numerous cases, 
the captives were not transferred to the Hungarian authorities, but were crowded 
on trains or in trucks and deported, under Russian escort, to the USSR. In 
some instances, because of action by the Hungarian resistance and the railway 
workers, it was found necessary to run the trains entirely with Russian i)er- 
sonnel. No accurate figures exist regarding the numbers of Hungarian citizens 
deported, but these certainly run into thousands. By January 1957, some of 
these had been returnefl to Hungary, but it would appear that a considerable 
number still remain in the USSR. 

85. In an effort to win popular support, Mr. Kadar announced that the policy 
of his Government would include the implementation of various demands put 
forward during the uprising. These included raising the workers' standard of 
living, factory management by Workers' Councils and the abolition of com^ 
pulsory deliveries of agricultural produce by the peasants. These promises, how- 
ever, failed to satisfy the Hungarian people, who continued to press for the 
withdrawal of Soviet troops, free elections and the return of Mr. Nagy. Since 23 
October, industrial production had been completely disrupted in Hungary and 
the position continued to deteriorate after 4 November since the workers re- 
fused to resume work until the Government gave evidence that it would meet 
their dem?.nds. 

86. As in the time of Mr. Xagy's premiership, the Workers' Councils were stilT 
the principal channels through which such demands were conveyed to Mr. 
Kadar's Government. The outcome of the negotiations was wholly unsatis- 
factory to the Councils. On 14 November, the factory Councils established the 
greater Budapest Workers' Council in order to present a united front. Until 
its abolition on 9 December, this Council strove to reach an agreement with Mr. 
Kddar and his Government. It became clear from the Government's attitude 


that it was in no ix)sition to satisfy the workers' demands. Meanwhile, in oi'der 
to secure control of the country, new security forces were organized, including 
many former members of the AVH. Through arrests of members of Workers' 
Councils and through the infiltration of trusted Party members into key posts, 
the power of the Councils was steadily undermined. When the Greater Buda- 
pest Workers' Council declared a forty-eight-hour protest strike to take place 
on 11 and 12 December, the Government issued a decree to abolish all Workers' 
Councils above factory level. Decrees were also issued instituting the death 
penalty for a large category of offences, including participation in strikes. 

87. Hungarian factories had remained practically idle for nearly two months. 
Electric power plants had produced only a minimum amount of electricity due 
to the slow-down strike of the Hungarian coal miners. However, the weapon 
of passive resistance by the Hungarian workers could not be employed in- 
definitely. Dire necessity had enforced a resumption of work by mid-December, 
when the Hungarian workers found themselves in factories and coal mines 
which contained a novel element^ — the presence of Russian soldiers. 


88. other steps taken by Mr. Kadar's Government to establish control over 
the Hungarian people include the opening on 20 December of a State Informa- 
tion Oflfice to control the press. The few newspapers which started out as 
"independent'' were gradually prevailed upon to reproduce the oflScial line. 
The Revolutionary Council of Intellectuals was dissolved on December and 
the Writers' Union, which had branded the Soviet intervention in Hungary as a 
"historic mistake'', was disbanded on 21 April. The Petofi Club also ceased to 
function and Hungarians were without any forum where they could exchange 
ideas. All hope of a coalition Government vanished although, in negotiations 
between Mr. Kadar and the major democratic parties, the latter made it clear 
that they- accepted public ownership of the means of production and were 
willing "to defend the socialist achievements." By the beginning of 1957, non- 
Communist organizations had, in effect, been excluded from any role in public 
life. It was officially stated that the Social Democratic Party will not be 
allowed to function, while leaders of the Smallholders Party have retired from 
public life and the Petofi Party has virtually dissolved itself. The mandate 
of the present Hungarian Assembly was due to expire on 17 May 1957. How- 
ever, this mandate has been extended for two years by amendment to the Con- 
stitution, thereby depriving the Hungarian people of the exercise of their funda- 
mental political right to participate in the function of Government through 
elected representatives of their own choice. 


89. The mandate given to the Special Committee by the General Assembly 
was to carry out a full and objective investigation on all aspects of Soviet 
intervention in Hungary by armed force and by other means and on the effects 
of such intervention on the political development of Hungary. In carrying out 
this mandate, the Committee studied a rich documentation supplied by Govern- 
ments and obtained from other sources, while it closely questioned more than 
a hundred witnesses, representing every stratum of Hungarian society, whose 
testimony fills 2,000 pages in the verbatim record. The General Assembly asked 
that investigations should be pursued in Hungary also, but the attitude of the 
Hungarian Government did not allow the Committee to carry out this part of its 
mandate. The Committee has summarized its conclusions as to the essential 
facts about the Hungarian uprising under thirteen points. The essence of 
these conclusions is as follows : 

(i) What took place in Hungary was a spontaneous national uprising, 
caused by long-standing grievances. One of these was the inferior status 
of Hungary with regard to the USSR ; 

(ii) The uprising was led by students, workers, soldiers and intellectuals, 
many of them Communists or former Communists. Those who took part in 
it insisted that democratic socialism should be the basis of the Hungarian 
political structure, and that the land reform and other social achievements 
should be safeguarded. It is untrue that the uprising was fomented by 
reactionary circles in Hungary or that it drew its strength from "Imperial- 
ist"' circles in the West : 


(iii) The uprising was not planned in advance, but actually took partici- 
pants by surprise. Its timing was connected with Poland's successful move 
for greater independence from the "USSR and with the disappointment 
caused by the speech of Mr. Erno Gero on his return from Yugoslavia on 
23 October, when it was hoped that he would adopt a sympathetic attitude 
towards the popular demands voiced on 22 October by the Hungarian 
students ; 

(iv) It would appear that the Soviet authorities had taken steps as early 
as 20 October to make armed intervention possible. Evidence exists of troop 
movements, or projected troop movements, from that date on, and Soviet 
troops from outside Hungary were used even in the first intervention. In 
Hungary, signs of opposition were evident before 23 October ; 

(v) The demonstrations on 23 October were at first entirely peaceable 
and no evidence has been discovered that any demonstrators intended to 
resort to force. The change was due to the action of the AVH in opening 
fire on the people outside the Radio Building and to the appearance of Rus- 
sian soldiers in Budapest as enemies in combat ; 

(vi) Mr. Nagy has established that he did not issue any invitation to the 
Soviet authorities to intervene and the Committee has no evidence as to the 
circumstances in which an invitation was issued or as to whether such an 
invitation was issued at all. Similar considerations apply to the alleged 
invitation by Mr. Kdd^r's Government for the Soviet troops to intervene on 
the second occasion. There is abundant evidence that Soviet preparations 
for this intervention had been under way since the last days of October ; 

(vii) Mr. Nagy was not at first free to exercise the full powers of the 
Premiership. By the time the grip of the AVH had been loosened, the real 
power lay with the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils. Mr. Nagy, seeing 
that his countrymen were united in their desire for other forms of Govern- 
ment and for the departure of the Soviet troops, threw in his lot with the 
insurgents ; 

(viii) During the few days of freedom, the popular nature of the uprising 
was proved by the appearance of a free press and radio and by general re- 
joicing among the i)eopIe ; 

(ix) A number of lynchings and beatings by the crowds concerned, in al- 
most all cases, members of the AVH or those who were believed to have 
co-operated with them ; 

(x) Steps taken by the Workers' Councils during this period were aimed 
at giving the workers real control of nationalized undertaking and at 
abolishing unpopular institutions, such as the production norms. Mean- 
while, negotiations were proceeding for the complete withdrawal of Soviet 
troops and life in Budapest was beginning to return to normal ; 

(xi) In contrast to demands put forward at this time for the re-establish- 
ment of political rights, basic human rights of the Hungarian people were 
violated by the Hungarian Governments before 23 October, especially up 
to the autumn of 1955, and such violations have been resumed since 4 
November. The numerous accounts of inhuman treatment and tortures by 
the AVH must be accepted as true. In an attempt to break the revolution, 
numbers of Hungarians, including some women, were deported to the Soviet 
Union and some may not have been returned to their homes ; 

(xii) Since the second Soviet intervention on 4 November there has been 
no evidence of popular support for Mr. Kadar's Government. Mr. KadS.r 
has proceeded step by step to destroy the power of the workers. Strong 
repressive measures have been introduced and general elections have been 
postponed for two years. He refuses in present circumstances to discuss 
withdrawal of the Soviet troops. Only a small fraction of the 190,000 
Hungarians who fled the country have accepted the invitation to return ; 

(xiii) Consideration of the Hungarian question by the United Nations 
was legally proper and paragraph 7 of Article 2 of the Charter does not jus- 
tify objections to such consideration. A massive armed intervention by one 
Power on the territory of another with the avowed intention of interfering 
in its internal affairs must, by the Soviet Union's own definition of aggression, 
be a matter of international concern. 


Chapter III. The Uprising as Seen by the USSR and bt the Government 



90. The Committee regrets that it was twice refused permission by Mr. 
Kadar's Government to enter Hungarian territory. This refusal meant, among 
other things, that it was denied the opportunity of obtaining first-hand infor- 
mation on the views of that Government. Throughout its investigations, the 
Committee has been guided by the desire to present an objective picture of what 
took place. It has, therefore, wished to include in its report a presentation of 
the opinions expressed by the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Jdnos 

91. The outline which follows represents those opinions in so far as the 
Committee has had access to them. The main sources include the two volumes 
already published of the Hungarian White Book, The Counter-Revolutionary 
Forces in the October Events in Hungary, issued by the Information Bureau 
of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic ; the memo- 
randum on the question of Hungary addressed to Members of the United Nations 
on 4 February 1957 by Mr. P6ter Mod, Permanent Representative of Hungary ; ^ 
statements by members of the USSR and Hungarian delegations to the Security 
Council and the General Assembly ; and other ofiicial speeches or articles in 
officially sponsored publications. 

92. The views expressed by Imre Nagy call for consideration in chapters VI, 
VIII and XII, where the Committee has assembled information regarding his 
actions and movements during the period of the uprising. 

93. It should be made clear that inclusion in this report of a statement of the 
views advanced by the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kadar does not 
in any manner constitute endorsement of them by the Committee. In fact, a 
reading of the report will show that this interpretation of events in Hungary 
conflicts in many respects with what the Committee considers to be satisfactory 
evidence obtained from eye-witnesses and other reliable sources. 

94. The main points which the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kaddr 
have sought to establish are summarized below. 


95. "So long as there are exploiters and exploited in the world, so long as there 
are capitalists holding power in their hands and the working class," said an 
editorial which Pravda devoted to the Hungarian situation on 18 December 1956, 
"so long will the conflict betwen the bourgeoisie and the proletariat remain the 
starting point for an analysis of historical events. Revisionism has repeatedly 
attempted to snatch from the hands of the working class this Marxist compass, 
which enacles one to give a correct appraisal of the direction of events". 

96. These words would seem to provide the key to the views expressed by the 
Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kadar on the origin and nature of the 
Hungarian uprising. They would appear to proceed from a desire to fit events 
into a preconceived pattern, rather than to study them by an objective considera- 
tion of evidence. Their account of events starts from the assumption that all 
historical happenings must be viewed as aspects of the Communist conception of 
Marxism and of the class struggle, illustrating a permanent conflict between 
"good" Communist and "bad" bourgeois elements. While it is admitted by the 
Soviet Union and Mr. Kadar that errors and even "crimes" may occur in a Com- 
munist society, it is regarded as contrary to the destined course of history that 
such shortcomings could ever be so serious as to call in doubt the superiority of 
the Communist political structure. It follows that any radical criticism, such as 
a call for free elections, will be presented as the result, not of a genuine wish for 
improvement, but of "bourgeois" efforts to mislead the working masses and to 
reinstate capitalism. The committee found this interpretation of events in Hun- 
gary, studied in the light of the evidence, to be totally inadequate and superficial. 
It also found no evidence that either the Government of the USSR or that of 
Mr. Kadilr has hitherto published anything in the nature of an objective state- 
ment of the facts behind the Hungarian uprising. Various indications, however,, 
have suggested that the Soviet authorities were baflled by the spontaneous up- 
rising of the Hungarian people and that they did, apparently, make an effort tc 

• A/3521. 


obtain information on it from various sources. Thus, the Committee has become 
aware that participants who were deported to the Soviet Union were closely 
questioned regarding the causes and nature of the uprising. The phenomenon of 
a working class movement directed against cherished Communist methods and 
ideals, and against emblems of the Soviet Union as symbols of those methods, 
would seem to have caused misgiving, and some of the Hungarians received the 
impression that their interrogators were not unsympathetic. 

97. In the memorandum circulated by the Hungarian delegation to the United 
Nations on 4 February, it is stated that "the aim of the Hungarian counter- 
revolution was to reinstate the system of capitalists and estate owners, who 

iave never given up hope since their defeat in 1945". The Pravda article on 
Hungary to which reference is made above, sng'^ests that no one regarding him- 
self as a Marxist could fail to understand thai a radical change in Hungary's 

political system would inevitably mean the restoration of capitalism. 

98. In the light of these considerations, spokesmen for the Gk)vernments of 
the USSR and of Janos Kadar have drawn attention to what they regard as 
two distinct elements in the Hungarian situation. Firstly, the Hungarian people 
had a number of legitimate grievances to which expression was given both 
before and after 23 October 1956. These concerned manifest errors and short- 
comings on the part of the Government headed by Rakosi, who failed, as did his 
successors, to meet even the most justified demands. In the second place, the 
spokesmen of these Governments maintain that both reactionary elements in 
Hungary itself and imperialist circles abroad took advantage of such legitimate 
grievances and of the unrest generated by them to mislead the people and to 
strive by violence to overthrow the People's Democratic Republic. 

99. In the introduction to the Hungarian White Book, The Coimter-Revolutiwi- 
ary Farces in the October Events in Eungary (Volume 1 ), Rakosi's policy is de- 
scribed as "criminal". It is said to have aroused "deep indignation and a 
broad popular movement". However, states the writer, "the dark forces of 
counter-revolution tried from the very beginning to take advantage of the move- 
ment ... in order to overthroio the people's power" (italics in original), "For 
the first time since the defeat of facisra in the Second World War". Mr. D. T. 
Shepilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, told the General Assembly on 
22 November, "the world was witness to an open attempt by the underground 
fascist forces to defy the forces of democracy and to stage a comeback by means 
of an armed struggle". 

100. The Introduction to Volume II of the White Book returns to this theme 
of an "attempted capitalist restoration" and draws what it calls "a number of 
irrefutable conclusions." They are stated as follows : 

"1. The instigators and organizers of the armed uprising were foreign 
agents, Horthyite emigres and leaders of the underground organizations 
in the country, who took an organized part in the mass dehioustrations and 
increasingly assumed a leading role in them. 

"2. Those representatives of the Horthy regime who had remained in 
Hungary began to restore the old order in the capital and in numerous 
towns, villages and districts in the countryside, while the emigres abroad, 
with the aid of their agents at home, were already prepared for the com- 
plete seizure of iwwer. 

"3. The subversive broadcasts of Radio Free Euroi>e — backed by dollars, 
directed from America, and functioning on the territory of West Germany — 
played an essential role in the ideological preparation and practical direc- 
tion of the counter-revolution, in provoking the armed struggle, in the non- 
observance of the ceasefire, and in arousing the mass hysteria which led to 
the lynching of innocent men and women loyal to their ijeople and their 
country. The directors of Radio Free Europe carry a particularly heavy 
responsibility for the bloodshed between Hungarians and for the subsequent 
defections to the West, as well as for the tragedies they caused among many 
thousands of Hungarian families. 

"4. After October 29, the aim of the counter-revolutionary rebels become 
more and more evident : to overthrow the socialist popular regime and to 
spread the sphere of influence of western capitalism over Hungary — in 
other words, bourgeois restoration." 

101. The White Book contends fhat success by the counter-revolutionary forces 
would have meant more thao the wiping out of ten years of "•socialist progress" 
in Hungary and the abandonment of her people to a cruel and reactionary 
T^gime. Such success, it maintains, would have intensified the danger of an 


.armed clash between Hungary and her neighbours, in which Hungary would 
have become the first battlefield in a new world war. "The only possibility of 
saving popular power and eliminating the threat of a new, devastating war in 
the Danul)e Valley," concludes the Introduction to Volume I of the Hungarian 
White Book, "was to suppress counter-revolution." 

102. This the forces of the Hungarian Government and people were said to be 
unable to accomplish alone, so massive was the support claimed to have been 
given to the "counter-revolutionary" elements by "reactionary" and "imi)erialist" 
circles in the West. 


103. The Soviet Government's decision to come to the aid of the "revolution- 
ary forces" struggling against "reaction" in Hungary was, according to the 
published views of Soviet leaders, the only "correct" one in the circumstances 
prevailing at that time. 

104. The Soviet Declaration of 30 October concerning the principles of de- 
velopment and future strengthening of friendship and co-operation between the 
Soviet Union and other "socialist" States included this comment on the Soviet 
intervention : "The Soviet Government, in common with the entire Soviet people, 
profoundly deplores the fact that the developments in Hungary have led to 
bloodshed. At the request of the Hungarian People's Government, the Soviet 
Government agreed to the entry into Budapest of Soviet Army units, in order to 
Jielp the Hungarian People's Army and Hungarian authorities to restore order 
in the city." After conceding the necessity for withdrawal, the Declaration 
continued : "The defense of the socialist gains of People's Democratic Hungary 
is today the chief and sacred obligation of the workers, peasants and intelligent- 
sia and of the entire Hungarian working people." 

lO.j. On 23 November 1956, Pravda dn an editorial commented as follows on 
the Soviet intervention : "A socialist State", it declared, "could not remain an 
indifferent observer of the bloody reign of fascist reaction in People's Demo- 
cratic Hungary. When everything settles down in Hungary, when life becomes 
3iormal again, the Hungarian working-class, peasantry and intelligentsia will 
undoubtedly understand our actions better and judge them aright. We regard 
our help to the Hungarian working-class in its struggle against the intrigues of 
counter-revolution as our international duty." 

106. The position taken by the Government of the USSR is that it was the 
Hungarian Government which officially requested the help of Soviet military 
units stationed in Hungary in accordance with the Warsaw Pact. The assist- 
ance given by these troops was, they state, directed entirely to the restoration 
of order. Its effectiveness is said to have caused the "forces of reaction" to 
retreat and at this point. In accordance with the request of Imre Nagy, the 
Soviet Government ordered its troops to withdraw from Budapest. Thereupon, 
runs the Soviet contention, the counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary began 
a brutal settlement of accounts with Communists and members of the state secu- 
rity services, as well as "progressive" friends of the Soviet Union. Entrenched 
within the Parliament Building, the Government of Imre Nagy, according to this 
Tiew of events, had contact with the people only "through the agency of the 
microphone". It was criticized for making no attempt to prevent "counter- 
revolutionary elements" from seizing weapons and forming "armed gangs", 
which, Soviet spokesmen declared, proceeded to terrorize the Hungarian people. 
In these circumstances, seeing the People's Democratic Republic in imminent 
danger of collapse, Jdnos Kadar and other members of the Nagy Government 
were said to have broken away from it, set up a new Revolutionary Worker- 
Peasant Government and appealed to the Soviet Union for the assistance with- 
out which it is admitted that they could not have established that Government's 

107. When he formed his Government, Mr. Kddar said that there remained 
only two ways out of the grave situation which had developed. One, it was 
claimed, was to stand by helplessly while the "White Terror .slaughtered, first 
in Budapest, then in the provinces, the active masses of workers, peasants, in- 
telligentsia and Communists, then all those who sympathized with the Com- 
munists and then all patriotic democrats." He declared that, after this, a 
counter-revolution would have created a government which would have de- 
stroyed the forces of the people and surrendered the indeiiendence of Hungary 
to the "imperialist colonizers". The second solution was to use "every pos- 
sible force, including the assistance of Soviet units, to prevent the counter- 


revolutionary war. . . The interests of the State and the people compelled us^ 
to choose this way as the only possible way out of the grave situation. And 
so we chose it." ^ 

108. The objectives of the uprising are held to have been quite other than 
those publicly announced. The Introduction to Volume II of the Hungarian 
White Book says that the "propaganda in favour of bourgeois restoration" was 
"characterized by a hypocritical dissimulation of its actual aims. This hypoc- 
risy represented a well-considered, underhanded means of misleading the social- 
ist-minded masses." The White Book maintains that the demands and pro- 
grammes that appeared in the press during the uprising "lagged far behind 
what it calls the orally proclaimed demands". As an example, it is said that 
no slogan was ever printed that all State and municipal functionaries in leading 
positions and all factory managers who were Communists or who co-operated 
with the Communists were to be relieved of their offices. "But", affirms the 
White Book, "in practice this is what actually began to take place in various 
administrations, institutions and enterprises." Moreover, the White Book states 
that, while the "counter-revolutionaries" were writing about friendship with 
the Soviet Union, they were tearing down red stars, outraging the monuments 
of Soviet heroes and burning Russian books. 

109. It was always maintained that, despite such alleged provocations, the 
intervention of Soviet armed forces at the end of October and the beginning of 
November were undertaken in a spirit of self-sacrifice and good comradeship. 
On 5 November, the Commander of the Soviet troops in Hungary broadcast a 
communique calling his troops the "selfless friends" of the Hungarians. "Dark 
reaction prevails in Hungary", declared the communique. "Counter-revolution- 
ary gangs are looting and murdering. The Government of Imre Nagy has 
collapsed. Hungary addressed herself to the Soviet troops to re-establish order 
in the country. . . We address ourselves to the soldiers and officers of the 
Hungarian army to fight for sacred victory." 

110. Janos Kadar has paid frequent tribute to what he declares to have been 
the high motives prompting Soviet intervention. In an interview broadcast by 
Moscow Radio on 29 November, he said that the help given by the USSR showed 
not merely the latter's determination to fulfill her duties proceeding from the 
Treaty but a deep understanding in a complicated situation. On 6 January 1957, 
Mr. Kadar's Government stated that the Soviet Army in Hungary was protecting 
the Hungarian people against a jwssible military attack by foreign and im- 
perialistic forces, and was thus ensuring that they might live in peace and devote 
their strength to the great cause of socialist construction and the prosperity of 
the country. Many later statements have reiterated this theme. 

111. Such are the main gi-ounds advanced by the Governments of the USSR 
and of Mr. Kadar to justify Soviet intervention. Broadly speaking, it is main- 
tained that that intervention was necessary to protect the Hungarian people 
against reactionary landowners and foreign imperialists. In this report it will 
be seen how contrary is that view to the conclusions reached by the Committee. 
The evidence, both written and oral, which it examined left no doubt as to the 
universal character of the uprising. It was the Hungarian workers, both men 
and women, who bore the brunt of the fighting against Soviet tanks — a fact 
which did not fail in several instances to impress the Soviet troops involved. 
Witnesses spoke of the friendly attitude of many Russian soldiers towards 
participants in the earlier phases of the uprising. The Committee also heard 
numerous accounts of how Soviet troops, many of Tartar or Mongol origin, who 
were brought to Hungary during the second intervention, had been told, not 
that they were to fight Hungarian workers in a People's Democracy, but that 
they were being sent to Egypt to throw back the "Anglo-French imperialists". 
It is apparent that many of these Soviet troops were misinformed as to the real 
nature of their mission and that they mistook the Danube for the Suez Canal. 
They were probably utilized because those Soviet forces used in the first inter- 
vention could not be relied upon to proceed with indifference to the attitude 
of the Hungarian people. 

112. In studying the Soviet thesis regarding the grounds for intervention, 
it is also appropriate to recall that some of the fiercest resistance to Russian 
troops occurred in typically working-class districts of Budapest, of Ujpest and 
of the Csepel Island. Workers in the steel factories of Dunapentele declared 
that they would defend against invading Soviet forces the plant and houses 
which they had built with their own hands. When these Soviet forces suc- 

^Pravda, 13 November 1956. 


-ceeded in crushing the armed uprising, it was again the Hungarian workers 
who continued to combat, by mass strikes and passive resistance, the very 
regime in support of which Soviet forces had intervened. In every case, the 
workers of Hungary announced their intention of keeping the mines and factories 
in their own hands. They made it abundantly clear, in the Workers' Coiancils 
and elsewhere, that no return to pre-ll)45 conditions would be tolerated. These 
workers had shown all over Hungary the strength of their will to resist. They 
had arms in their hands and, until the second Soviet intervention, they were 
virtually in control of the country. It is the Committee's view that no putsch 
by reactionary landowners or by dispossessed industrialists could have prevailed 
against the determination of these fully aroused workers and peasants to de- 
fend the reforms which they had gained and to pursue their genuine fulfillment. 


113. Spokesmen for the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kadar have 
always maintained that the course of events in Hungary, being well-known, 
called for no further investigation. The version of these events put forward 
by the two Governments, beginning with their views on the legitimate grievances 
•of the Hungarian people, may be summarized as follows. 

(1) Legitimate grievances 

114. "There is no doubt that the blame for the Hungarian events rests with 
the former State and Party leadership of Hungary headed by Rakosi and Gero", 
wrote Pravda on 23 November. 

115. Grave errors were said to have been made in the political, economic and 
cultural spheres and there was no attempt to remedy them, because Hungary's 
leaders had become isolated from the Hungarian working class, peasantry and 
intelligentsia. The methods used by Rakosi and his supporters had allegedly 
shaken the faith of the working masses in the Party and had undermined the 
foundations of its strength. On 1 November it was announced that the Hun- 
garian Workers' Party had changed its name to Hungarian Socialist Workers' 
Party, in order to make it plain that a complete break was proposed with 
the past. 

116. Legitimate grievances mentioned by spokesmen for the USSR and for 
Janos Kadar included "crudest violations of legality", in which many "honest 
Party and State workers" suffered unjustly, the Rajk case being only one of 
a number of well-known instances. It was said that little or no protest had 
been heard against these violations of the law, because the excessive growth of 
bureaucracy within the Party encouraged "boot-lickers and lackeys" of Rakosi, 
who repeated slogans like parrots in the interest of their careers; even the 
best officials were compelled to caiTy out many instructions running counter to 
the interests of the masses. This situation was declared to have arisen all the 
more easily because the Party had more than 900,000 members in a country 
with a total population of only 9 million. This meant, Soviet spokesmen ex- 
plained, that "nationalist" and "alien" elements poured into its ranks and, when 
diflSculties arose, the Party was found to lack essential training in a "Marxist- 
Leninist spirit" and could not rouse the forces of the people for a struggle 
against "reaction".* 

117. Rakosi and Gero were criticized by Soviet commentators for mechanically 
following the slogan of accelerated industrialization which was appropriate to 
conditions in the USSR, but in Hungary led to the coni5truction of large new 
enterprises beyond the capacity of a small people. In so doing, they were said 
to have ignored "comradely advice" from the USSR to proceed from the specific 
conditions obtaining in Hungary and to raise the standard of living of the 
Hungarian people by devoting more resources to the development of agriculture 
and to the production of consumer goods. It was not only by slavishly followihg 
industrial methods appropriate to conditions in the USSR that the Party leaders 
did not, in the Soviet view, "take suflScient account of the national peculiarities 
of the country". Hungarians should have been promoted more often to leader- 
ship within the Party, while there were other acts wounding to national pride, 
such as the introduction of a military uniform resembling that of the USSR. 
"Is the same Army haircut" asked Pravda, "or the same system of school grades 
really indicative of the unity and. international solidarity of the socialist 
countries?" ^ 

• Pravda, 23 November 1956. 


118. While many grievances of the Hungarian people were well founded, it 
was said that certain recognizable limits had to be set to the demand for 
changes, unless this demand was to constitute a threat to the very structure of 
the People's Democratic system. It was this opportunity which was alleged to- 
have been seized by reactionary and bourgeois elements to "confuse" the people 
and to press demands to a point where acceptance of them would have brought 
the People's Democracy down in ruins. By its own natural dynamics, declared 
a Soviet spokesman, the counter-revolution could never stop half-way. 

119. The argument put forward by some Communists that the excesses of 
bureaucratic rule might become the principal danger against which Communists 
had to fight was seen by Soviet commentators as misleading and dangerous. It 
was said to obscure the fact that the class enemy, namely bourgeois and re- 
actionary elements, would always constitute the standing menace to every" 
Communist people. The idea that bureaucracy, however excessive, could be 
the greatest danger for Communists would lead easily to a justification of 
counter-revolutionary rebellions against the People's Democracy itself.' 

(2) Alleged preparations for counter-revolution 

120. That such "counter-revolutionary" ideas were current in Hungarian in- 
tellectual circles before 23 October is, Soviet observers claim, a well-established 
fact. The forces of reaction had long been at work, they say, waiting for an. 
opportunity. A Russian man of letters declared that bourgeois ideology, "a 
wind from the West permeated with the foul odour of corruption", had long 
assailed Hungarian writers.* Before the events of October, many Hungarian 
writers had openly opposed the Leninist principle of Party allegiance in litera- 
ture. They were said to have spread false and "nihilistic" conceptions under 
the banner of "freedom of thought" or "freedom of creation". Open propaganda 
against the Government and the Party had been disguised as criticism of in- 
dividual leaders. In the ranks of the critics were to be found writers who were 
described as having long ago "severed themselves from the people and sold 
their souls to the West." 

121. A celebrated example of the writings alluded to is the article published 
in the Irodalmi Ujsdg in June 1956 by Gyula Hay, the playwright, a veteran of 
the 1919 Communist regime in Hungary. Hay's article contained a plea for 
freedom of the press. It was said that this article threw the intellectuals of 
Hungary into a ferment. The "corruption" complained of by the Russian man 
of letters was declared, however, to have progressed in direct proportion to 
the mounting efforts allegedly being made abroad to bring about the downfall 
of the People's Democracies. 

122. The Hungarian White Book, Volumes I and II, and the Hungarian 
memorandum to the United Nations of 4 Febiiiary " all gave examples of what 
were declared to be counter-revolutionary organs promoted by the West. The 
memorandum specifically claims that the existence of organized counter-revolu- 
tionary activity had been proved by "facts that have come to light during the 
events and every day since then." It was maintained in the memorandum that 
the peacefully demonstrating crowds of 23 October could not have planned such 
simultaneous attacks as were made, according to the memorandum, "on the in- 
ternational department of the Budapest Jozsefvdros telephone exchange, the- 
radio transmitter at Lakih^y, the Ferihegy airport, the ammunition plant and 
the military arsenal in Timot Street". The fact that these events took place 
almost concurrently and "in an organized manner" is brought forward to show 
that "the counter-revolution had a well-prepared purpose and a unified military 

123. Spokesmen for the Soviet Government and for that of Mr. Kdd^r place 
the origin of that purjwse and the centre of that military command in Western 
Europe and, ultimately, in the United States. Thus, the White Book, Volume 
II, quotes a certain United States magazine as having said, as far back as- 
9 April 1948, that there was a school of thought, both in Washington and abroad, 
which desired that "Operation X" should employ tactics behind the Iron Curtaia 
similar to those applied during the war by the OflSce of Strategic Services. It 
was said that ruthless means, "including murder where necessary", should be 
used "to keep the Russian part of the world in unrest". In October 1951, state* 
the White Book, the U. S. Congress adopted an amendment to the Mutual Secu- 

' Pravda, 18 December 1956. 

^ Al. Romanov, Literaturnaya Qazeta, 1 December 1956. 



rity Act, providing funds of up to $100 million for financing the activity of 
"selected individuals who are residing in or escai>ees from" Eastern Europe. 
The White Book alleges that a detailed programme elaborated in the United 
States in the Spring of 1955, "envisaged the preparation of armed actions in- 
volving the traitors who had absconded from the People's Democracies". It 
declared that the President of the Radio Corporation of America was reported 
by American newspapers to have advocated the mass use of "well-organized and 
well-indoctrinated anti-communist groups". 

124. Exponents of the Soviet thesis declared that a network of organizations 
was set up in Western Germany to train spies, saboteurs and diversionists. It 
was said that leaders were instructed in the formation of resistance groups and 
prepared for the task of carrying out administrative functions after the over- 
throw of the People's Democratic Regime. Volume II of the White Book de- 
clared that, apart from "countless numbers of fascists, emigr<^s, newspapermen, 
radio reporters, etc." other, more important, foreigners "of greater weight'" 
also walked in and out across the Hungarian frontier — and that "for obvious 

125. The memorandum of the Permanent Delegate of Hungary dated 4 Feb- 
ruary 1957 claimed that the supply of arms from abroad had been proved by 
examples captured by the armed forces. These were alleged to include pistols, 
sub-machine-guns, and rifles of Western type. 

126. Both the White Book and the Hungarian memorandum of 4 February — 
indeed all sources from which the views of the Governments of the USSR and 
of Mr. Kiidar have been obtained — stress the alleged role played by Radio Free 
Europe in stimulating and prolonging the insurrection. This station was said 
to have incited the revolt in the first place and also to have issued instruc- 
tions to the fighters while it was in progress. It was alleged that Radio Free 
Europe was one of the principal means chosen by the West to organize a move- 
ment that developed into a counter-revolution. 

127. Spokesmen for the Soviet and Kfid^r version of events declared that the 
Hungarian authorities were aware of the activities allegedly directed against 
them. On 14 July 1956, the State security police was said to have arrested a 
group of persons who had been engaged in espionage for months, under the 
control of a former Horthy officer. Shortly before the uprising, the Hungarian 
Supreme Court was declared to have considered the case of seventeen men 
accused of establishing a counter-revolutionary organization. 

128. The above is a summary of views put forward by official spokesmen for 
the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. KSdfir. Those Governments have 
maintained that the Hungarian uprising was planned well in advance, carefully 
thought out and directed during the fighting by leaders supplied or guided from 
abroad and by foreign broadcasting stations. The Committee gave thorough con- 
sideration to the possibility that the uprising may have been planned in advance, 
but it could find no evidence to justify any such hypothesis. The Committee is 
convinced that the demonstrators on 23 October had at first no thought of 
violence. When arms were obtained by the insurgents, they were almost always 
seized by workers from deiwts known to them or were voluntarily handed over 
by Hungarian troops, by the regular Hungarian police — not the AVH — and even» 
in some cases, by Russian troops themselves. 

129. After its study of all the facts, the Committee has no doubt that the 
Hungarian uprising was not only nation-wide, but also spontaneous in character. 
The Committee was meticulous in its questioning on this point and sought to dis- 
cover in various ways the possibility of advance preparation. But the way in 
which great numbers of people, who could not possibly have shared secret orders 
in advance, organized themselves to press their demands and to fight the Soviet 
troops seems to the Committee to bear the hallmark of improvisation. Their 
efforts collapsed because of the Soviet armed intervention and because no sup- 
port was forthcoming for them from abroad. The thesis which alleges that the 
uprising owed its origin to such support from abroad did not survive the ex- 
amination to which the Committee subjected it. 

130. The Committee took pains to ascertain from witnesses what precise role,, 
if any, Radio Free Europe had taken in the events of October and November. 
It was satisfied that this station had many listeners in Hungary, most of whom 
appear to have turned to it, as well as to the BBC and other Western broad- 
casts, as a relief from the stereotyped news service, with fulsome praise of the 
regime, to which they were accustomed. "I felt," said one student witness, 
"that its most positive contribution was its attempt to give a general picture 


of the situation in the West and the help it gave to Hungarian youth through its 
youth programmes, together with detailed information about the political situa- 
tion, which unfortunately we could not get from our own newspapers." The Com- 
mittee was told that during the uprising, Radio Free Europe "was very en- 
couraging" and obviously sympathetic. Listeners had the feeling that Radio 
Free Europe promised help, although witnesses said clearly that it gave no 
reason for expecting military help. Rather, the general tone of these broad- 
casts aroused an expectation of support, which some listeners hoped might take 
the form of a United Nations token force to help in stabilizing the situation. 

131. In a tense atmosphere such as that prevailing in Hungary during these 
critical weeks, optimistic and encouraging broadcasts, which paid tribute to the 
aims of the uprising, were welcomed. The generally hopeful tone of such broad- 
casts may well have been over-emphasized in the process of passing from mouth 
to mouth what various speakers were alleged to have said.^° The attitude of the 
Hungarian people toward foreign broadcasting was perhaps best summed up by 
the student referred to above, who said : "It was our only hope, and we tried 
to console ourselves with it." It would appear that certain broadcasts by Radio 
Free Europe helped to create an impression that support might be forthcoming 
for the Hungarians. The Committee feels that in such circumstances the greatest 
restraint and circumspection are called for in international broadcasting. 

(3) Reaction in the saddle 

132. Spokesmen for the USSR and the Government of Mr. KadJir maintain 
that reactionary influences changed the uprising, within a matter of days, into 
a fascist counter-revolution. One professor at the Budapest Academy of Fine 
Arts sought to compare what took place with his memories of the beginnings 
of the White counter-revolution in 1919. "I can say", he wrote, "that on the 
morning of 23 October my pupils, though they had a few just demands, had not 
the slightest inkling of the eventual development of events and within a few 
hours became, as a matter of fact, blind instruments in the hands of the counter 
revolutionary forces." " 

133. The Government of Janos Kadar has condemned that of Imre Nagy for 
failing to take action to deal with this growing movement. Mr. Nagy was ac- 
cused of drifting helplessly in the face of events, making concession after con- 
cession to right wing forces. As he hesitated, it is said that the forces of 
reaction became more and more violent and the degree of assistance from the 
West was stepped up in proportion. On 2 November, the Soviet news agency 
Tass, quoting the Austrian Communist newspaper Oesterreichische Volksstimme, 
declared: "Squadrons of planes are continuously leaving Austrian airfields for 
Budapest. They are not only carrying medical supplies, as official reports try 
to show ; with such a large number of aii'craft. all continents could be provided 
with medical supplies. Observers are convinced that hundreds of Hungarian 
soldiers are being sent to Hungary from the West, including former officers of 
Horthy's army and hundreds of Hungarian officei'S and soldiers who served in 
the Hitlerite army. Among the aircraft, one could see some planes belonging 
to the West German frontier services, some British planes and others." 

134. Many allegations were made that Red Cross facilities were usetl for the 
transportation of counter-revolutionary agents and arms. One report stated 
that, of one hundred Red Cross planes that landed in Hungary before Novem- 
ber 1956, more than forty brought counter-revolutionaries. 

135. Meanwhile, frenzy— so it is contended — seized upon the people in Buda- 
pest and in other cities where, under the alleged influence of fascist provoca- 
teurs, armed gangs are said to have roamed about, looting and terrorizing the 
people. A man hunt was organized for members of the State security services 
and also, said the exponents of this thesis, for honest Communist Party mem- 
bers and "progressive-minded" friends of the USSR, great numbers of whom 
are alleged to have been hanged in the streets or otherwise done to death. 
Exponents of this view of events have maintained that the Hungarian crowds, 

" At a press conference on 25 January 1957, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of 
Germany made the following statement regarding Radio Free Europe : "This investigation 
has shown that the assertions which appeared in the press, that Radio Free Europe 
promised the Hungarians assistance by the West — armed assistance by the West — are not 
consistent with the facts. However, remarks were also made which were liable to cause 
misinterpretations. But a discussion, an exchange of views, took place which also re- 
sulted in personnel changes and I believe that the matter can be considered settled for the 
time being." 

" Oi Shirikov Sovietskaya Kultura, 11 December 1956. 


in tbeir sadistic fiuy, made no distinction between the AVH and tlie ordinary 
members of the Party or Communist officials. The Committee is convinced 
that the acts of violence which took place were directed, in all but a very few 
cases, against recognized members of the AVH and that many Communists 
were among the crowds which wreaked vengeance on them. 

136. As soon as the "reactionary" leaders felt their power, it is said that 
popular demands for change became rapidly right wing in character and 
threatened the whole structure of the People's Democracy. The Hungarian 
White Book, Volume II, says that Archduke Joseph and Crown Prince Otto were 
among the personalities whose names "ag lin rose to the surface". Prai-da re- 
ported on 16 November that Admiral Horthy himself, then 88 years of age, had 
offered his services, and Prui-'da's correspondents in Budapest said that Prince 
Pal Eszterlulzy, formerly Hungary's largest landowner, re-established himself 
in that city, after his release from prison, and talked of joining the Government. 

137. Much stress has been laid by spokesmen for the USSR and for Mr. Kadar 
on the reappearance of Cardinal Mindszenty, whose release from prison was said 
to have been engineered by Major Anton Pillinkas, referred to as a son of Count 
Pallavincini, "the butcher of the Hungarian workers" in the W^hite Terror of 
1919. The Hungarian White Book declared that the Cardinal "lost no time in 
getting down to business", and on 3 November broadcast a message in which, 
"notwithstanding all its restraint, he openly set forth the aims of the counter- 
revolution". The Cardinal was said to have described the victory of the counter- 
revolution as an accomplished fact. However, the presence of Soviet troops 
at the approaches to Budapest and the news that Soviet reinforcements had 
arrived caused the Cardinal, in the words of the White Book, to "tread warily". 
Among other remarks, he was declared to have said that "there should be re- 
sponsibility before the law along all lines". The White Book deems this remark to 
be "nothing less than the proclamation of a general crusade against the sup- 
porters of proletarian rule". 

138. Special attention has been given by spokesmen for the Soviet Union and 
for Mr. Kadar's Government to the phenomenon of the Workers' Councils, a 
feature of the Hungarian uprising which linked it with similar movements 
following the 1917 Revolution in Russia. "Horthyite" and other counter-revolu- 
tionary elements, it is alleged, installed themselves on these Councils and used 
them, according to the normal counter-revolutionary technique, to mislead the 
Hungarian workers and to oppose the "real organs of popular authority". In 
July 1917, Lenin had found himself obliged to withdraw the slogan "All power 
to the Soviets !", because the Mensheviks and Socialists, who had ensconced them- 
selves in the Soviets at the height of the struggle, deserted to what were called 
the "enemies of the working-class". According to Lenin, the passing of political 
authority from the Bolsheviks to some indeterminate alliances of heterogeneous 
elements, only slightly to the right of the Bolsheviks, or even to the left of them, 
would always signify a victory for the counter-revolution. Essentially the same 
tactics were declared to have been used by "bourgeois reactionary elements" in 
the Hungarian Workers' Councils. 

139. In its examination of witnesses, the Committee has given particular 
attention to the thesis that the Hungarian uprising speedily degenerated into 
a reactionary movement reminiscent of fascism." It considers it appropriate, 
however, to suimmarize here certain of its comments on this aspect of the Soviet 

140. The Committee has, indeed, noted that several times during the last 
week of October and the first days of November prominent personalities drew 
attention to the need to be on the alert for signs of counter-revolution. On 2 
November, Byula Kelemen, the Secretary-General of the Social Democratic Party, 
wrote: "Let our peasant members unite their forces to frustrate all attempts 
to restore the large estates." ^ While the Committee has noted this and similar 
warnings, it feels that there was never, at any time a serious danger of counter- 
revolution in Hungary. The very few dispossessed landowners still living in 
that country exercised no influence either with the leaders or with the rank and 
file of those who took part in the uprising. No suggestion was entertained to 
return the estates to the former landowners or to undo the nationali:^ation of 

^^ Two later Chapters of the present report also bear on the allegations of counter- 
revolutionary danger : Chapter IX, which sets out the objectives and character of the 
uprising and Chapter XII, which deals witli ciianges in the political structure of Huncnrv 
diirin'r the weelc preceding the second Soviet intervention. 

^'^ Nepazava, 2 November IflSC. 

03215 — 50 — pt. 90 3 


Hungarian industrj'. Even aristocratic landowners such as Prince Pa! Eszter- 
hazy repudiated any such intention, while Cardinal Mindszentj' personally told 
one witness early in November that he had no intention of claiming the return 
of the great Church estates, but was proposing to ask for the reopening of 
Catholic schools. "Let no one dream", said Bela Koviics, leader of the Small- 
holders' Party, "of the old world returning : the world of the counts, the bankers 
and the capitalists is gone forever." " 

141. In its extensive examination of developments between 23 October and 
4 November, the Committee found no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any 
political personality associated with the pre-war regime exerted the slightest 
influence on events. At no time was there a demand for any such personality 
to be included in the new Government. lUoreover, it is a point of interest that 
the question of a counter-revolution seems not to have been raised by the Soviet 
authorities during their negotiations with the Government of Mr. Nagy. The 
Government which he was forming in the early days of November was a coalition 
composed of the parties included in the Hungarian National Independence Front 
of 1945. The parties composing this Independence Front had been sanctioned 
by the Allied Control Commission, on which the Government of the USSR was 

142. An interesting episode was the telephone conversation reported to the 
Committee as having taken place betv\-een Mr. Tildy and Ferenc Nagy, Prime 
Minister of Hungary from February 1946 to June 1947, who rang up Mr. Tildy 
from abroad. Mr. Tildy replied that the new developments in Hungary were 
developments with which Ferenc Nagy would be unfamiliar. He indicated to 
Mr. Nagy that his political ideas and connexions belonged to a world of the 

143. The suggestion that considerable num.bers of agents, saboteurs, former 
fascists and so on, entered Hungary during the uprising is rejected by the 
Committee. In this connexion it noted that the Austrian Government addressed 
to the Government of Hungary on 3 November a statement protesting against 
this very allegation. "The Austrian Government", declared the statement, "has 
ordered the establishment of a closed zone along the Austro-Hungarian fron- 
tier . . . The Minister of Defence has inspected this zone in the company of 
the military attaches of the Four Great Powers, including the USSii. The 
military attaches were thus enabled to satisfy themselves of the measures which 
have been taken in the frontier zone with a view to protecting the Austrian 
frontier and Austrian neutrality." " 

144. As to the suggestion that forty out of one hundred Red Cross aircraft 
landing in Budapest during the last days of October carried arms and agents, 
the Committee was authoritatively informed that the only Red Cross aircraft to 
arrive in Budapest during that time were five Yugoslav and one Swiss aircraft, 
each of which made three or four trips a day, and two Polish, two Czech, one 
Romanian and one Belgian aircraft, each of which made only one trip during the 
period in question. Tlie Ferihegy airport was occupied by Soviet forces at about 
midday on 29 October and was not handed back to the Hungarian authorities 
until 28 December. 

145. Tliere still remains the question of popular demands breaking out of the 
orthodox Communist mould as the popular forces gathered strength. In the 
Committee's view, the fact that these demands culminated in the proclamation of 
neutrality and withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact had nothing whatsoever to 
do v.ith fascist influence or the alleged pow-er of reactionary agents. The reasons 
for these more radical demands should be sought in such factors as popular 
hatred of the AVH and resentment against occupation by foreign troops which 
was intensified by the Soviet armed intervention, and by tl:e bitterness v>'ith 
which the AVH fought against the uprising in co-operation with Soviet trooys. 

146. Before closing its comments on the conter-revolutionary thesis, the Com- 
mittee wishes to draw attention to the fact that this thesis should be read with 
the point in mind that Soviet authors use such words as "counter-revolutionary". 

1* Kis Ujsdg, 1 November 1950. 

1= In the same note the Austrian Government Informed the Hunnrarian Government that 
Ferenc Nagy unexpectedly arrived in Vienna on 29 October and was requested by the 
Austrian authorities to leave Austrian territory immediately. The Soviet Go\ ernnient was 
also informed of this action. 


"fascist", "reactionary" and "chauvinistic" in a special sense, i. e., that of a 
refusal to accept the political tenets of the Soviet Union. Thus, Mr. Gero in 
his highly unpoular broadcast on the evening of 2o October, told the Hungarians 
that there could be no chauvinism, no loosening of the ties with the Soviet Union. 

147. The nature of the counter-revolution which was alleged to have been 
taking place in Hungary was defined en .5 December in the first resolution passed 
by Mr. Kruklr's re-named Socialist Workers' Party. This spoke of "a Horthyite- 
fascist-Hungarian capitalist-feudal counter-revolution"."' The Committee looked 
most carefully for evidence of such a heterogeneous movement, but found none. 
The only counter-revolution which did take place was that effected by the Soviet 
authorities when, by the use of overwhelming armed force, they replaced a 
socialist but democratic regime in formation in Hungary by a police-State. 

148. The Committee considers it of interest that certain writers of Communist 
sympathies, of whose writings they have been apprised, have rejected the thesis 
of the USSR and of Mr. Kadar's Government regarding Hungarian events. In 
their efforts to publish what they believed to be a truer version, they have en- 
countered the obstacle of "Party allegiance in literature" to which reference has 
been made in quoting the comment of a Russian man of letters. One of these, 
Peter Fryer, claims to have been the first Communist journalist from abroad 
to visit Hungary after the uprising. He had lieen sent to Hungary by the London 
Daily Worker, which then suppressed or severely edited the dispatches which he 
sent from Hungary." "This was no counter-revolution, organized by fascists 
and reactionaries", Fryer wrote in an unpublished dispatch to London. "It was 
the upsurge of a whole people, in wliich rank and tile Communists took part,, 
against a police dictatorship dressed up as a Socialist society — a police dictator- 
ship backed up by Soviet armed might." Next day, readers of the Daily Worker 
were told only about "gangs of reactionaries" who v.ere "beating Communists 
to death in the streets" and the following day Hungary disappeared altogether 
from its front page. In consequence of what he saw in Hungary and of the 
refusal of his newspaper to print the facts as he reported them, Fryer resigned 
from the Daily Worker after eight years' service with it. His testimony would 
seeiii to be of particular value regarding the view of events in Hungary pre- 
sented by the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kadar, because he still re- 
mained faithlui to the ideals of Communism — "a movement", he calls it, "which 
has meant everything in the world to me". He has given as the reason for his 
being subsequently suspended from the Communist Party that the leaders of 
that Party are "afraid of the truth". 


149. It will be seen that the version of events favoured by the Governments of 
the USSR and of Mr. Kiidar is in conflict at many points, and points of funda- 
mental importance, with what the Committee believes to be the truth. For 
convenience, the Soviet and Kadfir version of the Hungarian uprising is repeated 
below in summary form. 

l.'jf). Events ir. Hungary are said by spokesmen for the USSR and for the Kadar 
Government to have followed the classic pattern of the counter-revolution. 
First, shortcomings on the part of Hungary's leaders created among the people 
an atmospliere of justified discontent. Bourgeois and reactionary elements are 
alleged to have been waiting for an opportunity to recover their lost political 
and ecoi'omic domination. It is said that they made skilful use of this discontent 
to confuse even the workers and to induce them to put forward exaggerated 
demands. The argument runs that these Hungarian reactionaries were power- 
fully assisted by foreign sabotage organizations, propaganda, trained agents 
and a plentiful supply of arms. The Hungarian i)eople are said, by exponents of 
this view, to be fully conscious of the benefits of living in a People's Democracy, 
but to have lacked the power and effective leadership to resist so cunning a foe. 
Only the assistance of Soviet troops, it is claimed, enabled the true leaders of 
Himsary to throw hack the armed forces of "reaction". 

18 N^pszabndadg, 8 December 1936. 

" Peter Fryer : Hungarian Tragedy, London 1036. 



Chapter IV. Soviet Military Intervention (24 October-3 November 1956> 


iSl. In chapter I the Committee has explained vrhy a detailed chronological 
account of the events in Hungary would be inappropriate for its report. The 
considerations indicated in chapter I may be briefly recalled insofar as they 
relate particularly to this chapter and to tlmse which immediately follow. At 
the students' meetings on 22 October 1956 and during the demonstrations of 23 
October, demands were expressed for the removal of the severe restrictions which 
had come to be characteristic features of the regime. Had events continued along 
these lines, many Members of the United Nations would undoubtedly bave 
watched with sympathy the efforts of the Hungarian people to win for themselves 
a different form of government. However, such internal developments would 
not have constituted a matter of international concern calling for the attention 
of the United Nations. The feature of the developments in Hungary which 
compelled the attention of the Organization was the intervention of Soviet 
armed forces. This intervention tiansformed the uprising froin a demand for 
a change in the form and character of the domestic Government into a call for 
national liberation from external oppression. It is, therefore, appropriate that 
the report dwell in the flrst instance on the details of Soviet armed intervention. 
The Soviet apologia has been directed exclusively toward the statement of 
reasons which would justify such intervention, and not to a denial of the act. 

152. In this chapter it is not proposed to deal with the uprising itself or to 
discuss the reasons which have been advanced to justify Soviet intervention. 
This and the following chapters are concerned solely with stating the known 
facts about the extent of intervention by Soviet armed forces and the nature of 
the conflict between those forces and the people of Hungary. The present chapter 
will deal with the time and manner of the first armed intervention which 
ostensil)ly commenced on 24 October 1956, and the subsequent chapter with 
the time and manner of the second armed intervention from the early morning 
of 4 November to the suppression of armed Hungarian resistance. 


153. The Committee has received information from many sources regarding 
the movements of Soviet armed forces, and on the basis of this information it 
is possible to present the following account of the military operations involved. 

154. At the time of the uprising the Soviet troop locations nearest to Buda- 
pest were Cegled and Sz^kesfehervar, both about 70 kilometres from Budapest, 
the former southeast and the latter southwest of the capital. The tanks coming 
from the southwest appeared in Budapest at about 2 a. m. on 24 October, at 
which time they were seen at ISIoricz Zsigmond Circle, in Buda, heading towards 
Pest. They had crossed the Szabadsag (formerly Ferencz .Jozsef) Bridge and 
were standing on the east, or Pest, side of the bridge between 3.30 a. m. and 
5 a. m. Not all the tanks coming from the southwest crossed by the Szabadsag 
Bridge. Between 4.30 a. m. and 5.30 a. in. other tanks passed over the Margit 
Bridge on their way between Buda and Pest. Some tanks remained near tbe 
bridges, controlling passage over the river. Others occupied the embankment 
i'oad running north and south on the east side of the Daimbe. Still others con- 
centrated about major buildings in Pest. At the latter points they were shortly 
joined by tanks arriving from Cegled; these had passed throu'-ih the outlying 
suburbs of Budapest — Pestszeuterzsebet and Soroksar — at about 6 a. m. Thus 
the movement of Soviet forces gives the impression of a military movement 
planned in advance. 

155. At the time of the entry of Soviet forces, the people of Budapest had 
been in conflict with the AVH for some hours. This conflict had begun at the 
Radio Building the previous evening, and during the night the peoplp, having 
secured arms, had continued to attack the AVH wherever they could be found. 

156. As day broke on the morning of 24 Octolier, the people found themsehes 
no longer confronted only by the discredited AVH, but by the armed forces of 
the Soviet Union parading in strength through the streets of Hungary's capital. 
At 6 a. m., one of the columns of Soviet vehicles coming from the \yest opened 
five without warning at the point where the major thoroughfare of t'Uoi Street 


reaches the People's Park {Nepliget) ; no fighting was taking place there at the 
time. Soviet vehicles coming from the east are reported to have opened fire 
in the outskirts at 6 a. m. in the neighbourhood of the Slaughterhouse, and at 
7 a. m. at the corner or Soroksari Street and Nagy Sandor Street. Thus began 
the conflict between the people of Budapest and the armed forces of the Soviet 

157. While the outbreak of fighting has focused attention on the actual entry 
of Soviet forces into Budapest, the Committee has good reason to believe that 
steps had been quietly taken during the two preceding days with a view to the 
use of Soviet forces for the repression of discontent in Hungary. It has been 
credibly reported that on 21-22 October, in the neighbouring areas in Romania, 
Soviet oflicers on leave and reserve officers speaking Himgarian or German were 

158. On 20-21 October, floating bridges were assembled at ZShony on the 
frontier between the USSR and Hungary: it was over these pontoon bridges 
that Soviet troops from the USSR crossed on the morning of 24 October. It 
has also been credibly reported to the Committee that Soviet forces were seen 
on the march between Szombathely and Szekesfehervar as early as 22 October, 
moving from the west towards Budapest. During the night of 23-24 October, 
Soviet forces began to pass through Szeged and continued to move through the 
town along the road to Budapest for some thirty-six hours. 

159. There is evidence also that, even in the first intervention by the armed 
forces of the USSR, use was made not only of Soviet troops stationed in Hun- 
gary, but of Soviet troops from the USSR itself and from Romania. It would 
appear that, of the Soviet forces used in the first intervention, only two divisions 
had been stationed in Hungary before the uprising, namely, the Second Mecha- 
nized Division and the Seventet^uih Mechanized Division. Seemingly, however, 
Soviet authorities had foreseen the probability that the troops stationed on 
Hungarian territory would be insufficient to deal with the situation, and had 
taken steps to call in forces from outside Hungary. The Soviet troops from 
the USSR who crossed the pontoon bridges at Zahony moved onwards to Miskolc, 
while those who crossed the border in the vicinity of Beregsurany proceeded 
towards Nyiregyhaza and Debrecen. The Hungarian political police at Nyir- 
bator reported at 1 a. m. on 24 October to the Ministry of Defence that Soviet 
troops had entered Hungary from Romania. When on 28 October soldiers of 
the Thirty-second and Thirty-fourth Mechanized Divisions were treated in 
the Verebely Clinic in Budapest, they were, on interrogation, found to be in 
possession oT Romanian money. Part of the two divisions had been stationed 
at Timisoara. Thus the forces used to repress the uprising in October were 
not exclusively forces which had been stationed in Hungary under the Warsaw 


160. The Soviet forces had been given to understand that their task would 
be the liquidation of counter-revolutionary gangs. The situation in which they 
found themselves was that they were confronted by the unanimous opposition 
of an outraged people. Those elements on which they had presumably counted, 
with the exception of the secret police, failed to provide the expected support. 
The Communist Party, which had held the country in its grip during the pre- 
ceding years, was rapidly disintegrating. The detested AVH, which had been 
the main instrument of oppression, found itself paralyzed by the resentment of 
the people. Its members had been forced to seek refuge in various strongholds, 
where they were subjected to persistent attack, for the ruthlessness which they 
had themselves exercised now recoiled on them. The Hungarian Army, which 
the Budapest Radio announced as fighting on the side of the Soviet forces, is 
not known to have lent them any assistance whatever, while in at least one 
instance it engaged in active battle with them and in many other cases gave aid 
and supi)ort to the Hungarian people in their resistance to the Soviet army. 

161. In combatting the new enemy, people of all ages and occupations showed 
remarkable unity of purpose. However important the role of the students in 
the initial stage of the demonstrations, it was matched by equal determination on 
the part of the workers as the fighting grew in intensity. The fighting was no- 
where more severe than in certain factory districts. The peasants lent aid 
and assistance by supplying the fighters in Budapest with food at little or no 
cost. Moreover, while there were many instances of middle-aged or elderly 


people participating in the fighting, the youth of the capital played a leading 

162. Two of the first instances of the use of "Molotov cocktails" were by a man 
of some fifty years of age who destroyed an armoured car at 7 : 30 a. m. on 24 
October near the Kilian Barracks, and by children who are reported to have 
blown up an armoured car with its crew at 8 : 30 a. m. Efforts made by leaders 
to prevent the distribution of arms to young boys seem in many instances to 
have been in vain ; they readily learned to make effective use of rifles which 
came into their possession. 

163. In the highly industrialized area of Csepel Island at the southern end of 
Greater Budapest, the factory workers, reinforced by police and artillery units 
which had come over to their side, created an effective organization of their 
own. Though Soviet tanks arrived in Csei)el at 7 a. m. on 24 October, they 
made no persistent attempt to crush the uprising there. One incident was re- 
ported in which eight Soviet armoured cars, reinforced by AVH personnel, 
opened fire near the former Manfred Weiss factory ; ^ when, however, the fac- 
tory workers pressed with their attack on the AVH, the Soviet armoured cars 
retreated to Budapest. The Csepel workers were thus free to go to the help of 
those who were fighting in Budapest. They travelled northwards in cars, on 
bicycles, or on foot, to the centre of the city. 

164. In the middle of Pest, two of the major points of opposition to the Soviet 
invasion were the Kilian Barracks and the Corvin Cinema. At the Kilian 
Barracks — the former Mjiria Terezia military barracks — an old and strong brick 
structure on tjlloi Street — a unit of the Hungarian Army under the leadership 
of Colonel Pal Maleter, took sides with the insurgents and continued to with- 
stand successive attacks by Soviet forces. The defenders of the Kilian Bar- 
racks, including the civilian reinforcements, are said to have numbered some 
2,000. When fighting ended there, sixty to seventy Soviet soldiers had lost their 
lives. About fifty yards away from the Kilidn Barracks, just beyond "U1181 
Street, the Corvin Cinema, standing at the point of convergence of three roads, 
tJlloi Street, Jozsef Boulevard and Kisfaludy Passage, was rapidly converted 
into a stronghold. Attack on the cinema, a strong, circular structure, was made 
difl3cult by the proximity on all sides of four-story buildings. 

165. The Committee heard a graphic account of the conflict at the Corvin 
Block and of the use of the "Molotov cocktail" by the insurgents. An anti- 
tank gun, removed from a disabled Soviet tank, was placed against the steps 
in front of the cinema, and a mechanism was arranged to fire it from within 
the building. The tanks or arm.oured cars came from the side streets and. on 
turning into the boulevard, were within range of the anti-tank gun which was 
able to destroy their tracks before they could train their guns on the cinema. 
Observers posted on the top floors of buildings on the side streets signalled the 
approach of Soviet vehicles. At the signal, the preparation of "Molotov cock- 
tails" began. A bottle — perhaps a bottle of tomato preserve previously emptied 
for the purpose — was nearly filled with gasoline. It was then loosely corked, 
with towelling around the cork. At a second signal, given when the tank drew 
nearer to the Corvin Cinema, the bottle would be tipped downwards so that the 
gasoline could seep into the towelling. At the third signal, the towelling would 
be lit and the bottle thrown. As the loose cork fell out, the bottle would explode. 
A gasoline store on the premises of the Corvin Cinema provided its defenders 
with an adequate supply of fuel. The Corvin Block was one of the resistance 
groups in Budapest which successfully withstood attack during the first period 
of fighting. 

166. At times the Hungarians met with sympathy from Soviet troops. Soviet 
forces normally stationed in Hungary or in Romania had been affected by their 
surroundings. Many a Plungarian had learnt some Russian — either at school, 
where it was a compulsory language, or in a prisoner-of-war camp. They were 
able to reproach the Soviet troops, when occasion offered, for their interference 
in Hungarian affairs. The Soviet soldiers were, indeed, in a situation of some 
embarrassment. The civilians whom they fought included women, children and 
elderly people. The.y could see that the people were unanimous in their fight 
against the AVH and foreign intervention ; that the men whom the Soviet Army 
was figliting and the prisoners who were captured were not fascists but work- 
ers and students, who demonstrably regarded Soviet soldiers not as liberators, 
but as oppressors. It was also an unusual experience for the Soviet soldiers. 

^8 Subsequently called "Rdkosi Works" ; now known as "Csepel Works". 


jis for the Hungariaus themselves, to hear people speaking openly on subjects 
hitherto bniiijed in t-onversatiou. Some Russian officers and soldiers appear to 
have fought and died ou the Hungarian side. 

167. Confronted by opposition in Budapest which they were unable to master, 
the Soviet forces were in no position to control the provinces. The concen- 
tration of forces in Budapest seemingly left certain parts of the country, par- 
ticularly the region between the Danube and the western frontiers— Trans- 
danubia — practically free from Soviet forces. In such centres as Pecs, no 
Soviet troops arrived until the beginning of November. In some other centres 
where Soviet garrisons were present but isolated, relations with the local 
inhabitants were amicable enough. On 23 October, Free Radio Gyor announced 
that the Soviet military commander had denied any intention of interfering 
"in your internal political affairs", adding that "the rising of the Hungarian 
people against oppressive leaders is justified". The Soviet commander thanked 
the population for supplying milk to the children of the Soviet garrison and 
requested the people to notify him of any violation of regulations by Soviet 
soldiers. In conclusion, he assured the people of Gyor that the Soviet troops 
were not preparing to attack the city. 

168. In Veszprem, the Revolutionary Council, hearing of rumours on 28 
October that Soviet troops at the Hajmask^r barracks were preparing to attack 
the city in order to reinstate the former officials, sent a three-man delegation 
to the Soviet commander. The commander deplored that at Varpalota, in the 
oounty of Veszprem, three Soviet citizens had been killed, but he recognized 
the right of the Hungarian people to choose their own form of government and 
to remove leaders who did not perform their tasks properly. He gave the 
assurance that, if the Hungarians refrained from attack, the Soviet troops 
would make no attack on Veszprem. The same Soviet commander refused to 
give asylum to members of the AVH who had sought refuge with Russian 
troops. At Jaszbereny the Soviet commander took the initiative of calling on 
the Revolutionary Council. Accompanied by two Soviet officers, he promised 
the Council that he would not interfere in Hungarian internal affairs and that 
the troops would not leave the barracks on manoeuvres. Jaszbereny was later 
the scene of a serious incident, but not until 4 November, when Soviet policy 
had changed. In Debrecen the Soviet forces withdrew from the city to the 
countryside. Soviet tanks had arrived there on 24 October, but, after negotia- 
tions between the Revolutionary Council and the Soviet commander had begun 
in the afternoon of the 20th, the commander agreed to withdraw the Soviet 
troops from the city and to lift the curfew, and Soviet withdrawal from Debrecen 
began on the 27th. 

169. In the provinces, the eviden<'e suggests that the Soviet forces were con- 
cerned rather to avoid conflict with the Hungarian people. 

170. In Budapest the fighting continued from the 24th to the 28th, as Soviet 
armour sought to eliminate the resisters' strongholds. The massacre in the 
square by the Parliament Building exasperated rather than terrified the people, 
and the severe Soviet attacks of 27 October were unsuccessful. Not until the 
cease-fire of 28 October did a lull ensue, and the fighting had, in effect, come to 
an end by 30 October. 


171. One central demand of the insurgents in Budapest was that Soviet troops 
should withdraw from the capital. Deputations of the Revolutionary Councils 
from the provinces and from the fighting groups in Budapest pressed their de- 
mands on the Government. They stressed that they would not lay down their 
arms until the Government had made its position clear regarding the withdrawal 
of Soviet troops from the entire country. However, the insurgents conceded that 
the first step would be the evacuation of Budapest, to be followed within a given 
period of time by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Hungarian territory. 
Such were the demands received from the Students' Revolutionary Council, the 
Miskolc Revolutionary Council, the Transdanubian National Council, and from 
numerous towns and villages in various parts of the country. 

172. At .5.2.' p.m. on 28 October, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Mr. Nagy, 
announced that the Soviet Government had agreed to begin the withdrawal of 
its troops from "the city's territory". The following morning Premier Nagy and 
the Minister of Defence, General Karoly Janza, met the representatives of the 
more prominent insurgent groups at the Ministry of Defence. According to the 
evidence received, General .Tanza insisted during this meeting that the technical 


complexity of a withdrawal of troops made it difficult to effect this within the 
time limits set by the insurgents. Since, however, the discussions also concerned 
the re-establishment of order in Budapest, the meeting ended on a hopeful note. 
The Government was to seek to conclude with the Soviet authorities a time-table 
for actual withdrawal, while the insurgents would lend assistance in this task by 
maintaining order and showing due respect towards the withdrawing Soviet 

173. Negotiations between the Government and the Soviet authorities continued 
during the day. At the same time, General Kinily, as head of the Revolutionary 
Military Council, was establishing the foundations of the National Guard, with 
the intention of guiding and co-ordinating the various insurgent groups. During 
the evening General Janza announced the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the 
eighth district of Budapest, and called upon the insurgents to lay down their arms 
in conformity with the agreement. The next day he announced that the with- 
drawal of Soviet forces from Budapest would be completed by dawn of .31 October. 

174. During the last days of October, Soviet armoured and other vehicles begnn 
to evacuate Budapest, with the exception of certain key positions, such as the 
Soviet Embassy and the main approaches to the Danube bridges. This with- 
drawal, however, took place simultaneously with the surrounding of the prin- 
cipal airports of Budapest — an action which provoked a resolution of the staff 
of the Hungarian National Air Command of SO October threatening that, unless 
the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Budapest was effected within twelve 
hours, the Hungarian Air Force "would make an armed stand in support of the 
demands of the entire Hungarian working people". The Budapest airports of 
Ferihegy, Budaoi's and Tokol were under the control of Soviet troops or substan- 
tially so, owing to the proximity to these airfields of Soviet artillery and 
armoured units. The same was triie of Szentkiralyszabadja airport (between 
Veszprem and Lake Balaton) and the Kecskemet and Szolnok airports. Buda- 
pest was ringed by three airfields in its immediate vicinity, while the three 
others, lying at a distance of 100 kilometres, occupied strategic positions. It 
appears, however, that six military airfields — Papa, Szekesfehervar and Kaposvar 
in western Hungary, Kiskunlachiiza and Kalocsa in central Hungary, and Kun- 
madaras in northeastern Hungary — were not subject at that time to Soviet mili- 
tary control. They had, according to reports, some 200 Hungarian planes, of 
various types, available for immediate action. 

17.5. General Kiraly, in accordance with Premier Nagy's instructions, forbade 
any military action on the part of the Hungarian Air Force. The position taken 
by the Premier was that, as discussions were under way regarding the with- 
drawal of the Soviet troops, any sign of belligerence on the part of the Hun- 
garian forces, particularly if not the result of direct provocation, would destroy 
the chance of resolving this question through negotiations and might, in fact, 
precipitate Soviet retaliation. However, air reconnaissance was permitted, and 
reports were received on Soviet trooji movements in Hungary for the period of 

29 October to 2 November. In the vicinity of Budapest, to the north and south 
of the city on the Vac, Cegled and Kecskemet highways, there were stationed on 

30 October some 200 tanks, tenders and other Soviet armoui-ed vehicles. Just 
to the west of Budapest were some thirty tanks, and at Szekesfehervar. twenty- 
five. In western Hungary, around Gyor and Szombathely, some ten to fifteen 
tanks and other service vehicles were located near each town. In Kecskemet, 
Szolnok, Bekescsaba and Debrecen there remnined a small number of tanks. 
It was calculated that, in all, there were less than 400 Soviet tanks in commis- 
sion in Hungary at that time. On 30 October an airlift from Tokol, Ferihegy and 
other airports was put into operation, and it is estimated that some 200 trans- 
port planes were used to evacuate the families of Soviet military and civilian 
personnel and wounded troops. Notwithstanding the reports that the incoming 
planes were carrying military supplies, the belief was generally entertained on 
the last day of October that the Soviet withdrawal might soon become a reality. 

176. This hope was short-lived. At 11 : 30 p. m. on 1 November, Radio Buda- 
pest reported that, according to an announcement issued by the Soviet Embassy, 
airfields of the Hungarian Air Force had been surrounded by armoured forces 
of the Soviet Army in order to secure the air transport of the families of Soviet 
troops and the wounded. The radio statement added that "The Hungarian Air 
Force, in full complement, was ready to defend itself against overwhelming 
strength. The Government, however, fully realizing its responsibilities, pro- 
hibited the opening of fire. So the troops of the Air Force are now facing the 
Soviet forces present, without firing and with discipline. They await the de- 


parture of the Soviet troops." By this date, the possibility of action by the 
Hungarian Air Force was rapidly being curtailed. The staging areas of the 
Soviet troops were by now the Hungarian military airfields or those which the 
Soviet Air Force had previously occupied, such as Papa and Veszprem. Con- 
sidering that the number of civilians and wounded soldiers to be evacuated was 
relatively small, it seemed that the Soviet Embassy's announcement was in- 
tended to justify the seizure of the airfields and the immobilization of the 
Hungarian Air Force. 

177. The available information indicates that, during the days following 29 
October, the prevailing attitude in Budapest with regard to the withdrnwal of 
Soviet troops was one of quiet, though tense, expectancy. The new free I*ress 
and the radio, while rejoicing in the positive results achieved during the nego- 
tiations for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Budapest, asked the population 
to refrain from showing any signs of hostility towards the foreign troops. The 
Soviet forces did, in fact, withdraw from the city without obstruction. In the 
20th District, Soroksar and Pestszenterzs<Jbet, which came vinder the Unified 
Command of the National Guard, the only incidents reported on the 29th were 
of fighting with some Soviet units which had been cut off from food supplies 
and were looting food stores. The next day, the cease-fire came into full effect 
and thereafter the armed truce was respected by both sides, and no infringe- 
ments occurred until the early hours of 4 November. The situation was similar 
in the suburban areas to the north and west of the capital. In the provincial 
centres, the Soviet troops withdrew from the towns or, if garrisoned there, to 
the barracks, giving the impression that their intervention in Hungary was com- 
ing to an end. 


178. In fact, during the last days of October and the beginning of November, 
the Soviet forces were effecting three types of troop movements in Hungary, 
The first was the withdrawal from the capital, and from public view in the 
provinces. The second was the dispatch of new forces from the East to certain 
strategic centres within Hungary, ostensibly, as announced by Soviet Ambassador 
Andropov, to assist in the organized withdrawal of the Soviet forces. The third 
was the massing on and within the Hungarian borders of heavy armoured units 
which were to be called upon four days later to crush the Hungarian uprising. 
The first two movements — outward from Budapest and inward from the eastern 
frontier, seem to have converged, at strategic locations along the main arterial 
road system, to form a crescent about 150 kms. east of Budapest. This con- 
solidation stretched from Gyongyos and Hatvan in the north on the Budapest- 
Miskolc highway, then through Cegled and Szolnok on the Budapest-Debrecen 
highway, and Kecskemet on the Budapest-Szeged highway, to Dunafoldvar which 
lies on the western bank of the Danube. In Transdanubia before 31 October, 
this military consolidation was not as extensive as in the Danubian plain except 
at Szekesfehervar, to which some of the troops from Budapest had been with- 

179. On the eastern frontier, after two days of relative immobility — 27 and 
28 October — new troop movement were observed. At Zahony, the frontier sta- 
tion on the Transcarpathian border, at least 100 tanks were located on Hungarian 
territory, while a considerable force of motorized infantry, with artillery ve- 
hicles and supporting tank units, was moving westwai'ds towards Nyiregyhaza. 
The next day, 133 light tanks and 80 of the latest model heavy tanks crossed 
the frontier at Zahony, more than compensating for the few tanks and infantry 
vehicles which were moving eastward from Nyiregyhaza, with the local inhabi- 
tants cheering them on their way. 

180. In some cases, as reported from the frontier village of Csaroda, the convoy 
going eastwards had not really left Hungary, but had moved in a circular fashion, 
returning westwards by another road. Reports of new troops entering the 
country from 29 October appear to have continued daily. The Zahony sector 
was the principal venue, but from 31 October, most of the roads leading into 
Hungary were being used for the conveyance of Soviet troops. From the fron- 
tier village of Nyirbator close to Satu Mare in Romania, to the frontier post of 
Battonya, near Arad in Romania, the roads were blocked with incoming ve- 
hicles. At Debrecen, where a reconnaissance plane of the Hungarian Air Force 
was shot down on 31 October by a Soviet anti-aircraft battery, there were also 
considerable military activities. During the following three days, air recon- 
naissance became increasingly diflScult owing to the rapid diminution in the 
number of airfields free from Soviet control. 


181. It became clear that the new Soviet troops were advancing by stages 
towards strategic positions in the Danubian plain and even Transdannbia. Thus 
fresh units came to Szolnok and Kecskemet by 1 November, while another unit 
appears to have crossed the Danube and to have established itself by that date 
at Dombovar, 20 kilometres north of the city of Pecs. The Soviet Army used 
also the main raihoad line passing through Zahony for the transportation of 
troops. It is known that they seized the railway stations at Zahony, Kisvarda 
and Nyiregyhaza during 1 and 2 November, and some armed clashes occurred 
between the Hungarian railway workers and the Soviet troops. The eastern 
lines were commandeered by the Soviet Military Command, and fro-m 2 November 
on the Hungarian railways could not operate between Szolnok and' Nyiregyhaza. 

182. The Soviet Military Command was also using the more developed com- 
munications system of Czechoslovakia. This proved helpful to them, as the 
Zahony approaches to Hungary tended to constitute a bottleneck, notwithstand- 
ing the building of auxiliary pontoon bridges over the Tisza. With regard to 
the Romanian crossings, although these lines were put into use, as far south as 
Timisoara, they tended to extend unduly the Soviet communications system. 
Thus, a deployment of Soviet forces took place on the north through Slovakia 
and along the Danube, possibly as far east as Esztergom (north of Budapest) to 
Rajka (north of Magyarovar). On 2 November Soviet troops from Czecho- 
slovakia crossed the Danube bridge at Komarom. 

183. By the evening of 2 November, Hungary had to all intents and purposes 
been reinvaded. Premier Nagy continued negotiations with the Soviet repre- 
sentatives, in the hope that this i>owerful Soviet force was there only as a show 
of strength. Estimates of Soviet forces in Hungary vary from 1,600 to 4,000 
tanks and from 75,000 men to 200,000. The Committee has been informed that 
a more probable figure is 2,500 tanks and armoured cars with 1,000 supporting 

184. By the evening of 3 November, communication between Budapest and the 
provinces was limited to the telephone, as the highways and railways were, for 
all practical purposes, sealed off by the Soviet forces. The agreement between 
the Hungarian Government and the Soviet authorities regarding the withdrawal 
of Soviet troops from Hungary had been reached in the afternoon. Certain 
outstanding matters relating to the withdrawal remained to be decided. For 
this. General Maleter, as head of a Delegation, was empowered to represent the 
Government. At 10 p. m. he proceeded to the headquarters i)f the Soviei- Military 
Command at Tokol on Csepel Island. Consequently, Premier Nagy had grounds 
for believing that Hungary, despite the presence of the large Soviet military 
force in the country, was destined to become free. 


185. In the present chapter, the Committee has summarized the information 
available to it regarding the movement of Soviet forces within Hungary from 
the beginning of the first intervention to the eve of the second intervention. 
Simultaneously with the renewed concentration of military forces described in 
this chapter, negotiations were being conducted between the Government of 
Hungary and the Government of the USSR for the withdrawal of Soviet forces 
from Hungary. The course of these negotiations is dealt with in chapter VIII. 
The problem arises of reconciling the known facts regarding the political nego- 
tiations for complete withdrawal with the clear evidence of the continued re- 
introduction of forces and their concentration within the country. It may well 
be that, immediately before the second intervention, the political and military 
authorities of the USSR differed regarding the best way of meeting the unusual 
circumstances which had arisen, and that the military authorities at no point 
abandoned the belief that the only way to resolve the difliculties which had 
arisen in Hungary was by force. 

Chapter V. Second Soviet ^Military Intervention 

A. introduction 

180. A period of less than a week intervened lietween the end of hostilities in 
October and the second attack by Soviet armed forces on the morning of Sun- 
day 4 November. The Committee received authoritative evidence regarding the 
conditions in Budapest during this brief period. Od the eve of the second attack, 
order was being rapidly restored in the damaged streets of the capital. People 
were already at work removing the rubble and glass. Despite innumerable 


broken shop windows, no looting took place. Good progress was being made in 
the direction of political consolidation, and the resumption of work could be 
confidently expected on Monday, 5 November. Negotiations had been completed 
for the formation of a National Guard under General Kiraly with a view to en- 
suring internal security. A sense of confidence had developed among the 
citizens of Budapest. 

187. Evidence has been given in the preceding chapter that Soviet troop move- 
ments into Hungary on a considerable scale and other military preparations 
had been going on for some days. In view of the diflBculties of large-scale mili- 
tary planninsi, it would seem most prol)able that the design of the second inter- 
vention had been worked out during the last days of October, if not sooner. The 
purposes of this chapter is to assemble evidence as to the actual fighting which 
took place from early in the morning of 4 November until armed resistance 
ceased. It is thought appropriate, however, at this point to consider one aspect 
of the fighting that had a considerable bearing on the way in which it developed, 
namely the attitude of the regular Hungarian Army towards the uprising and 
of the insurgents towards the Army. 


188. It is a significant fact that, throughout the uprising, no single unit of 
the Hungarian Army fought as such on the side of the Soviet troops. Not only 
at the Kilian Barracks, but later also on the Citadel in Budapest and in the 
Matra and Biikk mountains, Hungarian Army units fought on the side of the 
uprising. Apart from these organized Army units, numerous Hungarian sol- 
diers deserted to the insurgents or handed over weapons and ammunition. It 
would not be an exaggeration to say that the Hungarian Army proved useless to 
the Soviet Command throughout Hungary as a means of quelling the insurrec- 
tion. In fact, it started to disintegrate at the outset. Desertions took place in 
such numbers that the Minister of Defence, Istvan Bata, was obliged to appeal 
over the radio in the follov^'ing terms at 8.56 a. m. on 2.5 October — only some 
thirty-six hours after the beginning of the revolt : "I instruct those members of 
the Army who, for one reason or another, have been separated from their units to 
report to their commanding officers at their formations immediately, and not 
later than 12.00, 25 October." Later appeals by radio called upon the troops 
to report to the nearest military post, since by then many soldiers had left their 
provincial garrisons to come to Budapest or to help in the" uprising elsewhere. 

180. Since the junior ranks came from peasant or worliing class homes, where 
the grievances complained of were well known, their sympathies were quickly- 
engaged on behalf of the insurgents, and there is evidence that similar griev- 
ances to those of the civilians had been voiced in the garrisons also. For ex- 
ample, there was bitterness over the introduction of a Russian-type uniform 
for Hungarian soldiers and over the subordinate position of the Hungarian 
Army. This inferior status was to be seen in the supervision by Soviet officers of 
the Hungarian General Staff, in the Soviet control over heavy tactical weapons, 
heavy communications materials and the Air Force, and in the infiltration of the 
Hungai'ian Army by State security organs under Soviet supervision. A sense of 
inferiority had thus been bred in the rank and file of the Army which, for some 
time past, had led to complaints. 

190. The resistance of the Hungarian people was considerably strengthened by 
the attitude of the soldiers, at first by their refusal to fight against the in.sur- 
gents and soon by their active help. This attitude, however, did not extend to 
most of the senior officers. Under Soviet inspiration, special cadres of Commu- 
nist officers had been developed to handle all key operations and commanding 
officers were chosen for their party affiliation rather than their military training. 
Senior Hungarian officers with military experience had, in most cases, been 
retired or assigned to teaching posts in one of the military academies. On the 
other hand, a number of younger officers had undergone training in the Soviet 
Union and were presumed to be not only Communists, l»nt also pro-Soviet. The' 
remainder of the Officer Corps had at one time or another during the past ten 
years received a special Communist indoctrination, and many were believed 
to have pro-Soviet sympathies. Hovi-ever, in the Budapest military academies, 
contrary to expectations, the cadets reacted differently to developments. They 
were aware of the grievances of the workers and took part eagerly in such dis- 
cussions as those at the Petofi Club. According to Budapest radio reports, when 
the demonstrations were organized on 23 October, about 800 cadets from the 
Petttfi Military Academy in Buda were among the demonstrators at the Bern 


statue. Great encouragement was given to the demonstrators by the presence in 
their midst of cadets marching in their uniforms. 

191. All these factors had created sympathy and confidence between the insur- 
gents and the rank and file of the Hungarian Army. Most of the insurgents, 
however, remained distrustful of the Army Command and of the senior ofiicers in 
general. During the days of freedom, the Revolutionary Military Council of the 
Army and the Command of the National Guard established a working relation- 
ship with the insurgents of Greater Budapest. In the provinces, the situation 
was still confused. Much depended on the attitude of the officer commanding the 
local garrison and on that of his staff. Often the senior officers had been 
against the uprising or had declared themselves neutral. In some cases, where 
the garrison had actually sided with the insurgents, it had been unable to act 
as an organized unit for lack of ammunition or through action by the AVH or 
by the Suviet MKVD. 

102. The freedom fighters had welcomed deserting soldiers and officers into 
their ranks and made extensive use of weapons and equipment given them by 
the Army, but they preferred to keep the command of the insurgent groups in 
civilian hands. During the "days of freedom", it was proposed to reorganize 
the Army on non-political lines and to remove some of the officers known for 
their pro-Soviet views. This, however, would have taken time nnd, meanwhile, 
the Revolutionary Committees had little faith in the Ministry of Defence or in 
the Hungarian military command. They often insisted on personal confirma- 
tion of instructions by a leader they trusted, such as General Maleter or Kiraly. 

193. At the first meeting of the Revolutionary National Defence Committee on 
31 October, Generals Maleter and Kiraly and Colonel Nader of the Air Force, 
had been of the opinion that the reorganization of the Hungarian Army should 
be speeded up. They felt, however, that the attitude of the Army and of the 
insurgents towards the Russians should be above reproach during the negotiations 
for withdrawal of the Soviet troops. The possibility of a renewed Soviet attack 
was already borne in mind. W^hile Generals Maleter and Istvan Kovacs were 
concerned exclusively with the technical negotiations for the withdrawal of 
Soviet troops. Colonel Andras Marton was called from the Zrinyi Military 
Academy to prepare a defence plan, for use in the event of a second Soviet at- 
tack. Colonel Marton, however, was released from the Zrinyi Academy only on 2 
November. By that time, Soviet troop movements were going on in various parts 
of the country and communications were becoming extremely difficult. It was 
obvious that the Sojff^''comniand, if it wished to strike, had more than sufficient 
troops in Hungary to make any organized resistance impossible. 

194. On 2 and 3 November various revolutionary groups in such positions as 
the Corvin Block and the Kilian Barracks and in the industrial suburbs of 
Budapest replenished their stocks of ammunition with the help of the National 
Guard. They appear to have received little, however, but rifle bullets. Some 
officers and non-commissioned officers attached to the various groups undertook 
a little hasty artillery training. Defensive positions were improved or alterna- 
tive sites chosen which provided better vantage points for anti-tank guns. It 
would appear, however, that no over-all plan was drawn up to protect Budapest 
in the event of an attack. The resistance organizers worked on the local level and 
with improvised means. 

195. Leaders of Revolutionary Councils seemed to derive special satisfaction 
from being in direct telephone communication with Mr. Nagy, Mr. Tildy or Gen- 
eral Kiraly. From 9 o'clock in the evening of 3 November, reports came in from 
the Councils by telephone and special messenger both to Mr. Nagy and to General 
Kiraly, as they had no confidence in the hierarchy of officers transmitting their 
messages from the field to the highest echelons. This circumstance throws some 
light on the individualist nature of Hungarian military operations. Resistance 
followed no general plan, but was limited to local, although often fiercely fought, 
engagements. It is important to see these engagements against the background 
of a Hungarian Army which had virtually ceased to exist as such, with the 
resulting impossibility for most Army units to fight in formation, but with the 
corollary that the participation of soldiers in the resistance, individually or in 
groups, "became a common feature of the fighting. It was in such circumstances 
that the citizens of Budapest found themselves again under Soviet fire. 


196. From 9 p. m. on 8 November the capital had been completely surrounded. 
Information that hundreds of tanks were advancing slowly towards the capital 
was received from observation posts on the major highways. Reports came in 


that at some places such as Pestszenterzsebet, small units had entered the dis- 
trict possibly trying to make the insurgents open fire. Since, according to the 
withdrawal agreement of 31 October, Russian troops were to evacuate Greater 
Budapest local Commanders were ordered on instructions from Mr. Nagy not 
to open lire The Ministry of Defence also gave the same instruction many 
times Witnesses have testified that in no case was a shot fired by the insur- 
gents By 3 o'clock in the morning tanks were moving along Soroksar Avenue 
up to Boraros Square on the Pest side of the river, cutting off Csepel Island from 
the inner capital. Similar advances were made from the Vaci Avenue on the 
north down the east bank of the river, cutting off Ujpest from the Buda side. 
No precise information exists from the other sectors, but it is known that 
Soviet troops opened fire at 4:25 a. m. at Budaorsi Way, to the south of the 
old city of Buda. Shortly afterwards cannon fire was heard from all quarters 
of the city and from outlying districts. c ■ ^ * i a 

197. Fighting broke out at numerous points of resistance. Soviet tanks aa- 
vanced along the main boulevards radiating from the Danube. The insurgents 
set up barricades at important intersections on the Outer Ring of Pest and fierce 
fighting took place at tjlloi Street, Marx Square, Kalvin Square, at the Kiliaa 
Barracks, and at the Corvin Cinema. On the Buda side, there was fighting on 
the Gellert Hill, at the Citadel and on the Royal Palace Hill, at the Southern 
Railway Station, in Szena Square and in Moricz Zsigmond Circle. Resistance 
varied according to the available strength in men, weapons and ammunition. 
In some cases Russian troops were able, within a matter of hours, to fight 
through to such important points of the city as the Square by the Parliament 
Building, the banks of the Danube, the bridgeheads, the radio station, and the 
police headquarters. Whatever organized resistance may have been planned 
for the city as a whole had ceased by 8 o'clock in the morning, that is, shortly 
after the radio station had been taken over by Soviet troops. Thereafter the 
groups continued fighting until their ammunition was exhausted or until the 
defending positions had been destroyed by the heavy tank barrage. The Kilian 
Barracks were subjected to a three-hour assault and to aerial bombardment, 
but the building was not seized for three days. The Citadel military units, 
reinforced by freedom fighters, held out until 7 November. The Soviet losses 
were severe, and these defence positions were well organized. Fierce fighting 
also took place at Moricz Zsigmond Circle and in other parts of the city. From 
the evidence received, it would seem that for the first two days the Soviet 
attack was directed principally against those fortified positions which, by their 
continued resistance, prevented the Soviet Command from claiming that it was 
in full control of Budapest. The impression is gained that the Soviet troops 
avoided a systematic hunting down of secondary targets, such as snipers, in the 
belief that complete order would shortly be restored. When that proved not to 
be the case, Soviet tanks began to move again along the main boulevards, firing 
indiscriminately into houses to strike fear into the people and to force their 
surrender. This shocting c.uised severe damage to buildings on the boulevards 
and along the side streets, even where there had been no recent resistance by the 
freedom fighters. By 8 November much of Budapest bo?e severe traces of the 
fighting. Hundreds of buildings were completely destroyed and thousands more 
had been severely damaged. The destruction was especially marked in certain 
districts but, in a city as large as Budapest, many areas were fortunate enough 
to have escaped. By nightfall on the 7th the fighting had become intermittent 
and was mostly confined to the outlying industrial districts. 

198. It must, however, be stated that on the evidence before the Committee it 
may safely be assumed that the whole population of Budapest took part in the 
resistance. No distinction, therefore, could have been made between civilian 
and military population. "Molotov cocktails" were thrown from apartment 
windows on upjier floors by men, women and children on a wide scale. It would, 
therefore, be difficult for any invading army to pick the objects of attack. 


190. In the industrial districts of Budapest, most of the fighters were workers 
and t':e fighting became a struggle between the Hungarian factory workers and 
the Army of the Sovif^t Union. This was the case more particularly in those 
(T'strir'ts on the Pest side of the Danube where most of the heavy industries of 
Hungary are concentrated. As in the city itself, leadership of the resistance 
forces emerged at the local level. Each district or group of districts, under 


the command of its Revolutionary Councils, received army equipment and v?as 
reinforced by army personnel Vv'ho volunteered to join the freedom fighters. The 
Revolutionary Council of Csepel received some eiglity-five pieces of artillery from 
the barracks on the island when many officers and men joined them against the 
orders of their commanding officer. 

200. The factory districts from Ujpest in the North, through Kobanya and 
southward to Pestszenterzsebet, Soroksiir and Csepel Island, put up the strongest 
resistance. This continued until 11 November. With the exception of a fevi^ 
clashes in tlie hills of Nograd and Baranya counties which occurred after this 
date, it can be said that these districts were the scene of the most tenacious 
Hungarian armed resistance during the second intervention. A detailed account 
of the fighting in all districts cannot be given, but considerable material has 
been received on the over-all situation. The primary objective of the Soviet 
forces would appear to have been the capture and control of the city. They did 
not enter the outlying industrial districts except to tiie extent that they had to 
go through them when following the main highways. In the morning of 4 Novem- 
ber, the centres of fighting were on the highway to Vac and on the other high- 
ways radiating southwards to Csepel Island. The Soviet troops, equipped with 
arnioured cars, light and heavy tanks, and self-propelled artillery, were faced, 
as in the city, with fighting on street corners against anti-tank guns, odd pieces 
of artillery, machine guns and incendiary hand grenades. The freedom fighters 
were always outnumbered, but, according to the evidence, when the situation 
became desperate they would withdraw and reappear from another street to 
hit the tail end of an advancing armoured column. In some cases the Soviet 
troops had to leave their tanks to clear road obstructions, giving the freedom 
fighters an opportunity to attack them with side arms. It appears that the 
situation on 4 and 5 November was one of constant harassment of the Soviet 
columns. The Soviet armoured units opened fire on all buildings along avenues 
and streets and inflicted heavy casualties among non-combatants. Several 
tenements and workers' apartment buildings collapsed as a result of cannon 
fire, with twenty to fifty people trapped in the cellars. 

201. In many districts the factories, such as the Kobanya Beer Factory, the 
Ganz Works, the Electric Bulb Factory and the Csepel Steel Plant, were arsenals 
for the Hungarians. The fighting, however, varied in the different districts, 
according to the heavy weapons and ammunition available. Witnesses testified 
that action would continue until all artillery shells were exhausted. Then the 
freedom fighters, carrying their side arms, would either join up with another 
group, or go into hiding. The Soviet forces, on the other hand, had a super- 
abundance of fire power, and it was not necesary for the Soviet Army to employ 
all the armoured units which it had at its disposal. 

202. The fighting in the 20th district — Pestszenterzsebet and Soroksar — was 
organized under one command and lasted from the morning of the 4th until the 
evening of the 8th. Sporadic fighting then continued until the morning of the 
11th. Radio Station "Roka". which was heard outside Hungary up to S Novem- 
ber, was located in this district and did much to maintain the morale of the 
freedom fighters. Soroksar Avenue joins Csepel and the Tokol military airport 
with the capital. Soviet troops soon gained control of this Avenue, but they 
were subjected to harassment and their losses of men and materials were reported 
to be high. Tlie Soviet troops undertook a number of punitive sorties in tho side 
streets, killing many non-combatants and destroying many buildings. During 
these attacks.the Committee was told, the Soviet troops would shoot indiscrimi- 
nately at anything, even if it were not a legitimate target. Examples described 
to the Committee included a bread line of women and children, standing outside 
a bakery, which was shot at on 4 November. On 7 November a Red Cross 
ambulaiice was destroyed by machine gim fire; the wounded and the nurses in 
it were killed. 

203. The Revolutionary Council of Csepel constituted another centre of re- 
sistance. It is noteworthy that certain witnesses, former members of the 
Revolutionary Council of Csepel, testified before the Committee that they and 
other members of the Council had advocated on the eve of the second interven- 
tion that, in case of a Soviet attack, the Csepel workers should not resist. . The 
Soviet forces, it was thought, were bound to win, and any resistance would be 
a futile sacrifice of life. The workers, however, made it clear that such a 
suggestion was unacceptable to them. In the outcome, the battle of Csepel 
was the hardest-fought of all, for the workers were united in their determination 
to fight and were well provided with weapons. Since Tiikol airport would be 
isolated from Budapest unless the Csepel workers were subdued, the Soviet 


Command was forced to break their resistance. Between 4 and 9 November, 
fighting went on incessantly in tlie area as a whole, although at various points 
only intermittently. The freedom fighters maintained an effective organized 
armed resistance in most of the area throughout these five days. On the 7th 
there was a concentrated artillery barrage against the whole area, supplemented 
by aerial bombardment. The next day an emissai-y from the Soviet Commander 
asked the freedom fighters to surrender. They refused, and the fighting con- 
tinued. The following day, the 0th, another emissary stated that unless the 
insurgents surrendered no one would be spared. This was also rejected. The 
shelling was intensified by artillery units converging from the north and by the 
heavy guns now stationed on the (Jeliert Hill. At 2 p. m. the Soviet forces used 
anti-personnel rocket moi'tars causing great destruction to the factories, instal- 
lation and surrounding buildings. At 6 p. m. the Revolutionary Council decided 
to end the fighting. Their ammunition was practically exhausted. With the 
cessation of hostilities in Budapest, it was possible for the Soviet forces to 
concentrate on Csepel. There was some shooting the next day^ — the 10th — but 
the armed resistance was, to all intents and purposes, over, as the Soviet tanks 
had by then occupied all the plants and warehouses vphich were formerly the 
bases of resistance. 


204. While the objectives of Soviet strategy were the suppression of the 
Hungarian national movement and the overthrow of the Nagy Government, 
whivh had been called upon to implement the demands of the insurgents, it 
was the apparent aim of the Soviet High Command to avoid clashes wherever 
possible. Thus, throughout the whole of southern Hungary, from Bek^scsaba 
in the east to Kormeud in the west — with the notable exception of Pecs — there 
was no actual fighting during the revolutiwu. The absence of resistance was 
due to a variety of reasons : 

(a) In the towns and villages where no Soviet or Hungarian troops were 
stationed, the Revolutionary Councils which came into being between 25 
and SO October could not secure any weapons. In niotit cases there w^as 
no immediate need for them, as the local members of the AVH had complied 
with the request that they turn over their offices and remain in their homes. 
At the time of the second intervention, these Revolutionary Councils had 
no weajxins in store with which to effect jsrmed resistance ; 

(b) In .such towns as Szeged, where troops were usually garrisoned, 
special steps had been taken by Soviet Intelligence to neutralize the senior 
ofiicers of the Hungarian Army. It was thus possible for the Soviet troops 
to ensure from the outset that no weapons reached the insurgents. This 
was also the case in Kecskemet, where the commander of the Hungarian 
garrison, who was a Soviet-trained officer, had taken the necessary measures 
to keep his unit as such inactive during the uprising. 

205. A full account of events throughout the country would run to great length, 
nor would it add to the conclusion that, irrespective of the degree or duration 
of military resistance by the Hungarian people, the overwhelming majority of 
them were determined to see their demands put into effect. The description here 
given will therefore be limited to the events in a few provincial centres which 
are broadly representative of w^hat happened in the provinces during the second 

206. At Pecs, the chief city of Baranya county, and an important centre due 
to its proximity to the uranium mines, nothing of any military significance 
occurred between 23 October and 1 November. The AVII did open fire on the 
first demonstrators, but during a second demonstration on 1 November, it was 
forced to surrender and the Revolutionary Council took over all the functions 
previously discharged by Communist Party ofl3cials. A declaration of policy 
drawn up by the Council demanded as its first point the withdrawal of the 
Soviet troops. It also called for the exploitation of the uranium mines by the 
Hungarian State. On the evening of 1 November, the Soviet officials of the 
uranium mines were asked to leave with their families : they were sent by 
truck to Szekszard, where some Soviet units were stationed. During the next 
two days, everything was quiet at Pecs and the Revolutionary Council went to 
work to reorganize the various public services. After 1 November, however, 
reports regarding the systematic build up of Soviet troops at Dombovar, some 
25 kms north of Pecs, created an atmosphere of anxiety. Before the Russians 
returned, the uranium mines w^ere flooded. 


207. By the evening of 3 November, it was obvious that the Soviet troops 
intended to take military action against the insurgents. The commander of the 
Hungarian forces in Pecs, who had originally agreed to fight in case of a Soviet 
attack, decided during the night to disarm his troops. The Revolutionary 
Council, in order to avoid the destruction of the city, resolved to resist in the hilly 
regions surrounding Pecs. On the morning of 4 November, the Soviet troops 
took over the city. In the meantime, some 5,000 volunteers — mostly miners and 
students carrying arms and ammunition — .ioined the insurgents in the Mecsek 
mountains. The Soviet troops made numerous sorties against the positions of 
the insurgents but, owning to the mobility of the latter and their lightning guer- 
rilla tactics, the Soviet troops suffered many casualties and, for some three 
weeks, were unable to subdue the insurgents. On the 8th, the insurgents attacked 
a convoy and killed the Commander of the Soviet forces. Day by day, they 
harassed the Soviet troops by commando raids and, though the insurgents had 
lost many men, it was mainly lack of ammunition that forced them to give up 
the fight and escape across the border to Yugoslavia. The Committee was in- 
formed by two witnesses that many of the Hungarian wounded, who were to 
be sent down from the mountain hospital by Red Cross ambulances, never reached 
their destination alive. One witness stated that two wounded freedom fighters 
were taken out of a truck by Soviet troops, made to kneel in a public square 
with their hands tied behind their back and were then shot with a sub-machine 
gun. This isolated instance, however, could not be checked by the Committee. 

208. The events during the uprising at the important industrial centre of 
Dunapentele are particularly noteworthy because of the representative character 
of its population. After the war, it rapidly developed from a small village into 
an industrial city under the name of Sztalinvaros. Steel foundries, iron works 
and chemical industries caused its industrial population to grow to 28,000 by 
1956. It was the most important experiment undertaken by the Party in its 
industrialization programme and was considered to be one of the main strong- 
holds of Communism. On 24 October the workers decided to follow the example 
of Budapest. They organized a Revolutionary Council to represent them and 
established Workers' Councils in the various factories. The next day, during 
a demonstration, the AVH opened fire on the crowd, killing 8 people and wound- 
ing 28. During the next two days, there was more fighting with the AVH, who 
were now barricaded in the Army barracks. On the 29th, a helicopter landed 
on the barrack-ground and a Soviet official with his family, the senior officers 
of the AVH and two senior Hungarian officers were flown away. Shortly after- 
wards, a deputation from the barracks declared that the Army was on the side 
of the revolution. 

209. The following days were spent in organizing the activities of the Revolu- 
tionary Council and in the military training of some 800 workers." Radio 
"Rakoczi", which was transmitting from Dunai>entele after 4 November, was 
repeatedly heard asking for assistance in weapons and equipment. It called 
on Radio Free Europe to pass on these appeals for outside assistance against the 
Soviet intervention and also retransmitted the appeals of other "free" Hungarian 
stations. On the 5th, Radio "Rakoczi" appealed to the International Red Cross 
for medical supplies. On the 6th, a Russian armoured unit stopped on the 
outskirts of the town and asked for the surrender of the insurgents. The 
commanding officer, with an AVH interpreter, was escorted into the town and 
met the leaders of the Revolutionary Council. It was pointed out to him that the 
insurgents were not "fascists" or "capitalist agents" but principally workers, 
many of whom had been staunch supporters of the Communist Party. To con- 
vince him of this he was asked to hear two card-bearing members of the Party 
from the crowd which was assembled outside. These men explained that they 
had been taught to believe that the Soviet Union defended human rights and 
was the liberator of the peoples. They declared they wanted now to be free of 
Soviet intervention and had demanded the abolition of the AVH. When the 
Soviet officer stated that he had to carry out his orders, the two Communist 
freedom fighters tore up their Party cards and threw them at his feet. The 
Soviet Commander withdrew, stating that he would take no action against 
Dunapentele until he received new orders. Nevertheless, the next day — 7 No- 
vember — the Soviet forces attacked the town from three directions using a 
large armoured force, self-propelled guns and tactical air force. The battle 
lasted all day, but the freedom fighters held strongly organized positions and 
were able to' withstand the onslaught. By the evening of 8 November, the 
ammunition had been exhausted and most of the fighters were ordered to go 
into hiding. Some 300 men with side arms managed to escape during the night. 


They continued armed resistance in the countryside until 11 November when it 
was decided to disperse, as any further resistance appeared to be futile. 

210. It was reported that during the fishting in Dunapentele the factories did 
not suffer as much as the living quarters of the population, where considerable 
damage was done by bombing. The freedom fighters lost 240 men during the 
fighting; 12 tanks and 8 armoured cars of the Soviet forces were desti-oyed. 
Witnesses stated before the Committee that the purpose of the workers' resist- 
ance in Dunapentele was to demonstrate tliat all Hungarians wanted to see their 
country freed from external domination. Witnesses were emphatic in pointing 
out that, irrespective of creed or party affiliation, the factory workers, with the 
officers and men of the garrison, were entirely united in their objectives and 
that throughout the period 27) October to 8 November no one, except the members 
of the AVII, dissented from the policies of the Revolutionary Council. 

211. In the county of Veszpi-cMn, northwest of Lake Balaton, th' Revolutionary 
Council, having consolidated its position by 26 October, concerned itself princi- 
pally with political and administrative matters, as military questions appeared 
to be less pressing. There had been no fighting in the county with Soviet troops 
during the first intervention except at Varpalota, where the miners, in attacking 
the AVII. had als) killed three Soviet political advisers. However, the Veszprem 
Revolutionary Council assisted in the formulation of a co-ordinated policy with 
the other Transdanubian provincial councils, for the purpose of creating a mili- 
tary command to protect Transdanubia in case of a second militai-y intervention. 
Its llrst act was to purge from its membership four of the five officers who had 
been originally elected, on suspicion of maintaining contacts with the Soviet 
forces ; it elected instead a soldier and the head of the County Police, thus setting 
up, according to the testimony received, a Council which was truly representative 
of all sections of the population of the province. The next three days were 
devoted to political negotiations for the resumption of work and for the organiza- 
tion of the National Guard. By Saturday, 3 November, however, the systematic 
build-up of the Soviet forces within the county had become so apparent that the 
National Guard, consisting of students, workers and soldiers, made hasty prepa- 
rations in the city of Veszprem in anticipation of a Soviet attack. This attack 
came at 5 a. m. the next morning. For two and a half days the National Guard, 
besieged in the old city of Veszprem, fought against greatly superior Soviet forces 
which had launclied the attack from three directions. By midday of 6 November, 
the ammunition of the insurgents was exhausted. About 40 Hungarians and 
possibly an equal number of Russians had lost their lives. The battle caused 
considerable destruction in the city, including damage to buildings of historical 
and artistic significance. Most of the insurgents were able to escape and at- 
tempted to hide their side arms. However, by the evening Soviet trucks were 
being loaded with students seized from their homes and taken to unknown 
destinations. According to the evidence, by 1 December none of these students 
had been returned. At the end of the battle, it was reported that some Soviet 
troop.s, in a spirit of i-evenge, entered the University buildings and destroyed the 
chemical equipment in the laboratory. 

212. At Miskolc, the university and industrial city of northeast Hungary, 
military action during the second Soviet intervention differed in some respects 
from that in western Hungary. This no doubt can be attributed to the presence 
in the area of Soviet troops who were moving constantly in and out of the city, 
since Miskolc is on one of the arterial roads between Budapest and the north- 
eastern frontiers. The presence of the Soviet troops tended to make it impos- 
sible for the insurgents to organize a resistance plan based on the city itself. 
This same problem confronted the insurgents of other cities in eastern Hungary, 
and as there was no time for organized resistance in the countryside, armed 
resistance in eastern Hungary did not endure as long as in Pecs, Dunapentele 
and Veszprem. The passage of troops through the city in the early morning 
of Sunday, 4 November, was not unusual, and the attack against the University 
buildings, one of the principal centres of the uprising in the city, was to some 
extent a surprise. The students fought for about one hour with whatever 
weapons had been given them. Several students were killed and the Soviet 
troops also suffered a number of casualties. The Committee was told that, 
when the fighting was over, many students were seized by the Soviet troops 
and taken to an unknown destination. On the other hand, troops of the National 
Guard, who were fighting through the day in Miskolc and the Hejocsaba district, 
retreated towards the Biikk mountains. In the city itself fighting went on until 
the afternoon when the Revolutionary Council of Borsod County was obliged 
to capitulate. 

;»3215— 50 — pt. 00 4 


213. From various sources of information, including radio reports emanating 
both from the "free" stations within Hungary and from those coming under 
the control of Soviet forces, it is possible to conclude that the Soviet troops 
during the night of 3 to 4 November advanced in a forced march from Dunafold- 
vdr and possibly Baja towards Kaposvar and Nagykanizsa which were captured 
with little or no resistance. From Szombathely northwards there was fighting 
throughout the day of 4 November. Battles took place in the north at Gyor, 
on the Gyor-Sopron road and on the Gyor-Hegyeshalom road against parachute 
troops and forces crossing the Czechoslovak frontier possibly through Rajka. 
At Komarom on the Danube, Hungarian military units with freedom fighters 
fought throughout the day against powerful Soviet units attacking from Hun- 
garian territory and from Czechoslovakia across the Danube bridge. At 
Tatabanya, the miners fought with weapons which they had received from 
the Army. At Sz6kesfeh6rvar, the Hungarian military garrison, after breaking 
through the Soviet encirclement, moved to positions in the Vertes mountains, 
while others proceeded southwest towards the Bakony mountains. There they 
established bases for guerrilla operations against Soviet troop movements along 
the highways connecting Budapest with western Hungary. The students of 
the Zrinyi Military Academy of Budapest and the Budapest armoured brigade 
fought valiantly in the Matra mountains against an armoured division. The 
information regarding the crossing of the Danube by Soviet troops at other 
points east of Komarom is considered unreliable in view of the fact that for a 
period of more than ten days various Hungarian units were able to move from 
the northeast between the Biikk and M^tra mountains across the Danube to 
the southwestern chain of the Vertes mountains. 

214. The fighting round the Danubian military centres of Szolnok, Kecskemet 
and Kolcosa is illustrative of the Soviet control exercised over the Hungarian 
Army. These three garrisons were, throughout the period of the revolution, under 
the command of pro-Soviet officers. As the strength of the Soviet troops was 
increasing from 1 November, the Hungarian garrisons were unable to assist 
the local National Guard as other garrisons had been able to do. At the outbreak 
of hostilities on 4 November, the liarracks at Szolnok were surrounded and the 
Soviet tanks inflicted many casualties on the Hungarian troops who were taken 
by surprise. At Kecskemet and Kalocsa there was no fighting in the town, but 
a number of officers and men were able to break through the encirclenient, and 
for many days fought with the freedom fighters in the Danubian plain, inflicting 
damage on the Soviet forces and supplies moving on the highways. 


215. A survey of the movement of Soviet forces in Hungary during the period 
from 29 October to 4 November shows that, irresi)ective of the assurances given to 
Premier Nagy by Soviet political personalities, there existed a definite plan for 
the and military sub.iugation of Hungary. This plan in fact was 
carried through fully. Contrary to the contentions of the Soviet Government 
that the Hungarian revolution was inspired by capitalist elements residing 
outside Hungary, the Committee cannot but conclude that the Hungarian resist- 
ance to the second Soviet intervention was a heroic demonstration of the will 
of the Hungarian people to fight for their national independence.^" 

19 The Committee is not in possession of what it would regard as reliable figures for the 
casualties that occurred during the Hungarian uprising. From an official Hungarian 
sou'-ce (The Iiiin"--^Tian rontrai Statistical Office (Statisztikai Szctnle). issue number 
11-12, Volume XXXIV, of November-December 1956, p. 929), it is stated that the number 
of all registered deaths from October through December 1956 was 27,000, 1. e. 10 per cent 
higher than in the same months of 1955. The number of people who died in the fighting, 
nccording to this source, can be estimated at some 1,800-2.000 in Budapest and 2,500- 
.S.OOO in the whole country. Among those who died in the fighting between 23 October and 
.SO November and whose deaths had been registered up to 1 .January 1957, 84 per cent were 
men and 10 per cent women. More than one-fifth of these people were under twenty years 
of age, 28 per cent were between twenty and twenty-nine years old, 15 per cent between 
thirty and thirty-nine years old and 15 per cent between forty and forty-nine. In the 

Srovinces, the greatest number of deaths in the fighting occurred in the counties of Pest, 
y8r-Sopron, Fej6r and Pacs-Kiskiin. 

The same official Hungarian source has stated that about 13,000 wounded (11 500 in 
Budapest) were treated in hospitals and clinics up to the end of November. In addition 
doctors, ambulances and first-aid stations are said to have rendered first-aid to a lar^-e 
number of slightly wounded people. It is possible that the above figures do not present^a 
complete picture. Some sources have placed the number of dead and wounded far above 
that suggested by the Hungarian Government. Speaking in the Indian Parliament on 


Chapter VT. The Politicai- Circttmstance.s of the First Military 


A. introduction 

216. In its Interim Report the Committee pointed out tliat further investi- 
gation was called for as to the exact circumstances and timing of the "decision" 
to invite the assistance of Soviet troops. As explained in that report, Imre 
Nagy's nomination as Chairman of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday 
morning, 24 October, was announced over the radio before the announcement 
of the call for Soviet assistance; and in a broadcast address in the evening of 
25 October, Mr. Nagy referred to the intervention of Soviet troops as "necessi- 
tated by the vital interests of our socialist ordnr". However, in a statement 
of 30 October and in subsequent statements Mr. Nagy denied responsibility for, 
or co;nizance of, the decision to invite the Soviet foi'ces. 

217. The Committee has looked carefully into tlie siguiticance of these denials. 
Mr. Nagy was in fact not yet Prime Minister vihen, in the early hours of 24 
October, the first Soviet tanlis arrived in Budapest to quell the uprising. Quite 
apart from this, the Committee has received evidence that, for almost three 
•days after he was appointed Prime Minister, Mr. Nagy was Prime Minister in 
name only : he was in fact not present at the Office of the Prime Minister in the 
Parliament but was detained in the Communist Party Headquarters. 

B. the popularity of imre nagy 

21.N. Mr. Imre Nagy, who is sixty-three years old and of peasant stock, became 
■a member of the Communist Party in 1918, and had to leave Hungary during the 
Hortliy regime. He lived in Moscow for about fifteen years until he returned to 
BudaTiest with the Soviet Army in 1!)44, and was appointed Minister of Agri- 
cultute in the first post-war Government ; in this capacity he implemented the 
land reform. He became Minister of the Interior in November 1945 and later 
held other portfolios. In July 1953, after Stalin's death, he became Prime 
Minister, replacing Stalin's protege Rakosi. During his time as Prime Minister 
he succeeded in improving the life of the workers and peasants by slowing down 
the expansion of heavy industry, by stopping forcible collectivization and the 
persecution of the "kulaks". But what perhaps made him even more popular 
was that he took a firm and effective stand against the illegalities of the police 
and the judiciary, and condemned unlawful administrative methods and ex- 
cesses and crimes committed by the Government and the Communist Party 
oflicials. He succeeded in having a large number of the survivors released. 
Conditions for other political prisoners were improved and enforced displace- 
ments inside Hungary were brought to an end. 

219. Mr. Hegediis took over as Prime Minister in April 1955, and Mr. Nagy 
was immediately expelled from the Politburo and later from the Party. In the 
beginning, he lived more or less in retirement, but later he began to write and 
establislied contacts with intellectuals, peasants and workers. Inside the Com- 
munist Party lie thus became a leader for the anti-Stalinist groups and the 
advocate of a policy of liberalization. He was admired beyond the limited 
circle of Communists. Several non-Communist witnesses stated to the Com- 
mittee that, though he was a Communist, they still considered him to be "a good 
Hungarian", and an lionest. able and courageous man, though, some said, a poor 
politician. Mr. Nagy appears to be endowed with certain warm human qualities 
which appealed to the masses. 

220. On 4 October he sent a letter to the Central Committee" in which he 
demanded to be reinstated in the Party. Expelled — so he affirmed — in violation 
of the Party's statutes, he asked that ideological and political accusations against 
him should be discussed in public before a leading Party forum. In the course 
of this debate, he was ready to acknowledge his real errors, while calling for 
the rectification of unfounded accusations. Evoking his forty years' activity 

l.*^ December, Mr. Nehru said that, from such information as he had received, "it would 
apiiear that about 25,000 Hungarians and about 7.000 Russians died in the fightinf?". The 
Committee, however, received the impression that this figure may well be too high. On 
many occasions, efforts were made by the Committee to obtain p'racise knowledge of the 
casualties occasioned by the uprising. This did not prove to be possible, and it may well 
ho some time before nccnrate figures are available. According to a doctor in the biggest 
Hospital. SO'^r of the wounded were saved. 
^ S!r(1hn<J Tiep, 14 October 1956. 


within the Party, Mr. Nagy declared his agreement with the Party's main i>olitical 
line : that the entire national economy should be based on socialism in the spirit 
of Marxism-Leninism, but in accordance with the special conditions existing in 
Hungary. He was equally in agreement with the Leninist principle of democratic 
centralism : as a niei ber of the Party, it was his duty to bow before its decisions, 
even if he did not a i/ee with them. Finally, he was in agreement in principle 
with the objectives of the Central Committee's resolution of July 1956 looking 
towards socialist democracy in the spirit of the 20th Congress of the Communist 
Party of the USSR, and although differing in opinion on certain points, he held 
the resolution to be binding on him. Mr. Nagy's position had already become 
a focal point in the discussions going on amongst the intellectuals and students 
during the months preceding the uprising. He was in fact re-admitted to the 
Party on 13 October and shortly afterwards to his Chair as Professor of Agri- 
cultural Economy ; but this did not satisfy the public. It became one of the 
demands adopted by the students and the writers on 22-23 October, that Mr. 
Nagy should be included in the Government and again become a member of the 


221. On Tuesday evening. 23 October. Mr. Nagy and his son-in-law, Mr. Ferene 
Janosi, a Protestant Minister, were brought to the Parliament by some friends 
in response to the persistent demand of the people crowded before the Parlia- 
ment Building that they wanted to see Imre Nagy. Upon Mr. Nagy's arrival, 
Ferene Erdei, asked him to try to calm the crowd. Mr. Nagy's short address was 
not too well received, perhaps partly because few seemed able to hear him. A 
little later that evening, shortly after 9 p. m., the shooting began at the Radio 

222. Everything the Hungarian public learnt al)out Mr. Nagy during the 
next few days was gathered from the radio. It was the content and the 
arrangement of the radio reports and announcements which cau.sed doubts with 
regard to Mr. Nagy's position. 

22.">. Ermi Gei("), the P^irst Secretary of the Central Committee of the Hun- 
garian Workers' (Communist) Party, in his radio speech at 8 p. in. on 
28 October, which infuriated the people of Budapest, had stated that the 
Politburo decided to convene the Central Committee during the next few days." 
However, at 10.22 p. m. the same evening, after the beginning of the shooting, 
it was announced that the Central Committee would meet innnediately in order 
to discuss what action to take. This announcement was preceded by a state- 
ment that "Comrade Imre Nagy is now conferring with youth delegates and 
several deputies". 

224. The radio made no mention of the fighting until early Wednesday morn- 
ing at 4.30 a. m. on 24 October, when an announcement allegedly signed by the 
Council of Ministers was broadcast. It stated that "Fascist, reactionary ele- 
ments have launched an armed attack on our public buildings and on our armed 
security formations . . . Until further measui*es are taken, all meetings, 
gatherings, and marches are banned . . .". The same announcement was 
read over the radio twice during the next few hours ; however, the word 
"Fascist" was replaced by the word "counter-revolutionary". 

225. At 8.13 on Wednesday morning an official statement was broadcast to the 
effect that the Central Committee had recommended that the Praesidium of the 
People's Republic elect Mr. Nagy as Chairman of the Council of Ministers 
while Mr. Hegediis was to become First Deputy Chairman instead of Prime 
Minister."' It was alst) jinnounced that Mr. Nagy had been elected member of 
the Politburo of the Centi-al Committee of the Communist Party. It was not 
clear from the announcement whether the Praesidium had already elected 
Mr. Nagy Prime Minister, or if so, at v/hat time he had taken over his func- 
tions.'* However, half an hour later, at 8.45 a. ra.. an announcement was read 
over the Radio which was said to be signed by "Imre Nagy. Chairman of the 
Council of Ministers". It stated that : 

-^ Spo chapter X for a fuller account. 

-■= S~abolc>i-^zatmari NepUip, 24 October 1956. 

-'An article in Egt/etemi Ifjuadi/ on 20 October stated that Jlr. Xagy only learne.I on 
24 October at 6 a. m. from a telephone call he had from the office of the Hungarian Writers' 
Union, that he had become Prime Minister. 

2* 3Mr. Istvan Dobi. Ciiairman of the Praesidium of the Hun'.rarian People's Rf^puhlic, 
stated before the National Assembly on 9 May 1957 that th<' Prai sidiiim on 24 October 
'elected Imre Nagy Prime Minister". 


"The Council of Ministers . . . has ordered that summary jurisdiction shall 
be applied throughout the country to acts calculated to overthrow the People's 
Republic and to acts of revolt; incitement, appeal and conspiracy to revolt; 
murder ; manslaughter ; arson ; possession of explosives ; crimes committed 
with explosives ; indirect crimes ; the use of force against the official authori- 
ties; the use of force against private individuals and the illegal possession of 
arms. Crimes in the categories coming under summary jurisdiction are pun- 
ishable by death. This order comes into force inmiediately." 

226. Fifteen minutes later, at 0.00 a. m., another announcement was read 
declaring that "the dastardly armed attack of counter-revolutionary gangs 
during the night has created an extremely serious situation . . . The Gov- 
ernmental organs were unprepared for these bloody dastardly attacks, and 
have therefore applied for help to the Soviet formations stationed in Hungary 
under the terms of the Warsaw Treaty"."^ The Government also appealed to the 
inhabitants to keep calm and to support everywhere the Hungarian and Soviet 
troops who were maintaining order. The statement concluded : "The licpiida- 
tion of the counter-revolutionary gangs is the most sacred cause of every honest 
Hungarian worker". There was no indication given as to the source of this 
ofncial announcement or as to whose signature, if any, it bore ; but many 
listeners received apparently the impression that it was an announcement of 
the new Imre Nagy Government, since it was made shortly after the announce- 
ment regarding the establishment of this Government and the broadcast of 
the decree of summary jurisdiction which was said to be signed by Mr. Nagy. 

227. Several witnesses have stated that they felt immediately that this was a 
fraud, since the Russian tanks had appeared in Budapest and had participated 
in the fighting hours before these announcements. For some it was particularly 
difficult to believe that Imre Nagy, who had been a champion of legality, .should 
have signed the decree under which the mere possession of arms would come 
under summary jurisdiction and be punishable by death. However, it is certain 
that even many of those who had admired Mr. Nagy began to feel uncertain 
about his true feelings. 

228. Their suspicion increased when at noon they heard Mr. Nagy address 
the nation over the radio as follows : 

"People of Budapest, I inform you that all those who, in the interest of avoid- 
ing further bloodshed, lay down their arms and cease fighting by 2 p. m. today 
will be exempted from prosecution under summary jurisdiction. At the same 
time, I state that, using all the means at our disposal, we will realize as soon 
as possible the systematic democratization of our country in every field of 
Party, State, political and economic life on the basis of the June 19.")3 Programme. 
Heed our appeal, stop fighting and secure the restoration of calm and order in 
theinterest of the future of our people and our country * * *."' 

229. Mr. Nagy in this address also spoke about "hostile elements" who had 
"joined the ranks of peacefully-demonstrating Hungarian youth" and "turned 
against the People's Democracy, against the power of the people." He asked 
listeners to "line up behind the Party, line up behind the Government." This 
si)eech strengthened the impression that Mr. Nagy actually had signed the 
decree of summary jurisdiction and was in full control. 

230. More doubt was sown when Mr. Nagy made another radio speech next 
afternoon, 25 October, at 3.25 p. m. shortly after it had been announced that 
Mr. Ki'idar had replaced Mr. Gen") as First Secretary of the Central Committee 
of the Party. He said : 

"In this address as Premier, I wish to announce that the Hungarian Govern- 
ment will initiate negotiations on the relations between the Hungarian People's 
Republic and the Soviet Union, and, among other things, concerning the with- 
drawal of the Soviet forces stationed in Hungary. These talks will be carried 
out on the basis of Soviet-Hungarian friendship, proletarian internationalism 
and equality and national independence between Communist Parties and Socialist 
countries. I am convinced that Hungarian-Soviet relations resting on this basis 
will provide a firm groundwork for the future friendship between our peoples, 
for our national development and our Socialist future. The recall of those 
Soviet forces whose intervention in the fighting has been necessitated by the 
vital interests of our Socialist order, will take place without delay after the 
restoration of peace and order." 

" The following is the original Hungarian text of this last sentence : "A. kormdnyzati 
seervek nem szdmoltak a veres orytdmaddaokkal a ezert segitsefiert fordultak a varsdi 
sneraodes 6rtelm6ben a Magyarorszdgon tartozkodd szovjet alakulatokhoz" . 


231. The plirase : "has been necessitated by the vital interests of our Socialist 
order" was obviously apt to create the impression that Mr. Nagy was at least 
in sympathy with the invitation to the Russian forces. 

232. The many appeals, which during the first days of the uprising were issued 
by Prime Minister Nagy, or at least in his name, to the workers and the students 
to cease fighting, had little effect, partly on account of the doubts which had 
arisen with regard to Mr. Nagy's integrity and true position. It might well be 
that Mr. Nagy could have stopped the fighting at a much earlier stage, if it had 
not been for the compromising position in which Mr. Gero had placed him in 
linking his name with the invitation to the Soviet forces and the decree of 
summary jurisdiction. Witnesses explained to the Committee how it took many 
visits of delegations of students, workers and other fighters to Mr. Nagy, and 
long discussions with him, to restore their confidence; it was not until the last 
days of October that most of them recognized him as the leader and heeded his 
appeals to re-establish order. 


233. A delegation from the Hungarian Writers' Union attempted to find Mr. 
Nagy in the Parliament during the critical night between 23 and 24 October, 
but was refused admission to see him. The radio stated at 10.03 on Tuesday 
evening that "Comrade Imre Nagy is now holding discussions with youth repre- 
sentatives and several deputies," ; but there is no indication that this was correct. 
In fact, it is known to the Committee, as will be described in detail later in 
this chapter, that Mr. Nagy at that time w^as kept incommunicado in the Com- 
munist Party Headquarters in Akademia Street ; and it appears that no delega- 
tion had the opportunity to see him until the early evening of Thursday, 2& 
October. A meeting then occurred in unusual circumstances. The account of 
this meeting and of subsequent meetings with Mr. Nagy will be given for the 
light which they throw on the problem of the extent to which Mr. Nagy was ft 
free agent at this juncture. 

234. The meeting on 2-5 October took place as follows : Some of the demon- 
strators had taken over a printing plant, the Red Spark, to print the sixteen 
points which were distributed all over the city. They had elected six repre- 
sentatives to take charge of the press, and it was decided that four of these 
should bring a printed copy of the sixteen points to Prime Minister Nagy. 
After contacting Communist Party Headquarters, they were taken by armed 
guards to the cellar of the Headquarters building, where they were interrogated. 
They indicated that they were representatives of the workers of Ujpest and 
Angyalfold who wanted to speak to Imre Nagy. After a moment, Mr. Nagy 
appeared and sat down at a table facing the delegation ; behind him, according 
to the evidence, were fourteen or fifteen persons armed with sub-machine guns. 

235. After having read the sixteen points, Mr. Nagy said that they were all 
part of his programme, that the four delegates should feel reassured and go 
home and attempt to calm the crowd, because they were going to achieve all the 
points. The delegation was not satisfied. Mr. Nagy was asked whether the 
date of 30 December for the withdrawal of the Soviet troops was part of his 
programme. He replied that they should be grateful to the Soviet authorities, 
and that withdrawal was not a simple matter ; it was naive to ask for a definite 
date. The delegation asked when the AVH would be demobilized and the 
criminals among them brought to trial before legal courts. Mr. Nagy ansvv'ered 
that the Security Police Organization had to be reformed and reorganized; 
this was part of his programme, but they should not put forward such a demand ; 
the delegation should have confidence in him, because he was as good a 
Hungarian as they were. At this and other points in his speech, according to 
the witnesses, Mr. Nagy implied doubt as to whether what he said was really 
what was in his mind. 

23ij. Ihe next day, Friday, 26 October, in the early evening, another delega- 
tion saw Mr. Nagy. The Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of South 
Budapest, who was a member of this delegation, has testified to the Special 
Committee about this later meeting which took place in the Parliament Building ; 
Mr. Nagy — as will be described later — had just been able to move there from 
the Communist Party Headquarters after Mr. Gero and Mr. Hegediis had fled. 
The delegation consisted of eight members, including several workers, a uni- 
versity student, a grocer and a farmer. Besides Mr. Nagy his son-in-law, Mr. 
Jdnosi, and Mr. Erdei were present, and also two other people who were not 


introduced, and who, as the delegation later found out, were members of the 

237. The Coiiiniittce prosentpd Mr. Xajiy with a niPinornnduin from !^ )iit'i 
Budapest. It contained the demands which were being expressed by Revolution- 
ary and Workers' Councils all over the country — withdrawal of Soviet troops ; 
renunciation of the Warsaw Pact: abolition of tlie AVH: organization of politi- 
cal parties : free elections ; and the establishment of a coalition Government 
under Mr. Nagy. Mr. Nagy read aloud several of the points, but received the 
delegation somewhat coldly. He promised nevertheless to carry out their 
demands as far as possible. As to free elections, these would have to be delayed 
until the question could be discussed by the Parliament. The delegation replied 
that, since this Parliament had been elected on the basis of a single list of candi- 
dates, it was in no jxisition to decide whether there should be free elections. 
Mr. Nagy made no answer to this observation. 

23S. Two days later, on Sunday, 28 October, when the delegation again saw 
Mr. Nagy, the AVH guards in civilian clothes wei-e still present : but he was 
reported to be more at ease and to have declared that he thought he would be 
able to effect a cease-fire on the basis that the Soviet forces should leave Buda- 
pest : the Government would start negotiations about complete withdrawal of 
Soviet troops : the competence of the Revolutionary Councils would be recog- 
nized by the Government ; the Workers' Councils would be set up in factories and 
the political parties would be re-established : as to free elections, Parliament 
would have to discuss this further. Mr. Nagy emphasized that, in his opinion, 
the new course would have to be based on socialism foTinded on Marxism, and 
that there could be no question of a rightist deviation. 

239. On 29 October, the Chairman of the South Budapest Revolutionary Coun- 
cil again went to see INIr. Nagy becaxise he had received rejwrts that, after the 
cease-fire had been announced, new Soviet troops were crossing the Hungarian 
border from Romania and Czechoslovakia. At the beginning of this meeting, 
Mr. Nagy pointed out that the delegation would notice that the two people in 
civilian clothes were no longer present ; they had been observers from the AVH, 
who had guarded him until the AVH had been disbanded: this was the first 
oi)portunity that he bad had to speak to a delegation without his speech being 
observed and controlled by the Connnunist Party through the AVH. He could 
give them no assurance, he said, that the Soviet troops would leave Budapest, 
because it did not depend on him. He also asked the delegation to be careful 
not to demand too much l)ecause thereby all would be lost: the USSR would 
then fear that Hungary would leave the Connnunist axis, and would simply 
refuse to withdraw. 

240. During this period up to 28 October, Mr. Nagy was reported by Radio 
Budapest and Radio Miskolc to have received three other delegations, including 
a delegation of the workers of Borsod County. These reports, however, throw no 
light on the question of control exercised over Mr. Nagy. 

E. MR. NAGY'S denials 

241. During the meeting just described on 29 October, Mr. Nagy was asked 
according to testimony, how he C(mld find the calling in of the Soviet troops 
compatible with his conscience. Mr. Nagy then pointed out to the witness 
that it would in fact have been imix)ssible for him to have called in the Soviet 
troops, since they had arrived in Budapest around or even before the time that 
he was appointed Prime Minister. Mr. Nagy also stated to the witness that the 
first addresses that he made over the radio after he became Prime Minister 
were made with a gun at his back. Other witnesses testified that they had 
heard Mr. Nagy make the same statement. 

242. The first public explanation of the position of Mr. Nagy was given in an 
article in one of the students' revolutionary publications^" on 29 October, which 
stated that ilr. Nagy had been separated from the people by the "Ger5 clique" 
which had issued orders in his name and without his knowledge, and had pre- 
vented him from acting ; now that he was a free agent, his action would justify 
the opinion that he was a good Hungarian and "the man of our revolution". 
The invitation to the Soviet military forces was attributed in the article to Mr. 
Xagy's predecessor as Prime Minister, Mr. Hegediis. On 30 October the follow- 
ing announcement was broadcast : 

' EgyetenU Ifjusdg, 29 October tn.'^pfi. 


"Hungarians ! To our common grief and our common shame, two oflScial de- 
crees have been the source of passionate upheaval and of much bloodshed. The 
first was the calling to Budapest of the Soviet troops ; the other was the dis- 
graceful imposition of summary jurisdiction . . . Before history, and fully con- 
scious of our responsibility, we herewith declare that Imre Nagy, President of 
the Council of Ministers, had no knowledge of these two decisions. Imre Nagy's 
signature is neither on the resolution of the Council of Ministers asking for 
Soviet military aid, nor on the decree proclaiming summary jurisdiction. 
These two decrees are on the consciences of Andras Hegediis and Erno Gero. 
They bear full responsibility for them before the nation and before history !" 

243. The next day, Wednesday, 31 October, the radio repeatedly reported an 
address which Mr. Nagy had made the same afternoon to "a vast crowd" in 
Kossuth Square, in which he said : 

"My dear friends : We are living in the first days of our sovereignty and inde- 
pendence. We eliminated tremendous obstacles from our way. We have ex- 
pelled the R'lkosi-Gero clique from the country. They will answer for their 
crimes. They even tried to besmirch me by spreading the lie that it was I who 
called the Russian troops into the country. This is an infamous lie. The Imre 
Nagy who is the champion of Hungarian sovereignty, Hungarian freedom and 
Hungax'ian independence did not call in these troops. On the contrary, it was 
he who fought for their withdrawal." 

244. In the evening the radio also reported that the Students' Revolutionary 
Council under the watchword "Our trust lies in Imre Nagy", had issued a leaflet 
which stated as follows : 

"Confidence was shaken for two or three days but is now stronger than ever. 
It has come to light that for two days Imre Nagy was a prisoner of the AVH 
and made his first broadcast statement with an automatic pistol pointed at his 
back. His recent statement revealed that it was not he who ordered summary 
jurisdiction and the intervention of Soviet troops. Gangsters of the Rakosi- 
Gero type made this allegation to bring about his downfall." 

The leaflet demanded that Mr. Nagy .should take steps to ensure the witlidrawal 
of Soviet troops from Hungary and concluded : "As Imre Nagy satisfies the 
people's legitimate demands, so will our confidence in him grow." 

245. The same evening Radio Vienna broadcast a taped interview in German 
with Mr. Nagy. transcribed the same afternoon in Budapest, in which, in an- 
swering a number of questions, he declared that it was not he who had invited 
the Soviet troops to move into Budapest, nor had he subsequently approved of 
their invitation. 


246. The Committee has received detailed eye-witness testimony about the 
events which took place in the Communist Party Headquarters in Akademia 
Street from the morning of Wednesday, 24 October, when Prime Minister Nagy 
was brought there, to Friday afternoon, 26 October, when Mr. Ger6 and Mr. 
Hegediis left the building in Soviet tanks. 

247. After Mr. Nagy had unsuccessfully addressed the crowds in front of the 
Parliament on Tuesday evening, 23 October, he was asked to see Prime Minister 
Hegediis. Mr. Hegediis was one of his worst enemies, but after some hesita- 
tion, Mr. Nagy went to Mr. Hegediis' room. There he met Mr. Ger5, who at- 
tacked him bitterly, saying that what was happening was of Mr. Nagy's own 
making and that "now you can stew in your own juice". Mr. Nagy protested 
and pointed out that on several occasions he had told the Party and the Gov- 
ernment not to play with fire. A violent argument ensued. Mr. Nagy was then 
asked to go with the Communist leaders to the Party Headquarters, but refused 
to do so, since he was not a member of the Politburo ; he demanded in this 
connection to be rehabilitated in front of the people against the calumnies of 
the Party leaders. However, when he descended the stairs, he and his son-in- 
law, Mr. Janosi, were taken in a car to Party Headquarters in the neighboring 
Akademia Street. 

248. It is not clear at what time ou Wednesday morning Mr. Nagy was told 
that he had been made Chairman of the Council of Ministers. However, wit- 
nesses have reported that he stated to them that he protested against becoming 
Prime Minister. 

249. During Wednesday, Thursday and most of Friday, 24, 25 and 26 October, 
Mr. Nagy was, according to the evidence received by the Special Committee, in 


the Party Headqiiarters. Duiiiijs the first part of this period he was not allowed 
to see anyone from the outside, nor to receive or make any telephone calls. He 
was, during part of this time, kept locked in a room with his son-in-law. 

250. Reports were received in the hours before noon on Wednesday, 24 October 
that armed demonstrators were moving towards Parliament and the Party Head- 
quarters. Mr. Gero became disturbed in spite of the fact that lioth buildings 
were protected by Soviet tanks. According to a witness, he dictated a speech 
and handed it out to Mr. Nagy, saying : "Go and read this into the tape recorder". 
Mr. Nagy read the text and is reported to have declared that he would never 
make such a speech, even if his refusal cost him his life. According to a witness, 
the opening words were, "You rebel fascist bandits," and the text continued 
with similar abusive words and included references to martial law. 

251. Meanwhile, more and more reports were coming in showing the increasing 
seriousness of the situation. Mr. Gerii, in a somewhat different tone, then asked 
Mr. Nagy why he did not make some changes in the text himself. Mr. Nagy 
did so, and the draft went back and forth several times between him and Mr. 
GeviS and was amended. Mr. Nagy then made the modified speech into a tape 
recorder, and the tape was immediately taken to be broadcast. 

252. Mr. Nagy's address, which was broadcast dviring the evening of 25 O;'tober, 
was made by the tape recorder under similar circumstances. Mr. Nagy is al- 
leged to have again refused to read the draft prepai'ed by the Party leaders 
an^ consented only after a number of changes had been made. 

253. During Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Mr. A. Suslov, Member of the 
Praesidium of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, and Mr. 
A. I. Mikoyan, Soviet Vice Premier, came several times for discussions with Mr. 
Gero and other Party leaders. In spite of the fact that it had been announced 
Wednesday morning that Mr. Nagy had been appointed Prime Minister and 
elected member of the Politburo, he did not, according to witnesses, participate 
in these conferences and was only called in for a few minutes at the end of 
the meetings to be told the results. 

254. On Thursday, 25 October, Mr. Suslov and Mr. Mikoyan held a meeting with 
Party leaders just about the time the crowd was assembling before the Parlia- 
ment Building demanding to see Mr. Nagy. Great confusion and panic were 
caused at the Party Headquarters. The AVH gave assurances that they would 
defend the leaders and prepared a room in the cellar : thither the conference was 
transferred. It was on this occasion that it was decided that Mr. Kiidar should 
replace Mr. Gerii as First Secretary of the Party. This change, however, accord- 
ing to a witness, had little effect inside the building. Mr. Kadar seemed to have 
no authority, and Mr. Ger(') continued to make the decisions and to speak to ^Ir. 
Nagy and everyone else in the same tone as previously. 

255. During Friday, 26 October, reports came in that an increasing number of 
people were joining the fighting and that more and more towns in the provinces 
had begun to rise, especially in the industrial centres. Mr. Gero and Mr. Hegediis 
became increasingly nervous. None of the Party leaders had left the Head- 
quarters until then, but had slept in the offices. During the afternoon, first Mr. 
Hegediis and then Mr. Gero left the building. They took care to leave in su'^'h ii 
way that they would not immediately be missed. It was later reported that they 
had been taken away in Soviet tanks. Press reports, which the Committee have 
been unable to verify, have stated that they were taken to Moscow. So far as 
the Committee is aware, neither Mr. Gero nor Mr. Hegedus have made any public 
statement since then. 

256. When late in the afternoon of 26 October it became clear that Mr. Gen") 
and Mr. Hegediis had left the Party Headquarters, Mr. Nagy moved to the Par- 
liament Building with Mr. Erdei and his own son-in-law. However, Mr. Nagy, as 
descril)ed in the previous section, was for another two days surrounded by AVH 
officers until Sunday, 28 October. The Parliament Building also continued during 
this period to be surrounded by Soviet tanks. 

257. According to an interview with the Chief of the Budapest Polic*^, Satuha- 
Kopacsi, which appeared on 2 November in the newspaper Magyar Vildg, Mr. 
Nagy "was in the Parliament Building for two days in the captivity of the AVH". 
Mr. Kopacsi added that he sent a representative to the Parliament Building to 
insist to the AVH oflScers that "the free movement and free activity of the Prime 
Minister was a national interest", and that the armed units of the police would 
enforce this freedom if the AVH did not discontinue the curb on his freedom of 
action and movement. Thereupon the AVH "gave in". 


258. The evidence establishes that Mr. Nagy was in no sense in a position to 
act in accordance with his own judgment from 24 October to 28 October. But 
it would doubtless be equally mistaken to conclude that Mr. Nagy was prevented 
from identifying himself with the uprising from the start solely by the pres- 
sures to which he was subjected. There is little reason to believe that, at the 
outset, Mr. Nagy was aware of the manner in which the situation would develop 
or that he foresaw that he was destined to become a leading figure. He was 
restored to the office of Prime Minister not as the result of any personal initia- 
tive on his part, but because his appointment suited the immediate purposes of 
Mr. Gero, aware as he was that, in the tense circuinstances of the iintrnini;- oi' 
24 October, the Ccmmunist regime needed to be adorned with the facade of a 
leader acceptable to popular opinion. From that moment, Mr. Nagy tended to 
become, seemingly against his expectation, the symbol for the Hungarian people 
of their unity. Nevertheless, in the days immediately after 24 October, he 
appeared to be hesitating between loyalty to his Marxist training, backed by 
an apparatus of force, on the one hand, and association with the cause of his 
countrymen, on the other. His predicament between 24 and 28 October is by 
no means wholly explained by force majeure. From his Marxist and Com- 
munist anchorage, he was carried along by events beyond his control, gradually 
aware of the intensity of the passions which the uprising had evoked and the 
reality of the grievances which it expressed, and gradually convinced that he 
must accept the responsibilities thrust upon him by circumstances. 


259. It is excluded, by reference to considerations of time, that the Imre Nagy 
Government could have invited the Soviet forces to intervene in Budapest on 
the morning of Wednesday, 24 October. Another question which has called for 
consideration is whether Mr. Hegediis' Government, which preceded Mr. Nagy's, 
might have called for Soviet military assistance during Tuesday, 23 October, 
when the demonstrations in Budapest began. 

260. In the light of the political circumstances in Hungary, the question may, 
however, he po.sed from another angle. It may well be necessavy to induiiv not 
which President of the Council had placed his signature on the invitation to 
Soviet troops — if such a document existed — but rather what, in the political 
system of the People's Republic of Hungary, was the organ or person authorized 
to take such a step. From the terms of the Hungarian Constitution, it would 
appear that the Council of Ministers, with the concurrence of the Praesidium, 
was competent to assume such a responsibility. But the text of the Constitution 
affords little guidance to the actual operation of the regime. The Hungarian 
Constitution is silent as regards the Central Committee and other organs of 
the Workers' (Communist) Party. Such a role as the right to recommend to 
the Praesidium the Chairman and members of the Council of Ministers does not 
appear in the Constitution, although at the time of its promulgation the system 
had already been in operation. No article deals with the secret power of the 
Central Committee of the Party which reduces the Chairman and the members 
of the Council of Ministers to what a witness described as "puppets" bound to 
accept the views of the Communist hierarchy and to put into application its 
decisions. It was not Mr. Hegediis, but Mr. Gero, the First Secretary of the 
Central Committee of the Party who, before the reunion of the Central Com- 
mittee, alone was sufficiently powerful to take such a decision, whether or not 
he consulted his colleagues of the Politburo at the meetings of the Politburo 
on 23 October. The legal niceties might well have been forgotten in the cir- 
cumstances and Mr. Gero mij^ht have dechJed to I'l-oeeed directly instead of 
through the Government of Mr. Hegediis. Mr. Hegediis, according to the testi- 
mony of witnesses, could not possibly refuse a request made by ]Mr. Ger6. Ac- 
cording to existing procedure, the Council of Ministers was nominated by the 
Party, and no nomination by the Party has ever been known to be rejected. The 
Central Committee of the Party was able to dominate the Council of Ministers. 

261. If such an invitation was extended, it must presumably have been ex- 
tended at a time when there was no reason to believe that the demonstration 
planned for that afternoon would lead to shooting. The first Soviet tanks ar- 
rived in Budapest at 2 a. m. Wednesday morning ; no sizeable tank units were 
stationed closer than Cegled and Szekesfehervar, 70 km. from Budapest. There 
are also indications from the numbering of tanks and from other evidence, that 
many of the tanks had arrived from places much farther away from Budapest. 


262. There is eyidence that tloating bridses were assembled on the river form- 
ing the border between the USSR and Hungary as early as 20-21 October and 
Soviet military forces crossed the border at 1 a. m. or 24 0<toher. Thei'e is 
evidence that Soviet troops in Romania were alerted on 21-22 October. In this 
connexion it is relevant to recall tliat Prime Minister Hegediis and Fir.'^t Secre- 
tary Geru, together with several other Ministers and other high Coniumnist 
Party officials, were absent from Hungary on a visit to Yugoslavia from 13 Octo- 
ber until the late morning of Tuesday, 23 October. It will also be noted that 
in the unsigned official announcement which was broadcast on Wednesday morn- 
ing, 24 October, shortly after the announcement of the nomination of Mr. Nagy 
as Prime Minister, it was only stated that the Government had called "upon the 
Soviet forces stationed in Hungary". 

263. The Committee has sought in vain for evidence that an invitation was in 
fact extended. No such evidence, however, has appeared. Two witnesses have 
testified that Mr. Gero on 25 October attempted to have Mr. Nagy sign an ante- 
dated document inviting the Soviet forces, and that Mr. Nagy wrote in the 
corner of the paper : "I do not accept this. I will not sign it." 

264. Mr. D. T. Shepilov, then Foreign Minister of the USSR, stated on 19 No- 
A'ember 1956 in the General Assembly that "the telegram received by the Council 
of Ministers of the USSR from the Prime Minister of the Hungarian People's 
Republic on 24 October 1956 stated : 

" 'On behalf of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic, I 
request the Government of the Soviet Union to send Soviet troops to Budapest 
to put an end to the disturbances that have taken place in Budapest, to restore 
order quicklv and create conditions favourable to peaceful and con.structive 
work.' " "" 

265. Mr. Shepilov did not state who had signed the message. It is indeed 
•difficult for the Committee to understand how Soviet tanks could arrive in Buda- 
pest at 2 a. m. on Wednesday morning, 24 October, in response to a request re- 
ceived by the Government of the USSR on the same day. 


266. In this chapter the Committee has set out fully the evidence presented to 
it on the problem whether the intervention of Soviet forces on the morning of 24 
October took place in response to a request by the Hungarian Government. In 
this matter the following conclusions would seem reasonal)le: 

(1) Statements made by the Hungarian authorities and by the Govern- 
ment of the USSR regarding the character of the request to Soviet forces 
to intervene lack precision, are regarded discordant, and not easily reconcil- 
able with known facts regarding the timing of troop movements. 

(2) The Chairman of the Council of Ministers during whose period of 
office, according to public pronouncements, tiie acts of military intervention 
were effectively pursued, if not initiated, has subsequently denied having 
called in the Soviet forces. 

(3) The evidence establishes that the Chairman of the Council of Min- 
isters was not able to exercise his full powers during the days immediately 
following 24 October. 

(4) It may be that the invitation to the Soviet forces was extended by 
Mr. Hegediis, while still Chairman of the Council of Ministers, at the behest 
of the First Secretary of the Communist Party. No clear evidence that such 
wgs the soui'ce of the request has however been forthcoming. 

(5) The act of calling in the forces of a foreign State for the repression of 
internal disturbances is an act of so serious a character as to justify the 
expectation that no uncertainty should be allowed to exist I'egarding the 
actual presentation of such a request by a duly constituted Government. 

Chapter VII. The Political Backgkound of the Second Soviet Intervention 


267. The purpose of this chapter is to consider the political situation in 
Hungary immediately before the second Soviet intervention of 4 November 1956 
and the circumstances in which that intervention took place. 

27 A/PV. .382. Soe also chapter VIII. 


268. Chapter V of the report has recounted the military aspects of the con- 
flict which was precipitated by the renewed assault of Soviet forces on the city of 
Budapest and their movement against other Hungarian cities in the early hours 
of the morning of Sunday, 4 November 1956. The explanation broadcast to the 
Hungarian people by Mr. Janos KMar at 6 a. m. (GET) that morning, to the 
effect that his newly formed Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government had 
requested the Soviet Army Command to help "in smashing the sinister forces 
of reaction" was repeated the following day by the Army Command itself with 
the additional comment that Mr. Nagy's Government "had disintegrated and did 
not actiially exist". Whether the character of the uprising or the political 
achievements of Mr. Nagy's Government were such as to afford any justification 
for renewed recourse to armed action, either by Hungarian or by Soviet authori- 
ties, are matters on which the evidence made available to the Committee will 
be more fully set out in chapters IX and XII. While these aspects are touched 
on in the present chapter, its essential purpose is to present the data assembled 
by the Committee which bear on the establishment of a Government headed by 
Mr. Janos Kadar. 

269. The legitimacy of the second Soviet intervention on 4 November has 
been asserted by the Government of the USSR on the grounds of the invitation 
said to have been received from the new Hungarian Government, while Mr. 
Nagy's Government proclaimed that the real object of the attack was in fact 
to overthrow the properly constituted Hungarian Government. Two alterna- 
tive readings of events are thus prominent in the descriptions of what took place 
on 4 November. One of these represents the Soviet action as a response to a 
request by a new Hungarian Government unable to maintain order at home 
without such assistance. The other reading sees a flagrant attack by Soviet 
troops on a people increasingly united behind its real Government in an effort to 
reshape its political life. 

270. In considering the situation obtaining in Hungary at the moment when 
Soviet troops intervened for the second time, the role of Mr. Kfidar is of crucial 
importance. It is alleged that Mr. Kadar left the Nagy Government as early 
as 1 November, with the intention of forming the Revolutionary Worker-Peasant 
Government. In its Interim Report,^* the Committee drew attention to the 
significance of the problem of the circumstances surrounding the formation of 
this Government and indicated that it would constitute a central element in 
the investigation. The Committee is now in a position to report more fully on 
the facts. On this aspect of the Committee's investigation, however, the Gov- 
ernments of the USSR and of Mr. Kadfir are alone in a position to afford full 
and conclusive evidence ; and the Committee regrets that, even on this aspect, 
the Governments of the USSR and of Mr. Kiidar have declined to respond in 
any way to the request of the General Assembly for their co-operation. In this 
chapter, the Committee is concerned with summarizing the evidence made avail- 
able to it which throws light on the formation of Mr. Kaddr's Cabinet and the 
invitation which is said to have been issued to the Soviet forces. 


271. After the resignation of Mr. Rakosi as First Secretary of the Central 
Committee, Mr. JSnos Kadrir, who had been persecuted under the outgoing 
leader, found himself in a position of growing importance within the hierarchy 
of the Party. The meeting of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' 
Party of 24 October re-elected Mr. Kadar as one of the thirteen members of the 
new Politburo and as one of the three Secretaries of the Central Committee. 
The Politburo, at its meeting on 25 October, appointed Mr. Kadar as the First 
Secretary of the Central Committee, in succession to ErnS Gerft. 

272. Mr. KSdar had played an important role in the past. He had been an 
active member of the Communist Party since 1929. His ascent to power com- 
menced after the compulsory merger of the Com.munlst Party and part of the 
Social Democratic Party in June 1948. He became a member of the Central 
Committee and of the Politburo, and when LAszlo Rajk became Foreign Minister, 
Mr. K&diir succeeded him as Minister of the Interior. According to evidence, 
Mr. Kadftr played an important role in the Rajk case. It was stated by witnesses 
that, some time before the trial, Mr. Kadar, in conversation with Rajk, asked 
him to make a false statement against himself, promising that he would be 
permitted to live under a different name. Nevertheless, as Minister of the 

28 Document A/3546. 


Interior, Mr. Kaddr was one of the four persons who signed the order for the 
execution of Ra.ik. 

273. Mr. Kddar served as Minister of the Interior until the summer of 1950, 
and was re-elected to the Central Committee and the Politburo at the beginning 
of 1951. In April 1951, he was arrested on charges of espionage, high treason, 
and national deviationism. He remained in prison until August 1954, during 
which period be was subjected to severe toi-tures by order, and under the 
direct supervision, of Vladimir Farkas, Lieutenant-Colonel of the AVH. On his 
release, he was not permitted immediately to participate in political life, but 
he resumed political activities in the spring of 1956, when he took part in the 
conversations on lt(>half of the Hungarian Workers" Party with Imre Nagy and 
his associates, who earlier had been denounced by the Rak >si regime. In these 
conversations, Mr. Kadar insisted that Imre Nagy should engage in severe self- 
criticism before being readmitted to the Party. Rakosi succeeded in delaying the 
readmission of Mr. Kadar to the Central Committee. According to a witness, 
the conversation between Mi-. Kadar and Rajk, to which reference was made 
above, had been recorded, and the recording was played back by Rakosi in May 
1956 before the members of the Central Conunittee. On 18 July, however, after 
the fall of Rakosi, Mr. Kadar was readmitted to the Central Committee as well 
as to the Politburo, and became Secretary of the Central Committee. In this 
latter capacity, Mr. Kadar led a Hungarian delegation to the Seventh Congress 
of the Chinese Communist Party, which opened in Peking on 15 September 1956, 
and was a member of the Hungarian delegation to Yugoslavia under the leader- 
ship of Mr. Gero on 14 October. 

274. In some of the statements emanating immediately before the revolution 
from the League of Working Youth (DISZ) — the youth branch of the Hungarian 
Workers' Party — the demand was made that Janos Kadar be given greater 
influence. The apparent popularity of Mr. Kadar could be explained by the 
fact that he had been on record as favouring certain changes in the organiza- 
tion of the Party and was particularly emphatic in condemning the atrocities of 
the AVH. On the other hand, there could be no doubt of his continued devotion 
to the Communist Party and its discipline and of his attachment to the main- 
tenance of close ties with the Soviet Union. Thus, his enhanced position in the 
political area on 25 October could be considered a tentative step by the Central 
Committee to meet the demands of tlie people of Hungary regarding the abolition 
of the AVH and the need for reforming the Hungarian Workers' Party. 

275. On 24 October, at 8 : 45 p. m., Mr. Kadar, speaking over the radio, con- 
demned the uprising as an "attack by counter-revolutionary reactionary" ele- 
ments, and supported the Central Committee and the Government for having 
adopted "the only correct attitude". More than a month was to elapse before 
Mr. Kadar would speak again in such terms about the uprising ; at that moment 
Mr. Gero was, according to testimony given by a number of witnesses, still effec- 
tively in power. The following day, when he succeeded Mr. Gero as the First 
Secretary of the Central Committee, Mr. Kadar allied liimself more closely with 
the aspirations of the uprising. In a radio announcement that afternoon, he 
stated, with reference to the "settlement of pending questions" between Hungary 
and the USSR, that the Central Committee had proposed to the Government that, 
after the restoration of order, negotiations should be undertaken with the USSR 
"in a spirit of complete equality, friendly co-operation and internationalism". 
He added that, after the restoration of order, tlie I*arty leadership was ready to 
resolve all those "burning questions whose solution cannot be any more post- 

276. As the military situation developed in favour of the insurgents on 26 
October, the Central Conmiittee, succumbing to the pressure of circumstances, 
presented proposals for the formation of a new Government, under the leader- 
.ship of Imre Nagy, which would be based on the "broadest national founda- 
tions". It also ajiproved the setting up of Workers' Councils in the factories 
•'with the co-operation of the trade union organs". Changes in the "mau'igement 
of national economy, agrarian poliey, and the })olicy of tbe People's Patriotic 
Front and the Party leadership" were to be put into effect for the sake of achiev- 
ing a true socialist democracy. The declaration ended : "In consultation with 
the entire people, we shall prepare the gre^t national programme of a demorratic 
and socialist, independent and sovereign Hungary . . .". 

277. By 28 October the Central Conunittee of the Party had lost its iiosition of 
dominance. Its acceptance of, and adaptation to, the outlook of the Hungarian 
people as a whole, was carried further. The Government had been reorganized 
on the previous day, and the Central Committee proceeded! to make further 


basic adjustments to meet the pressing demands of tlie successful insurrection. 
In a radio statement, the Comuiittee announced that, "in view of the exceptional 
situation", the Commitiee had transferred the mandate whicli it had received 
from the Third Congress of the Party to lead the Party, to a six-member Prae- 
sidium, with Jilnos Kadar as Chairman, and Antal Apro, Karoly Kiss, Ferenc 
Miinnich, Imre Nagy and Zoltan Szauto as members. The mandate of this 
Praesidiuni was to reiuaiu valid until the Fourth Congress, which was to be 
convened as soon as possible. The significance of this development v^as pointed 
out in a commentary on Budapest Radio later in the evening, which declared 
that: "events not toda.s, but for some time, had proved that the Central Commit- 
tee was incapable of conducting the alfairs of the country in accordance with the 
wishes, eiforts and interests of the Hungarian people. The actions of the Cen- 
tral Committee did not even correspond to the will and demands of the Commu- 
nists, among them the Party officials. As a matter of fact, Party workers had 
been lor some time dissatisfied witli the Central Committee . . . they saw that 
everything happened later than it should have happened, when the masses were 
ready to resort to coercion . . . But until now the Communists had no right 
even to express their opinion about developments in their own Party. This has 
changed and a new climate exists today in which it is possible to live, to think, 
and to work freely, thus to realize Party democracy in the real Leninist sense. 
. . . What happened taught us a sad lesson but . . . the Stalinist methods 
belong now to the past and we must approve . . . the new six-member Party 
Praesidium composed of the best and most honest members of the Central Com- 
mittee ... At the Fourth Congress of the Hungarian Workers' Party, such 
a Central Committee should be elected which will decisively, openly and con- 
sistently serve the interests of our people, the Hungarian people . . ." 

278. No less indicative of the changed attitude was an editorial in the Ssabad 
N6p, the central organ of the Party, on the same day ; it attacked statements 
made during the past few days that events in Hungary were nothing but a 
"counter-revolutionary fascist attempt at a coup d'etaf and declared the up- 
rising to be "a great national democratic movement which unites and welds 
together the whole people, suppressed by the despotism of the past years". The 
editorial continued : 

"This movement expressed the workers' claim to become genuine masters in 
the factories ; it also expressed the human claim of the peasantry to be freed 
from the constant uncertainty of existence and unwarranted vexations, and 
to be able to live their lives as individual or co-operative peasants according to 
their inclinations or desires. The struggle waged by Communist and non-Party 
intellectuals for the freedom of constructive work and the moral purity of our 
system has strengthened this movement. It was love of country which gave 
this people's movement its greatest strength, warmth and passion, which was 
willing to face even death. The demand for the equality and independence of 
the country is as all-embracing as the mother tongue which we speak." 

279. The breakdown of the Communist structure became complete by 30 Octo- 
ber, when Mr. Kadar, following Messrs. Nagy, Tildy and Brdei, stated over the 
radio that all members of the Praesidium of the Hungarian Workers' Party 
were in agreement with the Government's decision to abolish the one-party 
system. Addressing the people as "my fellow workers, working brethren and 
dear comrades", Mr. Kadar said that he personally was in wholehearted agree- 
ment with the previous three speakers, his "acquaintances and friends, my 
esteemed respected compatriots". His appeal was addressed to "those Commu- 
nists who joined the ranks of the Party because they believed in the progressive 
ideal of mankind, socialism, and not because they were in pursuit of individual 
interests : together with whom we represent om- pure and just ideals by pure 
and just means". Mr. Kadi'ir added : "The ranks of the Party may waver, 
but I do not fear that pure, honest and well-meaning Communists will be dis- 
loyal to their ideals. Those who joined us for selfish personal reasons, for a 
career or other motives will be the ones to leave". Mr. Kddar recognized that 
the Party might have to start afresh but that, having freed itself of the burden 
of the crimes of some of its past leaders, it would now be in a more favourable 
position for the tasks which lay ahead, "to resume work and production, and 
to lay the foundations of peace and order. It is with prestige won in this 
maupf^r that they will gain the respect of our fellow citizPiis".-" In the evening 
Mr. Kdddr announced that the reorganization of the Hungarian Workers' Party 
was proceeding. 

''^Nips:yava, 31 October 1956. 


280. Duriusr this iuvestigatiou, evidence has been phiced before the Com- 
mittee regarding Mr. Kadar's political outlook at this juncture. There is no 
doubt that Mr. Kadar continued to remain a convinced adherent of basic Marxist- 
Leninist principles regarding tlie method to achieve a new classless society of 
wo.kers and peasants. He was faced with the fact, however, that the insurrec- 
tion was manned, in its vast majority, by workers who, according to all reports, 
were fully supported by the peasants. It became apparent even to convinced 
Communists that the uprising was a spontaneous and unorganized movement of 
a people united in protest against a situation which the Hungarian Workers' 
Party had been unable to remedy. It seemed therefore that in order to salvage 
the Conununist Party in Hungary, major adjustments in policy were urgent and 
essential. The Party itself needed to change its name, and the Preparatory 
Committee decided to name it the "Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party".''"' 

281. At around 9.50 p. m. on 1 Noveniber, one day after the evacuation of Soviet 
troops from Budapest, Mr. Kadar read over Budapest Radio the message of the 
Proparat(jry Committee addressed to tlie "Hungarian workers, peasants and 
intellectuals". He admitted that the Party had degenerated into despotism and 
had brought the whole nation to slavery through the "blind and criminal policy" 
of the Hungarian representatives of Stalinism who had frittered away the 
"moral and ideological heritage" accumulated in the past by honest struggle and 
the sacrifice of blood. In the glorious uprising, "the Communist writers, jour- 
nalists, university students, the youth of the Petofl Club, thousands of workers 
and peasants, the veteran fighters who had been imprisoned on false charges, 
fought in the front line against the Rflkosi despotism and political hooliganism". 
Howev'er, affairs had now reached the crossroads between stabilizing the achieve- 
ments of the past and facing open counter-revolution. "We do not fight so that 
the mines and factories should be snatched from the hands of the working class, 
and the land from the hands of the peasantry . . . foreign armed intervention 
may bring to our country the tragic fate of Korea. ... In these momentous 
hours the Communists who fought against the despotism of Rakosi have decided, 
in accordance with the wish of many true patriots and socialists, to form a new 
party which 'on the basis of national independence' . . . [would] build fra- 
ternal relations with every progressive socialist movement and party in the 
world". The new Party would defend such achievements as land reform and 
nationalization and the cause of socialism and democracy, "not by slavishly 
imitating foreign examples, but by taking a road suitable to the economic and 
historic characteristics of our counti\v, the line of the teachings of Marxism- 
Leninism, scientific socialism, changes free of Stalinism and any kind of 
dogmatism, and taking into account the revolutionary and progressive traditions 
of Hungarian history". The Preparatory Committee, cousiyting of Ferenc Dom1t, 
Janos Kadar, Sandor Wopacsi, Geza Losonczy, Gyorgy Lukacs, Imre Nagy and 
Zoltan Szanto, would start to reorganize the Party and would convene as soon 
as possible a National Congress for the foundation of the Party. The Party, 
he said, would publish a central organ, the Nepszabadsdg. Mr. Kadar then 
appealed "to the newly-formed democratic parties and first of all to the other 
Party of the workers, the Social Democratic Party", with the request to "over- 
come the danger of the menacing counter-revolution and intervention from 
abroad by consolidating the Government". The people of Hungary had proved 
their intention unflinchingly to support the Government's efforts aimed at the 
complete v.ithdrawal of the Soviet forces. "We do not want to be dependent 
any longer ; we do not want our country to become a battlefield". 

282. Tills statement would seem to have reflected the feelings of the great 
majority of the people. The evidence is, however, conclusive that Mr. Kadar's 
apprehensions regarding the danger of the uprising leading to a reactionary 
movement for the reinstatement of the political and economic system existing 
in Hungary prior to 1945 were entirely without foundation ; they represented 
no more than the reiteration of a mental attitude inherited from the past and 
in no way reflecting a considered judgement of the present. The grounds 
for asserting the illusory character of Mr. Kiidar's belief in the danger of coun- 
ter-revolution have been outlined in a previous chapter. At this stage Mr. 
Kadar's apprehension of counter-revolution was but a minor note of dissent 
in his broad acceptance and justification of the achievements of the uprising — 
an attitude which he apparently shared with the other members of the Pre- 
pai-atory Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party who presumably 
represented on 1 Xovember the ablest and most devoted Communists in Hungary. 

so Magyar Sisocialista Afunkdspdrt. 


283. Evidence of Mr. Kadar's attitude at this time is also provided by an in- 
terview with Mr. Kadar published by Igazsj'tg, organ of the Revolutionary Hun- 
garian Army and Youth on 1 November 1956. Mr. Kadsir said that, within the 
Central Committee, the militant elements had struggled against the criminal 
policy of Riikosi and his companions, who had dishonored the name of the 
Party. The members of the Tarty should regard as their fundamental task 
the maintenance and development of the main achievements of the people, in 
unity with all the workers, and particularly the socialist democratic workers. 
The Praesidium of the Party, he said, condemned not only the political distor- 
tions of the former leadership, but also its bureaucratic methods in the Party 
and the State. The quotation continues : "We consider that this insurrection, 
which became a mighty movement of the people, was caused chiefly by the in- 
dignation and embitterment of the masses with a harmful policy and ill-fated 
methods". Notable also are the views which continued to be expressed by the 
newly-founded newspaper of Mr. Kadar's newly-founded Party. In its second 
issue, on 3 November. N&pszahadsiig stated that the new Party would no longer 
be able to accept organization from above, but would have to build from below. 
Party membership would no longer carry with it "a splendid post or any lofty 
position. . . . We now stand before the country fewer in number, but puri- 
fied. . . . Nevertheless, let us not look now for what divides us from, but what 
unites us with, the newly-formed parties and their progranunes". Another ar- 
ticle in the same issue stated that "it was under the pressure of opposition from 
within the Party that the leadership was forced to celebrate the reinterment 
of the unjustly executed martyrs. . . . Now after the defeats of the Rakosi-Gerr') 
clique, the opportunity to drive away the criminals has been created. Let us 
not allow new illegalities to be committed ; let us see to it that after an objective 
trial by local tribunals the criminals receive due punishment." Nci)szabadsdg 
of 3 November also expressed approval oi the declaration of Imre Nagy regard- 
ing the neutrality of Hungary and the withdrawal of Soviet troops. 

284. Such were the considered and publicly expressed views of Mr. Kadar and 
his reorganized party almost to the eve of the second intervention by Soviet 
armed forces ; nor is there known any contrary note sounded by him till his 
fateful message broadcast in the early hours of 4 November. 

C. MR. kadar's relations WITH MB. NAGY 

285. There is indeed evidence that Mr. KadSr was working in close collabora- 
tion with Mr. Nagy during the days from 25 October to at least 1 November. He 
delivered a broadcast with him on 25 October, recognized his leadership in a 
statement of 26 October, api>eared again with him before the microphone on 
30 October, and, on the .same day, became a member of Mr. Nagy's Govern- 
ment. On the following days he took part in the discussions which Mr. Nagy had 
with the representatives of Workers' Councils and various Revolutionary Com- 
mittees which came to see him in the Parliament Building. Though his par- 
ticipation was not so prominent as in the case of Mr. Bela Kovilcs or Mr. Zoltan 
Tildy, his attitude appeared to indicate, according to all reports, agreement 
with the statements made by the Prime Minister and his colleagues. It ap- 
pears that, on 1 November, following Mr. Nagy's abrogation of the Warsaw 
Treaty, a meeting was held between Premier Nagy and the Soviet Ambassador, 
Mr. Andropov, in the presence of Mr. Kadfir. A discussion is said to have taken 
place between Mr. Nagy and the Ambassador, in the course of which the former 
indicated that his Government stood firm regarding its declaration of foreign 
policy. In the discussion Mr. Kadar is reported to have given support to Mr. 
Nagy, stating to the Ambassador that he realized that his future was now 
obscure, but that as a Hungarian, he would be prepared personally to fight, if 
necessity required it. He has been quoted as saying : "I will come down into 
the streets and my bare hands to fight against your tanks". Witnesses 
have testified that at the time he was visibly under great emotional strain and 
demonstrably sincere in his statement. The Soviet Ambassador departed shortly 
after, and those present shared the conviction that the Government had stood 
its ground and had shown collective solidarity vis-a-vis the representative of 
the USSR. 

286. According to Igazsdg of 1 November, Mr. Kadar conducted negotiations, in 
the presence of Imre Nagy and Ferenc Miinnich, with Mr. Mikoyan and Mr. 
Suslov on the withdrawal of the Soviet troops. These negotiations took place 
at the Headquarters of the Hungarian Workers' Party. Mr. Mikoyan and Mr. 
Suslov returned to Moscow immediately afterwards. 


287. After the broadcast announcement at about 9 : 50 p. m. on 1 November, in 
connexion witli the establishment of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, 
Mr. Kadar went to his home. Witnesses stated that, some time before 10 p. m., 
Mr. Miinnich asked that a car be made available to him from the car pool at- 
tached to the Parliament Building. He picked up Mr. Kadar and together they 
proceeded to the Soviet Embassy. It was reported that outside the Embassy, 
they entered another car, which was parked behind that in which they had ar- 
rived. Thereafter, Mr. Kiidar, though appearing at times in the Parliament 
Building on 2 November and, seemingly, during the early hours of 3 November, 
took a less active part in the entourage of Mr. Nagy than hitherto. In the main, 
the evidence indicated that Mr. Nagy and his colleagues did not entertain sus- 
picions of disloyalty on the part of Mr. Kildar at that time. Witnesses have de- 
clared that Mr. Nagy, upon hearing in the early hours of the morning of 4 No- 
vember that Mr. Kadar had established a government, showed astonishment 
and even disbelief. 

288. In considering the political change which formed the background of 
the second Soviet intervention, account must be taken of the difficulty of rec- 
onciling .Mr. Kadar's attitude up to the evening of 1 November and his subse- 
quent conduct which amounted to the repudiation of the principles to which he 
had subscribed as a member of Mr. Nagy's Government. The problem is of im- 
portance in assessing Mr. Kadar's claim to have established a government on or 
around 4 November. Mr. Miinnich's statement of 4 November that he, Janos 
Kadar, Antal Apro and Istvan Kossa had severed all their relations on 1 No- 
vember with the Government of Mr. Nagy in order to initiate the formation of 
the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government, is at variance with 
the facts which became known to the Special Committee. It is true that the 
Nagy Government of 27 October, as reconstituted on 30 October by the estab- 
lishment of an Inner ('Narrower') Cabinet, was the beginning of the elimination 
of many Communist members such as Mr. Miinnich, Mr. Horvath, Mr. Apro and 
Mr. Ko.5Sa — all four of them former adherents to the Ilakosi-Ger(') grouj). Their 
eventual elimination was due to the fact that they were unacceptable to the 
Revolutionary Committees which pressed for the reconstitution of the Govern- 
ment. As a first step, the Inner Cabinet of 30 October placed power in the hands 
of Premier Nagy and his five immediate collaborators ; one of these newly ap- 
pointed members was Mr. Kadar. Moreover, the Government as further re- 
constituted on 3 November included Mr. Kadar. So far as the Committee is 
aware, at no time did he formally resign from the new Nagy Government. 


289. Between 3 and 4 o'clock on the morning of 4 November, a representative 
in Budapest of a provincial Revolutionary Council is reported to have gone to 
the Parliament Building to inform Mr. Nagy that Soviet troops had entered 
the chief city of his province and that the Council was urging that they be 
granted permission to fight. This representative is understood to have been 
the first to inform Mr. Nagy that Mr. Kiidar has established at Szolnok a new 
pro-Soviet Government. Premier Nagy himself called up the Revolutionary 
CJommittee of the Army and was told that the information appeared to be cor- 
rect. A meeting of the Cabinet was hastily called ; Mr. Riley, Mr. B. Szab6 
and Mr. Bibo were, it would api)ear, the only members immediately available 
at the Parliament Building ; Mr. Losonczy arrived a little later. Mr. Nagy 
briefly gave them the news, and it was decided forthwith that the Government 
should take immediate action by announcing its stand and by alerting the Hun- 
garian forces. The announcement of the formation of a rival Government was 
made at 5.05 a. m. in an open letter "to the Hungarian working nation" read 
over the radio, dated Budapest, 4 November, in which Mr. Ferenc Miinnich said 
that Messrs. Antal Apro, .Janos Kadar, Istvlin Ko-ssa and he himself had broken 
away from the Nagy Government on 1 November and had taken the initiative 
of forming the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government. They 
had taken this action, he said, because "within the Government of Imre Nagy 
. . ." they "could do nothing against the counter-revolutionary dangei", that 
"respected champions of the working class movement" and "many respected 
sons of the working class and peasantry have been exterminated" ; that "we 
could no longer watch idly" while "the entire nation came under the yoke of 
counter-revolution for a long time to come" ; they had "decided to fight . . . 
Fascism and reaction and its murderous gangs". The statement concluded, 
"We appeal to every loyal son of our People's Democracy, every follower of 

93215— 59— pt. 90 5 


Socialism — first of all the Communists ... to support . . . the Hungarian Revolu- 
tionary Worker-Peasant Government and its struggle for the liberation of the 

290. Mr. Nagy would appear to have been first made avpare of the change in 
the Soviet attitude by the interruption of the negotiations which were being 
carried on regarding the withdrawal of Soviet forces. These negotiations had 
been commenced during the afternoon of 3 November at the Parliament Building 
in the presence of Mr. Nagy.''^ The Hungarian delegation was composed of Mr. 
Ferene Erdoi, Minister of State; General Pal Maleter, Minister of Defence; 
and General Istvan Kovacs, Chief of the General Staff, and Colonel Miklos Szucs, 
The Soviet representatives were Generals Malinin, Cherbanin and Stepanov. 
The afternoon discus.sions, which had proceeded iu an atmosphere of mutual 
friendliness and trust, had resulted in an agreement to meet again at Soviet 
Headquarters at Tokol, on Csepel Island, at 10 p. m. to continue discussion on 
technical questions regarding the withdrawal of the Soviet forces. Discussion 
proceeded till about midnight on minor points, such as the ceremony of with- 
drawal and the replacement of Soviet memorials. Regular reports were sent to 
Mr. Nagy regarding the progress of these talks. Towards midnight, telephone 
contact with the Hungarian delegation at Tokol, was broken off". Reconnaissance 
parties sent towards Tokol by General Kiraly also failed to return. The Com- 
mittee has been informed that the discussions between the Soviet military dele- 
gation and the Hungarian military delegation at Tokol were in fact interrupted 
by the entry of a personage "who bore no insignia of rank" — General Serov, 
Chief of the Soviet security police. Accompanied by Soviet officers, he an- 
nounced that he was arresting the Hungarian delegation. The head of the 
Soviet delegation, General Malinin, astonished by the interruption, made a 
gesture of indignation. General Serov thereupon whispered to him ; as a result, 
General Malinin shrugged his shoulders and ordered the Soviet delegation to 
leave the room. The Hungarian delegation was then arrested. In vain, there- 
fore, did Mr. Nagy, at 5.56, broadcast an appeal to Generals Maleter and Istvan 
Kovacs and other members of the mission to return to their posts at once to take 
charge of their offices. 

291. At 5.20 a. m.. Premier Nagy made the following statement from Free 
Radio Kossuth, Budapest: "This is Imre Nagy speaking, the President of the 
Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic. Today at daybreak 
Soviet troops attacked our capital with the obvious intention of overthrowing 
the legal Hungarian democratic government. Our troops are in combat. The 
Grovernment is at its post. I notify the people of our country and the entire 
world of this fact." By that time cannon could be heard at various points 
in the outskirts of the city. The announcement was repeated in several languages 
and was followed by the Hungarian Anthem. Mr. Nagy's next act was, accord- 
ing to a witness, to dictate the following statement : 

"This fight is the fight for freedom by the Hungarian people against the 
Russian intervention, and it is possible that I shall only be able to stay at my 
post for one or two hours. The whole world will see how the Russian armed 
forces, contrary to all treaties and conventions, are crushing the resistance of 
the Hungarian people. They will also see how they are kidnapping the Prime 
Minister of a country which is a Member of the United Nations, taking him 
from the capital, and therefore it cannot be doubted at all that this is the most 
brutal form of intervention. I should like in these last moments to ask the 
leaders of the revolution, if they can, to leave the country. I ask that all that 3 
have said in my broadcast, and what we have agreed on with the revolutionary 
leaders during meetings in Parliament, should be put in a memorandum, and the 
leaders should turn to all the peoples of the world for help and explain that today 
it is Hungary and tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, it will be the turn of 
other countries because the imperialism of Moscow does not know borders, and 
is only trying to play for time." 

292. Two hours later Free Radio Kossuth was still broadcasting on behalf of 
the Nagy Government. At 7: 14 a. m. it made the following announcement in 
Hungarian and Russian. "The Hungarian Government requests officers and 
soldiers of the Soviet Army not to shoot. Avoid bloodshed ! The Russians are 
our friends and will remain our friends also in the future." 

293. News was then broadcast of the convening of the emergency meeting of 
the Security Council. It was followed at 7 :57 a. m. by the following appeal of 
the Hungarian Writers' Union : "This is the Hungarian Writers' Union ! We 

^ Magver Fiigetlenseg, 3 November 1956. 


appeal for lielp to writPrs, scholars, writers' associations, academies, scientific 
orjiauir-:;itionK and the leaders of intellectual life all over the world. Out time 
is limited! You all know the facts, there is no need to explain them. Help 
Hungary! Help the Hungarian people! Help the Hungarian writers, scholars, 
workers, peasants and intellectuals Help! Help! Help!" This appeal was re- 
peated in Ensrlish, German and Russian. 

294. At 8 : 07 Free Radio Kossuth went off the air, although a silent carrier 
wave could still be detected until 9 : 45 a. m. 

29;j. With the launching of the Soviet attack, the members of Imre Nagy'S 
Cabinet dispersed. Mr. Nagy is understood himself to have left the Parliament 
Building with the intention of proceeding to the Soviet Embassy to protest ; but 
he is known to liave arrived at the Yugoslav Embassy with a request for asylum. 
He was later followed by Mr. Losonczy. Of the members of his Government, 
only Zoltiln Tildy, Istvan B. Szabo and Istvan Bibo remained at the Parliament 
Building when the Soviet troops surrounded it. Mr. Tildy is understood to have 
made an agreement with the Soviet forces that to avoid bloodshed, they should 
be allowed to occupy the building, while civilians should be permitted to leave 
freely. After this agreement, Mr. Tildy left the building. Mr. Bibo remained as 
the sole representative of the Government. His last act — so the Committee has 
been informed — was to issue the following declaration : 

"Hungary has no intention of pursuing an anti-Soviet policy ; in fact she 
wants to live fully in that coumiunity of East-European free nation which 
wish to organize their lives in a society where liberty, justice and freedom 
from exploitation exist. I also repudiate before the whole world the slanderous 
statements that the glorious Hungarian revolution was stained by Fascist or 
anti-Semitic excesses . . . The Hungarian people turned only against the con- 
quering foreign army and against native hangman-units. The popular justice 
which we experienced for a few days on the streets as well as the unarmed ap- 
pearance of the old conservative forces could have been stopped by the new 
Government in a very short time, and the assertion that for this purpose a huge 
foreign army had to be called or rather recalled into the country, is cynical 
and irresponsible. On the contrary, the presence of a foreign army in the 
country was the main source of unrest and disturbance. I call on the Hun- 
garian people not to recognize the occupation forces or the puppet government 
which may be set up by them as a legal authority, and 1 call upon you to use 
against them every means of passive resistance — with the exception of the in- 
terruption of the public services and water supply of Budapest." 


296. At the time when Free Radio Kossuth was broadcasting the appeals of 
Premier Nagy, Mr. Ki'idiir, speaking on the same wave length used previously 
by Mr. Ferenc Miinnich, announced the formation of the Hungarian Revolu- 
tionary Worker-Peasant Government. This announcement was made at 6.00 
a. m. He said that he. with Ferenc Miinnich, Deputy Premier, who would also 
hold the portfolio of Minister of the Armed Forces and Public Security Force, 
Gyorgy Marosan as Minister of State, Istvan Kossa as Minister of Finance, 
Imre Horvath as Foreign Minister, Antal Apr6 as Minister of Industry, Imre 
Dogei as Minister of Agriculture, and Sandor Ronai as Minister of Commerce, 
would constitute the nucleus of the new Government. As soon as national order 
had been restored, there would be added from outside the Party other ministers 
who were ready to "defend the achievements of socialism". Mr. Kadar accused 
the Riikosi-Gerd clique of numerous mistakes committed over the past twelve 
years. On the other hand, "reactionaries had sought to destroy the achieve- 
ments of socialism by aiming to return the factories and enterprises to the 
capitalists and the land to the big landowners. Fascist elements had exploited 
the mistakes which had been committed in the past and had misled the many 
honest workers and the youth who had risen against the People's Government 
out of honest and patriotic intentions". He called upon one and all to put an 
end to the excesses of the counter-revolutionary elements, for he had formed 
his Government to protect the people and lead them out of the existing grave 
situation. He then proclaimed the programme of the Hungarian Revolutionary 
Worker-Peasant Government. The programme consisted of fifteen points. It 
concluded : 

"The Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government, acting in the 
interest of our people, our working class, and our country, requested the Soviet 

-5124 SCOPE or soviet activity in the tjntted states 

Army Command to help our nation in smashing the sinister forces of reaction 
and restoring order and calm in the country. 

"Following the restoration of calm and order, the Hungarian Government 
will begin negotiations with the Soviet Government and with the other partici- 
pants to the Warsaw Treaty on the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from 

Mr. Kadar ended his announcement by asking the people to disarm the 
"counter-revolutionary gangs" and to assist the new Government in fulfilling 
its programme. It may be noted that this political declaration of fifteen points 
differed only on two major points from what had been advocated by Premier 
Nagy — the non-inclusion of the question of neutrality and the holding of free 

297. The announcements of the formation of Mr. Kadar's Government were 
broadcast on 1,187 kilocycles — the wave-length usually occupied by the Bala- 
tonszabadi transmitter and normally used for the Hungarian Radio's foreign 
services. They are said to have been made from the town of Szolnok, some 100 
kilometres southeast of Budapest, on the Tisza. The Committee has no evidence 
of the presence of Mr. Kadar at Szolnok on the morning of 4 November, and 
assertions by witnesses that the broadcast was made from a tape recording may 
well be correct. From evidence given to the Committee, it would indeed appear 
that, if Mr. Kadar had not already proceeded to Moscow, he was in Moscow 
on the 4th, in Prague on the 5th or possibly the 6th, and in Budapest in the 
afternoon of the 6th, or not later than the morning of the 7th. The Committee 
is not in a position to check Mr. Kadar's movements. 

298. One notable feature of the new Kadar Government was indeed its ab- 
sence from the scene of action at the time of the second Soviet intervention. 
Not only did it not fill any position of leadership in repressing the insurrection 
in these crucial moments, but the Committee knows of no Hungarian who acted 
in such a capacity. For three days, even the formal presence of any repre- 
sentative of the Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government was hardly notice- 
able to lead the fight which allegedly the Hungarian people and their army were 
waging against the Government of Imre Nagy and the insurgents of 23 October. 
From the information available to the Committee, it would follow that during 
these days of 4-6 November, if any Hungarians fought against the insurgents, 
they were only the few members of the dissolved AVH attached and acting as 
guides to the Soviet troops in the various battles or skirmishes which were 
taking place in Budapest and throughout the country. Mr. Kadar's Govern- 
ment does not appear to have taken any action or otherwise communicated with 
the people of Hungary until noon of Tuesday, 6 November, when a statement 
was issued in the name of Mr. Kadar to the effect that he hoped that the 
country would soon return to normal life, and which made a general appeal 
for food, construction materials and medicines. Only of the activity of the 
Soviet Army Command, of their edicts to the Hungarian people and of their 
seizure of administrative control is record to be found from these days of the 
establishment of the Revolutionary AVorker-Peasant Government. 

299. Several witnesses have testified before the Committee that the Kadar 
Government was unconstitutional, for it had come into being without regard to 
the formal requirements of the Hungarian Constitution. They have contended 
that the provisions of article 23-2 had not been observed. According to this 
article, the Council of Ministers or its single Members are elected or relieved 
of oflSce by Parliament, on. the recommendation of the Presidential Council of 
the People's Republic. Premier Nagy, they contended, was not relieved of oflice 
by the Presidential Council, which in this case would have exercised the func- 
tions of Parliament, as this body was not in session (article 20-4) Further- 
more, Premier Nagy had not resigned from office. Therefore, they concluded, 
the rightful government of the State remained that of Premier Nagy. The 
witnesses felt that this argument was reinforced by the fact that Mr. Kadar 
and the other members of his Government did not take the oath of office till the 
morning of 7 November — three days after the assumption of power.^' They 
stated that since, in Hungarian constitutional practice (as confirmed by the com- 
munication of the Kddar Government to the Secretary-General of 4 February 
1956)" the oath is an essential prerequisite to the assumption of office, any 
action taken by such a Government prior to the fulfillment of this formality 

32 Ssatad Nip, S November 19.56. 
« A/3521. 


must be null and void, and consequently the military action of the Soviet troops 
did not take place in response to a call from the legally empowered Hungarian 

300. The Committee examined this contention and considered that, though these 
views had grounds for support, particularly if it could be shown that the Chair- 
man of the Praesidium had not relieved Premier Nagy from office prior to the 
announcement of the formation of the Kadar Government, it did not believe that 
it was of material significance for the purpose of this report to pronounce on 
these considerations. It suffices to call attention to the clear evidence of the 
circumstances in which the Government of Mr. Kadiir came into being solely as 
the result of the military intervention. 


301. Certain conclusions regarding the second Soviet intervention emerge 
from the evidence which the Committee has examined. In the first place, the 
Committee is satisfied that no well-placed observer could conclude that the Nagy 
Government was losing control of the situation during the first days of November. 
On the contrary, the formation of the Workers' Councils and the Revolutionary 
Councils all over the country was fast providing a substitute for the discredited 
machinery of Communist control. In the second place, it was the conviction of 
the Committee that no well-placed obsei"ver could conclude that Mr. Nagy's 
Government was in any serious danger from counter-revolutionary forces. The 
workers and students of Hungary had successfully destroyed Russian tanks from 
the days immediately following the demonstrations of 23 October. A week 
later they were in a very much stronger position than they had been to challenge 
any attack. Several days of intensive fighting had caused the emergence of 
popular leaders in many groups and had tested the hastily assembled formations 
of fighting workers. 

302. In the Committee's view, the evidence leads to one conclusion : The 
Soviet withdrawal during the last days of October was no more than a temporary 
measure, dictated by the desire of the Soviet Army to be in a jjosition to launch 
a more powerful intervention with the least possible delay. Preparations for 
such a-A intervention had been going on continuously since the last days of Octo- 

303. It was suggested to the Committee that the Soviet Union feared the con- 
sequences to Communism which would have followed the consolidation of Mr. 
Nagy's reforms and were therefore anxious to attack his regime before the world 
could see the spectacle of a whole people united to maintain their socialist 
achievements without the terrors of Communist dictatorship. The Soviet au- 
thorities, it was also suggested, knew very well that an unveiled attack on the 
Hungarian people would call forth universal condemnation. They therefore 
discovered a Hungarian spokesman who would lend some colour of legality to 
their movements. This spokesman was Mr. Kadar. The Committee is in no 
position either to substantiate or to refute this thesis regarding the motivation 
of Soviet action. It is, however, significant that ]Mr. Kadar seemingly associated 
himself with Mr. Nagy until a late stage and the Committee has no evidence 
that he gave any hint of his alleged intention to break away from Mr. Nagy's 
Government. When Mr. Kadiir announced the formation of his own Cabinet on 
the morning of 4 November, it is doubtful whether he had auy backing among 
Hungarians other than that of the handful of politicians mentioned in his radio 
broadcast and the unquestioned loyalty of the security police. It would seem 
that the question of constitutional propriety hardly arises in connexion with 
the manner in which Mr. Kadar's Government was formed, since he himself 
having taken the step he did, would alone be competent to supply the facts 
justifying his claim that it was a Government at all. The Committee would 
again recall at this point that its two requests to visit Hungary, when such 
important questions would no doubt have been discussed, met with a point- 
blank refusal. 

** Betvveen 20 October and 12 November, no issue of Magyar Kozlony — the official eazette 
of the Hungarian People's Republic — appeared. The issue of 12 November contained two 
decrees of the Praesidium of the People's Republic. The first was unnumbered ; it relieved 
Iinre Nagy and the ministers of his Government of their offices. The second, Decree No. 28 
of 1956, elected Jdnos Kdddr Chairman of the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers' Peasants' 
Government and also elected seven members of the Government. Neither of the decrees 
was dated. 


Chaptek VIII. The Question of the Presence a>'d the Utilization of the 
Soviet Armed Forces in Hungary in the Light of Hungary's International 


A. introduction 

304. It appears important to the Committee, at this point of its Report, to 
recall the basic international instruments governing the present international 
status of Hungary and in particular those provisions which have been made 
public and which bear on the conditions of the presence and the use of Soviet 
armed forces on Hungarian territory. The intervention of these forces— as has 
been admitted by all sides — and that of sizable Soviet reinforcements from the 
Soviet Union and Romania, was necessary to quell the Hungarian uprising. The 
justifications given by the Soviet Government and that of Mr. Kaddr, to the 
extent they find their basis in these international instruments, will also be 
recalled and, while no detailed legal analysis will be undertaken, the General 
Assembly action at its second emergency special session and at its eleventh 
regular session with regard to the Hungarian problem will be briefly assessed 
in the light of the Committee's findings as to the true character of the October- 
November events. 

305. The rest of the chapter will bear on the persistent demands for the com- 
plete withdrawal of all Soviet armed forces from Hungary which came power- 
fully to public notice during the uprising. The attempts by Mr. Nagy and his 
Cabinets to achieve this withdrawal by negotiation with the Soviet Union will 
be described on the basis of all the facts at the Committee's disposal as well as 
the aspirations of the Hungarian Revolution as to Hungary's future international 
status. The positions taken with respect to these matters by the Kadar Govern- 
ment and the Soviet Government since the overthrow of the Government of Mr. 
Nagy and the military suppression of the uprising will then be restated on the 
basis of their official declarations and will be followed by a few final observations. 



306. The Treaty of Peace with Hungary of 10 February 1947, which came into 
force on 15 September 1947, declared the legal cessation of the state of war 
between Hungary and "the Allied and Associated Powers." All Allied forces 
were to be withdrawn subject, however, "to the right of the Soviet Union to keep 
on Hungarian territory such armed forces as it may need for the maintenance 
of the lines of communication of the Soviet Army with the Soviet zone of occu- 
pation in Austria" (Article 22) . 

307. Close restrictions were placed in Part HI of the Treaty on the armed 
forces and armaments which Hungary was authorized to maintain to meet 
"tasks of an internal character and local defence of frontiers." The total strength 
of the Hungarian ground forces was to be of not more than 65,000 personnel, and 
the air force was to consist of not more than 90 aircraft, including reserves 
with a total personnel strength of 5,000 (Article 12). These "Military and Air 
Clauses" were to remain in force "until modified in whole or in part by agreement 
between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary, or after Hungary 
becomes a member of the United Nations by agreement between the Security 
Council and Hungary" (Article 20) . 

308. A reference to Hungary's eventual membership in the United Nations was 
made in the Preamble to the Treaty. The initial application for membership 
stating Hungary's readiness to accept the obligations contained in the Charter 
was made by the Hungarian Government on 22 April 1947. Hungary was ad- 
mitted to membership in the United Nations on 14 December 1955. 

309. By a "Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance" of 18 
February 1948, which came into force on 22 April 1948, the Soviet and Hungarian 
Governments affirmed their policy of strengthening their co-operation and their 
adherence to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as well as to 
those of mutual respect for independence and national sovereignty and non- 
interference in their internal affairs. Each agreed not to enter into alliances or 
take part in coalitions or in any acts or measures directed against the other. In 
addition, they agreed immediately to extend to each other military and other 
assistance, with all the means at their disposal, should they be "involved in 
hostilities with Germany or with any State associated with Germany in acts of 
aggression in Europe, which States might seek to renew their policy of aggression, 


or with auy other State which might be associated with Germany directly or in 
any other way in a policy of aggression" (Article 2) . 

310. The fact was confirmed in authoritative evidence submitted to the Commit- 
tee that as from 1948 the size of the Hungarian Army was increased beyond that 
authorized by the Peace Treaty and that, as from that time, the Hungarian Army 
was furnished with equipment and weapons prohibited by the Treaty. 

311. In 1956 the Hungarian Army had nine infantry divisions, two armoured 
"mechanized" divisions, four artillery brigades, one chemical battalion, one horse 
cavalry brigade, one signal regiment, one communications brigade and three heavy 
armoured regiments. The total strength of these forces amounted to 250,000 
men. The continued formation of new units suggested that the strength of the 
standing army was to be further increased. The air force consisted of one fighter 
division composed of three regiments, each consisting of 120 planes, six single 
echelons amounting to one regiment with 120 planes, one air regiment with 50 
planes and one fighter-bomber regiment with 37 planes. The strength of the air 
fighter division exceeded 500 planes. In addition to these forces, the Danube 
Fleet had two river brigades and the security police comprised several armed 
infantry regiments and armoured units. 

312. In accordance with the Austrian State Treaty of 15 May 1955, which came 
into force on 27 July 1955 and which brought to an end the occupation of Austria, 
the last Soviet units left Vienna on 19 September 1955. On 14 May 1955, one day 
before the signing of the Austrian State Treaty, the Governments of the Soviet 
Union and of Hungary, together with those of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, 
the German Democratic Republic, Poland and Romania, concluded the Warsaw 
Treaty of "Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance". This Treaty, which 
came into force on 6 June 1955 for a minimum period of twenty years, and which 
in the wording of its preamble was said to have been motivated by the creation of 
the "Western European Union" and the entry of a re-militarized Western Ger- 
many into the "North Atlantic Bloc", reiterates the fidelity of the parties to the 
purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and their desire to 
strengthen and promote their friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance. 
Article 1 contains the undertaking of the parties, in accordance with the Charter 
of the United Nations, to refrain in their international relations from the threat 
or use of force. Both the Preamble and Articles 8 affirm the mutual respect of 
the parties for their independence and sovereignty, and of non-interference in 
their internal affairs. Article 3 provides for immediate consultations whenever, 
in the opinion of any of the parties, there has arisen the threat of an armed 
attack on one or several of them, "with a view to providing for their joint defence 
and maintaining peace and security". Article 4 states that in the event of ah 
armed attack in Europe on one or several parties by any State or group of States 
each party "shall, in the exercise of the right to individual or collective self- 
defence, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, afford the 
State or States so attacked immediate assistance individually and in agreement 
with the other States parties to the Treaty, by all the means it considers necessary, 
including the use of armed force". Consultations are provided for as to "the joint 
measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security", 
and notification to the Security Council is prescribed of the measures taken, which 
are to be stopped as soon as "the Security Council takes the necesary action to 
restore and maintain international peace and security". In Article 7 the parties 
declare that their obligations under existing international treaties are not at 
variance with the provisions of the Treaty. 

313. By Article 5 of the Warsaw Treaty, the parties agree on the establish- 
ment of a Joint Command for their armed forces, "which shall be allocated by 
agreement between these Parties, and which shall act in accordance with 
jointly established principles". The Article fivrther states that the Parties 
"shall likewise take such other concerted action as may be necessary to rein- 
force their defensive strength, in order to defend the peaceful labour of their 
peoples, guarantee the inviolability of their frontiers and territories and afford 
protection against possible agi;ression". 

314. Simultaneously with the conclusion of the Treaty, the contracting parties 
announced their decision to appoint Marshal I. S. Koniev of the Soviet Union 
as Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces and provided that "the 
Ministers of Defense and other military leaders of the signatory States are to 
serve as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces, and shall 
command the armed forces assigned by their respective states to the Joint 
Armed Forces". The "decision" also stated that the "disposition of the Joint 


Armed Forces in the territories of signatory states will be effected, by agree- 
ment among the states, in accordance with the requirements of their mutual 

315. Such were the legal provisions, made public and of which the Committee 
had knowledge, on which was based the presence of USSR armed forces on 
Hungarian territory.^" The Committee was informed that before the October 
events the Second and Seventeenth Soviet mechanized divisions were stationed 
in Hungary, with a strength of about 20,000 men and 600 tanks. 

316. In the course of the meetings of the Warsaw Conference immediately 
preceding the signature of the Treaty, Mr. N. A. Bulganin, in a statement de- 
livered on 11 May 1955,^' indicated that the conclusion of the Treaty was occa- 
sioned by "the heightened threat to the security of our countries caused by the 
aggressive measures of the Western Powers", and that the "co-ordinated 
measures" envisaged for the parties were "necessary to strengthen their de- 
fensive power, in order to guarantee the inviolability of their frontiers and 
territories and to provide defence against possible aggression". He stated : 
"Blocs created by imperialist States are based on the principles of domination 
and subordination. Such is the nature of blocs which serve the interests of 
their sponsors — the big imperialist Powers. These Powers drag small coun- 
tries into the aggressive military alignments they form in order to secure man- 
power and additional vantage grounds and n^ilitary bases. . . . The draft 
Treaty submitted for our consideration is based on entirely different principles. 
The domination of one state or nation over another is a principle alien to our 
countries, our peoples and our social system. Our draft Treaty proceeds from 
the principle of respect for the national sovereignty, and non-interference in 
the internal affairs of others, which forms the basis of the foreign policy of 
all the states represented here. . . . The draft Treaty submitted to this Con- 
ference fully accords with the objects and principles of the United Nations 

317. These ideas were fully echoed by Mr. Andras Hegediis, then Chairman 
of the Council of Ministers of Hungary,*" who, speaking at the Conference, re- 
ferred particularly to "the guarantee given in the Treaty that in the event of 
aggression, the contracting parties will immediately assist the parties attacked 
with all the moans at their disposal". He stated that "We shall be able to 
defend, and shall defend, the treasure we so long lacked and therefore prize 
the more highly — the liberty of our people and the independence of our country". 


318. The announcement broadcast from Budapest at 9 a.m., on 24 October, 
stated tliat "The dastardly armed attack of counter-revolutionary gangs during 
the night" has created an extremely serious situation. The governmental 
organs were unprepared for these attacks and "they have therefore applied 
for help to the Soviet formations stationed in Hungary under the terms of the 
Warsaw Treaty. In compliance with the Government's request, the Soviet 
formations are taking part in the restoration of order . . .". At the 582nd 
plenary meeting of the General Assembly on 19 November 1950, the then Min- 
ister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Mr. Shepilov, read the text of a telegram 
apparently received by the Council of Ministers of the USSR on 24 October 
from the Prime Minister of the Hungarian People's Republic — whose name he 
did not mention — by which the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's 
Republic requested the Government of the Soviet Union to send troops to 
Budapest "to put an end to the disturbances that have taken place in Budapest, 
restore order quickly and create conditions favourable to peaceful and con- 
structive work". Mr. Shepilov then stated that the "Soviet Union could not, 
of course, refuse to respond to the request of a friendly State for help". 

319. As to the second intervention of Soviet troops, Mr. Janos Kadar declared 
on 4 November that "the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers-Peasant Govern- 
ment requested . . . the Soviet Army Command to help our nation in smashing 
the sinister forces of reaction and to restore order and calm". At the 582nd 
plenary meeting of the General Assembly, Mr. Shepilov referred to this applica- 

** Reference should now be made to the Agreement of 27 May 1957 between Hungary and 
the USSR, the text of which is annexed to this chapter. 
'^^New Times, No. 21, May 21, 1955 — "Documents". 


tion to the Soviet Union "for assistance in beating off the attack by the forces 
of fascism and in restoring order and normal life in the country", and added "let 
me admit openly that this was not an easy problem for the Soviet Government 
to deal with. We fully realized the difficulties which inevitably arise when the 
armies of one country are being used in another. The Soviet Union, however, 
could not remain indifferent to the fate of friendly Hungary". 

320. The official explanations formulated by the USSR and Kadar Govern- 
ments for the Soviet military interventions in Hungary have been summarized 
in their broader context and in greater detail in chapter III of this report. The 
basic points of their argument, as officially stated in the United Nations and 
elsewhere, were that on 23 October (Mr. Kadar and his spokesmen seldom refer 
to the exact nature of the first request for Soviet intervention), and again on 4 
November, "anti-democratic elements" brought about serious disturbances of pub- 
lie order and created "the danger of a non-democratic fascist-type system op- 
posed to social progress coming into being". Exercising the sovereign right of a 
State "to take through its government any measures it considers necessary and 
proper in the interest of guaranteeing the State order and the peaceful life of 
the population", the Hungarian Government has "called for the assistance of 
Soviet troops stationed in Hungary under the Warsaw Defence Treaty so as to 
avoid further bloodshed and disorder and to defend the democratic order and 
people's power. With this step the Government warded off anarchy in Hungary 
and the creating of a situation which would have seriously imperilled peace 
and security".^" As to the Nagy Government, it had collapsed and its communi- 
cations to the United Nations had no legal force. As these occurrences had no 
effect on international peace and security, and related to events with Hungary, 
or only to the application of an international treaty "under the exclusive pur- 
view of the Hungarian and Soviet Governments and of the other Member States 
of the Warsaw Treaty"," the United Nations could not intervene or even con- 
sider the matter by virtue of paragraph 7 of Article 2 of the Charter. 

321. While the latter was the only provision of the United Nations Charter 
mentioned, two provisions of other international instruments were referred to in 
the statement of the Soviet and the Kadar Governments' position. Firstly, that 
of Article 4 of the Hungarian Peace Treaty which created an obligation for 
Hungary not to permit in the future "the existence and activities of organiza- 
tions of a fascist-type on Hungarian territory, whether political, military or 
para-military" ; secondly, that of Article 5 of the Warsaw Treaty providing for 
"concerted action" by the contracting parties "necessary to re-inforce their de- 
fensive strength, in order to defend the peaceful labour of their people, guar- 
antee the inviolability of their frontiers and territories and afford protection 
against possible aggression". 

322. In the course of the lengthy debates which the Security Council and 
the General Assembly devoted to the Hungarian question, these and other argu- 
ments were abundantly disciissed by representatives of Member States. The 
provisions of Article 2 of the Hungarian Peace Treaty guaranteeing human 
rights and fundamental freedoms, including political rights, to the Hungarian 
people ; the principles and the character of the Warsaw Treaty as a defensive 
arrangement against an external aggression ; the unacceptability of the position 
that armed forces stationed in a foreign country by vii-tue of a defensive alli- 
ance against outside aggression might be used to quell popujar movements 
aiming at a change of government or of regime ; the protests against the Soviet 
intervention and demands to the Soviet Union and to the United Nations for the 
withdrawal of Soviet forces put forward by the properly constituted Govern- 
ment of Imre Nagy ; the doubtful constitutional nature of the Elildar Govern- 
ment at the time of its call for Soviet military assistance — all these arguments 
were invoked against the thesis of the Soviet Government and the Kadar Govern- 
ment, together with the Charter provisions on sovereign equality of Member 
States, the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and of paragraph 4 of Article 2 of the Charter prohibiting the threat or use 
of force against the iwlitical independence of any State. All these considera- 
tions led to the solemn declaration by the General Assembly in resolution 1131 
(XI) of 12 December 1956 that "by using its armed force against the Hungarian 
people, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is violating 

^Memorandum of 4 February 1056 transmitted by the Permanent Representative of 
Huneary to the Secretary-General for distribution to Members of the United Nations 


the political independence of Hungary" ; and to the condemnation by the same 
resolution of the "violation of the Charter of the United Nations by the Gov- 
ernment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in depriving Hungary of its 
liberty and independence and the Hungarian people of the exercise of their 
fundamental rights." 

323. The Committee does not consider it necessary to review these arguments 
anew. It wishes merely to refer to its findings and conclusions contained in 
other chapters of this report which directly bear on the assumption on which 
are built the Soviet and the Hungarian Governments' legal and political ex- 
planations namely, that the uprising was not of a fascist or anti-democratic 
character as these terms are generally understood ; that armed Soviet assistance 
was sought in all probability before a peaceful demonstration had taken on a 
violent character and that whether the intervention took place in a regular or 
irregular manner under the terras of Hungarian constitutional processes is a 
matter which the Conunittee was not able to ascertain ; that Imre Nagy's 
Government, whose legitimacy during the events was uncontested, had taken 
practical steps for re-establishing public order and conditions for a normal 
pursuit of peaceful activities of the people, and was reconstituting a democratic 
and parliamentary regime which would have given to all Hungarians the exer- 
cise of political and human rights ; that the Nagy Government was endeavoring 
to bring about the withdrawal and not the intervention of the Soviet armed 
forces, the presence of which it did not find necessary to maintain itself in 
power ; and that Mr. Kadar's Government, on the other hand, not only was 
established because of the assistance of the Soviet armed forces, but could not 
under the terms of the Hungarian Constitution claim any but the most doubtful 
element of legality at the time of its appeal to the Soviet Command for inter- 
vention. The Committee's conclusions support, therefore, the assumptions on 
which were based the resolutions of the General Assembly on the question 
of Hungary and, in particular, resolution 1131 (XI). 

324. As was pointed out to the Committee in a communication from an inter- 
national group of jurists, the Soviet action in Hungary, "seen in its true light", 
would probably be open to condemnation under the Soviet Government's own 
definitions of aggression. The Committee confines itself, in this respect, to 
recalling that, in a long series of proposals aimed at establishing guiding prin- 
ciples with a view to determining which State would be guilty of aggression, the 
latest of which were submitted to the United Nations 1956 Special Committee 
on the Question of Defining Aggression,''* the Government of the USSR sought 
to obtain a declaration by the General Assembly that, in an international con- 
flict, that State should be declared the attacker which first committed the act 
of "Invasion by its armed forces, even without a declaration of war, of the terri- 
tory of another State". A State would be declared to have committed an act 
of aggression if it "promotes an internal upheaval in another State or a change 
of policy in favour of the aggressor". This proposal provides, in particular, 
that the direct attack or indirect aggression may not be justified by "(a) The 
internal situation of any State, as for example: . . , (b) Alleged shortcomings 
of its administration; . . . (d) Any revolutionary or counter-revolutionary move- 
ment, civil war, disorders or strikes; (e) Establishment or maintenance in any 
State of any political, economic or social system". 

325. Leaving aside arguments of a juridical nature, it appeared quite clear 
to the Committee that the Soviet military intervention had its essential reason 
in the desire to save a political regime, and retain a military ally within its 
area of economic dominance. As reported by the Budapest Radio, on 15 Novem- 
ber 1956, Mr. Kaddr explained to a delegation of the Greater Bvidapest Workers' 
Council that "we were compelled to ask for the intervention of Soviet troops. . , 
It has been made clear by the events of the past weeks that we were threatened 
with the immediate danger of the overthrow of the peoples' power. . . We 
reali7.ed that this whole movement could not be described as a counter-revolution, 
but we would have been blind if we had ignored that, apart from the deep in- 
dignation felt over grave mistakes and the just demands of the workers, there 
were also counter-revolutionary demands. . . It was in such a situation that 
some of us reached the conclusion that, first of all and by all means, even with 
the help of Soviet troops, the counter-revolution must be broken by the people's 
power consolidated with the help of armed workers. . ." ^ At the sixth session 

28 A/.S574, Repoi't of the Special Committee on the Question of Defining Aggression, Annex 
II, document A/AC.77/L.4. 

** Nipszahadsdg, 16 November 1956. 


of the USSR Supreme Soviet held in February 1957, Mr. Shepilov stated that 
"By assisting the Hungarian people, the USSR did its international duty to the 
working people of Hungary and other socialist countries, in keeping with the 
interest of world peace", and in the "Joint Declaration of the Government of 
the Soviet Union and the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic", 
issued upon the conclusion of the negotiations held between the two Govern- 
ments in Moscow from 20 March to 28 March 1957, it was again stated that 
"The participation of Soviet Army units in crushing the fascist rebels was a 
supreme act of proletarian solidarity".*" Gyorgy Marosdn, former First Deputy 
Chairman of the Council of Ministers in the Hegediis Government and at present 
Minister of State in the Kadiir Government, speaking in Republic Square in 
Budapest on 29 March 1957 and recalling that during the night of 23-24 October 
1956 he personally had demanded that Soviet troops be called in, seems to have 
correctly summarized the situation from the point of view of the present rulers 
of Hungary by saying: "We know but one legality: the legality of the 


326. It will be recalled that four main communications were received by the 
United Nations from Hungary during the period between 23 October and 7 
November 1956: 

(a) On 28 October, a "Declaration of the Government of the Hungarian Peo- 
ple's Republic",*' distributed to the Security Council at the request of Dr. P6ter 
Kos, then Permanent Representative of Hungary, protested against the con- 
sideration by the Council of the Hungarian Question and stated that "the events 
which took place on 22 October 1956 and thereafter, and the measures taken 
in the course of these events are exclusively within the domestic jurisdiction of 
the Hungarian People's Republic and consequently do not fall within the juris- 
diction of the United Nations". 

(b) On 1 November 1956, a cablegram from Imre Nagy, as President of the 
Council of Ministers and "designated Minister for Foreign Affairs",*^ after re- 
ferring to the demand for the instant and immediate withdrawal of Soviet forces 
of which the "further" entry into Hungary was reported, stated the decision of 
the Hungarian Government immediately to repudiate the Warsaw Treaty and 
simultaneously to declare Hungary's neutrality. It requested that the "Question 
of Hungary's neutrality and the defence of this neutrality by the four Great 
Powers" be placed on the agenda of the "forthcoming session of the General 
Assembly". The Hungarian Government, said the cablegram, "turns to the United 
Nations and requests the help of the four Great Powers in defending the country's 

(c) On 2 November, a letter from Imre Nagy circulated to the members of the 
Security Council,** referred to "further and exact information" pointing inter alia 
to the fact that "large Soviet military units crossed the border of the country, 
marching toward Budapest", and to communications between the Hungarian 
Government and the Embassy of the USSR and all the other diplomatic missions 
in Budapest, "about these steps directed against our People's Republic". It re- 
ported that "the Hungarian Government forwarded concrete proposals on the 
withdrawal of Soviet troops stationed in Hungary as well as the place of negotia- 
tions concerning the execution of the termination of the Warsaw Pact" and had 
designated members of two Hungarian Government delegations. The Hungarian 
Government requested the Secretary-General "to call upon the Great Powers 
to recognize the neutrality of Hungary" and asked "the Security Council to in- 
struct the Soviet and Hungarian Governments to start the negotations im- 

(d) On 7 November, a cablegram dated 4 November from JSnos KJiddr and 
Imre Horvath was distributed to the Security Council and to the General 
Assembly meeting at its second emergency special session.** The cablegram 
declared that "Imre Nagy's requests to the United Nations to have the Hungarian 
Question discussed in the United Nations have no legal force and cannot be 

*oTM(l., 29 March 1957. 

*i Hungarian Telegraph Agency, broadcast over Radio Budapest In French, 29 March 
1957. 11 p. m. 
*'- S/.S726. 
*» A/3311 ; S/3739. 


considered as requests emanating from Hungary as a State. The Revolutionary 
Worker-Peasant Government objects categorically to any discussion of the said 
question either by the Security Council or by the General Assembly because that 
question is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Hungarian People's Republic". 
On this date the Kaddr Government had been sworn in. 

The Committee has endeavoured to gather within the means at its disposal all 
available information on the events in Hungary which led to the sending of 
these communications. 

327. From the study undertaken by the Committee and the testimony it has 
received, no doubt remains as to the intensity of the desire of the Hungarian 
people for the complete withdrawal of Soviet armed forces from Hungary. All 
Hungarian leaders, whether on ideological grounds or for reasons derived from 
the geographical situation of their country, have stressed since the end of the 
Second World War the necessity of friendly and confident relations with the 
Soviet Union. The withdrawal of the Soviet divisions and the ending of the 
long military occupation appeared, however, to the intellectuals, as well as to 
the people in general, as the reflection of their particularly strong desire for the 
achievement of the ideals of national independence and equality between States. 
For obvious reasons, this aspiration, although frequently expressed in private, 
was seldom referred to in print or on the radio. Once stated, however, it became 
one of the principal rallying points of the uprising and one of the main items 
of the revolutionary platform. 

32S. Other chapters of this report " relate how voices were raised in October 
1956 asking publicly for the departure of Soviet units from Hungary.^' The 
circiimstances are also told under which, at the momentous plenary meeting of 
the Building Industry Technological University students on 22 October "at the 
dawn of a new era of Hungarian history", the demand "for the immediate with- 
drawal of all Soviet troops in accordance with the provisions of the Peace Treaty" 
became the first of the points of what has now become a historic resolution. 
Another demand of the meeting related to "a re-examination and re adjustment 
of the Hungarian-Soviet and Hungarian-Yugoslav political, economic and in- 
tellectual relations on the basis of complete political equality and of non-inter- 
ference in each other's economic and internal affair.s". Point 8 referred to the 
publication of foreign trade agreements and of information concerning Soviet 
concessions, with particular reference to uranium ore. The proclamation of 
the Himgarian Writers' Union of 23 October, adopting a more prudent language, 
presented as its first point "an independent national policy based on the prin- 
ciples of socialism". "Our relations with all countries, and with the USSR and 
the People's Democracies in the first place", it stated, "should be regulated on 
the basis of the principle of equality. We v/ant a review of international treaties 
and economic agreements in the spirit of the equality of rights." The second 
point of the proclamation read in part : "We want true and sincere friendship 
with our allies — the USSR and the People's Democracies. This can be realized 
on the basis of Leninist principles only". "Withdrawal of Soviet troops from 
Hungary" printed on thousand of leaflets and repeatedly shouted by the crowds, 
became, however, one of the most popular and most insistent slogans of the 
demonstration of 23 October. 

329. The military intervention of the Soviet armed forces on 24 October and 
the following days made this demand more acute and brought with it the con- 
crete realization that the continued presence of a Soviet army on Hungarian 
territory would make impossible the achievement of the aims of the uprising 
and, in particular, the holding of free elections and the re-establishment of 
fundamental freedoms. Insistent pleas for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet 
forces from Budapest and their eventual departure from Hungary came to the 
seat of the Government from every quarter and became a condition of support 
for Mr. Nagy and his Government by the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils, 
by associations of writers, artists and youth, by political leaders and by the 
free press and radio. It was a condition put by the freedom fighters for ceasing 
the fighting and laying down their arms. Practically in every document of the 
W^orkers' Councils, the sentence appeared "Work will not be resumed until the 
Russians leave the country". As stated in the testimony of one of the principal 
revolutionary leaders of Greater Budapest, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops 

« See chapters IX and X. 

" The first reported public demand for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary 
was made by a writer on 16 October, at a meeting held in Gyor (Gyor-Sopronmegyei 
Hirlap, 19 October 1956). 


from Hungary came to be "the pre-requisite to all our other demands" iucluding 
political and human rights. The stand taken by the Social-Democratic Party 
that it would participate in the Hungarian Government only if the demands 
concerning the withdrawal of Soviet forces were fulfilled, was stated by Anna 
Kethly as late as 3 November 1956. 

330. Mr. Nagy did not delay giving expression to these popular feelings and 
to the demands made on him in the course of the incessant meetings he was 
holding with revolutionary leaders and representatives of all segments of public 
opinion. Already on 25 October he had announced on the radio that negotia- 
tions would be initiated with the Soviet Union on the withdrawal of the Soviet 
forces stationed in Hungary. On 28 October at 5 :25 p. m. after announcing an 
agreement with the Soviet Government for the withdrawal of Soviet troops 
from Budapest,^ he stated that "the Hungarian Government will initiate negoti- 
ations on relations between the Hungarian People's Republic and the Soviet 
Union, among which will be the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces stationed 
in Hungary, in the spirit of Hungarian-Soviet friendship, on the basis of na- 
tional independence and equality among the socialist countries. On 30 Oc- 
tober, in announcing the formation of his new Cabinet, Mr. Nagy repeated "that 
the Government will, without delay, begin negotiations with the USSR Gov- 
ernment about the withdravral of Soviet troops from Hungary". The same 
day, a note concerning the withdrav>'al of Soviet troops, drafted by the Prime 
Minister with the assistance of Zoltan Tildy, Geza Losonozy and Zoltan Vas. 
was sent to the Soviet Government. 

331. On 30 October, the Soviet Government issued an important Declaration 
on the "Principles for Further Developing and Strengthening Friendship and 
Co-operation between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries",^^ referring 
to no small number of difficulties, unsolved problems and outright mistakes, 
which extended also to relations between the socialist countries. These viola- 
tions and mistakes tended to detract from the principle of equality in relations 
between the socialist countries". The Declaration recalled that "the Twentieth 
Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union resolutely condemned 
the!^e violations and mistakes and declared that it would be the task of the Soviet 
Union in its relations with other socialist countries consistently to apply the 
Leninist principles of equality of nations," in its relations with other socialist 
countries and had proclaimed in this connexion the necessity of taking fully 
into account the "historical past and specific features of each country". The 
Soviet Government stated in the Declaration its readiness to enter into discus- 
sions with the Governments of other "socialist countries" with a view to elimi- 
nating any possibility of violation of the principles of national sovereignty, 
mutual benefit and equality in economic relations". It regarded as "urgent" to 
discuss with the other socialist countries the question of the desirability of the 
further stay of Soviet advisers in those countries. It declared its readiness "to 
examine with the other socialist countries signatory to the Warsaw Treaty the 
question of the Soviet troops stationed in the territory of the above-mentioned 
countries", and recalled "the general principle that the troops of any Warsaw 
Power may be stationed in the territory of another Warsaw Power by agree- 
ment of all the Treaty members and solely with the consent of the country in 
whose territory the troops have been stationed at its request, or are proposed 
to be stationed". 

332. Referring in particular to the events in Hungary, the Declaration of 30 
October stated : "In view of the fact that the continued presence of Soviet mili- 
tary units in Hungary may serve as a pretext for still further aggravation of 
the situation, the Soviet Government has ordered its military command to with- 
di-aw the Soviet units from Budapest as soon as the Hungarian Government con- 
siders it necessary. At the same time, the Soviet Government is prepared to 
begin negotiations with the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic and 
other parties to the Warsaw Treaty on the question of Soviet forces in 

333. Hopes were high in Budapest governmental circles, as well as among 
private citizens, after this announcement from the Soviet Government had be- 
come knovm. In the evening of 30 October, the orderly withdrawal of Soviet 

^ The relevant paragraph in Mr. Nagy's speech read : "The Hungarian Government has 
agreed with the Soviet Government that the Soviet troops will immediately begin their 
withdrawal from Budapest and, simultaneously with the establishment of the new security 
forces, will leave the city's territory." 

*» Vew Times, No. 45, November 1956. 


troops from Budapest had begun and the announcement had been made that it 
would be completed by 31 October. On 31 October, addressing a crowd of several 
thousand people gathered in front of the Parliament Building, Mr. Nagy ex- 
pressed the triumphantly confident feelings of the Hungarians.®" "Our national 
Government", he said, "will fight for our people's independence and freedom. 
We shall not tolerate any intervention in Hungarian internal affairs. We stand 
on the basis of equality, national sovereignty and national equality. We shall 
build our policy firmly on the will of the Hungarian people * * * we are living 
in the first days of our sovereignty and independence * * *." "Today", he 
said, "we have started negotiations on the withdrawal of the Soviet troops and 
on the abrogation of the obligations imposed on us by the Warsaw Treaty. I 
only ask you to be a little patient. I think that the results are such that you 
can place this confidence in me * * *." Receiving, soon after this speech, 
sevei'al foreign journalists, Mr. Nagy said that there was a possibility of 
Hungary withdrawing from the Warsaw alliance alone, that is to say, without 
the general dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty, and it was that attitude that 
Hungary would represent energetically during the Hungarian-Soviet negotia- 
tions. In answer to the question whether Hungary would become the nucleus 
of an East European neutral area, the Prime Minister replied "this problem 
will come up sooner or later". The same evening, in a taped interview broad- 
cast by Radio Vienna, Mr. Nagy said that while Hungary was in the Warsaw 
Treaty "at present", negotiations had begun on the matter of leaving it. 

334. A witness stated that Zoltan Tildy appeared to have found encouragement 
in a conversation he had had, on the same day, with Mr. Mikoyan. Having 
raised the question of Soviet troops which had arrived in Hungary since 23 
October, Mr. Tildy had obtained the assurance from Mr. Mikoyan that these 
troops, which were not in Hungary by virtue of the Warsaw Treaty, would be 
withdrawn. There was also a newspaper report that, on the same day, Jiinos 
KSdtir "conducted negotiations" with Mr. Mikoyan and Mr. Suslov on the with- 
drawal of the Soviet troops. 

335. This atmosphere of optimism was, however, short-lived. The news given 
of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops was contradictory as between Radio 
Budapest and broadcasting stations which were closer to the frontiers. While 
certain parts of the Soviet Army seems to be moving away from the capital, 
other formations were pouring into the country. As time went on, news of the 
return of Soviet forces in increasing strength was confirmed at the seat of the 
Government by numerous military and private sources. 

336. On the morning of 1 November, Mr. Nagy took over direction of the 
Foreign Ministry. He summoned the Soviet Ambassador, Mr. Andropov, and 
told him that the Hungarian Government had received authoritative information 
on the entry of new Soviet military units into Hungary ; this entry had not been 
requested or agreed to by the Hungarian Government ; it was a violation of the 
Warsaw Treaty, and, if the new reinforcements were not withdrawn to their 
former positions, the Hungarian Government would denounce the Treaty. The 
Soviet Ambassador acknowledged the protest and promised to ask his Govern- 
ment for an immediate reply. A telegram was also sent that morning by Mr. 
Nagy to the President of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR con- 
firming the Hungarian Government's wish "to undertake immediate negotiations 
concerning the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the entire territory of 
Hungary". It referred to the Declaration of 30 October by the USSR Govern- 
ment and requested the Soviet Government to designate a delegation and name 
the place and date for the negotiations.^ 

337. Around noon the same day, according to testimony received by the Com- 
mittee, the Soviet Ambassador informed Mr. Nagy on the telephone that the 
Soviet Government maintained fully its Declaration of 30 October and was ready 
to negotiate a partial withdrawal of Soviet troops. He suggested that two dele- 
gations be appointed : one to discuss political questions, and the other technical 
questions connected with the withdrawal. Mr. Andropov also stated that the 
Soviet troops had been coming in across the border only for the purpose of re- 
lieving those troops who had been fighting and in order to protect the Russian 
civilian population in Hungary. Mr. Nagy answered that he did not find the 
explanation of the Soviet Government to be satisfactory. Since Soviet troops 
continued to come into Hungary despite the Soviet Declaration of 30 October, 

™ Magyar Nemeet, 1 November 1956. 


the Hungarian Government would now turn to the United Nations. At 2 p. m. 
Prime Minister Nagy again telephoned Ambassador Andropov and informed him 
that military experts had determined as a fact that new Soviet troops had 
crossed the border within the last three hours. The Soviet Government, con- 
tinued Mr. Nagy, was trying to re-occupy Hungary, belying its own Decuirnti m ; 
for this reason, effective immediately, Hungary was withdrawing from the War- 
saw Ti'eaty. At 4 p. m., the Council of Ministers met and adopted the Declaration 
of Neutrality of Hungary and approved the withdrawal from the Warsaw 
Treaty. According to a witness, Jiinos Kadiir was present at this meeting and 
there was no dissent in the Cabinet. At 5 p. m. the Soviet Ambassador was astced 
to come to the Parliament Building where, in the presence of the Council of 
Ministers, he received the Declaration of Neutrality of Hungary. In the course 
of these conversations, Mr. Andropov assured Mr. Nagy that the Soviet ti'oops 
would leave, and apparently requested that the Hungarian Government should 
withdraw its complaint to the United Nations. Mr. Nagy agreed in principle 
to take this action, if the Soviet troops were actually withdrawn. 

338. In the evening of the same day, various heads of diplomatic missions in 
Budapest were urgently called to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and were 
given a note verbale informing them of Mr. Nagy's protest to the Soviet Am- 
bassador, of the Declaration of Neutrality and of the request to the United 
Nations through which the aid of the four Great Powers was being requested 
in defence of Hungary's neutrality." In the evening, at 7.50 p. m., in a message 
broadcast to the Hungarian people, Mr. Nagy read the Declaration of Neutrality, 
which had been considered by the Praesidium of the Communist Party in the 
morning, without meeting any opposition, and approved in the afternoon by the 
Council of Ministers. The text was as follows : 

"People of Hungary ! The Hungarian National Government, imbued with 
profound responsibility towards the Hungarian people and history, and giving 
expression to the undivided will of the Hungarian millions, declares the neu- 
trality of the Hungarian People's Republic. The Hungarian people, on the basis 
of independence and equality and in accordance with the spirit of the United 
Nations Charter, wish to live in true friendship with their neighbours, the Soviet 
Union and all of the peoples of the world. The Hungarian people desire the 
consolidation and further development of the achievements of their national 
revolution without joining any power blocs. The century-old dream < f the 
Hungarian people is being fulfilled. The revolutionary struggle fought by the 
Hungarian people and heroes has at last carried the cause of freedom and inde- 
pendence to victory. This heroic struggle has made possible the enf'^rcement, 
in our people's international relations, of their fundamental national interest : 
neutrality. We appeal to our neiglibours, countries near and far, to respect the 
unalterable decision of our people. It is indeed true that our people are as 
united in this decision as perhaps never before in their history. Working mil- 
lions of Hungary ! Protect and strengthen — with revolutionary determination, 
sacrificial work and the consolidation of order — our country, the free, independ- 
ent, democratic and neutral Hungary." " 

a3i). The announcement of neutrality apparently did not come as a complete 
surprise to those Hungarians who had been in contact with Mr. Nagy prior to the 
October events. It has been reported to the Committee that during liis retire- 
ment from active political life in 1955, Mr. Nagy had in his writings referred to 
the possibility of Hungary adopting a neutral status on the Austrian pattern 
and that he had informed the Hungarian Workers' Party and the Soviet leaders 
of his views in this respect. As from 27 October he seems to have discussed 
mis problem with his assistants and some of his visitors. As soon as the rumour 
of these intentions spread in Budapest and in the country, strong support mani- 
fested itself on 29, 30 and 31 October from various Workers' Councils and other 
revolutionary organs as well as from political, military and religious leaders. 
After the announcement the new policy was warmly supported by the press. 
; yassdg of 2 November said : "Neutrality, independence ! This is a holy feast 
for our nation. It is the source of boundless prosperity and cultural improve- 
ment . . . Long live our dear, neutral and independent country !" 

340. As of 1 November, however, the purpose of the Declaration of Neutrality 
appears to have been twofold. Not only did it correspond clearly to the general 

s^ Nrpszabadsdg, 2 November 1956. 
62 /bid. 


wishes of Hungarians to gain an international status similar to that of Austria 
or Switzerland, but it also represented in all probability an attempt by Mr. 
Nagy and his advisers to give assurances to the Soviet Union that Hungary 
would not enter into any military or political alliance directed against the USSR 
or serve as a base for the armed forces of any other foreign nation. It was 
hoped that with the support which might be forthcoming from other major 
Powers for Hungarian neutrality, the march of the Soviet troops on Budapest 
might be stopped. 

341. In three notes verhales addressed to the Soviet Embassy on 2 November, 
the Hungarian Government protested against the military movements of the 
Soviet troops in Hungary and the taking over by the Soviet Army of railway 
lines, railway stations, etc.^ It suggested that, as had been earlier proposed 
by the Soviet Union, negotiations should be begun forthwith on the denunciation 
of the Warsaw Treaty and the neutrality of Hungary, preferably in Warsaw, 
the Hungarian delegation to comprise Geza Losonczy, Minister of State, Jozsef 
KCvHgo, General Andras Marton, Ferenc Farkas and Vilmoz Zentai. It also 
proposed that the committee dealing with the military aspects of the question 
of withdrawal should meet on the same day in the building of the Hungarian 
Parliament, the Hungarian delegation to consist of the Minister of State Perenc 
Erdei, Major General Pal Maleter, Major General Istv^n Kovacs and Colonel 
Miklos Sziics. 

342. On 3 November, in a Budapest completely encircled by the Soviet Army,, 
while the provinces were full of Soviet troops, a new Nagy Government was 
formed including representatives of the four major political parties. Minister 
of State Ferenc Farkas, in a broadcast on 3 November, said that the members 
of the Government agreed on the following points among others: (1) "to retain 
the most sincere and warmest economic and cultural relations with every so- 
cialist country, even after we have obtained neutrality;" (2) "to establish 
economic and cultural relations with other peace-loving countries of the world, 
also;" (3) to "continue our efforts and the negotiations" with the USSR in 
regard to Hungarian neutrality and independence and the withdrawal of Soviet 
troops; (4) "We consider it absolutely necessary" to appeal to the USSR, to 
the Chinese People's Republic, to Yugoslavia and Poland "to support us in the 
peaceful establishment of our cause." 

343. Mr. Andropov had informed Mr. Nagy in the morning of 3 November 
that the Government of the USSR was accepting the proposals for negotiations. 
It was not yet in a position to designate the members of the political delega- 
tion, but was ready to start immediately negotiations on the military aspects 
of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops. These latter negotiations began around 
noon, the Hungarian delegation consisting, in addition to Mr. Nagy, of the 
four nominees mentioned above and the Soviet delegation comprising General 
Malinin, Lieutenant-General Stepanov and Major-General Cherbanin. At the 
end of the meeting, the Hungarian negotiators, in particular the Minister of 
National Defence, General Maleter, and the Chief of the General Staff, General 
Kovacs, seemed pleased. The atmosphere of the negotiations had been good 
and the Soviet Generals accommodating. A number of technical points had 
been agreed to, on the assumption of a complete withdrawal of the Soviet 
forces from Hungary. The only real point of difference was the date of the 
completion of the withdrawal, the Hungarian negotiators asking that the full 
evacuation should be effective by December and their Soviet opposite numbers 
insisting, for technical reasons, on 15 January. A special committee was to 
be formed to direct the withdrawal of men and material. The Hungarian 
negotiators accepted the Soviet demand that Soviet troops should leave the 
country with full ceremonial, the last units leaving to the accompaniment of 
military music. The Soviet war memorials, destroyed during the Revolu- 
tion, were to be replaced and maintained (nothing, however, seems to have been 
said about the Stalin statue in Budapest). The meeting was to be continued 
at 10 p. m. at the Soviet Army Headquarters at Tokol, where the Soviet nego- 
tiators would be in direct telephone communication with Moscow. 

344. A temporary atmosphere of trust and confidence developed, therefore, 
during the afternoon at the Parliament Building. An announcement was made 
on the radio that the Soviet delegation had promised that several trains carry- 
ing Soviet troops would not cross the Hungarian frontier. The feel of opti- 
mism was not only based on the report of the negotiators that the Soviet 
Army might withdraw, if it could save face by having the withdrawal accom- 

^3 See Nepakarat, 3 November, 195,6. 


panied by military honours and gestures of Hungarian gratitude. Some mem- 
bers of the Hungarian governmental circles felt that, whatever the prefer- 
ences of the Soviet Army might be, the Soviet political le.iders may have come 
to realize that a partial occupation of Hungary would not really be effective 
in the future, especially at a time of crisis, and that a total occupation would 
be costly and would involve a considerable loss of prestige in the outside world. 
In order to obtain a definite promise of withdrawal, the Hungarian leaders 
were ready to make concessions as to the actual date of the completion of the 
movement of Soviet troops and to comply with a demand formulated, according 
to a witness, by the Soviet negotiators, that Hungarians should repay to the 
Soviet Union the cost of all weapons given to the Hungarian Army since the 
end of the Second World War. 

34.J. Other chapters of this Report relate the events in the evening : the 
beginning of the negotiations at the Soviet Headquarters, the intervention of 
Soviet officers, and the arrest of the Hungarian representatives and their sub- 
sequent transfer to the Soviet Union. Mr. Nagy's and his fellow Ministers' 
last appeals during the night will also be recalled, as well as the announce- 
ment on the Budapest Radio of the convening of the meeting of the United 
Nations Security Council. 

346. What did the Hungarian insurrection expect from the United Nations? 
Far from taking the position that the situation in Hungary was of no concern 
to the United Nations, as soon as doubts arose as to the willingness of the Soviet 
Union to withdraw its troops from Hungary, the Nagy Government, with the 
full support of the revolutionary organizations, sought to obtain the assistance 
of the United Nations in the achievement of the international aims of the in- 
surrection and, through the Organization, the support of the major Powers. On 
28 or 29 October, it revoked Peter K6s, the Permanent Representative of Hungary 
and charged Janos Szabo with the responsibility of transmitting its communica- 
tions to the United Nations organs. The Hungarian delegation composed of 
Imre Horvath, Endre Sik and Imre Vajda, which was already in Vienna on 
its way to New York, had been instructed to return to Budapest. It was re- 
ported to the Committee that the sending of a new delegation composed of 
leaders of the parties represented in the Government was under active con- 
sideration. It was also reported that Mr. Nagy himself gave thought to the 
possibility of personally coming to the United Nations and making an appeal for 
the support of the Organization, and the name of Miss Anna K6thly was also 
mentioned in this connexion. The Government felt, however, that their pies- 
ence in Budapest was essential. 

347. The Government as well as the people hoped for active support by the 
Organization in their demand for Soviet withdrawal, as well as for the projected 
neutrality status. It was thought that a visit by a delegation from the United 
Nations or by the Secretary-General might stave off the Soviet armed advance 
and its final overthrow of the Government. There was some hope among the 
public for United Nations moves similiar to those which were then being under- 
taken with respect to the Middle East situation, a call for a cease-fire and pos- 
sibly the sending of a United Nations Force. These expectations were not, 
however, very precise. Undoubtedly, there was disappointment that the United 
Nations was not acting with greater speed and determination. Except for iso- 
lated cases, none of the witnesses interrogated by the Committee wished, how- 
ever, for a military intervention from the outside which might have started a 
general war. Most of them thought that such a military intervention would 
not be necessary, as political action would be suflBcient." 


348. The demand of the people of Hungary for the departure of Soviet troops 
did not abate after the overthrow of the Nagy Government, the military reoccupa- 
tion of Budapest and the cessation of hostilities. Not only did posters and leaflets 
continue to appear in the names of various Hungarian organizations including, 
among other demands, those for the withdrawal of Soviet forces, an independent- 
neutral Hungary and discussion of these matters, by the Government with the 

" On 2 November the news spread in Budapest of the arrival of "a United Nations dele- 
gation coming from Prague". G6za Losonczy coufirnjed this at his press conference held 
on 3 November stating that he "was informed this mornine" about the arrival of the dole- 
gatlon but he had not yet met it. (Nipszabadsdg, 3 November 1956 ; Radio Budanest 
3 November, 10:30 p. m.) 

93215—59 — pt. 90 6 


Soviet Union and the United Nations, but Hungarian leaders did not hesitate 
to express these demands publicly. 

349. At a meeting between representatives of a Workers' Council and the Soviet 
city commander on 8 November, General Grebenik asked — so the Committee was 
informed by a witness — why the workers were not returning to work. The 
President of the Workers' Council made four demands, among which were those 
for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Budapest and the rest of Hungary, a 
proclamation of neutrality on the model of Austria and the denunciation of the 
Warsaw Treaty. The Soviet commander replied by an adaptation of a Russian 
saying: "Soviet troops will leave the territory of Hungary only when crayfish 
whistle and fishes sing." 

350. At a meeting on 13 November at Ujpest, at a location encircled by Soviet 
tanks, delegates of workers' councils drafted a seven-point programme, the 
first of which was "the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the terri- 
tory of Hungary", the fourth, the holding of free elections at a definite date under 
the supervision of the United Nations ; the fifth, immediate withdrawal from the 
Warsaw Treaty ; the sixth, an elfort to secure recognition of Hungary's neutrality 
throughout the world ; the seventh, the re-examination and publication of all 
commercial agreements. On the same day, Mr. Sandor Gaspar, Chairman of the 
National Federation of Free Trade Unions, declared that the trade unions stood 
by the people's demand for the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Budapest 
and the whole of the country. 

351. On the same day also, two printed manifestos were widely distributed in 
the city of Budapest ; one proclamation issued by the Writers' Union, the Academy 
of Science, the Hungarian Telegraph Agency and other institutions demanded, 
among other things, the withdrawal of Soviet troops and a neutral status for 
Hungary. The second, a resolution presented by the Workers' Council of the 
Budapest industrial areas, offered to resume work only if certain demands were 
met. These included demands for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops 
from Budapest and negotiations for their orderly withdrawal from Hungary. On 
15 November, the delegates of the Greater Budapest Workers' Council, reporting 
on their interview with Mr. Kadar, stated that the Government had given "an 
earnest promise" in connexion with the fulfillment, within the foreseeable future, 
of their revolutionary demands formulated on 23 October, including "the gradual 
withdrawal" of Soviet troops from the country's territory. In case of non-ful- 
fillment by the Government of its pledge, the strike weapon would again be 
applied, stated the announcement of the Council. It was explained that the 
delegates of the Council realized that the Government could not satisfy their 
demand for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops in "the prevailing 
international situation". 

352. A document issued by the Revolutionary Council of Hungarian Intel- 
lectuals in Budapest on 17 November stated the object of the revolutionaries in 
foreign affairs as the repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty, the ending of participa- 
tion by Hungary in the "Council of Mutual Economic Aid", the removal of all 
foreign military bases and the neutrality of Hungary. The document advocated 
placing all uranium ore mined in Hungary at the disposal of "the International 
Organization set up to utilize atomic energy for peaceful purposes" and inviting 
troops from other States to replace those of the Soviet Union, and to take over 
for a limited time, if necessary, frontier defence and other military functions. 
At a meeting of the Central Workers' Council of Csepel with the Soviet Com- 
mander on 23 November, one of the demands was once again "that negotiations 
should start immediately for the withdrawal of Soviet troops". 

353. The memorandum issued by the Petofi Party (formerly the National Peas- 
ant Party) on 26 November also contained a demand for talks with the Soviet 
Government and the Soviet military commanders with a view to Soviet troop 
withdrawal, first to their bases and, secondly, completely from Hungary. On 30 
November, the League of Hungarian University and College Student Associa- 
tions (MEFESZ) issued a statement which included the following: "University 
youth adheres to its programme issued on 23 October" ; "We consider that order 
and calm and the resumption of production and of transport are necessary in 
order that the demands of our national democratic revolution — demands which 
were abused by the counter-revolution — should be realized, such as the with- 
drawal of Soviet troops". On 5 December, some 2,000 persons gathered outside 
the Legations of some of the Western Powers, singing the Hungarian national 
anthem and chanting among their demands "Russians, go home", "We want 
United Nations' help". 


354. On 8 December, a memorandum coiitaiiiing an important foreign policy 
statement was issued in the name of the Independent Smallholders' Party, the 
Petofi I'arty, the AVorkers' Council of Budapest, the Revolutionary Council of 
Hungarian Intellectuals, the Hungarian AVriters' Union and the League of Hun- 
garian University and College Student Associations. Noting that "one of the 
main factors which has brought about the present serious situation, has been 
the misleading information and analysis of the character and objectives of tlie 
Hungarian revolution which has reached the leading statesmen of the Soviet 
Union from those who stand for the evil regime destroyed on 23 October 1956, 
or who want to restoi'e it and its methods", the memorandum stated that "the 
Soviet Government's decision not to enter into negotiations about the withdrawal 
of Soviet troops stationed in Hungary and the adjustment of Hungarian-Soviet 
relations until order has finally been restored is due to such misinterpretation of 
the facts". "The very pressure of Soviet troops", the memorandum continued, 
"prevents the realization of the condition demanded by the Soviet Government 
lor the withdrawal of their forces". As the only escape from this impasse, the 
memorandum suggested that the Soviet Government and a provisional Hungarian 
Government, which would be set up on democratic principles, reach an agreement 
on a re-examination, in conjunction with the other member States, of the obliga- 
tions laid down in the Warsaw Treaty, the method and date of the with'^rawsl 
of Soviet armed forces from Hungary, the repatriation of Hungarian citizens ar- 
rested by Soviet authorities, and the adjustment of Hungarian-Soviet economic 
relations in the spirit of the Polish-Soviet economic agreement. If the S wiet 
Government considered it necessary to have further guarantees, prohibition of 
the stationing of foreign armed units and foreign military bases, on Hungarian 
territory, as well as the use of fissile material exclusively for non-military pur- 
poses imder the sole control of the International Organization, would be pre- 
scribed by constitutional law, the Memorandum added. 

355. As to Mr. Kaddr, it will be recalled that in his broadcast of 4 November 
announcing the formation of the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant 
•Government, he gave, as part of liis Government's programme, point fifteen, 
which read as follows : "After the restoration of calm and order, the Hungarian 
Government will begin negotiations with the Soviet Government, and with the 
other participants to the Warsaw Treaty, on the withdrawal of Soviet troops 
from Hungary". The policy of making the maintenance of order the condition 
for starting negotiations on withdrawal was repeated by the press and radio. 
An editorial in the Nenszahadsdfj of 14 November, stated: "As regards the de- 
parture of Soviet troops, this is desired by all, with the exception of a few em- 
bittered Rakosi-ites. There is no Hungarian patriot who can be pleased with 
the fact that Soviet tanks are rumbling through the Hungarian capital. The 
Soviet Government has announced that the Soviet troops will not leave our 
capital and the country until order is restored. This decision we cannot change ; 
the strike would only destroy us. Instead of hastening, it merely delays still 
longer the withdrawal of Soviet troops and, in the final analysis, it postpones 
the democratic political development that must take place in our country." 

356. Mr. Kadar's position as to the prospective negotiations with the Soviet 
Union on the withdrawal of its troops from Hungary was re-stated by him in 
a radio address on 8 November : "Tlie Government agrees with the demand that 
Soviet troops should leave Hungary as soon as peace and order are restored 
and it will begin negotiations for this purpose". On 11 November, he stated 
that after the counter-revolution had been smashed and the People's Republic 
strengthened with the help of the Soviet forces, negotiations would be opened 
"concerning the question of the withdrawal of Soviet forces from the country". 
This was re-stated by Mr. Kadar on 28 November. 

357. In his cablegram to the Secretary-General of the United Nations of 12 
November, Mr. Kadar, while asserting that the Hungarian Government and the 
Soviet Government were "exclusively competent to carry on negotiations con- 
cerning the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Hungary", stated "After the 
complete restoration of order, the Hungarian Government will imn)ediately 
begin negotiations with the Government of the Soviet Union for the withdrawal 
of these troops from Hungary".^ On 19 November 1956, Mr. Shepilov said in 
the General Assembly that "The question of the Soviet troops in Hungary will 
he settled in accordance with that declai-ation [of the USSR Government of 
30 October 1956]. By agreement with the Hungarian Government, the Soviet 
troops will be promptly withdrawn from Budapest, once normal conditions are 



restored in the Hungarian capital. At the same time, the Soviet Government 
will begin negotiations with the Government of the Hungarian People's Re- 
public, as a party to the Warsaw Treaty, on the question of maintaining Soviet 
troops on Hungarian territory". 

358. Mr. Imre Horvath, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated in the General 
Assembly, on 3 December 1956 : "The Soviet forces were present in Hungary 
with the approval of the Hungarian Government; even at the request of that 
Government. The moment the Hungarian Government so desires, the Soviet 
forces will leave, just as they have already once evacuated Budapest". On 10 
December, in the General Assembly, Mr. Kuznetsov still referred to the 30 
October Declaration indicating the willingness of the Soviet Government to 
enter into negotiations with the Government of Hungary and the Governments 
of other countries, parties to the Warsaw Treaty, regarding the stationing of 
Soviet armed forces in Hungary. However, he brought this problem into rela- 
tionship with the presence of foreign armed forces on the Territories of other 

359. A change from the previous position of the Kadar Government became 
apparent from the middle of December onwards. The Militia force organized 
by Mr. Munnich had by then increased its strength and was taking over security 
duties from the Soviet forces. The Soviet forces began to withdraw to barracks 
formerly occupied by the Hungarian Army and became progressively less visible 
in the streets of Budapest. 

360. A Declaration of policy entitled "On Ma.ior Tasks" issued by the Kadar 
Government on 5 January 1957^ referred to the Government's reliance on the 
"international solidarity of the workers and on a lasting alliance with the Soviet 
Union and every country in the socialist camp". As to "the Soviet Army in the 
present exacerbated situation", it "is defending the Hungarian people on Hun- 
garian territory against a possible military attack from external imperialist 
forces, and it ensures by this that our people may live in peace and devote their 
powers to the great cause of building socialism and making the country pros- 
perous". After noting that the disturbing factors in the Hungarian-Russian: 
relationship had recently been liquidated by full agreement, the Declaration of 
5 January continued : 

"The Hungarian and Soviet Governments are desirous of settling, in accord- 
ance with the two countries' friendly and brotherly relations of alliance, through 
friendly negotiations, all present and future questions, in Hungarian-Soviet 
relations, including questions connected with the Soviet forces in Hungary. The 
basis of the settlement is proletarian internationalism, respect for equality, 
sovereignty and national independence, non-interference with each other's in- 
ternal affairs and mutual benefit, as declared by the Soviet Union in her state- 
ment of 30 October on her relations with the Peoples' Democracies". There is 
no other reference in this Declaration to the Question of the Soviet forces in: 

361. The new attitude towards the presence of tlie Soviet Army in Hungar.v- 
was reflected by Mr. Kaddr in a speech in Salgotarjan on 8 February 1957. 
"* * * They say that there are foreign troops on Hungarian territory, mean- 
ing the Soviet troops. Comrades, these soldiers are soldiers belonging to the 
troops of a friendly socialist country, sons and daughters of the October Revolu- 
tion, our brothers and helpers. For us they are not foreign troops. What foreign 
troops mean would have been experienced by the duped students, if 23 October 
had gone on for another two or three weeks and if really foreign troops — those 
of imperialist countries and governments — had come here. They would have 
found what it means to have foreign troops on the territory of a country". 

362. In its communication to the United Nations of 4 February 1957, the 
Kadar Government stated, however, that "as far as the presence and the 
withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungarian territory are concerned, this ques- 
tion comes under the exclusive purview of the Hungarian and Soviet Govern- 
ments and of the other member States of the Warsaw Treaty. The Hungarian 
Government, once again, stated on 6 January that it intended to settle questions 
in connexion with Soviet troops stationed in Hungary by negotiations between 
the Hungarian and Soviet Governments. The principles on which the settle- 
ment would be based were laid down in the well-known statement made by the 
Soviet Union on 30 October". 

«« NSpazabadsdg, 6 January 1957. 


363. The "Declaration of the Governments of the Soviet Union and the Hun- 
garian People's Republic" of 28 March 1957 contains only the expression of the 
resolution of the two Governments "to support and reinforce the Warsaw Treaty 
which is called upon to pro\nde a reliable safeguard against all the intrigues 
of the aggressive circles of the imperialist States". Referring to the presence 
of Soviet troops on Hungarian territory, the Declaration says : "The presence 
of units of the Soviet Army on the territory of Hungary is a decisive factor 
protecting the country from aggressive intrigues of the imperialists as was shown 
by the October and November events in Hungary". Both Governments declare 
that "the temporary presence of Soviet troops under the terms of the Warsaw 
Treaty is dictated by the present international situation". It is further added 
that "the two sides will shortly hold talks on the presence of Soviet military 
units in Hungary to determine their strength, composition and location, and 
will conclude an agreement on the legal status of the Soviet troops temporarily 
stationed on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic". There was 
no mention in the Declaration of withdrawal in the immediate future. In 
implementation of the Declaration, an agreement was concluded on 27 May 
19.57 between the Government of the USSR and the Government of the Hun- 
garian People's Republic "on the legal status of Soviet forces stationed tem- 
porarily on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic"." 

3fi4. The change of the initial position seems by now complete : as reported 
in the press. Mr. Kadiir said on 11 May 1957 in his speech to the Hungarian 
Parliament: "We are supporters of the Warsaw Treaty and consequently we 
are also supporters of the presence of Soviet troops in Hungary, as long as we 
are faced with the aggressive ambitions of the imperialists and the gathering 
of the imperialists' forces".'" 


365. The foregoing paragraphs recall in a comprehensive manner the main 
provisions of published international instruments bearing on Hungary's com- 
mitments with respect to the stationing and possible utilization of Soviet forces 
on Hungarian territory. They describe step by step the efforts made by the 
Nagy Government, in response to the demands of the Hungarian nation, to ob- 
tain the cessation of the Soviet intervention and the ultimate permanent with- 
drawal of Soviet armed forces from Hungary. 

366. It is incontrovertible that the Nagy Government, whose legality under 
the Hungarian Constitution, until it was deposed, cannot be contested, protested 
against the entry and the use of Soviet forces on Hungarian territory, and not 
only asked that these forces should not intervene in Hungarian affairs, but nego- 
tiated and pressed for their ultimate withdrawal. The actions of the Nagy 
Government give proof of the firm desire of the Hungarians, as long as they 
could publicly express their aspirations, to achieve a genuinely independent 
international status for their country. 

367. It is no less incontrovertible that the Nagy Government was overthrown 
by force. Its successor assumed power as a result of military aid by a foreign 
State. The Nagy Government neither resigned nor transferred its powers to the 
Kadar Government. Noteworthy is the acceptance by the Kadar Government, 
after initial declarations to the contrary, of the continued presence of Soviet 
forces in Hungary. 

368. There is no doubt as to the aspirations of the immense majority of the 
Hungarian people. The presence of the Soviet Army on Hungarian territory is 
for Hungarians the visible attestation of Hungarian subordination to an outside 
power and of the impossibility for their country to pursue its own ideals. The 
aspiration for the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces is based on the deep 
patriotic feelings of the Hungarians, having their source in their historic past. 
Their will for regaining full international independence is powerful and has 
only been strengthened by the role played by the Soviet military command in the 
post war years by the establishment of a political regime patterned after that 
of the Soviet Union and more recently by the Soviet military intervention to 
guarantee that regime's continuance. 

369. The Committee has not found that these feelings and aspirations were 
antagonistic to the Soviet Union as a State or to the Soviet people as individuals 

" Nepakarat, 29 May 1957. For the text of the Agreement, see Annex A to this Chapter. 
^ Nepakarat, 12 May 1957. 


or that they excluded sympathy of a great many Hungarians for a number of 
features of the Soviet economic and social system. Although the idea of neu- 
trality has been put forward, the precise implications of such an international 
status were not defined ; it appeared to the Committee to be only one of the 
expressions of the desire of the Hungarians for vindicating the sovereign inde- 
pendence of a country virtually subject to military occupation. Hungarian 
leaders who appeared before the Committee or whose statements have been 
examined have asserted the necessity for their country to maintain with the 
Soviet Union correct, and even friendly, political, military and economic rela- 
tions and have indicated their readiness to give, in that connexion, all the 
necessary guarantees. 


Agreement 'between the Government of the Hnnyarian People's Republic, and the 
Government of the USSR on the legal status of Soviet forces temporarily 
stationed on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic concluded in 
Budapest, 27 May 1957 " 

The Government of the Hungarian People's Republic and the Government of 
the USSR fully resolve to exert all their efforts to preserve and strengthen peace 
and security in Europe and the world at large, taking into account that in the 
present international situation — at a time when there exists the aggressive North 
Atlantic alliance, when West Germany is being remilitarized and the revanchist 
forces are being increasingly activized in the country, at a time when the 
United States and other participants in the North Atlantic alliance are maintain- 
ing their numerous forces and military bases in close proximity to socialist 
States — a threat to the security of these States is developing ; taking note of the 
fact that in these conditions the temporary stationing of Soviet forces on the 
territory of the Hungarian People's Republic is expedient for the purpose of 
safeguarding joint defence against the possibility of aggression and that it 
accords with international agreements, and desirous of settling questions con- 
nected with the temporary presence of Soviet forces on the territory of the 
Hungarian People's Republic, the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic 
and the Government of the USSR have decided, in accordance with their declara- 
tion dated 28 March 1957, to conclude this agreement and have for this purpose 
appointed their plenipotentiaries : 

The Government of the Hungarian People's Republic : Imre Horvath, Minister 
of Foreign Affairs of the Hungarian People's Republic, Geza Revesz, Minister 
of Defence of the Hungarian People's Republic; the Government of the USSR: 
A. A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, G. K. Zhukov, Minister 
of Defence of the USSR, who, after exchanging their credentials, which were 
found to be in proper order and form, agreed on the following. 


The temporary presence of Soviet forces on the territory of the Hungarian 
People's Republic in no way affects the sovereignty of the Hungarian State ; the 
Soviet forces do not interfere in the internal affairs of the Hungarian People's 


1. The numerical strength of Soviet forces temporarily on the territory of the 
Hungarian People's Republic, and the places of their stationing, are determined on 
the basis of special agreements between the Government of the Hungarian Peo- 
ple's Republic and the Government of the USSR. 

2. Movements of Soviet forces on the territory of the Hungarian People's Re- 
public outside the places of their stationing require in each case the agreement 
of the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic or of Hungarian organs 
authorized by the Hungarian Government to act for it. 

3. The training and manoeuvers of the Soviet troops on the territory of the 
Hungarian People's Republic outside their stationing areas are carried out either 
on the basis of the plans agreed on with the proper Hungarian Government bodies, 
or with the approval in each case of the Government of the Hungarian People's 
Republic or the proper Hungarian authorities. 

69 Translation from original Hungarian text which appeared in Nipakarat, 29 May 195' 
No. 123. 



The Soviet forces stationed on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic, 
their dependents and members of the dependents' families are in duty bound to 
respect and observe the provisions of the Hungarian laws. 


1. The Soviet troops stationed on the territory of the Hungarian People's Re- 
public wear their uniforms and have and carry arms in accordance with the rules 
established in the Soviet Army. 

2. The transport vehicles of the Soviet military units must have a clear regis- 
tration number which is fixed by the command of the Soviet troops and is reported 
to the competent Hungarian organs. 

3. The competent Hungarian organs recognize the validity without a test or 
charge, of the driver's license issued by the competent Soviet bodies to personnel 
of the Soviet forces stationed on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic. 


Questions of jurisdiction connected with the stationing of the Soviet troops on 
the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic are settled in the following way : 

1. In criminal cases and in cases including offences committed by personnel of 
the Soviet forces or members of their families on the territory of the Hungarian 
People's Republic, the Hungarian laws, as a general rule, apply, and Hungarian 
courts and prosecutor's offices and other Hungarian bodies competent to prosecute 
crimes and offences are effective. Crimes committed by Soviet servicemen are 
investigated by courts martial and are tried by organs of the military judiciary 
of the Hungarian People's Republic. 

2. The rules of item 1 of the above Article are not applied : 

A. In cases where members of the Soviet forces or members of their families 
commit crimes or offences only against the Soviet Union, personnel of the 
Soviet forces, or members of their families ; 

B. In cases where the personnel of the Soviet forces commit crimes or 
offences while on duty. 

In the cases mentioned in A and B, Soviet laws apply and Soviet courts, 
prosecutor's offices and other Soviet organs competent to prosecute crimes and 
offences are effective. 

3. Competent Soviet and Hungarian organs may ask each other to transfer 
or to accept jurisdiction in separate cases stipulated in this article. Such 
requests will have favourable examination. 


When a crime has been committed against the Soviet troops present on the 
territory of the Hungarian People's Republic or against servicemen who are 
members of the Soviet forces, persons who commit such crimes are to be prose- 
cuted by the courts of the Hungarian People's Republic in the same way as for 
the crimes against Hungarian armed forces or Hungarian servicemen. 


1. Competent Soviet and Hungarian organs will give each other every assist- 
ance, including legal aid, in the prosecution of crimes and offences listed in 
Articles V and VI of this agreement. 

2. Special agreement of the contracting parties will define the principles and 
the order of rendering the aid mentioned in clause 1. of this article, as well as 
the aid involved in dealing with civilian cases arising in connexion with the 
presence of the Soviet troops on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic. 


At the request of competent Hungarian organs of authority, a person who is 
a member of the Soviet forces and is guilty of having violated Hungarian law 
will be recalled from the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic. 



1. The Government of the USSR agrees to compensate the Government of the 
Hungarian People's Republic for material damage which may be inflicted upon 
the Hungarian State by the actions or the neglect of Soviet military units or of 
individual servicemen ; as well as for damage which may be caused by Soviet 
troops, units, or servicemen in the course of their duties, to Hungarian premises 
and citizens or to citizens of other States present on the territory of the Hun- 
garian People's Republic ; in both cases the sums involved will be those established 
by a joint commission formed in accordance with Article XVII of the present 
■agreement, on the basis of submitted claims and taking into consideration the de- 
cisions of Hungarian legislation. Disputes which may arise as a result of the 
obligations of the Soviet military units are also to be examined by the joint 
commission on the same basis. 

2. The Government of the USSR also agrees to compensate the Government 
of the Hungarian People's Republic for the damage which may be caused to 
Hungarian premises and citizens, or citizens of other States present on the 
territory of the Hungarian People's Republic, as a result of the action or neglect 
of persons who are members of the Soviet forces, committed not during the 
execution of their service duties ; and also as a result of actions or neglect of 
the members of families of the servicemen of Soviet troops — in both cases the 
amounts will be established by a competent Hungarian court on the basis of 
complaints against the persons who caused the damage. 


1. The Government of the Hungarian People's Republic agrees to compensate 
the Government of the USSR for damage which may be caused to the property 
of the Soviet military units present on the territory of the Hungarian People's 
Republic, and to persons who are members of the Soviet forces, by the action 
or the neglect of Hungarian State offices to the amounts established by the 
joint commission formed in accordance with Article XVII of this agreement, 
on the basis of the claims submitted and taking into consideration the decisions 
of Hungarian legislation. 

Disputes which may arise out of obligations of Hungarian State offices to 
Soviet military units are also to be examined by the joint commission on the 
same basis. 

2. The Government of the Hungarian People's Republic also agrees to com- 
pensate the Government of the USSR for damage which may be caused to Soviet 
military units present on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic, to 
I)ersons who are members of the Soviet forces, and to members of their families, 
as a result of the actions or neglect of Himgarian citizens — the amounts to be 
established by the Hungarian court on the basis of the complaints made against 
the persons who caused the damage. 


1. Compensation for the damage stipulated in Articles IX and X will be 
paid by the Soviet side and by the Hungarian side respectively within 3 months 
of the date on which the decision is taken by the joint commission or the date of 
the coming into force of the decision of the court. The payment of the sums due 
to the persons or offices suffering damage in the cases stipulated in Article IX 
of the present agreement will be carried out by competent Hungarian organs, 
and in the cases stipvJated in Article X of the present agreement by competent 
Soviet organs. 

2. Claims for compensation for the damage mentioned in Article IX and X 
which have arisen since the peace treaty with Hungary came into force, and 
which had not been satisfied before the coming into force of the present agree- 
ment, are to be examined by the joint commission. 


The construction in places where the Soviet forces are stationed of buildings, 
airfields, roads, bridges, permanent radio communication installations, including 
the fixing of their frequencies and power, require the approval of the competent 
Hungarian authorities. Similar approval is also required for the setting up 
of establishments outside the places where the Soviet forces are stationed, for 
the convenience of personnel of the Soviet forces. 



Questions relating to the procedure and conditions for the use of Soviet forces 
of barrack and administrative premises, storehouses, airfields, training groiuids, 
means of transport and communication, electric power, communal and train- 
ing services, connected with the temporary stay of Soviet forces on the territory 
of the Hungarian People's Republic, are settletl by special agreements of com- 
petent bodies of the signatory sides : the agreements in force on the afore- 
mentioned questions will, if necessary, be re-examined for the purpose of de- 
tiuing them in greater detail. 


In case the property and facilities listed in Article XIII used by the Soviet 
forces are relinquished, such property and facilities will be returned to the 
Hungarian organs. Questions connected with the transfer to Hungarian au- 
thorities of property relinquished by Soviet forces on the territory of the Hungar- 
ian People's Republic, including buildings erected by the Soviet forces, will be 
settled by special agreements. 


For the purpose of settling current questions connected with the stationing 
of Soviet forces in Hungary, the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic 
and the Government of the USSR appoint their plenipotentiaries to deal with 
matters i)ertaining to the stationing of the Soviet forces in Hungary. 


Within the meaning of the present agreement : 

"A member of the personnel of the Soviet forces" is : 

A. A serviceman of the Soviet Army ; 

B. A civilian who is a Soviet citizen and works in units of the Soviet 
forces in the Hungarian People's Republic. 

"Place of stationing" is territory made available to Soviet forces, comprising 
places where military units are quartered with training grounds, shooting 
grounds and ranges, and other property used by these units. 


For the purpose of solving questions connected with the interpretation or 
application of this agreement and supplementary agreements provided for by it, 
a Soviet-Hungarian mixed commission, to which each of the signatories appoints 
three of its representatives, is being set up. The mixed commission will act in 
accordance with rules which it will adopt. 

Budapest will be the headquarters of the mixed commission. Should the 
mixed commission be unable to solve a question submitted to it, the question will 
be solved through diplomatic channels in the shortest possible time. 


This agreement is subject to ratification and will come into force on the day 
the instruments of ratification are exchanged, the exchange to take place in 


This agreement remains in force for the duration of the stationing of Soviet 
forces on the territory of the Hungarian People's Republic, and can be modified 
with the approval of the signatories. 

This agreement has been drawn up in Budapest on 27 May 1957 in the Hun- 
garian and Russian languages ; both texts have equal validity. In testimony 
whereof, the aforementioned authorized representatives have signed this agree- 
ment and have thereto affixed their seals. 

On behalf of the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic : I. Horvath, 
G. Revesz. 

On behalf of the Government of the USSR : A. Gromyko, G. Zhukov. 

Chapter IX. Backgeound and Aims of the Uprising 


370. "The Committee's primary concern", it was stated in the Interim Report, 
*'is to ascertain the extent and the impact of foreign intervention, by the threat 
or use of armed force or other means, on the internal affairs and political inde- 
pendence of Hungary and the right of the Hungarian people". The Committee 
has accordingly been concerned in the first instance with the use of Soviet armed 
forces to suppress the Hungarian uprising. Various aspects of this intervention 
have been examined in part A of the report. In part B, the Committee turns 
to another aspect of the task laid upon it by the General Assembly resolution, 
namely the study of the effect of Soviet intervention on the internal political 
development of Hungary. 

371. According to the statements of spoliesmen for the USSR and for the Gov- 
ernment of Mr. K^ddr, as described in chapter III, that intervention was re- 
quired to crush a movement of formidable strength. The Committee has 
rejected the allegation that this strength was drawn from sources outside Hun- 
gary. An explanation is, therefore, needed to make it clear how, in a small 
country, so irresistible an uprising could occur as to requii'e the armed forces 
of a great Power for its suppression. In this chapter attention is paid to the 
causes of the uprising and the aims which it was intended to achieve. The 
following chapter is concerned with the actual course of events during the first 
part of the uprising. In chapters XI and XII, the Committee has sought to 
throw light on certain administrative and political changes which took place 
during the brief period when the Hungarian people seemed about to be liberated 
from the pressure of Soviet armed forces. These chapters are to be considered 
in relation to chapters XIII and XIV, which deal with developments after 4 
November. Together, they should help to clarify those effects of foreign inter- 
vention on the autonomous political development of Hungary, upon which the 
Committee was instructed to report. 

372. In any study of the causes of the uprising, attention is necessarily fo- 
cussed on the penetration of Hungary by strong Soviet influence over a period of 
years. This influence was felt in the life of every Hungarian citizen. It dic- 
tated the foreign language he was to study at school, it obliged Hungary to 
accept unfavourable trade agreements with the USSR which adversely affected 
his standard of living, and it maintained, on the Soviet model, the apparatus of 
a secret police under the shadow of which he lived. It was precisely against 
such conditions that the Hungarian people fought. Resentment at alien influ- 
ences was present in criticisms of the regime voiced before October 1956. The 
first protest b.v Hungarian writers concerned the Soviet doctrine of Party alle- 
giance in literature. Similarly, one of the first demands of the students was for 
the abolition of Russian as a compulsory language in schools. An understand- 
ing of the Hungarian uprising calls for recognition of these political, economic 
and cultural influences or pressures against which the demonstrators of 23 
October protested. 

373. This chapter is divided into three sections. The first section draws at- 
tention to certain features of Hungarian life under Communist rule which 
evoked discontent and to the form which that discontent assumed before October 
1956. The second section depicts the general character of the uprising and 
analyses its objectives in the light of the resolutions and manifestos issued on 
the eve of the uprising. The chapter ends with a description of the institution 
— the AVH — which more than any other factor was responsible for the transi- 
tion from political demonstration to actual fighting. 

374. It will be seen that the reforms demanded by various groups differed in 
points of detail. The spontaneous nature of the uprising, its scattered charac- 
ter and its lack of leadei-ship worked against a predetermined pattern. Never- 
theless, a broad identity of purpose underlay the demands of different partici- 
pants. It is not suggested that all of the grievances mentioned were present 
as factors influencing the behaviour of every participant in the demonstrations 
or in the fighting. Broadly speaking, however, those who took part in the Hun- 
garian uprising did so with a clear idea of what they were opposing at the risk 
of their lives. All of them refused to tolerate the continued intervention of a 
foreign Power in Hungarian affairs. 


375. No spokesman for the Hungarian Government has ever affirined that all 
was well in Hungary before 23 October. On the contrary, official sources have 
repeatedly stated that a serious situation had been allowed to develop and that 
the Hungarian people had many reasons for resentment. Attention has been 
drawn to the Hungarian White Book, The Counter-Revohitionary Forces in the 
October Events in Hungary, which did not hesitate to describe Rakosi's policy 
as "criminal" and which declared that it had aroused "deep indignation and a 
hroad popular movement". 

376. If a regime can be described as "criminal", there cannot be much cause 
for surprise that a people which has been obliged to live under it for years 
should eventually bring its resentment into the open. Some of the leaders 
who subsequently condemned the aims of the uprising were among those who 
voiced the bitterest criticism of Hungarian conditions. Thus, speaking on 1 
December 1956, Istvan Dobi, Chairman of the Praesidium, made the following 
comment : "If in this country people have reason to complain against the in- 
human character of the regime which was swept away on 23 October — and every- 
one knows that there was cause enough for bitterness — then the villages had 
many times more reason to complain than the towns. It would be difl3oult to 
say which was bigger — the stupidity or the wickedness of the Rakosi regime's 
rural policy."^ On 8 November, Sandor Ronai, Minister of Trade in Mr. 
K&ddr's Government, was speaking of "the unscrupulous, sinful policy of 
RSkosi and his clique". Mr. KSdar himself was the author of a number of 
strongly worded criticisms of the regime. "I can affirm, speaking from personal 
experience," he said in a broadcast on 11 November, "that there is not a single 
man or leader in Hungary today holding State or Party oflBce, who would wish 
to restore the old mistaken policy or methods of leadership. But, even if any- 
one should still wish to restore the old methods, it is certain that there is no one 
capable of doing this ; for the masses do not want the return of the old mistakes, 
and would relentlessly sweep from power any leader who might undertake such 
a task." 

377. Even by opponents of the uprising or by those who subsequently became 
opponents of it, the situation before 23 October is therefore described as tense and 
potentially dangerous. Some of the complaints voiced against the regime were 
associated with the Stalin cult. The Twentieth Congress of the Communist 
Party of the USSR held in Moscow early in 1956 had set in motion a trend away 
from this cult and towards a measure of liberalization of the Communist system. 
The impact of these new slogans was at once felt in Hungary, as in Poland and 
elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Efforts were made within the Central Commit- 
tee of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party to carry some of the new 
doctrine into effect. The process, however, was considerably slowed down 
through the influence of Maty^s Rakosi, First Secretary of the Central Commit- 
tee and closely identified both with Soviet methods and with the Stalinist cult. 
A resolution adopted by the Central Committee in March 1956" denounced 
Stalin and hailed democratization, but re-emphasized the need for collectiviza- 
tion of agriculture^an unpopular measure with the peasants — and for the 
priority of heavy industry over the production of consumer goods — an un- 
popular measure with workers and Hungarians generally. It also reiterated 
earlier condemnations of Imre Nagy, who had kept the sympathy of large num- 
bers of people and whose return to power was one of the first demands put for- 
ward at the October meetings. 

378. While the Government showed no disposition to modify Its attitude on 
Mr. Nagy, Rakosi took a step on 27 March 1956 which was bound to have great 
repercussions throughout the country. He announced that investigations had 
led the Supreme Court to establish that the entire Rajk trial, as well as others 
connected with it, had been based upon "fabricated charges" made by Lieutenant- 
General Gabor Peter and his associates in the AVH, who were said to have 
abused their power.^ This pronouncement by the Supreme Court was followed 
by a re-examination process in the course of which some 300 "baselessly con- 
victed" people were released from prison, most of them having been members of 
the Party and some having occupied leading positions in it. The statement about 
Rajk revealed how one of the most publicized actions of the RAkosi Regime had 

«> Vipszahndsdg, 2 December 1956. 
" Szabad N6p, 15 March 1956. 
''Szahad Nip, 29 March 1956. 


been a travesty of justice and of law. From the mouth of its most powerful 
leader, the regime stood convicted of shedding innocent blood. Three weeks 
later, Rakosi made his first public admission of "mistakes" committed under his 
regime."* The first step was a cleansing of culture by writers themselves. 

379. These developments encouraged certain writers and other intellectuals 
to press criticisms of the regime which they had been courageous enough to 
voice since the autumn of 1955. At that time, Communist writers like Gyula 
Hay and Tibor Dery had begun to speak out against the Soviet doctrine of Party 
allegiance in literature and against continual interference by Party bureaucrats 
in literature and in art. Many members resigned from the Executive Commit- 
tee of the Writers' Union in protest against the "anti-democratic methods which 
paralysed the cultural life of the country" — to quote Tibor Dery's memorandum, 
which is said to have been the first manifestation of organized opposition in 
Hungary. Reiteration by the Central Committee of its "unquestionable right" 
to dictate to authors served only to widen the breach.*" 

380. Hungarian writers have always wielded great influence with the people 
and these literary protests were followed sympathetically by the reading pub- 
lic. It was not long before the writers found themselves, by the very fact of 
protesting, drawn closer to the Hungarian people as a whole. Moving from 
literary and artistic grievances, they began to express the dissatisfaction and' 
longings of the average citizen. 

381. It was in this situation that the Polish workers in Poznan rose in revolt 
at the end of June 1956. Repercussions were immediate in Hungary. Despite 
Party appeals, tlie workers hurriedly organized manifestations to show their sol- 
idarity with the Poles, a solidarity which can be traced through hundreds of 
years during which both peoples have struggled to preserve their identity. Wit- 
nesses told the Special Committee that, in their opinion, developments in Poland 
in 1956 had exercised a greater influence upon the Hungarian people than any 
other external event since the death of Stalin. 

382. The main organs for writers' criticisms of the regime were the Hungarian 
Writers Union and its review, the Irodalmi Ujsdg (Literary Gazette). In April 
1956 the General Assembly of the Writers' Union, meeting to elect its new execu- 
tives, rejected the official list of candidates supplied by the Party and, by large 
majorities, chose others. Thus the oflicial Party candidate for the post of 
Secretary-General was defeated by 100 votes to 3, and in his stead a poet who 
formerly belonged to the National Peasant Party was elected. Other writers 
unfavourable to the regime, including Pal Ignotus and Lajos Kassak, were 
elected members of the Presidential Council of the Union. 

383. While the Writers' Union was becoming a forum to which anybody could 
bring his grievances^, it was not the only one of its kind. During the late spring 
of 1956, young intellectuals, writers, journalists and composers belonging to 
the league of Working Youth (DISZ), the Communist youth federation, estab- 
lished the Petofi Club. This was destined to play a great part in focusing the 
criticisms of Hungary's young intellectuals. Discussions took place at the Club 
on a wide variety of political, economic and social topics, and even cadets from 
the Military Academies eagerly took part in them. The main purpose of the 
Petofi Club was said to be to enlighten the Hungarian people on national affairs 
after the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR. Although 
older Communists and intellectuals belonged to the Petofi Club, it was mainly a 
meeting place for the younger generation. On 24 June, the Party newspaper, 
Ssabad Nep, called the Petofi Club a valuable forum and said that it would 
be good for Hungary's leaders to take part in its debates. 

384. Two meetings of the Club are indicative of its interest in political ques- 
tions and of the growing emotional tension in Hungary. On 18 June, the Club 
discussed the rehabilitation of Laszlo Rajk, and welcomed Rajk's widow "with 
stormy applause".^ A week later, on 27 June 1956, between 5,000 and 6,000 people 
standing in the streets listened by loudspeaker to a meeting at which the Club 
raised the question of Imre Nagy for the first time in public. This met-ting went 
on throughout the night and turned into an almost riotovis demonstration against 
R^kosi and his regime, criticisms being endorsed even by men hitherto regarded 
as reliable Party members."" 

^Ssabad Nip, 19 May 1956. 
f^* Pravda, 11 December 1955. 
8= Magyar Nemset, 20 June 1956. 

«• Subsequently the Central Committee condemned the Petdfl Club for "anti-Partv views''^ 
Szahad N6p, 1 July 1956. 


385. It was not only in the towns that dissatisfaction was being expressed. 
In the periodical Beke ds Szahadsdg (Peace and Freedom), the Stalin prizewin- 
ner Tamas Aczel, described the profound spirit of distrust of the rgj^me which 
he encountered among the peasants.'" One witness told the Committee how the 
Irodalmi Ujsdg containing critical articles was sold out even in country districts. 
Peasants came by cart to one bookseller, gave him 100 forints a copy, the normal 
price being one forint, and took the review away to their village to be handed from 
one family to another. 

386. Two other developments during the months preceding October created a 
great emotional reaction in Hungary. These were the dismissal of Rakosi on 
18 July, after a meeting of the Central Committee attended by A. I. Mikoyan, 
Deputy Premier of the USSR,*^ and the ceremonial reburial on 6 October of Laszlo 
Rajk and other victims of the 1949 trials. 

387. The departure of Rakosi was hailed as likely to portend a complete break 
with the old regime and with its unpopular policies — a hope strengthened four 
days later by the news that General Mihaly Farkas, former Minister of Defence, 
a highly unpopular figure, has been expelled from the Party. These hopes were 
not, however, realized by the actions of Erno Gerft, Rakosi's succesor as First 
Secretary of the Central Committee. Although he appointed an anti-Rakosist, 
Janos Kadar, to the Politburo, Gerti also brought back Jozsef Revai, ideological 
chief during the Rakosi era, and Imre Horvdth, another friend of Rakosi, whom 
he made Foreign Minister. 

388. The reinterment of Laszlo Rajk on 6 October took place when the Hun- 
garian public had had time to observe the Ger6 regime at work and to see how few 
of the hoped-for changes had come about. Many thousands of people gathered 
for the ceremony, and there were widespread demonstrations of sympathy for 
Rajk and the other victims. Less than a week later, it was announced that 
Greneral Farkas had been arrested, together with his sou Vladimir, Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the AVH, for having "violated socialist principles"."^ A call for a 
public trial of Farkas was prominent among the students' demands on the eve 
of the demonstrations. 

3S9. Tliis demand that Farkas should be called to account is typical of the 
lack of confidence felt by students and others in the willingness of the Gero 
administration to take the steps fur a real break with the past which were felt 
to have become urgent. A glance backward over the year 1956 in Hungary 
leaves the impression of an element of hopefulness, tending to disappointment 
as the rehabilitation of Rajk and the dismissal of Rakosi both failed to bring 
about far-reaching changes. Even the announcements on 14 October that Mr. 
Nagy had been readmitted to the Party, and on 18 October that he would be 
reinstated in his University Chair, failed to allay suspicions, since he was not 
invited to join the Government. The reburial of Rajk had brought an emotional 
element into the situation and had already collected crowds around the symbolic 
figure of his widow. The practice of mass demonstration had thus been effec- 
tively started in Budapest. 

390. Less than a fortnight later came the first news of Poland's move towards 
greater independence. This, more than any other single event, was the catalyst 
for which Hungarians had been, half consciously, waiting. The developments 
on 22 October in Poland evoked great enthusiasm among Hungarian students 
and kindled further hopes of liberalization. The official radio broadcast mes- 
sages of congratulations to Poland, and the Pi'ess did little to moderate the 
general excitement. It was stressed that the trend towards democratization 
unmistakabl.v enjoyed the full support of the broad masses of the Polish people, 
and in particular that of the workers.'" Coming together to show their support 
for Poland as much as for any other reason, the students found themselves 
demanding specific changes for which the nation had hoped since July, when 
Rakosi had lost power. 

391. It remains to link these elements in the thinking of the students and the 
demonstrators with two other facts which must be borne in mind, if the situation 
on 23 October is to be understood. One of those facts is the continued presence 

^ 9 and 16 May 1956. 

6S Sznbad Nep, 19 and 21 July 1956. 

<^ Szahad N6p, 12 October 1956. 

''oHHfQi Hirlap (Monday News), 22 October 1956. 


in Hungary of Soviet troops, who were not personally unpopular with the Hungar- 
ian people, but were nevertheless identifled with a foreign Power which had sup- 
ported the regime against which they were protesting. The second fact is that the 
protests and resolutions were largely the work of Couimuuist intellectuals and 
Communist students. It would, however, be misjudging the situation to overlook 
other sections of the Hungarian people, in particular members of banned political 
parties such as the Social Democrats, the Independent Smallholders and the 
National Peasant Party. It is abundantly clear that one of the aims of the 
Hungarian uprising was to stabilize friendly relations with the USSR. No less 
certain is the fact that at the last free elections in 1945, only 17 percent of the 
seats in Parliament had been won by the Party which desired to carry its 
admiration for Soviet methods to the point of transplanting them to Hungarian 


1. The nature of the uprising 

392. "We wanted freedom and not a good comfortable life", an eighteen year- 
old girl student told the Committee. "Even though we might lack bread and 
other necessities of life, we wanted free<lom. We, the young people, were 
particularly hampered because we were brought up amidst lies. We continually 
had to lie. We could not have a healthy idea, because everything was choked 
in us. We wanted freedom of thought. . . ."■ 

393. It seemed to the Committee that this young student's words expressed as 
concisely as any the ideal which made possible a great uprisiug. The motives 
which brought together so many sections of the population were essentially 
simple. It seemed no accident that such clear expression should be given to 
them by a student not as part of a set speech, but simply and spontaneously, 
in answer to an unexpected question. 

394. In the same spirit, the crowds who assembled in Budapest on 23 October 
came together with little preparation. There can be do doubt that events in 
Poland, of which news reached Budapest on or just after 19 October, played a 
major part in determining the date of the Hungarian uprising. This was not 
merely because of a similarity of purpose at that moment between the students 
and workers of Poland and of Hungary. Sympathetic links had united the two 
peoples for centuries. In a poem known to every Hungarian schoolchild, PetOfi 
had written: "In our hearts, two peoples, the Polish and the Hungarians, are 
mingled. If both set themselves the same objective, what destiny can prevail 
against them?" It was inevitable that a move for independence by the Polish 
people should recall Petfifi's lines and should stir the feelings of a deeply emo- 
tional people. To proclaim solidarity with Poland was one of the aims of the 
student meetings and the feeling of solidarity with Poland's demands helped to 
crystallize those of Hungarians. 

395. From all directions, the demonstrators converged. "They were joined", 
said one witness, "by young workers, passers-by, soldiers, old people, secondary 
school students and motorists. The crowd grew to tens of thousands. The 
streets rang with slogans . . . The national colours fluttered in the air". 

396. "It was unique in history", declared another witness, a Professor of 
Philosophy, "that the Hungarian revolution had no leaders. It was not or- 
ganized ; it was not centrally directed. The will for freedom was the moving 
force in every action. At the beginning of the revolution, the leading role was 
played by Communists almost exclusively. There was, however, no difference 
made among those fighting in the revolution as to their Party affiliations or 
social origin. Everybody helped the fighters. When standing in line for food, 
they were given free entry. 'They are our sons', was the slogan." 

397. The grievances which lay behind this national movement were at first 
expressed by intellectuals and students, with reference to their own particular 
spheres of literary freedom and academic studies. Soon, however, these protests 
against Communist Party interference in literary creation and against the com- 
pulsory teaching of Russian were broadened to take account of complaints 
which went far beyond the interests of writers and students. Among the first 
written demands put forward by student organizations were demands for political 
changes in Hungary, for real Hungarian independence, and for attention to the 
grievances of workers. The students thus became, with the writers, a mouth- 
piece for the Hungarian people as a whole. Their objective was not to criticize 
the principles of Communism as such. Rather, as Marxists, they were anxious 
to show that the system of government obtaining in Hungary was a perversion 
of what they held to be true Marxism. The first protests of such writers against 


the prevailing repression of thought brought them closer to the Hungarian people 
as a whole, since they found them to be suffering in an inarticulate way from 
the same lack of freedom. 

31)S. The influence of the students immediately before the uprising helped to 
give it an emphasis on youth which was to remain characteristic of it. When 
the phase of piutest meetings and street demonstrations changed into that of 
actTial fighting, it was still the younger generation, this time the young workers, 
who played the most prominent part. Most of the witnesses questioned by the 
Committee were under SH years of age and many of them were considerably 
younger. It was this same age group, which had been indoctrinated along Party 
lines, wliose enthusiasm made and sustained the Hungarian uprising. The fact 
that the aims of that uprising were so simply, yet adeqiiately, stated to the 
Committee by the girl student quoted above was typical of the general impres- 
sion received from so much varied testimony. 

399. Strong as was the impulse that drew these different elements in the 
uprising together, there was at first no thought of violence. It was the action 
of the AVH in opening fire on defenceless crowds which stirred the anger of 
the people. Seizing what arms they could obtain, the crowd retaliated in kind. 
In a matter of hours, the uprising had stripped away the apparatus of terror 
by which the Communist Party, througli the AVH, had maintained its control. 
In the first flush of success, the insurgents realized that the Communist Party 
had had no popular support outside the AVH. 

400. The change from a peaceable demonstration to revolutionary action was 
provoked by two things, a resort to violence by the AVH and the intervention of 
Soviet force. The action of the Soviet authorities in using armed forces to 
quell the uprising and the solidarity of the AVH with them, strengthened the 
unity of the Hungarian people against both. How far that unity was already 
a fact before fighting broke out, can be seen by studying the earliest resolutions 
and manifestos. 

2. The resolutions and manifestos of 20-23 October 1956 

401. Nowhere can the aims of the Hungarian uprising be so clearly seen as in 
the various resolutions and manifestos which appeared on the eve of that 
uprising and as long as it lasted. The most important of these were issued by 
student and intellectual groups before the outbreak of hostilities. These are 
the original source documents of the uprising and the latter cannot be understood 
without a study of them. It has therefore been considered essential that the 
report should contain specimens of these documents. 

402. All but one of these programmes for action was issued before fighting 
broke out. This is a point of some significance in the endeavour to establish 
what were the motives which brought the original demonstrators together. The 
one exception, which is dated 28 October, is included here because it was issued 
by an important Revolutionary Council of intellectuals, representing a number 
of influential groups, with the object of summarizing significant demands from 
various sources. 

403. Two of the programmes are given in the succeeding pages. These are 
the celebi'ated sixteen points adopted on 22 October by a plenary meeting of the 
students of the Building Industry Technological University of Budapest. A 
description of the meeting and of the means employed by the students to 
publicize these points will be found in chapter X. The other programme given 
in the body of this chapter is the Proclamation of the Hungarian Writers' 
Union. It was this proclamation which was read aloud before the statue of 
General Bem on 23 October, by Peter Veres, President of the Writers' Union, 
as described in chapter X. 

404. The texts of other representative resolutions and manifestos are given 
in an annex to this chapter. A brief analysis of the chief political, economic 
and cultural demands follows the two resolutions given below. 

"Copy This and Spre:^vd it Among the Hungarian Woekees 

"The Sixteen Political, Economic and Ideological Points of the Resolution 
adopted at the Plenary Meeting of the Building Industry Technological 


"Students of Budapest: " 

"The following resolution was born on 22 October 1956, at the dawn of a new 
period in Hungarian history, in the Hall of the Building Industry Technological 

'"■ One form of thf Manifesto. 


University as a result of the spontaneous movement of several thousand of the 
Hungarian youth vrho love their Fatherland : 

"1. We demand the immediate vpithdrawal of all Soviet troops in accord- 
ance vi^ith the provisions of the Peace Treaty. 

"2. We demand the election of nevp leaders in the Hungarian Workers' 
Party on the low, medium and high levels by secret ballot from the ranks 
upwards. These leaders should convene the Party Congress within the 
shortest possible time and should elect a new central body of leaders. 

"3. The Government should be reconstituted under the leadership of 
Comrade Imre Nagy ; all criminal leaders of the Stalinist-RAkosi era should 
be relieved of their posts at once. 

"4. We demand a public trial in the criminal case of Mihaly Farkas and 
his accomplices. Matyas RAkosi, who is primarily responsible for all the 
crimes of the recent past and for the ruin of this country, should be brought 
home and brought before a People's Court of Judgement. 

"5. We demand general elections in this country, with universal suffrage, 
secret ballot and the participation of several Parties for the purpose of 
electing a new National Assembly. We demand that the workers should 
have the right to strike. 

"6. We demand a re-examination and re-adjustment of Hungarian-Soviet 
and Hungarian-Yugoslav political, economic and intellectual relations on the 
basis of complete political and economic equality and of non-intervention 
in each other's internal affairs. 

"7. We demand the re-organization of the entire economic life of Hungary, 
with the assistance of specialists. Our whole economic system based on 
planned economy should be re-examined with an eye to Hungarian condi- 
tions and to the vital interests of the Hungarian people. 

"8. Our foreign trade agreements and the real figures in respect of repara- 
tions that can never be paid should be made public. We demand frank and 
sincere information concerning the country's uranium deposits, their ex- 
ploitation and the Russian concession. We demand that Hungary should 
have the right to sell the uranium ore freely at world market prices in 
exchange for hard currency. 

"9. We demand the complete revision of norms in industry and an urgent 
and radical adjustment of wages to meet the demands of workers and intel- 
lectuals. We demand that minimum living wages for workers should be 

"10. We demand that the delivery system should be placed on a new basis 
and that produce should be used rationally. We demand equal treatment 
of peasants farming individually. 

"11. We demand the re-examination of all political and economic trials by 
independent courts and the release and rehabilitation of innocent persons. 
We demand the immediate repatriation of prisoners-of-war and of civilians 
deported to the Soviet Union, including prisoners who have been condemned 
beyond the frontiers of Hungary. 

"12. We demand complete freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of 
the Press and a free Radio, as well as a new daily newspaper of large circu- 
lation for the MEFESZ " organization. We demand that the existing 
'screening material' should be made public and destroyed. 

"13. We demand that the Stalin statue — the symbol of Stalinist tyranny 
and political oppression — should be removed as quickly as possible and that 
a memorial worthy of the freedom fighters and martyrs of 1848-49 should be 
erected on its site. 

"14. In place of the existing coat of arms, which is foreign to the Hun- 
garian people, we wish the re-introduction of the old Hungarian Kossuth 
arms. We demand for the Hungarian Army new uniforms worthy of our 
national traditions. We demand that 15 March should be a national holi- 
day and a non-working day and that 6 October should be a day of national 
mourning and a school holiday. 

"15. The youth of the Technological University of Budapest unanimously 
express their complete solidarity with the Polish and Warsaw workers and 
youth in connexion with the Polish national independence movement. 

"16. The students of the Building Industry Technological University will 
organize local units of MEFESZ as quickly as possible, and have resolved to 

" MEFESZ — League of Hungarian University and College Student Associations. 


convene a Youth Parliament in Budapest for the 27th of this month ( Satur- 
day) at which the entire youth of this country will be represented by their 
delegations. The students of the Technological University and of the vari- 
ous other Universities will gather in the Gorki j Fasor before the Writers' 
Union Headquarters tomorrow, the 23rd of this month, at 2 : 30 p. m., whence 
they will proceed to the Pdlffy T6r (Bern T6r) to the Bem statue, on which 
they will lay wreaths in sign of their sympathy with the Polish freedom 
movement. The workers of the factories are invited to join in this proces- 


"Proclamation of the Hungarian Writers' Union 

"(23 October 1956) 

"We have arrived at a historic turning point. W^e shall not be able to acquit 
ourselves well in this revolutionary situation, unless the entire Hungarian 
working people rallies in a disciplined camp. The leaders of the Party and the 
State have so far failed to present a workable programme. The people re- 
sponsible for this are those who, instead of expanding socialist democracy, are 
obstinately organizing themselves with the aim of restoring Stalin's and R^kosi's 
regime of terror in Plungary. We Hungarian writers have formulated the 
demands of the Hungarian nation in the following seven points : 

"1. We want an independent national policy based on the principles of 
socialism. Our relations with all countries, and with the USSR and the 
People's Democracies in the first place, should be regulated on the basis of 
the principle of equality. We want a review of international treaties and 
economic agreements in the spirit of equality of rights. 

"2. Minority policies which disturb friendship between the peoples must 
be abandoned. We want true and sincere friendship with our allies — the 
USSR and the People's Democracies. This can be realized on the basis 
of Leninist principles only. 

"3. The country's economic position must be clearly stated. We shall not 
be able to recover after this crisis, unless all workers, i)easants and in- 
tellectuals can play their proper part in the political, social and economic 
administration of the country. 

"4. Factories must be run by workers and specialists. The present 
humiliating system of wages, norms, social security conditions, etc., must 
be reformed. The trade unions must truly represent the interests of the 
Hungarian workers. 

"5. Our peasant policy must be put on a new basis. Peasants must be 
given the right to decide their own future freely. Political and economic 
conditions to make possible free membership in co-operatives must at last 
be created. The present system of deliveries to the State and of taxation 
must be gradually replaced by a system ensuring free socialist production 
and exchange of goods. 

"6. If these reforms are to be achieved, there must be changes of structure 
and of personnel in the leadership of the Party and the State. The Rakosi 
clique, which is seeking restoration, must be removed from our political 
life. Imre Nagy, a pure and brave Communist who enjoys the confidence of 
the Hungarian i>eople, and all those who have systematically fought for 
socialist democracy in recent years, must be given the posts they deserve. 
At the same time, a resolute stand must be made against all counter-revolu- 
tionary attempts and aspirations. 

"7. The evolution of the situation demands that the PPF " should assume 
the political representation of the working strata of Hungarian society. 
Our electoral system must correspond to the demands of socialist democracy. 
The people must elect freely and by secret ballot their representatives in 
Parliament, in the Councils and in all autonomous organs of administration. 
"We believe that in our Proclamation the conscience of the nation has 

3. Analysis of the Demands Stated at the Outset of the Uprising 
(a) Political Demands 
405. The political demands were the most fundamental of those put forward 
in the students' resolutions and similar manifestos. 

" People's Patriotic Front. 
93215^59— pt. 90 T 


406. Most political programmes called for friendly relations with the USSR, 
but always on a new basis of equality. Hungary was first to become free to 
adopt an independent policy of her own.^* Then, as part of that policy, she 
would herself enter into a new, friendly relationship with the USSR. Some 
manifestos call for independent relations with the Peoples' Democracies and 

407. During the earliest meetings, the call for the complete withdrawal of 
Soviet troops from Hungary was not expressed, but once uttered, it became 
one of the most insistently proclaimed objectives of the uprising. AVhen the 
uprising met with Soviet armed resistance, the departure of Russian troops 
was felt to be a precondition to the achievement of freedom. Equality of rights 
with the USSR was also claimed in the military field. 

408. Closely connected with the demand for a genuinely independent Hun- 
garian policy was that for the restoration of certain Hungarian symbols and 
celebrations which had been deliberately suppressed during the Communist 
regime. Chief among these demands was that to restore the national holiday 
on 15 March, the day when the leaders of Hungary's War of Independence in 
1848 issued their twelve points. After the crushing of that earlier uprising by 
Russian troops in 1849, thirteen generals who fought on the Hungarian side 
were executed by the Austrians. The anniversary of this event, 6 October, had 
formerly been celebrated as a national day of mourning and a school holiday. 
It was requested that this date also be again honoured in the national calendar. 

409. Visible symbols such as the Soviet-inspired hammer and wheatsheaf and 
the red star were to be removed and replaced by the so-called Kossuth coat 
of arms, as used during the uprising of 1848-49 ; this was the ancient emblem 
of Hungary, without the Crown of St. Stephen. It is significant that the Hun- 
garians of 1956 used this Kossuth emblem and did not demand that form of 
the Hungarian arms, surmounted by the Crown, which was officially employed 
down to 1944, including the period of the Horthy regime. 

410. All over Hungary, crowds took it into their own hands to carry these 
demands of the students into effect by themselves removing the Soviet-inspired 
symbols from public buildings and flags, as did individual soldiers and police 
from their uniforms. A similar demand for the removal of Stalin's statue in 
Budapest was put into effect by a jubilant crowd on 23 October. The wide- 
spread wearing of rosettes made of the three traditional Hungarian colours, 
red, white and green, was in the beginning a spontaneous expression of Hun- 
garian national feeling. When the fighting began, however, the wearing of 
these colours became a means of identifying participants in the uprising who, 
if they fought in Hungarian Army uniform, could easily have been mistaken for 
Russian soldiers, whose uniform was very similar. 

411. National pride also expressed itself in the demand for a new Hungarian 
Army uniform. This was to be no longer an imitation of the Soviet uniform 
but would take account of the traditions and history of the Hungarian Army. 

412. Most of the demands put forward by students and other bodies also 
concerned reforms urgently called for in Hungary's internal life. Essentially, 
these internal political demands aimed at the establishment of a democratic 
regime, without the secret police. To achieve this, various changes in the per- 
sonnel of the Government were called for. It was insisted that all former col- 
laborators of Rakosi be dismissed and that those responsible for past crimes, 
in particular Mihaly Farkas, should be tried in public. The return of Imre 
Nagy to the Government, or to some leading position in the State, was a central 

''* An examination of the methods used to maintain the full discipline and uniformity in 
foreign policies between the Hungarian Governments and that of the USSR as to their 
positions with respect to world problems is an investigation which the Committee could 
not undertake. Nevertheless, in assessing the significance of the relations of the two 
Governments in the circumstances investigated by the Committee, the Committee has 
necessarily taken note of the consistent testimony it has received showing that as from 
1949, after the so-called "Rajk trial", most of the officials of the Hungarian Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs have been recruited from among the members of the security police ; that 
holders of the higher diplomatic posts were often ranking members of the AVH ; that many 
of these officials had retained Soviet citizenship which they had accjuired before or during 
the Second World War ; that there were at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as at 
the Ministry of Defense and the other governmental departments, a number of Soviet 
"advisers" and "technicians", without the approval of whom it was said that no significant 
decision could be taken : that the Hungarian Communist Party had a determining- in- 
fluence on all important actions and decisions on questions of policy, and exercised in'fact 
a complete control over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ; finallv, that on all Important 
occasions Hungarian Ministers were called to Moscow and that during tlie October- 
November events, there were frequent trips to Budapest by various members of the Soviet 
leadership, in particular, Mr. Mikoyan and Mr. Suslov. 


demand in most of the manifestos. Various demands concerned tlie revision of 
the electoi-al system, felt to be necessary as a preparation for the expected free 
elections. The secret ballot was specified as one condition for holding such 
elections. Another was the introduction of freedom of the press and radio 
and of expression in general. Demands were also put forward for the develop- 
ment of "Socialist Democracy" and for a competent new national leadership. 

413. Several of the demands under the political heading arose out of the wide- 
spread detestation of the secret police and the practices of informing, intimida- 
tion, arrest without trial and illegal sentences. Some resolutions called for the 
release of political prisoners and the re-examination of trials. There was also 
a call for the destruction of police "screening" records, which enabled the authori- 
ties to control each individual citizen's life and to subject him to various forms of 
terror. The abolition of the death penalty for political crimes was sometimes 

(b) Economic demands 

414. Economic demands put forward in the earliest resolutions and manifestos 
can be briefly stated : publication of the facts about foreign trade and Hungary's 
economic difficulties, publication of the facts about uranium, reforms in con- 
nexion with factory management and trade unions, the "norm" system and other 
working conditions, and a revision of agrarian policy, especially in regard to 
agricultural co-operatives and compulsory deliveries. The economic grievances 
voiced in these manifestos are related to the dependent status of Hungary as 
regards the USSR and the i>ressure exerted by the latter upon Hungary's eco- 
nomic life. This connexion was explicit in demands concerning trade relations 
between the two countries. It was implicit in those relating to Hungary's stand- 
ard of living and to the conditions imposed on her workers, since these were felt 
to be a result of Soviet influence. A demand for revision of the country's economic 
programme was often put forward. It was widely felt that the Hungarian people 
had been kept in ignorance of important information regarding the way in which 
Hungary's economic life was carried on. Specific demands for publication of 
the facts about Hungary's economic difficulties wei'e paralleled by a call for 
the facts about Hungary's foreign trade. A number of witnesses told the Com- 
mittee of the discrimination which, they said, was practised by the USSR in 
economic dealings with Hungary. Since 1948, Hungary had become part of the 
economic hinterland of the USSR and successive changes in her economic policy 
had reflected changes within the Soviet Union. Following the outbreak of hostil- 
ities in Korea in 1950, the Hungarian Government had to reorient its efforts 
towards the rapid development of heavy industries, even though Hungary lacked 
most of the raw materials necessary to keep up with the pace of industrialization. 
In agriculture, this policy led to intensified collectivization, and in industry to 
increases in norms and decreases in the production of consumer goods, with a 
consequent deterioration in the standard of living of both peasants and workers. 

415. After a milder phase between 1953 and 1955, the development of heavy 
industry once more had to play a leading part in the Hungarian economy. Wit- 
nesses testified that, during the whole of this period, production quotas and prices 
and conditions governing foreign trade were established in accordance with 
Soviet directives and the terms of commercial treaties were kept secret. The 
Committee was told that, whereas Hungary exported higher grade industrial 
products and food to the USSR, the latter exported to Hungary mostly raw 
materials for the Hungarian metallurgical industry which, in turn, produced for 
the USSR. 

416. Several manifestos called in particular for infonnation about Hungary's 
uranium ore deposits and their utilization. Hungary's uranium deposits are 
said to be rich, but the Hungarian public knew little of them, except that they 
were believed to be exploited for the benefit of the USSR, and not of Hungary. 

417. A demand was also put forward for leading posts in economic life to be 
filled on grounds of competence and professional or technical skill. 

418. Those demands specifically concerned with the condition of workers re- 
lated to the system of norms, by which each worker was obliged to attain a 
certain level of output, a level which was continually rising. The workers ob- 
jected to these norms partly because they felt that more and more was being 
demanded of them and that they were receiving relatively less in return. A 
widespread objection was to the trade unions of the regime whii-h, although 
nominally existing to protect tlie workers' rights and interests, actually .served 
as an instrument by which the Party maintained its control over them'. Criti- 
cism of these trade unions was voiced by various witnesses and the manifestos 


bear evidence of the widespread desire for a change in this respect. The desire 
was also manifest to give the workers a genuine voice in management. The 
rapid creation of Workers' Councils, as soon as the uprising began, is evidence 
of the extent of resentment against the former trade unions. 

419. The students and intellectuals also undertook to put forward certain 
demands on behalf of Hungary's peasants. These were, in the vast majority 
of cases, deeply opposed to the forced collectivization of agriculture which had 
been Government policy and to the system by which peasants were obliged to 
make deliveries of a substantial part of their produce to the State. Peasants 
who resisted attempts to force them into the collective farms were subject to 
various forms of discrimination. It would appear that no demand was ever 
put forward for the return of estates to the former landowners. From evidence 
available, the peasants seemed to favour a system of smallholdings farmed 
privately, but the Committee was informed that many had no objection in 
principle to co-operatives, provided entry into them was entirely voluntary and 
provided they were run for the benefit of participants. 

420. There is less documentary evidence on the attitude of Hungary's peasants 
towards the uprising than on that of other classes of the population. However, 
it is to be noted that those living near Budapest provided the insurgents with 
food during the fighting, often at great personal risk. Those i>easants who 
lived in more distant areas co-operated in large numbers with the Revolutionary 
Councils described in chapter XI. One authoritative source, describing the 
welcome given by Hungary's peasants to the uprising, said that the only fixed 
point in the chaos which existed during the first months of 3957 was the grati- 
tude of Hungary's peasants towards Imre Nagy for his action in abolishing the 
forced collectives and relaxing compulsory deliveries of farm produce. 

(c) Cvltural demands 

421. Demands put forward under this heading were those in which writers 
called for creative freedom and others in which students emphasized their dis- 
satisfaction with the curricula of their studies and with other conditions of 
student life. The writers' demands for artistic freedom had been put forward on 
various platforms and in a number of articles and memoranda to which refer- 
ence has been made in the first section of this chapter; they do not figure in 
the resolutions and manifestos now under discussion. It would, however, be a 
mistake to underestimate the effect of these demands on a people as devoted to 
reading and literature as the Hungarian.'* Support for the writers' grievances 
was to be seen in the eagerness with which the reading public supported efforts 
to bring them examples of less constrained writing than their own authors 
could offer them. Reprints of works published between the World Wars enjoyed 
a remarkable vogue. Thus, a two-volume selection from the works of an unin- 
hibited humorist, Fi-igyes Karinth, who died in 193S, was sold out in two hours, 
while people struggled in the bookshops for a publication containing transla- 
tions of foreign writers, mostly from the Western world, offering many times 
the publication price. 

422. Among students, specific demands were for educational travel to the 
West as to the East, for university autonomy, which had been abolished by 
the Communist government, for freedom to choose the foreign languages studied, 
for cheaper text-books and for changes in the examination system. On 19 
October it was announced that Russian would cease to be a compulsory lan- 
guage and therefore this point no longer appears among the demands. The 
medical students called specifically for a free exchange of information and of 
scientific views. This demand for free communication with and travel to the 
outside world is significant of prohibitions which were felt to be out of keeping 
with the democracy called for in these same manifestos. 


423. A study of the demands which have been briefly examined above leaves 
no doubt as to the extent and number of the grievances felt by the Hungarian 
people. All sections of the population were dissatisfied. It may be well to 
recall the remark by Mr. Kadar on 1 November, reported in the newspaper 
Igaasdg, when he called the uprising "a mighty movement of the people", and 
said that it had been called forth "chiefiy by the indignation and embitterment of 

" The trade union paper, N^,pszava, announcing GerO's dismissal on 25 October, quoted 
a line of PetOfi in larse print on its front page as a comment. Tlie page contains little but 
banner headlines and this prominent literary reference. 


the masses." It has been shown that the workers resented the norm and wage 
systems and the activities of the trade unions. Writers and artists protested 
against the lack of creative freedom. The students asked for far-reaching 
changes in their curricula and facilities for study. The peasants strongly 
objected to forced collectivization of agriculture and obligatory deliveries of 
farm produce. 

424. Over and above these sectional grievances were others shared by the 
Hungarian people as a whole. They objected to Hungary's unequal status as re- 
gards the USSR, to the abolition of Hungarian national days and emblems and 
to trade agreements, the terms of which were kept secret, but which were be- 
lieved to be humiliating or unfair to Hungary. Fundamentally, all classes 
wanted to see Hungary become free to adopt a policy and to live a life of her 
own, for which purpose freedom of expression and genuinely free elections were 
considered essential. There were two obstacles to the achievement of such de- 
sires — the presence of Soviet troops by arrangement with the Government which 
failed to meet the Hungarian people's grievances and the ubiquitous activities 
of the State security police, or AVH. These two facts explain the frequency 
with which the demands were put forward that Soviet armed forces should 
withdraw from Hungary and that the AVH should be disbanded. It was the 
resistance offered by both which transformed the demonstrations into an armed 
uprising, as described in chapter X. To the Hungarians, the Soviet troops were 
merely foreign soldiers whom they desired to see leave for home. Their greatest 
indignation was reserved for the AVH, which, through its network of informers, 
had become virtually the real instrument by which the Party maintained itself 
in power. Everything points to the key role played by the State security police 
in arousing the anger of the Hungarian people and to the significant influence 
which this body exercised on events. 

425. All the evidence available to the Committee, both written and oral, 
left no doubt regarding the universal detestation and fear inspired by the AVH 
for years before the uprising. To participants in the uprising, the AVH had be- 
come a symbol of the rule by terror which they were struggling to end. 

426. The creation of the security police goes back to December 1944 when, in 
Debrecen, the then provisional Government of Hungary sent 22 persons to a train- 
ing course for the setting up of a political police. It was a guiding principle 
that only Communist Party members should be appointed to key positions in the 
AVH. According to witnesses, one of the most serious consequences of Soviet 
interference in Hungarian internal affairs occurred after the election in 1945, 
which left the Communist Party with only 17 per cent of the seats in Parliament. 
The portfolio of the Ministry of the Interior, under which the AVH was placed 
at that time, was taken out of the hands of the Independent Smallholders' 

427. After 1949, both the security police and the military frontier guards were 
placed under the AVH and made directly responsible to the Council of Ministers, 
while the regular Hungarian police remained under the Ministry of the Interior. 
The AVH had jurisdiction over such matters as espionage, conspiracy and 
treason. From 1949 onwards, with an interruption during Mr. Nagy's premier- 
ship (19-j3-r)5), the AVH was said to have adopted in full the methods of the 
NKVD and to have been the real machinery of Party control. 

428. In the second half of 1956, apparently under the impact of the Twentieth 
Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and after the rehabilita- 
tion of Laszlo Rajk, the Hungarian Government decided to subject the State's 
security organ to more extensive supervision. It was intended to "assert 
Socialist Regality without fail and to ensure the free exercise of citizens' legal 
rights". "Socialist legality" had been defined by one of Hungary's chief legal 
experts. Professor Imre Szabo, as "the absolute and complete adherence to 
Socialist legal maxims, to the laws, ordinances and decisions expressing the will 
of the workers and of the working class".™ One 26 June 1956, the Jlinister of 
Justice, Erik Molndr, complained that his Ministry and the regular Plungarian 
courts had had no jurisdiction at all during the past few years in cases of 
political offences which were of importance to the Party and that "this illegal 
and harmful practice had to stop"." 

429. On 31 July, speaking before the Hungarian National Assembly, Chief 
Public Prosecutor Gyorgy Non criticized the special position enjoyed by the AVH. 

'8 Tdraadalmi Ssemle, September 1955. 
" Seabad N6p, 26 June 1956. 


Be asserted that many leaders of that organization had abused their power and 
had extorted untrue confessions of guilt by the use of "moral and physical pres- 
sure." The Chief Public Prosecutor accused them of violating Socialist legality 
"in the most callous manner" and drew attention once more to the fact that the 
AVH was subject to no form of supervision. However, he claimed that infringe- 
ments of legality were now punished and that the AVH and the judiciary called 
for the support of all genuine patriots."^ 

430. Witnesses reported that the AVH consisted mainly of Hungarians, but 
that about a dozen advisers from the NKVD served at its Headquarters. One 
witness stated that an NKVD ofl5cer was permanently stationed in each depart- 
ment of the AVH and that an NKVD Lieutenant-Colonel and Major were always 
present in the investigation department. It was said that many Hungarian 
members of the AVH were Soviet citizens and most of the Hungarians serving 
with it had been trained in the Soviet Union. 

431. A number of witnesses testified that the AVH functioned under direct 
Soviet control, and gave as an example the Rajk trial, the preparation of which 
was, according to the festimony, in the hands of General Bielkin of the Moscow 
Headquarters of the NKVD who, from his headquarters at Baden near Vienna, 
was then serving as police chief for all the countries under Soviet control. He 
was said to have come to Hungary early in 1950 and to have established his 
headquarters in the AVH building at 60 Stalin (Andrassy) Street. Several wit- 
nesses told the Committee that they had been visited by detectives between 
1953 and 1955 and ordered to say nothing about the role performed by the 
NKVD during the Rajk case. 

432. AVH personnel were said to have been carefully screened, not only by 
the AVH itself, but also by the NKVD. AVH members were paid salaries con- 
siderably higher than those of ordinary Hungarian workers. In addition, they 
had pension rights and many privileges unknown to the proletariat, such as 
free accommodation, clothing, cut prices for food, special private schools for 
their children and all kinds of bonuses, including one for an arrest. On special 
assignment, they received from a secret fund approximately five or six times 
the amount of their salary in the form of a bonus, which, for bookkeeping pur- 
poses, v/as put down under the heading of the construction of new buildings or 
expenditure on new furnishings. 

433. All witnesses affirmed that the AVH maintained a very elaborate network 
of spies. Informers and agents provocateurs. It was said that members of the 
AVH or their informers were present in all offices and all factories, so that no 
one knew, even when talking to friends, where his words would be repeated half 
an hour later. During the uprising, documents found in the building of the 
Ministry of the Interior in Budapest were said to have supplied evidence of the 
extent of this AVH spy network. The material found included six steel cabinets 
of tape recordings, mostly of telephone conversations carried on with people out- 
side Hungary. Diaries were also found in which details of conversations were 
recorded. The material proved that the spy network included a very important 
part of the Hungarian population from high government officials to simple fac- 
tory workers. Some of these had been anti-Communists before the War, others 
were former members of the Hungarian National Socialist Party and others 
again had something to hide in their private lives. By Law II of 1952 anyone 
discriminating against a person who acted as informer for the AVH was punish- 
able by up to six months in prison. 

434. Much testimony was given to the Committee on the subject of inhuman 
treatment and torture used by the AVH to secure confessions or denunciations. 
This evidence agrees with similar testimony gathered elsewhere and the Commit- 
tee has every reason to accept it as true. It has not, however, thought fit in this 
chapter to enter into a detailed description of the barbarities of which many 
witnesses spoke. For its purpose, the Committee deems it more important to 
draw attention in general terms to two factors in the situation. The first of these 
is the infringement of human rights by Hungary which the existence of the AVH 
involves. The second is the undoubted fact that the population of Hungary 
lived for years under the shadow of the AVH terror and that no single factor 
had more influence in uniting the Hungarian people against the form of Govern- 
ment which depended on it for survival. 

'8 S^^abad N6p, 1 August 1956. 



Appeal adopted by a meeting of Budapest Technological Students at the Andras 
Hess Students' Hostel (the Central Students' Hostel of the Building Industry 
Techlological University of Budapest) held on 19 October 1956 

We know very well that recently serious changes took place in the political 
and economic life of our country. Statements that delight one's heart have 
been made concerning the revelation of faults, but very little has been done for 
remedying wrongs. 

The education of youth is on the wrong track too. We, the students of the 
Technological University, disapprove of the role the DISZ played in the educa- 
tion of Hungarian youth. In our university, the Technological University, the 
DISZ committee became an automatic machine of superior organs. It should 
have been the duty of the DISZ to i-epresent the views of youth, but it failed to 
comply with this obligation. Our most important problems have not been ad- 
justed for years. 

The students of the Technological University are sick and tired of the help- 
lessness of the leading committee of the DISZ which has been unable to fight 
consistently for the interests of university students. 

The new students' committee of the central students' hostel of he Technological 
University, together with the students, consider the position of sudents in- 
tolerable. As a result of the demands set by our students, the students' meet- 
ing convened for 19 October at 9 p. m. demanded the execution of the following 
most urgent measures : 

1. We demand moral and material appreciation for engineers. Engineers 
should be assigned to jobs for engineers, their pay should be about 1,500- 
1,600 forints and they should also obtain premiums. 

2. Leading posts and positions should depend on school training and 
professional knowledge. 

3. We demand the abolition of compulsory attendance at lectures, the 
optional teaching of languages and non-professional subjects and the teach- 
ing of one obligatory language which can be chosen freely. 

4. University students must be offered possibilities to undertake journeys 
abroad in groups with State subsidies and also undertake private journeys 
independent of the IBUSZ. 

5. It should be made possible for young engineers to find employment 
abroad which is not subjected to either political or family conditions. 

6. Overcrowding in students' hostels must cease. 

7. We demand the raising of the "forint-norms" of canteens to 15 forints 
a day. 

8. Undertakings providing food for students should come under the super- 
vision of competent universities. 

9. Restore the autonomy of the universities. 

10. We demand the reorganization of the university youth movement and 
the democratic election of a new leading committee of students. 

11. We demand the restoration of travelling allowances of 50 per cent 
once a month. 

12. Reduce the prices of technological literature for students and grant 
textbook allowances to each student. 

13. We demand the fixing of a realistic number of engineers to be trained 
every year. 

14. Students should obtain higher scholarships for the period due to work 
out their final theses, the "diploma plans". 

15. We demand a public trial in the case of FARKAS— and his associates. 
The meeting passed a resolution that, unless the points 3, 4, 7, 11, 14 and 15 

are carried into effect within a fortnight, students will arrange a demonstration 
to manifest their dissatisfaction. 

We request the students of all universities to support us in fighting for and 
achieving our demands. Simultaneously we are ready to support the demands 
of other universities. 

Signed: The Meeting of the Central Students' Hostel of the Technological 
University and their Students' Committee. 



Appeal issued hy DISZ Members of the Medical Faculty of the University of 

Budapest, 22 October 1956 

Students of our university wish to support the realization of the demands 
of the students of other universities as well as the justified demands of all 
Hungarian youth. 

They think that the realization of their justified demands depends on two 
fundamental conditions : 

1. The unity and "mass basis" of youth must be safeguarded as only a 
united youth federation can fight consistently and energetically for the in- 
terests of all youth of our country. 

2. We consider it necessary to hold new elections in all leading organs 
of the DISZ from the lowest ones right up to the CC* as well as the con- 
vocation of the following congress of the DISZ. 

The conference of DISZ delegates of the Medical Faculty of the University of 
Budapest, fixed the following objectives : 

1. We demand that the progressive national traditions should be put into 
practice by deeds, that 15 March and 6 October be declared as National 
Holidays and that the Kossuth coat of arms should be restored. 

2. We demand free, international information, exchange of opinions and 

3. We demand the full assertion of parliamentary democratism, as well 
as the elaboration and realization of a new, democratic election system. 

4. Women students should be exempted from military training and mili- 
tary service and the theoretical and practical military training of men 

5. We demand individual rules for examinations, instead of examination 
orders by groups. 

6. Hungarian textbooks and notes should be available in time, adequate 
quantities, and under favorable conditions of payment by instalments. 

7. We demand the reviewing of the scholarship system and demand that 
students who are orphans, half-orphans or the breadwinnors in a family 
should obtain at least 500 forints scholarship a month. 

(Points 8, 9 and 10 refer to housing problems.) 
We express complete solidarity with the democratic evolution in Poland. We 
wish to play a lion's share in the sound and democratic development of our 
country by standing firmly on the ground of Marxism-Leninism. 

The Conference of DISZ Delegates of the Medical Faculty of the University 
of Budapest. 


League of Working Youth (DISZ) 

Executive Committee for the Building Industry Technological University 

Resolution addressed to the Participants of the DISZ Mass Meeting on 

22 October 1956 

Following the resolution of the Central Committee in July, a new process of 
democratization began. In our opinion, the decisions then taken have not been 
implemented quickly enough ; in many places, we notice delays and therefore 
the University youth proclaim the following just, timely and resolute demands. 

We welcome and support the resolutions of the University youth. We demand 
resolute and quick action to solve national and University problems. The youth 
of the Building Industry Technological University, having regard to the present 
political and economic situation of the country, demand the most urgent imple- 
mentation of the following points : 


1. We want to see competent leaders in the political and national leadership 
who have the confidence of the people. For instance, Comrades Jdnos KAddr, 
Imre Nagy, Zoltan Vas, Gza Losonczy, Gyorgy Luk^cs. Also ArpSd Kiss. 

" Central Committee of DISZ. 


2. Open trial in the case of MihSly Farkas and other criminals. Who were 
the people who knew about the innocence of Rajk? 

3. Hungarian-Soviet friendship, on the basis of complete equality. 

4. The facts about the use of Hungary's uranium ore. 

5. In planning the new uniforms of the Hungarian National Army, our na- 
tional traditions should be taken into consideration. The old uniforms should 
be used up during training. 

6. We demand that 15 March should be a red letter national holiday (with 
general cessation of work) and that 6 October should become a school holiday. 

7. We demand that Comrade Imre Nagy should be reinstated in his previous 
official post. 

8. We demand that Istvan Friss, the representative of the University youth, 
should give an account of his work to date and that, in particular he should 
explain his attitude regarding his article in Szabad N6p. 

9. The filling of leading posts in our economic life should depend on education 
and professional skill. 

10. The system of wages and norms in the building industry should be estab- 
lished by experts. 

11. We ask that Parliament should investigate our foreign trade situation. 
Why is there a deficit and who is responsible for it? For instance, what is the 
responsibility of Fereuc Biro in this matter? 

12. We favour the reorganization of the delivery system on a completely 
new basis. The peasants should be offered inducements to produce more. 

13. We demand moral and financial recognition for the technical profession. 
Young engineers should be attached to technical projects. Their initial salary 
during the first three months should not be less than 1,300 forints, plus premiums. 

14. Independently from IBUSZ,*' educational trips abroad should be organized. 
There should be no discrimination between trips to the West and East. Anyone 
misusing such freedom of travel and refusing to return is not needed at home. 

15. University autonomy should be restored. We should be trusted. 

16. The students' identity card should entitle the holder to a 50 per cent 
discount on all cultural and sports programmes. Sacrifices must be made to 
provide education for the people. 

17. Students' cafeterias should be placed under the authority of the Uni- 
versities. The purchasing power of the forint should perhaps be raised. 

18. Students should receive five times a year a 50 per cent discount on the 
railways, as was the case before 1951. 

19. The price of University textbooks should be reduced. 

20. The accommodation of University students in students' hostels is not 
satisfactory. We ask for gradual improvements in this matter, as the present 
situation does not contribute to a rise in standards. The preparation of drawings 
demands more space. We expect action in this matter. 

21. We ask for the introduction of a free examination system. 

22. The results of military exams should be taken into account only for 
promotions in rank. 

23. Students should be able to decide in the first semester of the first year 
which foreign language they wish to study. 

24. We do not agree with the withdrawal of the University students of Szeged 
from DISZ, since such action would lead to a scattering of our forces. Their 
misgivings are not justified, because recent experience has shown that the Buda- 
pest and Central Committees of DISZ have truly represented our interests. This 
was provided by the fighting stand taken by Szabad Ifjusag, the daily paper of 
the Central Committee of DISZ. In the present situation there is a need for 
the unity of youth within DISZ. 

25. We demand the reorganization of the University students' movement 
within the framework of DISZ. A Youth Parliament should be established. 

We ask that a DISZ Congress be convened. 

so Hungarian State Travel Bureau. 


Should we not receive a definite answer to our demands defined in points 
2, 7, 8, 14, 16, 18 and 19, we shall resort to the method of demonstration. 

We consider our demands as just and realistic. We call upon the youth of our 
University to fight for their fulfilment. At the same time, we definitely condemn 
all kinds of demagogy. 

Our aim is not to make trouble, but to win recognition for the rights of 
University youth and to ensure that the process of democratization which has 
already started will continue. 

The Preparatory Committee for the Mass Meeting. 
Budapest, 22 October 1956. 


First Draft of the Demands of the Students of the Building Industry 
Technological University of Budapest, 22 Octoler 1956 

(Translation from Hungarian) 

MEFESZ (League of Hungarian University and College Students Associa- 
tions) established. This organization is competent to solve the problems of 
the students. 

1. New Central Committee for the Party. 

2. Government under the leadership of Imre Nagy. 

3. Hungarian-Soviet and Hungarian- Yugoslav friendship. 

4. New elections. 

5. New economic policy. Uranium, foreign trade, etc. 

6. Readjustment of the norms of workers and workers' autonomy in the 

7. The situation of agricultural workers and of peasants farming individually. 

8. Revision of political and economic trials and granting of an amnesty. 

9. 15 March, 6 October. The old coat-of-arms. 

10. Freedom of the press and an oflBcial newspaper for MEFESZ. Destruction 
of "screening" material. 


Full solidarity with Warsaw and with the Polish independence movement. 


The Ten Points of the Petdfl Club 
(22 October 1956) 

1. We suggest the convocation of a meeting of the Central Committee '^ at 
the earliest possible date, in view of the situation which has arisen in our 
country. Comrade Imre Nagy should take part in the preparation of the 

2. We consider it necessary that the Party and Government should publish 
the facts about the economic situation of the country, review the guiding prin- 
ciples of our second Five Year Plan and work out a concrete, constructive 
programme corresponding to conditions in our country. 

3. The Central Committee and the Government should use all available means 
to promote the development of socialist democracy in Hungary, by developing 
the real role of the People's Front,'- by satisfying the justified political demands 
of the workers and by establishing factory autonomy and workers' democracy. 

4. In order to create prestige for Party and State leadership, we suggest that 
Comrade Imre Nagy and other comrades fighting for socialist democracy and 
for Leninist principles occupy a worthy place in the leadership of the Party 
and Government. 

5. We propose the expulsion of Matyas Rakosi from the Central Committee 
of the Party and his removal from the National Assembly and the Praesidium. 
In order to establish tranquility in the country, the Central Committee must 

*i Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party. 
82 People's Patriotic Front, the Communist-controlled mass organization with participa- 
tion of non-Communists. 


take a stand against current attempts at a Stalinist or Rakosist restoration. 

6. We suggest a public trial, corresponding with socialist legality, in the case 
of Mihfily Farkas. 

7. We propose a review of recent resolutions which have proved wrong and of 
a sectarian nature, primarily of the resolution of March 1955, the resolution 
relating to literature of December 1955 and the resolution of 30 June 1956 
relating to the Pet^fi Club. These resolutions should be invalidated and the 
Central Committee should draw the necessary personal conclusions from them. 

8. Let us expose to public opinion what have been called the highly delicate 
questions of the economic balance of our foreign trade agreements and plans for 
the use of the coimtry's uranium deposits. 

9. In order further to strengthen Soviet-Hungarian friendship, let us develop 
even more intimate connexions with the Party, State and people of the USSR, 
on the basis of the Leninist principle of complete equality. 

10. We request the Central Committee of the DISZ at its meeting of 23 Oc- 
tober, to pronounce itself on these points and to pass a resolution on the demo- 
cratization of Hungarian youth movements. 


TJie Aims of the League of the Working Youth (DISZ), the Youth Group of the 
Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party 

23 October 1956 
General Motto 

Long live Hungarian freedom ! Long live the Fatherland ! 

1. Polish-Hungarian friendship, welfare and freedom ! 

2. Soviet-Hungarian friendship — on the basis of equality ! 

3. Our youth demands that the Party should show us the way ! 

4. Enough of Rakosi ! We are fed up with Rakosi ; we need new Party lead- 
ership ! 

5. This cause is our cause, we want new party leadership ! 

6. The workers and students both want the same, all of those who act with us, 
who are Hungarians! 

7. Down with force ! Long live the law ! 

8. We should not do everything late ; let us get Imre Nagy into the leadership ! 

9. The dictatorship of the proletariat remains always the right path of our 
people ! 

10. Long live the fighting Leninist party — it should safeguard the holy truth of 
our people ! 


Appeal of the Revolutionary Committee of the Hungarian Intellectuals 

(28 October 1956) 
Hungarians ! 

There may be differences of opinion among us but we agree on the main 
demands and we suggest to the Government that it should adopt the following 
as its programme : 

1. The Government should regulate our relations with the Soviet Union, 
without delay and on the basis of equality. The Soviet forces should begin 
their withdrawal from the whole territory of the country. 

2. The Government should abrogate all foreign trade agreements which 
are disadvantageous to the country. It should make public all foreign 
trade agreements concluded in the past, including those relating to uranium 
ore and bauxite. 

3. We demand general elections with secret ballot. The people should be 
able freely to nominate their candidates. 

4. Factories and mines should really become the property of the workers. 
We shall not return the factories and the land to the capitalists and to the 
landowners. Our factories should be managed by freely elected workers' 
councils. The Government should guarantee the functioning of small-scale 
private industry and private trade. 


5. The Government should abolish the exploiting "norm" scheme. The 
Government should raise low wages and pensions to the limit of economic 

6. The trade unions should become genuine workers' organizations rep- 
resenting the workers' interests, with their leaders freely elected. Th« 
working peasants should form their own organizations to safeguard their 

7. The Government should ensure the freedom and security of agricul- 
tural production by supporting individual farmers and voluntary farm 
co-operatives. The hated delivery system, by which the peasants have 
been robbed, should be abolished. 

8. Justice should be done and material compensation paid to those peas- 
ants who were harmed by regrouping of plots of land and by other unlawful 

9. We demand complete freedom of speech, of the press and of the right 
of assembly. 

10. The Government should declare 23 October, the day when our na- 
tional liberation fight began, a national holiday. 

On behalf of the Revolutionary Committee 
of the Hungarian Intellectuals. 

The Students' Revolutionary Council: Istvan Pozsar, Jozsef Molnar, Janos 

The Hungarian Writers' Union : Sandor Erdei, Secretary-General. 
The National Federation of Hungarian Journalists: Sandor Haraszti, Mikl6s 

Vasarhelyi, Ivan Boldizsar, Sandor Fekete. 
The Federation of Hungarian Artists : Laszlo Beneze, Jozsef Somogyi. 
The Hungarian Musicians' Federation: Endre Szervanszky, Pal Jardanyi. 
On behalf of the University Professors : Tamds Nagy, Mat^ Major, Ivfin Kad^r, 

Gyorgy Markos. 
The People's Colleges : LSszlo Kardos, Ott6 Tokes. 
The Petofi Club : Gabor Tanczos, Balazs Nagy. 
MEFESZ : Gyorgy Liebik. 

Chapter X. Student Demonstrations and the Origins of Armed Conflict in 


A. introduction 

43.5. The preceding chapter contained a summary of demands put forward by 
Hungarian intellectuals and students on the eve of the demonstrations which 
marked the beginning of the uprising. These demands were examined in the light 
of prevailing conditions in Hungary, with the object of understanding the state of 
mind and motives of the demonstrators. The present chapter is a narrative of 
events in Budapest from 22-25 October. Its purpose is to trace the evolution that 
occurred during those days from students' meetings through demonstrations by 
students, workers, soldiers and others, to the outbreak of fighting with the AVH. 
Within hours, the participation of Soviet tanks turned the hostilities into action 
on an international scale, the military course of which has been studied in 
chapter IV. 

436. Chapters IX and X are thus intended to be read in conjunction with one 
another. It has been thought preferable to separate the motives of the demon- 
strators from the actual narrative of the events which were the expression of 
those motives in action. The rapidity with which events happened was such that 
it is necessary for the sake of clarity to separate the account of the actual events 
from the examination of the demands and attitudes of the insurgents. It is not 
suggested that the present chapter contains anything like a complete history of 
these momentous days in the life of the Hungarian people. The Committee heard 
vivid accounts from many eye-witnesses, but it has made no attempt to use these 
for dramatic effect. It has preferred to report on the evidence received in an 
unemotional tone, since its objective has been to discover what actually happened. 


437. The earliest demands put forward by student groups had achieved certain 
results by 19 October, when the Minister of Education announced plans for the 
discontinuance of compulsory Russian study and other changes that had been 
called for. This announcement was followed by student manifestations all over 


Hungary, particularly in Szeged, where on 20 October some 200 students decided 
to set up their own independent youth organization under the name of League of 
Hungarian University and College Student Associations (MEFESZ). 

438. News of the Szeged decision reached Budapest on Monday morning, 
22 October, and various University groups at the Faculty of Political Econ- 
omy, the Faculty of Philosophy and the Faculty of Medicine decided to hold 
meetings during the day. At these meetings events in Poland exercised con- 
siderable influence, and solidarity with the Polish workers and youth was wide- 
ly expressed. 

439. Probably the most decisive of all these student meetings was that held 
at the Building Industry Technological University. A mass meeting, con- 
vened there on 22 October at 3.00 p. m. by the Executive Commitee of DISZ, 
the Communist youth organization, was intended, so the Committee was told, 
to "take the wind out of the sails of MEFESZ". The meeting was to discuss 
a number of strictly student demands which were enumerated in the printed 
invitation : rebates on public transix)rt fares, cheaper text books, better food, 
improvement of housing conditions for students, and similar demands. In 
the Great Hall of the University, the Professors, the Party Secretary and 
Party officials were present with the students. Between 4,000 and 5,000 peo- 
ple attended the meeting, which last for about eleven hours, until the early 
morning of 23 October. A considerable number of workers joined the meet- 
ing during the evening. 

440. With little opposition, it was decided to set up a branch of MEFESZ to 
proclaim the views of the students on the "grave political questions of the day" 
and to tackle student problems so far unsolved. In the beginning, however, 
the discussion was restricted to practical demands, for instance, that there should 
be less teaching of Marxist and Leninist subjects and that English, French 
and German should be taught instead of only Russian. 

441. Later during the meeting, voices from all over the Hall called for a 
discussion of broader problems. One student voiced the opinion that Mr. Gomulka 
in Poland wanted an evolution and not a revolution to take place, but that the 
Soviet Union had sought to prevent this by surrounding Warsaw with armed 
units. The speech was greeted with immense enthusiasm by the crowd, who 
all shouted that they wanted democracy to be established in Hungary. It was 
then suggested that the students should formulate and adopt a programme for 
the establishment of democracy in Hungary in the spirit of the 1848 revolu- 
tion, and should submit this programme to the Government. Demands were 
put forward that Imre Nagy should take over the Government, and that the new 
Government should guarantee human rights to the people of Hungary, as re- 
quired by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human 

442. The students discussed their demands in informal conversation on the 
floor during the meeting. One of them said : "Perhaps we could demand now 
that Soviet troops be withdrawn from Hungary, but who should be the first 
to make such a statement?" It was agreed that it should be a Communist Party 
ofiicial. One of the Communist youth leaders then went to the microphone and 
declared that, while Soviet troops were stationed in Hungary, the wished-for 
political evolution could not take place, as the country was ruled by an im- 
perialist tyranny. Other speakers added that the presence of Soviet troops 
made impossible free elections, freedom of speech and religion and the enjoy- 
ment of human rights. These and other demands were written down as a draft 

443. Thus, by early evening on 22 October, the aims of the Hungarian upris- 
ing had been more or less formulated by University students. The students who 
improvised this document on a piece of paper torn out of a student's notebook, 
came largely from working-class or peasant homes ; many of them were members 
of the Communist Party, and the demands were formulated and adopted at 
a meeting convened by the Communist Youth Organization itself. 

444. About 8.30 p. m., a student delegation went to the radio station, where 
the censor was willing to pass for the 9.00 p. m. news bulletin five of the ten points 
but refused permission to broadcast demands for the withdrawal of Soviet 
troops, free elections, a new economic ixtlicy, freedom of the press and new elec- 
tions within the Communist Party. Budapest Rjidio had already given a first 
account of the meeting, which made no direct reference to most of the political 
demands and said that the majority of the young people rejected certain "pro- 
vocative and demogogic voices." 


445. The student delegation, unwilling that the ten points should be censored 
for the microphone, returned to the University. The editors of Szabad Ifjusdg 
(Free Youth), the organ of DISZ, who had been present at the meeting, affirmed 
their support of the ten points ; but, fearing for their personal safety, they were 
unwilling to print the demand for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. For some 
hours, efforts were made to devise other means by which these points could be 
brought to the attention of the Hungarian people. Such means were rapidly 

446. The Jovo Mernoke (The Engineer of the Future), a periodical published 
by the students of the Building Industry Technological University, published 
the ten points. To achieve this, five students went to the printing shop and re- 
placed the front page, which had already been set up, by another which con- 
tained the ten points. About 2,000 copies of this paper were printed. 

447. The students also asked the Rector of the University to authorize them 
to use the oflBcial duplicating machine for reproduction of the ten points. The 
Rector did not dare to give instructions to this effect ; but, nevertheless, the 
students ran off several thousand copies of the resolution on the machine. 

448. The final text of the resolution had been read out to the meeting over 
the microphone, and students and assistant professors worked throughout the 
night copying it on all the typewriters available at the University. 

449. In the resolution itself, it was stated that the radio and the Hungarian 
press had refused to publish the full text, but that efforts to publicize it would 

450. During the evening, the original ten points became fourteen and later 
sixteen. The withdrawal of the Soviet troops had become a separate point, 
and others were inserted which dealt with such matters as the removal of 
the statute of Stalin and of the Soviet-inspired emblem from the Hungarian 
national flag. 

451. The students also inserted in the resolution their decision to meet again 
on 24 October, at which time it was proposed to start a nation-wide debate on 
the questions outlined in the resolution. They asked that the Hungarian Radio 
should give a live broadcast of this meeting, so that "the working people will 
hear, without distortion, the true voice of the Hungarian youth". In addition, 
the meeting decided to convene a Youth Parliament in Budapest on 27 October, 
at which the entire youth of Hungary would be represented. 


452. During the meeting at the Technological University, a representative of 
the Writers' Union, Zoltan Zelk, announced that the Writers' Union planned 
to hold a small memorial ceremony next day at the statue of General Jozsef 
Bem, the national hero of Polish origin who fought with the Hungarians against 
the Austrians and the Russians in 1848-9. Their intention was simply to lay 
a wreath in honor of Poland's struggle for independence. He added that the 
Union planned no kind of demonstration. It was therefore decided by the 
students of the Technological University that tbey would themselves organize 
a demonstration, and would invite students of other universities and factory 
workers to join. In their resolution the students of the Technological University 
called on all students to participate. Warned by their professors to be cautious, 
they stated clearly : "We want a silent demonstration because it is only by 
silent, peaceful, and orderly demonstrations that we can gain our ends". 

453. During the evening, the news of the meeting at the Technological Univer- 
sity had spread over the city. More and more people had kept coming in, not 
merely students from other universities and academies, but also workers from 
Csepel and the Belojanis Factory and miners from Dorog. The plan to hold 
a demonstration, therefore, became widely known during the night and the next 
morning. Early on Tuesday, 23 October, the students' sixteen points appeared 
all over the city. "Work in Budapest stopped", a participant told the Committee. 

"Everyone went out onto the streets weeping. People read the points and then 
rushed home or to their factories. Every stenographer and every typist did 
nothing but copy these things in all the offices. The Communist Party forbade 
this in vain. Everyone was talking about it ; in conversation, over the telephone, 
the news spread in a few hours and within a short time all Budapest became 
an ant-hill. People pinned the Hungarian national cockade to their clothes, and 
a really fantastic miracle occurred, for I regard it as a miracle that the whole 
people became unified. About 100,000 AVH spies, informers and stool-pigeons 


had been planted in the national life of the nation and forced to supply informa- 
tion. On the morning of this day, for the first time, someone had dared to say 
that the Russian troops should leave Hungary. We had reached the point where 
we dared to say this publicly. This was what gave us unity, and the point at 
which the chains were broken which had bound us until then ; the point at which 
the net in which the AVH spy system had been holding us was broken. Everyone 
became convinced. No one asked in the street, 'Who are you?', everyone used 
the familiar form of address even in talking to strangers, everyone was on 
familiar terms, everyone could be trusted, everyone had a feeling of complete 
unity, because the entire system based on lies collapsed in a moment on the 
morning of 23 October." 

454. At 10 a. m. on Tuesday, 23 October, Radio Budapest reported that the 
students had decided to hold "a silent demonstration before the Embassy of the 
Polish People's Republic, to express the deep sympathy and solidarity of youth 
in connexion with the events in Poland". According to the testimony, the Polit- 
buro was convened around 12 noon to consider the question of the demonstration. 
However, at 12 :53 the Radio suddenly announced that the Minister of the In- 
terior, Laszlo Piros, had issued a communique to prohibit the "public street 
assemblies and marches". Several deputations, including one from the Writers' 
Union, went to see him to point out the risk of serious consequences, since the 
students would no doubt proceed with their plans in spite of the ban. Mr. Piros 
stated that, in that case, he would fire on the demonstrators. 

455. The students were already beginning to assemble, when a delegation of 
five students went to Mr. Piros and declared that the demonstration would go on, 
whether it was permitted or not. After half an hour's discussion he yielded, and 
Radio Budapest announced at 2 : 23 p. m. that the ban had been lifted. Half an 
hour later the Radio even announced that the Central Committee of DISZ, the 
Communist youth organization, had decided to approve the demonstration and to 
participate in it. 


456. The demonstration was, in fact, already well under way. One group of 
students assembled around the Pet(ifi Statue in Pest, on the eastern bank of the 
River Danube, and marched, joined by other groups of students and by more 
and more workers who came in from the outskirts of the city, to the statute 
of General Bern in Buda, on the western bank of the river.** 

457. According to all reports the crowd was unarmed, and orderly and 
disciplined. Before long, it consisted of some 10,000 people, a number which 
steadily increased during the afternoon, as students, workers, and many others 
joined in. It consisted mostly of young people, boys and girls, in high spirits. 
Many soldiers in uniform were in the crowd including, as Radio Budapest stated 
at midnight, 800 cadets from the Petofl Military Academy. These were mostly 
sons of high Government and Communist Party officials and AVH officers ; they 
had led a privileged life in the Military Academy and had been indoctrinated 
for years. 

458. The demonstrators were carrying Hungarian flags, from which the 
Communist crest was cut out in the course of the afternoon, some Polish flags, 
and placards with slogans : "Long live the Youth of Poland" and "For Free- 
dom under the Sign of the Friendship of Bem and Kossutli." The National 
Anthem was sung. In the evening, Radio Budapest — half an hour before the 
shooting began at the Radio Building — described the afternoon demonstration as 
follows : 

"National flags, young i)eople with rosettes of the national colours singing the 
Kossuth song, the Marseillaise and the Internationale — this is how we can 
describe in colours and in the titles of songs how Budapest today is bathed 
in the October sunshine and celebrates a new Ides of March. 

". . . Scholars, students of technological faculties, students of philosophy, 
law, economics, together witli students from other university branches, took part 
in the march led by their professors and leaders of the University Party organ- 

*3 Budapost consists of two cities, Buda, on the western side of the Danube, containing 
the old sections, and Pest, on tlie eastern side comprising the business section and the gov- 
ernment offices. The Bern statue is in Buda. while practically all the other places men- 
tioned in this chapter are in Pest, including the Parliament, the Radio Building, the 
Communist Party Headquarters, the Hotel Astoria, the Kilidn Barracks, the Corvin Cinema 
and, a little further from the city centre, the AVH Headquarters and the Stalin statue, 
which was not on Stalin Square in the centre of the city. 


459. At the Petfifi statue, a well-known actor, Imre Sinkovits, recited 
Petofi's poem "Up, Hungarians!", which contains tlie following lines: 

Up, Hungarians ! It's your country calling. 
Now's the moment, now or never ! 
Shall we be slaves? Shall we be free? 
That's the question — what's your answer? 
In God's great name we swear, we swear, 
No more shall we be slaves — no more ! 

460. At General Bem's statue the President of the Writers' Union, P^ter 
Veres, made a speech and read out the seven points of the Writers' Union. The 
crowd listened somewhat coolly to this declaration, while the students' sixteen 
points were received with great enthusiasm. 


461. From General Bem's statue many of the students, as planned, marched in 
orderly columns back to their Universities. Most of the crowd, however, pro- 
ceeded across the Danube to the Parliament Building about one and a half 
kilometres from the Bern statue. They were joined there by people streaming 
into the center from all over the city. The crowd at the Parliament Building 
and in the adjoining streets about 6 p. m. was estimated to be at least 200,000, 
perhaps 300,000 strong. The number of people present varied, however, because 
the proceedings were dull ; few could hear what was going on and not much 
seemed to happen. The crowd demanded that the light on a large red star on 
the top of the Parliament Building be switched off. There were cheers when 
this was done. Later, the lights on the whole square were twice turned off, ap- 
parently to make the people go home. Most of them stayed, however. Some 
rolled up newspapers, set fire to them and held them aloft as torches. 

462. Again and again, the crowd shouted that they wanted Imre Nagy to be 
in the Government and that they wanted to see him. The previous evening, at 
the meeting of the Technological University, it had been decided that a group of 
students should go to his apartment and ask him to address the people. The 
delegation had returned, unsuccessful, and had reported to the meeting that 
AVH armed with machine-guns and automatic pistols had met them outside Mr. 
Nagy's apartment and had refused to let them go near. 

463. For several hours, the crowd in front of the Parliament persisted in 
calling for Imre Nagy. Finally, some writer friends of his went to his apart- 
ment and persuaded him to come to the Parliament, in spite of the fact that he 
had no official position. He did so and was received by Ferenc Erdei who asked 
him to go out on the balcony of the Parliament to appease the crowd. Mr. Erdei 
first said a few words from the balcony, but the people refused to listen. Mr. 
Nagy's unprepared address was also very short. There were no microphones. 
Few, in fact, seem to have been able to hear him. Some say he addressed the 
demonstrators as "Comrades" and that this irritated the crowd ; others say that 
he began his few sentences by saying : "My friends, there are no more comrades". 
It appears that he just asked the crowd to go quietly home. Whether the people 
could hear him or not, his words had no marked effect — possibly because the 
crowd had been waiting for so many hours, possibly because they had become 
exhilarated by a feeling of freedom and had expected some dramatic statement. 

464. These same factors might also in part explain the strong reaction to First 
Party Sf^cretary Ger6"s radio speech at S o'clock in the evening. Mr. Gero and 
Prime Minister Hegediis had returned the same morning from a ten-day visit 
to the Yugoslav Government. The time for the speech had been announced since 
noon by Radio Budapest. The crowd hoped there would be some new concessions 
or relaxations in line with developments in Poland. It was expected that Mr. 
Gero would at least make some reply to the demands of the students, the writers 
and the demonstrating crowds. It was apparent the truculent tenor of Mr. Gerii's 
address, rather than specific phrases, that infuriated people all over Budapest. A 
witness has described how he rushed out into the streets and felt that something 
had to be done. The slogans : "Down with Gero", and even "Death to Gert'V' 
were heard everywhere. Some of the demonstrators heard the speech from radios 
placed in open windows, but the majority only heard about it. People told each 
other that Gero had referred to them as "fascist rabble". The Conmilttee has 
looked in vain for any such expression in Mr. Gero's speech; he did, however, 
indirectly refer to the crowd as nationalist and chauvinist, and an appeal was 
made for the utmost vigilance against such hostile elements. 


46.1. Mr. Geri) eudorsed the resolution of the Central Committee of July 19.56 
which, he said, had invited the Communist Party to act with unity for Socialist 
democracy. Socialist democracy, contrary to bourgeois democracy, he explained, 
entailed increased participation of the workers in the running of the factories. 
State farms and various economic bodies and institutions. As to the producers' 
co-operatives, the members of these must be fully in control. Numerous measures 
had already been taken, but the July resolution could not be fully implemented 
in a few months; moreover, mistakes had occurred in the process. The Party 
leadership preferred to proceed more slowly. The next meeting of the Central 
Committee would be held "within the next few days". The achievements of "our 
People's Democracy" would be jealously guarded against the enemies of the 
people. The main purpose of these enemies was to shake the people's faith in 
their Party — the Hungarian Workers' Party — and loosen the ties with the USSR, 
on which they were heaping slanders and lies. 

466. In proclaiming that there was no conflict between "proletarian interna- 
tioualLsm" and Hungarian patriotism, Mr. Gero voiced the following appraisal 
of the events of the day : "While we loftily proclaim that we are patriots, we 
also categorically make it plain that we are not nationalists. We are waging a 
consistent fight against chauvinism, anti-Semitism and all other reactionary, 
anti-social and inhuman trends and views. We therefore condemn those who 
strive to spread the poison of chauvinism among our youth, and who have taken 
advantage of the democratic freedom ensured by our State to the working people 
to carry out nationalist demonstrations." 


467. Already early in the evening of 23 October, crowds had assembled around 
the huge Stalin statue. Some came from the demonstration at the Bern statue, 
some from the Parliament Building. A demand from the removal of the statue 
was one of the student's sixteen points, and some enthusiastic yoimg people 
climbed the huge monument and set to work on it. The AVH police stationed in 
the neighbourhood did not interfere. The participants worked with added gusto 
after Geio's speech at 8 o'clock, and the slogan "Russians go home" was bifiided 
with "Down with Gero" and "Dovi'n with Rakosi". At 9:30 the statue fell 
from its pedestal. 


468. On the evening of 22 October the students from the Technological Uni- 
versity had sent a deputation to the Radio Building to have their ten points 
broadcast in the evening news-bulletin and to arrange for the broadcasting of 
their planned demonstration at the General Bem statue on 24 October. Both 
requests had been refused. On Tuesday afternoon, 23 October, after the demon- 
stration, a group of students decided once more to demand the broadcasting of 
their points, and a large crowd proceeded to the Radio Building. The narrow 
streets around the building became very crowded and the demonstration spilled 
over into the adjacent streets. The crown consisted mostly of young people, both 
men and women, students and workers. No one bore arms. The slogans were 
the same as earlier in the day and the crowd was still good-natured. However, 
Gero's speech had an electrifying effect. A delegation had been sent into the 
Radio Building to negotiate with the Director, Valeria Benke.** The demand of 
the delegation to have all sixteen points broadcast — not just some of them — was 
refused. The delegation remained in the building, possibly to negotiate further. 
However, a rumour spread that they were being held captive. 

469. The radio building was guarded by the AVH police, and the crowds saw 
reinforcements, carrying rifles with fixed bayonets, arrive at about 7.30 p. m. 
and again at about 8.30. Some of the demonstrators set off fireworks from a 
truck standing in one of the streets. Water was sprayed on to the crowd from 
a house. The excitement increased. A rumour spread that one of the delegates 
had been shot inside the building. It has not been possible for the Committee to 
ascertain whether this rumour was correct or not. Then, it is alleged, several 
demonstrators attempted to force their way into the building. Some witnesses 
have denied this, but only a few could see everything that happened in the nar- 
row, crowded street. Shortly after 9 p. m. tear gas bombs were thrown from 
the upper floors. One or two minutes later, AVH men rushed from the entrance 

8* An acoonnt of the "Seige of Radio Budapest" was published in Nepssaiadsdg, 22-28 
January 1957. 

93215— 59— pt. 90 8 


and began shooting in all directions. At least three people were killed — some 
say eight — and many wounded. For about twenty minutes the shooting continued 
from the windows of the building, resulting in more casualties among the demon- 
strators. The crowd retreated. The bloody clothes of the first dead were carried 
through the city and people rallied behind them in procession. The news spread 
speedily through Budapest. Many of the demonstrators in front of the Parlia- 
ment began to move towards the Radio Building, and the crowd around the Stalin 
statue hurried there, too, after the statue fell at 9.30 p. m. 

470. Another incident further infuriated the demonstrators. White ambu- 
lances with Red Cross licence plates drove through the crowd to the Radio 
Building — -it was assumed to aid the wounded ; but the demonstrators discovered, 
according to eyewitnesses, that they contained AVH police wearing doctors' 
white coats over their uniforms and that they were transporting arms. One 
witness described how he and his unarmed friends attacked the armed AVH 
men, seized the ambulance and thus came into possession of the first weapons to 
be in the demonstrators' hands. 

471. About 10.00 p. m. a force of soldiers of the Regular Army was sent as 
reinforcements. They were stopped by the crowd. An old worker leaped upon 
a truck and recited a well-known poem : "Shoot not, my son, for I shall also be in 
the crowd". Hesitating a moment, the soldiers looked at their officer, then 
jumped off the trucks and joined the fighters. 

472. Shortly afterwards, three tanks of the Hungarian Army arrived in front 
of the Radio Station. From the top of their tanks, two Hungarian officers de- 
clared that they were not going to shoot at the people. Fire was thereupon 
opened from the Radio Building, and the oflScers and several of the demonstrators 
were killed. 

473. Workers in Csepel and Ujpest and other working class districts learned 
by telephone that fighting had broken out. They immediately seized what trucks 
they could find and drove into the centre of Budapest. Many of the workers re- 
ceived arms from soldiers or police they met on their way, while others went 
to the military barracks where the stores were thrown open, for instance at 
Angyalfold and Zuglo. About midnight a truck-load of arms from a factory in 
Soroksar Street arrived at the Radio Building. One witness, a truck driver, 
knew that a so-called United Lamp Factory actually manufactured arms. He 
went there with twenty-five other workers and with several trucks. They broke 
open the store rooms, and came into possession of more than 1,000 rifles with 
ammunition. Another witness rceeived three truckloads of arms from the Karoly 
barracks in Budaors, where he went with some friends. 

474. Several AVH troop carriers were overturned and burned in the streets 
around the Radio Building which, from about 11.00 p. m., was under severe at- 
tack with light arms. At midnight, the radio announced that "clashes took 
place at various places in the city between demonstrators and police forces". 
Some time in the early morning hours, the demonstrators seized the building, or 
at least part of it, but were driven out again. For the next few days, there was 
intermittent fighting around the building until it was finally seized by the revolu- 
tionaries ; the AVH personnel were arrested and taken to barracks for trial. 

475. Late on Tuesday evening, 23 October, part of the crowd went to the offices 
of the Party paper, Szabad N4p, and demanded publication of the sixteen joints. 
The AVH fired on the crowd and some were killed, but later in the night, after 
they had obtained arms, the demonstrators succeeded in occupying the whole 


476. During the night, several book shops selling Russian books were broken 
into. Russian books were thrown out into the streets in piles and burnt. No 
looting took place, however, either this night or in the days that followed. 
Several witnesses, emphasizing the pure motives of the uprising, described how 
many vdndows had been shattered in shops and department stores, but the 
goods, even jewellery, were left untouched by the people. 

477. During Wednesday, 24 October, the revolutionaries began to occupy dis- 
trict police stations, usually without opposition, and district Communist Party 
Headquarters. In the latter they found arms. Thus, more arms came into 
the hands of the people. 

478. The witnesses maintained that, without the intervention of the Soviet 
troops, there would have been order in the city in a day or two, since only the 
AVH were firing on the crowds, and many members of the army and the police 


supported the uprising. There seems, in fact, not to be a single report of any 
member of the Hungarian military forces or of the ordinary police opening fire 
on the people. 

479. The first Soviet tank patrol was seen in the city at 2 : 00 a. m. on 
Wednesday, 24 October. On the same day, fierce fighting developed between the 
Soviet troops and the revolutionaries, supported by part of the regular Hun- 
garian Army, particularly at the Kilidn Barracks and at the Corvin Block. 

480. The population became increasingly embittered against the Russians, 
particularly because several incidents were reported of Russian tanks opening 
fire without provocation on unarmed crowds. Two such incidents were reported 
to the Committee by a former Member of Parliament belonging to the Inde- 
pendent Smallholders Party who testified that he had witnessed them person- 
ally. On Wednesday, 24 October, at 9 :00 a. m. two Soviet tanks driving to 
Marx Square opened fire without provocation on passers-by and killed two per- 
sons. At 11 :00 a. m. a Soviet tank in front of the Western Railway Station 
shot an unarmed soldier, about 20 years old, who was talking to a civilian. A 
young boy tried to approach the fallen soldier to help him and was shot and 
wounded by a Russian soldier. Nevertheless, on the first couple of days, there 
were also many cases of fraternization between the people and the Soviet soldiers, 
many of whom had been stationed in the country for some time. 


481. At about 8.30 on Thursday morning, 25 October, a group of about 800 
people had assembled near the Hotel Astoria. Waving Hungarian flags, they 
set out to go to the Parliament Building. When the crowd was about 300 
metres away, three Soviet tanks, drawn-up beside the Western Railroad Station, 
opened fire. The crowd withdrew to the side streets, and some of them went 
back to the Hotel Astoria, where six or eight Soviet tanks and troop-carriers 
were standing. The crew of the tanks were in friendly conversation with people 
in the streets, who had asked them why the Soviet forces were firing on peaceful 
demonstrators. After about an hour's discussion, the crew of a Soviet tank 
said they felt that the demands of the demonstrators were justified and that 
they should all go to the Parliament Building together and demand that Gerd 
and the other Stalinists be expelled from the Government. The tanks were 
then decorated with Hungarian colors and some of the demonstrators climbed 
up on them with the crew. One witness who testified before the Committee 
sat in the first tank to show the way. Flags protruded from the turrets of the 
tanks. The crowd was unarmed. 

482. There were many people at the Parliament Building waiting for Prime 
Minister Nagy to appear, probably 20-25,000, i)erhaps more, half of them women 
and children, some even with babies in arms. Between 11 a. m. and 12, when 
the demonstrators arrived at the square with the Soviet tanks, AVH police, 
and possibly Soviet soldiers, stationed on the roof-tops of the surrounding build- 
ings, opened fire on the crowd with machine-guns. Other Soviet tanks ap- 
proached from the side streets, and, according to witnesses, fire was exchanged 
between them and the Soviet tanks which had arrived at the square with the 
demonstrators. Several witnesses described how it was impossible to come to 
the aid of the wounded for about an hour. Everybody who tried to do so was 
shot at. One witness saw a woman doctor and two nurses, who attempted to 
rescue the wounded, shot down before his eyes. Many of the casualties were 
women and children. Estimates of the number killed vary from 300 to 800. A 
member of the staff of the British Legation counted twelve truekloads of corpses 
being removed from the square later in the afternoon. 

483. The crowd had assembled before the Parliament Building in the hope of 
seeing Prime Minister Nagy, whom they believed to be in his oflBce there. They 
did not know that the Prime Minister at that time was detained at Communist 
Party Headquarters in a neighboring street. A witness, present at Party Head- 
quarters at that time, has described the panic which seized the Communist 
leaders and the AVH officers in the building, since they apparently feared that 
the crowd had come to attack the Party Headquarters. It so happened that 
Mr. Suslov and Mr. Mikoyan had just arrived there for a conference with the 
Party leaders, a conference which was to result in Mr. Gero's replacement by 
Mr. kaddr as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party. 

484. Meanwhile, during these same days, events in Budapest had produced 
repercussions all over Hungary. Revolutionary Councils and Workers' Councils 


in factories were being enthusiastically set up throughout the country and were 
discussing their programmes for action. It will be the purpose of the following 
chapter to consider these developments. 

Chapter XI. Revolutionary and Workers' Councils 


4S5. No aspect of the Hungarian uprising expressed its democratic tendencies 
or its reaction to previous conditions more clearly than the creation of Revolu- 
tionary Councils in villages, towns and on the county level, and of Workers' 
Councils in factories. Within a few days, these bodies came into existence 
all over Hungary and assumed important responsibilities. Their chief purpose 
was to ensure for the Hungarian people real, and not merely nominal, control 
of local government and of factories, mines, and other industrial enterprises. 
There was even a suggestion that a National Revolutionary Committee might 
replace the National Assembly, while another proposal was that a Supreme 
National Council could exercise the prerogative of Head of the State. While 
nothing of the kind took place, the fact that such proposals could be put forward 
at all suggests the degree to which they were felt to reflect the desires of the 

488. The first part of this chapter will deal with the Revolutionary Councils 
and the second part with the Workers' Councils in factories. 

487. Before the end of October, the entire Communist-controlled Party ap- 
paratus had collapsed in Hungary, leaving a vacuum in public administration. 
By Article 30 of the Constitution of the Hungarian People's Republic of 18 
August 1949, various Councils had been established as local organs of the State 
administration ; including County Councils, District Comicils, Town Councils, 
Borough Councils and Town Precinct Councils. Owing to the one party system, 
these Councils came under the direct control of the Party and local autonomy 
was destroyed. As soon as the Communist Party apparatus collapsed, the Hun- 
garian people demanded that democratic elections be held in autonomous com- 
munities and that the Communist Party functionaries, police administrators 
and their associates be replaced by men trusted by the people. In accordance 
with these demands, Revolutionary Councils were created and took over the 
functions of the local ari ministration in urban as well as rural areas. 

488. In addition, and mostly after 27 October, Revolutionary Councils or 
Committees were created within Government offices, many of which took over 
the actual running of the Department ; in the Army ; by students and other 
youth groups ; as well as by groups of intellectuals. 

489. Just as these Revolutionary Councils appeared to be an expression of 
popular dissatisfaction with the local councils of the regime, so the Workers' 
Councils were an attempt to establish control by the workers themselves in 
factories, mines and similar enterprises. Under Article 6 of the Constitution 
of 1949, the State and public bodies were to act as "trustees for the whole people" 
for mines, large industrial enterprises and State-sponsored agricultural under- 
takings. In practice, this meant rigid Party control and, during the Rakosi 
regime, as was seen in chapter IX, the Hungarian economy was largely sub- 
jected to the interests of the Soviet Union. The AVorkers' Councils in factories 
seem to have been an expression of popular disapproval of this state of affairs, 
as well as the reaction of the workers to the Government-controlled trade 

490. Revolutionary and Workers' Councils sprang up all over Hungai'y with- 
out any central direction or co-ordinating plan, but, as the days passed, efforts 
were made to achieve some degree of co-ordination. These efforts were still 
in a tentative stage when the second Soviet intervention occurred on 4 November. 

491. On 28 October the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party commended 
the establishment of these Councils in an article in Szabad N&p, its official organ : 

"News comes all the time from all parts of the country about the setting up 
of municipal and county Councils, Workers' Councils, National Councils or 
Revolutionary Socialist Committees — many different names. All are alike, how- 
ever, in being spontaneous, popular organs which came into existence through 
the upsurge of a new democracy in this country. We do not know who the 
members of the Councils are ; we do know, however, that they are representatives 
of the workers and that they are being elected in a democratic way. There 
is none among them who would abuse the confidence of the people, who would 


misuse his power or think only of his personal position. Among them are those 
Communists who are respected and loved by the people. The good judgment 
and intelligence of the working masses are seen in the first measures taken by 
these popular organs." 

492. Official recognition was given to the Revolutionary Councils by Mr. Nagy 
"in the name of the National Government" on 30 October. He referred to them 
as "autonomous, democratic local organs formed during the Revolution," and 
asked for "full support" from them. The setting up of factory Workers' Councils 
in all plants was recommended by the Central Committee of the Hungarian 
Workers' (Communist) Party in a statement issued on 26 October, and on the 
same day the Praesidium of the National Trade Council published a similar 
appeal to all workers. 



1. The Provinces 

493. As from 24 October, Revolutionary Councils were set up in many parts 
of Hungary in villages, towns, at district level and in the counties. Whole 
areas were brought under their control after successful bloodless revolutions, 
or after shorter or longer fights with the AVH. They at once assumed adminis- 
trative responsibilities and began to address demands to the Government, some 
of which had considerable influence on the course of events. 

494. Various names were used by these Councils, such as Revolutionary Coun- 
cil, National Revolutionary Council, Revolutionary Committee, Workers' and 
Soldiers' Council, Revolutionary Workers' Council, National Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, National Council, National Committee, Socialist Revolutionary Committee. 
Many of the Revolutionary Councils were called Municipal Workers' Council 
or Workers' Council which sometimes made it difficult to distinguish them from 
the Workers' Councils in factories. In part A of this chapter, the term "Revo- 
lutionary Council" will be used. 

495. Among the first provincial Revolutionary Councils set up immediately 
after 24 October were those of Dunapentele and Miskolc. The Councils of 
Debrecen, Gyor, and Jaszbereny were set up on 25 October; those of Moson- 
magyaruvar, Tatabanya and Veszprem on the 2Gth ; Eger, Nyiregyhaza, Szeged, 
Szekesfehervar, Szolnok and Zalaegerszeg on the 27th ; Szombathely on the 2Sth 
and Kaposvar on 30 October. 

496. The circumstances in which the Councils were elerted varied from one 
place to another. In many places they came into being after peaceful demon- 
strations, combined with the liberation of political prisoners; elsewhere the 
population's demands, among which the election of a Revolutionary Council 
was prominent, were resisted by the AVH and resulted in a massacre of the 
iwpulation before it was possible to proceed with the setting up of a Council. 
The following are some examples." 

497. In Debrecen in the course of a peaceful manifestation on 23 October, the 
AVH killed 2 persons. After this, power was taken over by a "Revolutionary 
Socialist Committee" which, after two days' negotiation, disarmed the AVH. In 
&ydr the Council was set up on 25 October after demonstrations which took place 
before the Headquarters of the Communist Party with the participation of a 
crowd of more than 10,000. Demonstrators were originally led by Communists, 
and were joined by factory workers; the crowd tore down the Soviet emblems 
from public buildings and cut out the Soviet insignia from the flags. When the 
prison was attacked and political prisoners liberated, the AVH intervened and 
killed four people. The demonstrations continued during the night, and the day 
after, a notice was published in the papers concerning the mode of election of the 
Revolutionary Councils, which eventually took over power and disarmed the AVH. 
In Jdszhereny, after the news of uprising in Budapest arrived, workers and intel- 
lectuals went on strike, removed the Soviet insignia from official buildings and 
hoisted national flags. The Revolutionary Council was established on 25 October 
by 150 inhabitants of the town. By 29 October the Council had the support of the 
peasants of the region. In Miskolc revolutionary demonstrations took place on 
24 and 25 October and a "Workers' and Soldiers' Council" was set up. Demonstra- 
tions went on on the 26th before Police Headquarters and when demands were 
made for the release of demonstrators arrested earlier, the AVH fired into the 
crowd. After this, the crowd, composed of miners and workers, attacked Police 

85 Regarding developments at P6c9 and Dunapentele, see chapter V, paras. 206-210. 


Headquarters, blowing open the door with explosives and killing many members 
of the AVH. By nightfall, the Council had taken over full control of the town. 
At Mosonmaffijarovdr, on 26 October, students and workers joined by townspeople 
demonstrated before the AVH Headquarters, asking that the Soviet star be re- 
moved from the building. AVH officers opened fire with four machine-guns, others 
threw hand grenades at the defenseless people ; 101 people were killed and 150 
wounded, many of them women and small children. After these events, with the 
assistance of the local police, the population disarmed the AVH formations and 
set up a National Committee. 

498. In Sopi'on the local population, with the help of the workers of Gyor and 
Mosonmagyaovar, disarmed the AVH and formed the Provisional National Coun- 
cil. In Szeged on 26 October, a military administration took the place of the City 
Council. On 27 October a demonstration took place in the course of which many 
people were wounded by AVH, and during the day a "Workers' Council" for the 
city was set up. In Szolnolc there was fighting on 26 October to break down the 
Hungarian Communist organization and also against the Soviet troops stationed 
there, followed by the setting up of a Revolutionary Council. In Veszpr^ni repre- 
sentatives of Workers' Councils in factories met on 26 October at the University 
and elected a Revolutionary Council for the city and the county. In Zalaegerszeg 
on 26 October a crowd of several thousands demonstrated before the county build- 
ing and requested the resignation of the president of the County Council. The 
president resigned, and in agreement with him a "Workers' Council" was set up. 
In the course of the demonstrations, however, shooting started and two persons 
were killed and many were wounded. 

499. The procedure followed in establishing the Councils also varied from 
place to place. The methods used included election by secret ballot at a general 
meeting, or at a meeting of factory workers' delegates, and election by repre. 
sentatives of peasants, factory workers and professional organizations. Some- 
times, members of the Council were appointed by acclamation, sometimes by 
open election from those present at the meeting. In some cases, de facto non- 
Communist leadership appears to have been established without previous election. 

500. The Councils included representatives of all segments of the population. 
In Debrecen, the Council had one hundred members of whom 60 per cent were 
workers, 20 per cent University students and 20 per cent representatives of 
the armed forces. The Council of Gyor and Eger consisted of workers, peasants, 
soldiers and intellectuals, while half of the twenty-eight members of the Coimcil 
of Jaszbereny were peasants. Revolutionary Councils were fully supported from 
the beginning by the armed forces (e. g. Debrecen, Eger Gyor, Szeged, Szolnok, 
Veszprem), and by the local police (e. g. Debrecen, Gyor, Mosonmagyarovdr, 
Szolnok, Tatabanya, Veszprem). 

501. Some of the Revolutionary Councils were set up with the consent of the 
local Committee of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party (e. g. De- 
brecen) ; many of them had from the beginning to the end Communist members 
(e. g. Debrecen) ; others dropped their Communist members after 1 November 
(e. g. P6cs). Most of them enjoyed almost at once the editorial support of the 
local organ of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party. Regarding the 
attitude taken by the Councils towards the Party, the following comments of 
Hetfoi Hirlap of 29 October are significant : "The demands [of the Revolutionary 
Councils] ai-e, in the whole, identical and essentially socialist and dcmocrntic in 
their character, and do not intend to destroy the people's power. This is proved 
by the fact that wherever Party organizations endorsed the aims of the democratic 
revolution, no action was taken against them." 

502. Some of the Revolutionary Councils had radio stations of their own, which 
broadcast news and announcements during the whole period of the uprising. 
The main radio centre of the Provinces was in Gyor where Free Radio Gyor and 
Free Radio Petiifi functioned on medium and short waves. Another important 
centre was the radio of the Workers' Council of the County Borsod in INIiskolc 
which broadcast on medium wave. Other free stations were Radio Damjanich 
(Szolnok), Free Radio Debrecen, Free Radio Dunapentele, Free Radio Eger, 
Free Radio Rakoczi (Kaposvar), Free Radio Szechenyi (Szeged), Free Radio 
Szombathely, Radio Vorosmarty ( Szekesfehervjir) and the Radio of the Workers'^ 
Council of the County of Szabolcs-Szatmar. Most of the latter stations broadcast 
on short wave. 

503. Of considerable political significance were the demands put forward by 
the Councils to the Government on behalf of the people of their area. These 
demands varied greatly, in accordance with the geographic location of the Coun- 


cils. Those from the western parts of the country submitted more extreme de- 
mands than the Councils in tlie east. Demands differed further with the political 
trends which were represented within the Councils. 

504. Some Councils gave qualified approval to the Government of Mr. Nagry, 
while making conditions for full recognition. The great majority of Revolu- 
tionary Councils were unanimous in calling for immediate cease-fire, the with- 
drawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the organization of free elections. 
Other demands amongst those put forward by the Revolutionary Councils of 
twelve Hungarian cities and counties *" which were examined, were for complete 
independence and freedom for Hungary, for a protest to the United Nations 
against the presence of Soviet troops in Hungary, for the United Nations to deal 
with the Hungarian situation, for equality with the USSR, withdrawal from 
the Warsaw Treaty, recall of Mr. P^ter Kos, the representative of Hungary to 
the United Nations, a proclmation of neutrality. Further demands included 
changes within the structure of the Government, the abolition of the AVH and 
the creation of new police, the establishment of the National Guard, liberation of 
political prisoners, in particular, of Cardinal Mindszenty, freedom of speech, 
press, religion and association, the setting up of Workers' Council in factories ; 
new agrarian policies and, in particular, abolition of compulsory delivery of 
produce by the peasants." It was often emphasized that a return of the landed 
estates to their former owners would not be tolerated. "The people have already 
decided as far as the question of land, factories and mineral wealth is concerned," 
one Council delegate told the Government on 3 November. "The people will 
never alter that decision." 

505. The Revolutionary Councils controlled the administration of the cities 
in which they were set up, dealing with all the major problems of local govern- 
ment and taking special measures to restore and maintain order by setting up of 
local units of a National Guard. Some collected medical supplies and food for 
the fighters and wounded in Budapest. Thus the Revolutionary Council of 
Jaszber^ny, in co-operation with the local peasants, from 30 October on provided 
the fighters in Budapest free of charge with nearly 10,000 kilogrammes of food 
on a daily basis. 

2. The TransdanuMan National Council 

506. Of all the Revolutionary Councils, that which appears to have wielded 
the greatest political influence was the Transdanubian National Council. This 
Council was set up at a conference in Gyor on 30 October, attended by about 400 
delegates, four from each county and two from each city in the Transdanubian 
region, as well as by delegates of the Revolutionaiy Councils of Borsod and 
Bacs-Kiskun Counties and the Csepel Workers' Council. The conference was 
opened by the President of the National Revolutionary Council of Gyor-Sopron 
County, Atila Szigethy. Demonstrations held in Gyor during the previous days 
had demanded the formation of a "counter-Government" to that of Mr. Nagy 
and had called for military help from the Westei'n Powers and for war with the 
Soviet Union. However, news reached the conference from Budapest about the 
"Inner-Cabinet" which Mr. Nagy had just set up and which included Bela 
Kovacs, the Independent Smallholder leader from Pees in the Transdanubian 
area, and about the opening of negotiations from the withdrawal of Soviet 
trooi>s. Under the impact of this news, the conference decisively rejected the 
proposal for a "counter-Government" and declared that it would immediately 
open negotiations with Mr. Nagy regarding the following points: (1) The Gov- 
ernment must give reliable g-uarantees for the fulfilment of promises regarding 
the demands of the people, above all regarding the withdrawal of Soviet forces ; 
(2) The Government must hold general elections by secret ballot with the par- 
ticipuation of several parties after the departure of the Soviet troops, but not 
later than January 1957; (3) The Government must set up local organs for 
the maintenance of order with the approval of the competent Revolutionary 
Councils; (4) Until a new National Assembly could be convened, all appoint- 
ments of colonels and other senior officers must be approved by a "Central 
Council," which is still to be set up; (5) Changes within the Government are 
necessary and the freedom fighters must be represented adequately in the new 
Government; (6) The Government must issue a neutrality declaration and 

^ Debrecen, Gyftr, Miskolc, N6griid County, Somogy County, Sopron, Szeged, Szgkesfeh^r- 
var, Szolnok, Szombathely. TatabAnya, and Veszpr6m. 

^ The Government of Mr. Nagy announced on 30 October the abolition of the system of 
compulsory delivery of agricultural produce. A decree of 12 November maintained this 
measure (Magyar Kozlony, No. 93, 12 November 1956), 


communicate it to the United Nations; (7) the Government must guarantee 
freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, and freedom 
of religion. The conference delegates said that the Transdanubian Council 
would withdraw recognition from the Government if the above demands were 
not satisfied and would start negotiations with Revolutionary Councils in Buda- 
pest to set up a new Government. The declaration added that the Council took 
note of the pledge given by Army units in four cities of western Hungary, 
including Gyor, that they would defend the people against all foreign attacks, 
even if they received orders to the contrary. The Conference declared that it 
was essential to establish a unified military command for the whole territory 
of Hungary. The Transdanubian National Council stated at the outset of the 
Conference that negotiations with the Government would be undertaken in 24 
hours and that, in the meantime, the strike would continue. During the night 
it was announced that the Ninth Army Division in its entirety had associated 
itself with the Council. This was followed by an appeal broadcast by the 
Council to all troops in the Transdanubian area calling upon them to follow tlie 
example of the Ninth Division.'*" 

507. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Szigethy, a delegation from the Trans- 
danubian National Council went to Budapest and met Mr. Nagy on 31 October 
at the Parliament Building. For several days, Free Radio Gyor had been in- 
sistently broadcasting the Council demands, including that for Hungarian neu- 
trality. According to a broadcast, emanating from Free Radio Petofi, on 31 
October at 10.30 p. m. Mr. Nagy took note of the creation of the Transdanubian 
National Council and requested its assistance. Representatives of the Council 
stated that the condition of their support to the Government was the acceptance 
of the demands of the Council. 

508. The Prime Minister in his reply asked representatives of the Council to 
give him their confidence ; he told them that he was taking steps to fulfil sev- 
eral of the Council's demands. On the following day at 7.45 p. m. Mr. Nagy 
made his broadcast proclaiming the neutrality of Hungary and announcing his 
appeal to the United Nations. 

509. Mr. Szigethy and his colleagues, on their return to Gyor, reported to 
the second meeting of the Transdanubian National Council, which adjourned 
in the early hours of 1 November. The Council decided in favour of the con- 
tinuation of the strike, pledging the resumption of work after the withdrawal 
of Soviet troops "had been guaranteed diplomatically." According to testi- 
mony received by the Special Committee, at the above meeting of the Council, 
a delegate of Jozsef Dudas, the Chairman of the National Revolutionary Coun- 
cil of Budapest, proposed once again the establishment of a "counter-Govern- 
ment" within the framework of the Council. This proposal was rejected by 
the Council with an overwhelming majority. 

3. Budapest 

510. Revolutionary Councils or National Committees were set up all over 
Budapest. As early as the night of 23 October, individual fighting groups elected 
from among their members the first temporary Councils to co-ordinate their 
forces and to present their demands to the Government. These Councils re- 
ceived added responsibility after 28 October when they took over public adminis- 
tration in their respective districts. The leaders of these Councils came to- 
gether at an early stage with those of the Workers' Councils in the same area, 
and proceeded to set up unified Revolutionary Councils, consisting of repre- 
sentatives of the freedom fighters. Workers' Council and political parties. 
Several of the Revolutionary Councils of Greater Budapest were elected by 
democratic voting, but in many districts there had been no time to organize 
mass meetings for a democratic election before the Soviet forces intervened 
again on 4 November. 

511. Information is available on the Revolutionary Councils of South Buda- 
pest, Csepel and Districts II, V, VII, VIII, XII, XIV and XX. These Councils 
and Committees had an average membership of 20 to 2.5. Among the members 
were workers, soldiers, police, students and other intellectuals, small artisans 
and small shopkeepers. They met every two or three days and, like the provin- 
cial Councils, undertook various responsibilities of public administration, as 
well as emergency tasks rendered necessary by the fighting. Several Budapest 
Councils, after adopting the sixteen demands of the students as a political 
platform, made other statements of their own concerning their recognition or 

88 Szabad Dundntul, 1 November 1956. 


conditional recognition of the Nagy Government. The Councils expressed their 
views in a newspaper, Esti Hirlap (Evening News) which appeared until 3 
November. The following is a summary of the major tasks outlined for them- 
selves by these Councils: (a) restoration of order and peace; (b) organization 
of National Guard; (c) re-organization and democratization of public adminis- 
tration; (d) immediate tasks of daily public administration; (e) organization 
of supplies and hospitals mainly from the hotel industry ; (f ) treatment of, 
and supply to the sick; (g) just and equitable distribution of food and other 
gifts from the Provinces and from abroad, in co-operation with the Interna- 
tional Committee of the Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross; (h) equitable 
distribution of available apartments; (i) repair of apartments and the com- 
munications system; (j) the clearance of rubble. By 3 November streetcars 
and buses had started, and on 5 November schools and normal work were to 

In addition, the Councils spent a great deal of time with jwlitical questions. 
Some of the Councils suggested that the Government should be reorganized on a 
broader national, democratic and coalition basis. General support was expressed 
for an independent, socialist and democratic Hungary and for the three people 
who, in their opinion, stood for these ideals : Imre Nagy, Janos Kadar and 
Bela Kovacs. 

512. A National Committee and a Revolutionary Council, composed of repre- 
sentatives of the different parties, took over on 30 October the "ideological and 
political administration of the municipal authority" of Budapest, and pledged the 
restoration of full autonomy to the capital. The Committee, at its meeting of 2 
November, elected Jozsef Kovcigo, Mayor, and Peter Bechtler, Vice-Mayor of the 
city — the first a member of the Independent Smallholder's Party, the other of 
the Social Democratic Party.*' 


1. Students and Youth 

513. The Students' Revolutionary Council {Egyetemi Forradalmi Di4kbi- 
zottsdg) [of Greater Budapest] was created early in the uprising. It seems that 
its members had participated in the various University manifestations in Buda- 
pest. Later, this Council was active in bringing together the various groups of 
student fighters scattered about Budapest and, in many cases, isolated from each 
other. The Council also attempted to co-ordinate and direct them, but witnesses 
stated to the Special Committee that these attempts of the Council were not com- 
pletely successful. The Council was in constant liaison with the Commander of 
the units of the Hungarian Army which joined the insurgents ; it had a radio 
station of its own, and after 29 October a publication Egyetcmi Ifjusdg (University 
Youth). Representatives of the Council had several meetings with Imre Nagy 
and Zoltan Tildy after 28 October, in the course of which the Prime Minister 
asked for their help in "the building of Hungary's future". 

514. Later, the Council helped the Government in organizing the National 
Guard, a part of which was to consist of students. Various leaflets are indicative 
of the Council's attitude. One leaflet expressed confidence in Imre Nagy, a con- 
fidence which was said to have been shaken for two or three days but to have now 
become "stronger than ever". In explanation of this change in attitude, the 
leaflet described how Mr. Nagy had been detained by the AVH. In other leaflets 
the Council appealed to "Hungarians" urging them to resume work, but to be 
"ready for the fight" to safeguard the achievements of the revolution. In a 
further leaflet the Council stated that "only Hungarian soldiers should be on 
Hungarian soil" and that no United Nations troops should be sent to Hungary. 
The United Nations should, however, give economic assistance to the country. 

515. The Free Hungarian Revolutionary Youth Alliance {Szabad Forradalmi 
Magyar Ifjusdg Orszdgos Tandcsa) was founded on 27 October to include all 
revolutionary youth and student organizations. The Students' Revolutionary 
Council and various other new youth groups in Budapest became members of this 
Alliance. Its publication was Szahad Ifjusdg (Free Youth), the former organ of 
the (^entral Committee of DISZ, the communist youth organization."" 

516. The Alliance and some of its branches issued leaflets restating the sixteen 
demands of the students, demanding the recall of Mr. Kos from the United Nations 

^ Manyar Nenieet, 3 November 1956. Though formally elected on 2 November, Mr. 
Kov^ffrt discharged the duties of Mayor from 30 October. 
«• The DISZ ceased its activities around 29 October. 


and calling for a strike until Soviet troops left Hungarian territory. One of the 
leaflets of the Alliance stated that "the revolution is in danger," and informed 
National Committees and Revolutionary Councils all over the country "that new 
Soviet troops have entered Hungary from the East" and that "the shadovp of 
tyranny is again over us". It asked that the Revolutionary Military Council of 
the Hungarian People's Army should at once concentrate, for the defence of the 
capital, the Hungarian Army units stationed in the east. 

517. On 28 October a preparatory committee was set up for the Revolutionary 
Omincil of Young Workers and Working Youth {Ifjunmnkdsok 6s Fiatal Dol- 
goz6k Ha7'Cos Szervezete) . This was intended to co-operate with student and 
peasant youth groups, and was to help in the strengthening of the National Guard. 
It had a newspaper, Magyar Ifjusdg (Hungarian Youth) from 1 November on. 

2. Armed Forces 

518. The Revolutionary National Defence Committee (Forradalmi Honvedelmi 
Bizottmdny) was set up in the early hours of 31 October, at a meeting held at 
the Ministry of Defence, by two hundred and fifty representatives of (a) The 
Revolutionary Insurgent Forces (Felkelt Forradalmi Erdk) ; (b) The Revolu- 
tionary Military Council of the Hungarian People's Army {Magyar N(^phadsereg 
Forradalmi Tandcsa) ; (c) The Revolutionary Council of the National Police 
Command (Orszdgos Renddrkapitdnysag Forradalmi Tandcsa) ; and (d) The 
Revolutionary Committee or the Frontier Guards {Hatdrosegi Forradalmi 
Bizottmdny). The first three groups had been set up on 30 October and repre- 
sented young freedom fighters, including the Hungarian Revolutionary Youth 
Alliance, soldiers, non-commissioned ofiicers, officers, cadets and staff officers of 
the armed forces ; and the central authority of the Hungarian National Police. 
The Frontier Guards had been placed since 1949 under the authority of the AVH. 
They were, nevertheless, considered in a different light by the popiilation of Hun- 
gary, and its officers and soldiers pledged loyalty on 29 October to the Government 
of Mr. Nagy, stating that they sincerely agreed with the revolutionary changes. 

519. The meeting of 31 October was convened by the Revolutionary Military 
Council of the Hungarian People's Army, which, in the invitation also summoned 
"the leaders of the Revolutionary Army Committee of the units of the Third Mo- 
torized Army Group, which have replaced the Soviet troops withdrawing from 
Budapest", to report to it. Thus the terms of the invitation to the above meeting 
implied that the power of disposition of the armed forces at that date rested with 
the Revolutionary Military Council, in which leaders of all army branches were 
represented, and not with the Minister of Defence — at that time Karoly Janza. 
Local revolutionary army committees and military councils had been set up about 
28 October all over the country, in different units, including the Air Force Com- 
mands and the military academies. 

520. The meeting of 31 October set up the Revolutionary National Defence 
Committee of twenty-one officers headed by General Bela Kiraly, formerly chief 
of the training centres of the Ministry of Defence ; Colonel Pal Maleter, Com- 
mander of the Kilian Barracks ; Major-General Gyula Varadi of the Tank Corps ; 
Colonel Andras Marton of the Zrinyi Academy and Lt.-Colonel Istvan Marian, 
leader of the freedom fighters of the Technological University. It also adopted a 
resolution of eight points which demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops 
from the entire tei'ritory of Hungary, the repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty 
after the convocation of a conference of the signatory Governments, and the 
occupation of the uranium mines by the Hungarian Army. The Revolutionary 
National Defence Committee approved the dissolution of the AVH, and at the 
same time demanded that former members of the AVH should not be allowed, 
in the future, to join any armed formation or the National Guard. The Com- 
mittee stated that Hungarian armed formations would oppose, with arms, any 
external or internal enemy which set foot on Hungarian soil and attacked its 
independence, and that, if Soviet troops did not leave Hungary by 31 December 
1956, the Hungarian armed forces would fight with arms "for the cause of the 
country's freedom and for the defence of the achievements of the victorious 

521. A few hours before the constitutive meeting of the Revolutionary Na- 
tional Defence Committee on 31 October, Mr. Nagy, acting on behalf of the Coun- 
cil of Ministers, "acknowledged and confirmed" the formation of the Preparatory 
Committee of the Revolutionary National Defence Committee which was, ap- 
parently, at that time, already in existence. Mr. Nagy added that "the Revolu- 
tionary National Defence Committee, once formally established, will form the 
new armed forces, made up of the units of the army, the police, the revolu- 


tionary iusurgent forces, and the workers and youth brigades. With their assist- 
ance, the Revolutionary National Defence Committee will restore the internal 
peace of our country and create the conditions for the implementation of the 
Government programmes proclaimed on 28 and 30 October. The Revolutionary 
National Defence Committee will operate until the new Government has been 
formed, after general elections by secret ballot, and has taken office." 

522. Thus from 31 October, the Revolutionary National Defence Committee 
became the supreme directing power of the Hungarian Army, of other semi- 
military formations and of the freedom fighters. Between 1 and 3 November 
the Defence Committee took several decisions of considerable importance and 
issued statements of policy with or without the Government's formal blessing. 
During the day of 31 October, the Committee proceeded to establish the Revo- 
lutionary Committee of the Public Security Forces (Forradaltni Karhatalmi 
Bizottsag) , composed of the army, the police and the factory guards, which was 
charged with the co-ordination of activities of all security forces ; and also to 
develop further the National Guard {Nemzetorscg), which was to be composed of 
members of armed formations of those fighters who were not members of the 
army, police or factory guards. General Bela Kiraly was appointed Commander- 
in-Chief of the National Guard, which was to enjoy equal status with the regu- 
lar army and police. General Kiraly made a statement in which he said that 
the National Guard should do their utmost to separate themselves from "sporadic 
disturbers" and that, for this purpose, they would be issued immediately with a 
special National Guard identity card ; they would also receive, as from that 
day, flags for their units similar to those used in 1848, to which they would 
swear allegiance. 

3. The Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian Intellectuals {Magyar Ertel- 
misdgi Forradalmi Bizottsag) 

523. This Committee was set up on 28 October at a meeting held at Lorand 
E(")tV(")S University in Budapest. It was originally composed of revolutionary 
organizations of students, writers, journalists, artists and mu.sicians, as well as 
representatives of the professors of universities, of People's Colleges, the Petofi 
Club and of MEFESZ, but it was joined later on by the National Committee 
of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as well as by associations of historians 
and medical workers.'^ Transforming itself after 4 November into the Revolu- 
tionary Council of Hungarian Intellectuals {Magyar Ertelmisegi Forradalmi 
Tandcs), it was to play a part in events after that date. Several other Revo- 
lutionary Committees were set up by or for specific professional groups. 



524. From 30 October, Revolutionary Committees were established In most 
of the Government Department-s — the Ministries of Construction, Education, 
Food, Foreign Affairs, Internal Trade, Ju.stice, Metallurgy and Machine Industry 
and State Economy. Similar Committees were established in the National Bank, 
the Supreme Court, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the General Directorate 
of the Railways and the Hungarian Radio. Revolutionary Committees were also 
set up in the Hungarian Embassy in Belgrade and in the Legation in Vienna. 
In some cases, the Minister was included on the Committee, as was Rezs6 Nyers, 
Minister of Food ; while in others the Revolutionary Committees removed the 
Minister from his post, sometimes with high officials serving under him. Ac- 
cording to information available to the Committee in the following Ministries 
and offices the Revolutionary Committees took over the functions of the deposed 
Minister — the Ministries of Construction, Internal Trade, Justice, Metallurgy 
and Machine Industry ; the National Bank, the Chief Prosecutor's Office and the 
Radio. Thus, in many departments of Mr. Nagy's Government, of 27 October, 
the Revolutionary Committees were in complete control after 30 October. In 
some cases there is evidence that the Prime Minister endorsed the changes. 

525. Revolutionary Committees in several Ministries issued statements and 
demands on important aspects of Government policy. The most important of 
these were the two statements issued by the Revolutionary Committee of the 
Foreign Ministry, under the chairmanship of Peter Mod, the present Permanent 
Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, on 30 October and 1 November. 

*^ The text of an appeal issued by this Committee on 28 October is given as annex G to 
chapter IX. 


The first declaration, after stating that the Committee identified itself with 
the "Hungarian liberation", condemned "the unwarranted interference of Soviet 
troops and the blood-bath of the State Security authorities" ; and demanded that 
"those responsible for all this, the Rakosi-Gerft-Hegediis clique, should be brought 
to account and that the Soviet troops should be withdrawn immediately from 
the country's territory". The statement furthermore condemned the declaration 
of P^ter K6s, the Hungarian representative at the United Nations at that time, 
at the meeting of the Security Council on 28 October, and demanded his imme- 
diate recall. The statement also declared that heads and members of the Foreign 
Ministries abroad "who were alien to the people and who represented and still 
represent the policy of the Rakosi-Gerft clique", should be recalled and replaced."^ 

526. In the statement of 1 November, the Revolutionary Committee of the 
Foreign Ministry informed the "entire Hungarian people" of, and requested its 
support for, the proposal which it made on the morning of 30 October in which 
it "elaborated the measures necessary for realizing the neutrality of Hungary 
for all time by the Great Powers and neighboring States . . .". At the same 
time, the Committee expressed the opinion that the Government should turn to 
the Great Powers and request material aid ; and that the bauxite and uranium 
of Hungary should be utilized for "creating national prosperity". The Com- 
mittee finally stated that "it had taken measures" to ensure that the delegation 
already appointed to the General Assembly of the United Nations, including Imre 
Horvath and Endre Sik, should not leave for New York. 

527. The Revolutionary Committee of the Ministry of Education on 1 November 
declared that the teaching of Russian in primary schools must cease and that 
religious teaching must be given in accordance with the wishes of parents. On 
2 November, the Committee said that "wherever possible, regular lessons should 
be resumed on 5 November". 

528. The Revolutionary Committee of the Ministry of Justice on 2 November 
said that a draft decree providing for the release of political prisoners, except 
those convicted for illegal executions, was ready for consideration by the Council 
of Ministers. 

529. The Revolutionary Councils in the Supreme Court and in other Courts 
on .81 October and 2 November called for the abolition of secret trials. 

530. The Revolutionary Committee of the Chief Public Prosecutor's OflBce 
reported on 3 November that it had begun to review cases of political crimes, 
and a hundred young people were set free who had been charged with seeking 
to flee the country, "being no longer able to endure the poverty and terror". 

5.31. The Revolutionary Committee of the Central Planning Board on 30 Octo- 
ber demanded the denunciation of all economic, political and military treaties. 

532. The Revolutionary Committee of Radio Kossuth (Radio Budapest) said 
on 30 October : "We are opening a new chapter in the history of the Hungarian 
radio at this hour. For long years past, the radio was an instrument of lies ; 
it merely carried out orders ; it lied during the night and in the daytime ; it 
lied on all wavelengths. Not even in the hour of our country's rebirth did it 
cease its campaign of lies. But the struggle which succeeded in securing the 
nation's freedom and independence in the streets has spread to the radio, as well. 
Those who were the mouthpieces of lies are, from this moment on. no longer 
on the staff of the Hungarian radio which, henceforth, will be entitled to use 
the names of Kossuth and Petofi. We who are before the microphone now are 
new men. In future you will hear new voices on the old wavelengths. As the 
old saying has it, we shall tell 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the 
truth'." A similar statement was issued on the same day by the Hungarian 
Telegraph Agency (MTI), on behalf of its staff, "members of the Independent 
Smallholders, Communist, Social-Democrat and Peasant Parties". 


533. By the end of October, individual Councils felt the need to establish a 
central organization to co-ordinate the work of the numerous Revolutionary 
Councils and Committees. The second Soviet intervention prevented the estab- 
lishment of such an organization, but certain attempts were made along those 
lines. Witnesses stated that thought was being given to the formation of a 
centralized national Revolutionary Council, on the lines of the Transdanubian 
National Council to which reference has been made above. A similar Council 

«2 Radio Budapest, 8 :30 p. m., on 30 October 1956. 


would have been established for the region between the Rivers Danube and Tisza. 
Such a central organization of R-evolutionarj' Councils would have been built 
from the bottom, and not from the top. It would have co-operated with the 
Government to prepare for the holding of free elections. A specific proposal for 
such a central organization was made by a delegation from the Workers' Coiincil 
of County Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen, which called on Mr. N'agy and Mr. Tildy on 
2 November. The proposed central organization would have been composed of 
democratically elected representatives of the Workers' Councils in Budapest and 
the provinces. 

534. The Peoples' Patriotic Front (PPF) set up on 28 October a Central 
National Committee {Orszdgos Nem^eti Bizottsdg) , with the task of uniting and 
co-ordinating the activities of locally elected revolutionary bodies. It was said 
that this Committee would keep the people informed by press and radio on the 
activities of such bodies and on the scope of their authority. 

535. On 2 November, the Central National Committee joined the Revolutionary 
Committee of the Public Security Forces and the Revolutionary Committee of 
the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in an appeal to the National Guard and 
citizens, calling on them to "safeguard the purity of our revolution". The Com- 
mittee appealed on 3 November to Committees and Councils in counties, districts, 
cities and villages and urged them to their influence with the workers to 
resume work as soon as possible in all enterprises and factories. The Committee 
added in its appeal that the Government had "fulfilled the demands of the 

536. The Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee [Magyar Nemzeti For- 
radahnl Bisottmdny) was set up about 28 October by Jozsef Dud^s, a former 
member of the National Peasant Party. This was not the projected National 
Revolutionary Council mentioned on the previous page. The Committee had a 
newspaper of its own from 30 October, the Magyar Fiiggetlenseg (Hungarian 
Independence). The first member of this newspaper published a twenty-five 
point resolution adopted on 28 October which the Committee had at that time 
submitted to the Government. The Committee declared that it would not rec- 
ognize the Government of Mr. Nagy until the latter included in his Cabinet the 
"elected representatives" of tbe Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee 
and others. It called for repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty, for Hungarian 
neutrality and for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops. Mr. Dudas also 
issued a statement on 30 October inviting the national revolutionary organs to 
send delegates on 1 November to a National Congress of Revolutionary Delegates. 
He asked that these delegates should be Hungarians with a clean conscience, 
who had never taken part in the policies of the old r<^gime or that of the regime 
Rdkosi and Gero, but had always been "on the side of freedom and progress". 
The next day, Magyar Fiiggetlenseg announced that this Congress had had to 
be postponed indefinitely, because Budapest was surrounded by Soviet forces 
which prevented delegates from the provinces from entering the city. On 2 
November, the newspaper stated that all the twenty-five points w^hich had been 
submitted to the Government on 28 October had been implemented, some of 
them "against the will of the Government, and as a result of the defeat of the 
Soviet forces by the sacrifices of our sons and daughters who have fallen". 


537. From 26 October on, Mr. Nagy and several of his associates, in particular 
Zoltan Tildy and Ferenc Erdei, received many delegations of Revolutionary 
Councils and National Committees from Budapest and the provinces. Practi- 
cally all of these presented demands to the Government, as has been described 
in the specific instance of the Transdanubian National Council. On .30 October, 
Mr. Nagy had talks with representatives of the Hungarian National Revolution- 
ary Committee, the Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian Army, the 
Revolutionary Insurgent Forces, the Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian 
Intellectuals and the Students' Revolutionary Council, and was presented with 
proposals by Joszef Dudas, in this case acting for all these groups. According 
to Magyar Fiiggetlenseg of 31 October, these proposals were to be transmitted 
to the Government by Mr. Nagy. After 1 November at least three further meet- 
ings were reportedly held between representatives of the Government and several 
of the above-mentioned revolutionary bodies to discuss the "political and eco- 
nomic situation of the national revolution". They were joined by the provisional 


executive of the National Council of Free Trade Unions, the Writers' Union,, 
and the representatives of the Workers' Councils of Budapest's large industries. 

538. On various occasions, delegates met Zoltcln Vas, Karoly Janza, Ferenc 
Erdei, as well as Jcinos Kadar. At the third meeting held on 2 November in 
the Headquarters of the Builders' Trade Union, representatives of the Revolu- 
tionary Councils emphasized that Hungary wanted to live in peace with all 
countries, but insisted on the withdrawal of Soviet troops because, as they stated, 
"the country would not lay down arms while there was one Russian on Hun- 
garian territory". They added "that Hungarian neutrality was worth no more 
than the paper it was written on so long as armed Russian troops stayed on 
Hungarian soil." 

III. workers' councils in FACTORIES 

539. Since 1947, trade unions in Hungary had become instruments of the 
Government and eventually at^ents of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) 
Party. From then on, they were exclusively used to establish production stand- 
ards, working conditions and wage scales in such a v\'ay as to serve the interests 
of the State. Their leaders were appointed by the Government, under the di- 
rection of the Party, and the chairman of the shop committee in each plant picked 
the committee members from workers trusted politically by the Party. Only one 
candidate was put up for election, and he was elected by show of hands. In 
these circumstances, as witnesses stated, workers ceased to consider the trade 
unions as their true representatives, but looked toward the establishment of 
genuine workers' organizations which would not remain indifferent to their 
complaints and tlieir demands. This criticism of the unions had become wide- 
spread before the uprising, and Nepszava, the central organ of the National 
Council of Trade Unions, Szakszervezetek Orszugos Tandcsa, (SZOT), declared 
on 9 September 1956 in an editorial : "Trade union activities in Hungary became 
distorted and for years have been run on the wrong lines. The time has come 
now for the trade union movement to become, once again, a workers' movement". 

540. Hungarian workers were aware that in neighboring Yugoslavia, the 
economic and social status of workers was superior to their own, and that 
Yugoslav workers had some say in the running of factories through the agency 
of Workers' Councils. Hungarian workers, according to witnesses, were espe- 
cially attracted by the Yugoslav system whereby the factory manager was elected 
by the Workers' Council and not imposed on them, as was the case in Hungary. 
For some time before the revolution, questions relating to worker-management 
relations in general, and the Yugoslav Workers' Councils in particular, had been 
widely discussed in the trade unions and in the Petofi Club. Articles were pub- 
lished — including one by the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Council 
of Trade Unions, Jeno Fock — suggesting changes in the status of trade unions 
and factory bodies. A well-known economist, Janos Kornai, a convinced Com- 
munist, made a critical study of the "scientific Marxist-Leninist plannetl econ- 
omy" and, among the new methods which he proposed to help in solving the 
problems of State-managed industry, he stressed the role of Workers' Councils. 
During the summer and fall of 1956, leading economists and trade union leaders — 
among them Professor Istvan Friss, Zoltan Vas and Sandor Caspar, the latter 
Secretary-General of the National Council of Trade Unions — went to Yugoslavia 
to study the functioning of Workers' Councils, and reported on them at public 
lectures and in the press. 

541. Some of the demands put forward by student organizations and other 
intellectual bodies on the eve of the uprising related to the situation of workers 
and included proposals for the setting up of Workers' Councils. The Petofi 
Club of the Communist League of Working Youth (DISZ), in a resolution 
adopted on 22 October, suggested that the Central Committee of the Party 
and the Government should promote "the development of a socialist democracy 
in Hungary ... by satisfying the justified political demands of the working 
class, and by establishing factory autonomy and workers democracy"."' A state- 
ment issued by the Hungarian Writers' Union on 23 October, included the follow- 
ing point : "Factories must be run by workers and specialists. The present 
humiliating system of wages, working norms and social security conditions must 
be reformed. The ti-ade unions must truly represent the interests of the Hun- 
garian working class"."* 

»3 Ssabad Ifjusdf/, 23 October 1956. 

»* Budapest Radio, 23 October 1956, twelve midnight. 


542. The first Workers' Council in Hungary, which was set up in the United 
Lamp Factory in Budapest (Egyesiilt Izzo), was constituted on 24 October,^ 
some two days before the authorization of the setting up of such Councils by 
the Central Committee of the Communist Party. The first Workers' Councils 
in the provinces were set up in Debrecen and Dunapentele around 25 October. 
By 26 October, Workers' Councils had been set up in many factories both in Buda- 
pest and in the provinces. Workers' Councils were elected in enterprises of 
the most varied tyiies — in industrial plants, mines, State-owned farms and 

543. Workers' Councils in factories of a given area set up co-ordinating com- 
mittees among themselves. Such a committee, called the Central Workers' 
Council of Csepel, was set up about 30 October by the nineteen Workers' Councils 
in that area. The Workers' Councils in the Greater Budapest area set up their 
co-ordinating body after the second Soviet attack: this Greater Budapest Work- 
ers' Council was to play a major political role during the month of November 
and part of December 1956. 

544. Vv'itnesses explained how the Workers' Councils, in which they had par- 
ticipated, were elected by the factory workers in free, democratic elections. 
In some cases for lack of time, no real elections were organized but, by forming 
a temporary AVorkers' Council, de facto leadership of the workers in the factory 
was assured. Few Communists were among those elected to the Workers' 
Councils. In the opinion of witnesses connected with various Councils, the indus- 
trial workers no longer put their trust in Communist leaders. Many of the heads 
of formerly Communist-controlled trade unions voluntarily relinquished their 
positions in favour of the new leaders of the Workers' Councils. 

545. The tasks of Workers Councils varied during the different phases of the 
revolution. However, the Councils were, above all, active political organs of the 
workers. In practice, between 24 and 31 October, they were "strike committees" 
and insurrectionary centres for combatant workers. After 31 October, and until 
the second Soviet intervention, the Councils considered that their chief responsi- 
Lility was to prepare for a resumption of work. From that time on, the Workers' 
Councils participated fully in the political aspects of the revolution. They were 
also active in the organization of food supplies for the people of Budapest, 
especially for hospitals, and took part in the repair of damaged hospitals and 
factories and in restoring means of transport and communication. A first step 
taken by the Councils was usually the dismissal of the existing managerial staff 
of the factory or establishment. In many cases Workers' Councils dismissed the 
directors and personnel officers who were all members of the Communist Party, 
but retained the business and technical managers, unless they were members of 
the Party. Another step taken by the Workers' Councils was to withdraw money 
from the bank account or to use other available funds of the undertaking 
concerned to pay the workers' salaries. Workers' Councils also sought to secure 
food for workers and their families. In some cases, factory guards were set up 
to protect the plant. Many Workers' Councils destroyed the "white cards" on all 
workers which were held by the personnel ofiicer. In many cases, they removed 
photographs of Russian and Communist leaders and Soviet insignia. In some 
cases plans were drawn up to organize the work of the undertaking so as to 
increase production and reduce costs. 

546. The Workers' Councils were also responsible for transmitting to Mr. 
Nagy's Government the political and economic demands of the workers. This 
function was of considerable significance at the beginning of the uprising, but 
lost some of its importance later, when major demands were put forward by 
the Revolutionary Councils. However, it regained importance in the first days 
of November with the increased concentration of Russian troops on Hungarian 
soil, and after 4 November it became of paramount importance. 

547. The AVorkers' Councils and the Revolutionary Councils were closely related 
phenomena of the Revolution. In many cities the Revolutionary Councils were 
elected by the delegates of Workers' Councils, and most of the Revolutionary 
Councils included many workers in the membership. Witnesses described how, 
after the election of a Revolutionary Council or a National Committee in such 
a way, a mutual link was created between a Revolutionary Council and the 

^ Nepakarat, 1 November 1956. The radio announcement on the setting up of this 
Council was made at .3 : 45 p. m., on 26 October in the following terms : "The workers of the 
United Lamp Factory havp r-cognized the grave situation of our country and have decided 
to set up a Workers' Council." 


Workers' Councils which were to be set up in the area covered by it. In one 
case, reported by the newspaper of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, the establishment of certain Workers' Councils was not recognized, and a 
new election was ordered "in accordance with the spirit of true democracy".'" 

548. The demands put forward by the Workers' Councils in most cases resem- 
bled those of the Revolutionary Councils described in part II of this chapter. In 
many cases, they were coupled with the threat of a strike, should the demands 
not be met. Thus on 26 October, the Workers' Council of Miskolc demanded 
that the Soviet Army should leave Hungary at once, that a new Hungarian Gov- 
ernment should be constituted and that a complete amnesty should be extended 
to all those who had participated in the uprising."' The Temporary Workers' 
Council of the Hungarian Optical Workers demanded on 29 October the with- 
drawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the recall of Peter Kos from the 
United Nations. They added that the factory would resume work only if the 
delegation which had been sent to the Government received a satisfactory 
answer."* The representatives of Workers' Councils from a number of factories 
of Greater Budapest, which met at the Belojanis Factory on 31 October, de- 
manded free and secret elections with the participation of several parties, the 
trial of those responsible for the AVH massacres, immediate dismissal of some 
Ministers and immediate withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Treaty. 


549. The Workers' Councils were a spontaneous creation of the factory and 
other workers concerned to improve their conditions of work. The role of the 
Councils was recognized without deJay by the Trade Unions, the Communist 
Party and the Government. 

550. Prime Minister Nagy received on 25 October a delegation of a group of 
workers from Borsod County, who submitted to him twenty-one demands, several 
of which related to the situation of workers."" On 26 October, at 12.58 p. m., 
Budapest Radio announced that the Prime Minister had accepted these demands 
and would embody them in the programme of the new Government. 

551. On the morning of 26 October, the Praesidium of the National Council of 
Trade Unions announced a new political and economic programme."" The first 
point in the economic part of the programme read as follows : "Constitution of 
Workers' Councils in every factory with the participation of factory intellectuals 
there. Installation of a worker-directorate parallel with the radical tran.sfor- 
mation of the centralized planning systean and of economic direction by the 
State ; workers and factory-intellectuals to take over the direction of factories. 
Immediate formation of workers councils, which should contact their trade union 
centres without delay to decide on tasks". The announcement continued that the 
Hungarian trade unions had to become active again as before 1948, and they 
would have to change their name to "Hungarian Free Trade Unions". Later on 
the Praesidium made the following appeal : "Workers ! The desire of the work- 
ing class has been realized. Undertakings will be managed by Workers' Coun- 
cils. This will complete the process by which the factories are taken over as the 
property of the people. Workers and technicians! You can now regard the 
enterprises as being entirely your own. From now on, you will manage these 
yourselves. The excessive central management of the factories, which has pre- 
vailed hitherto, will now cease, together with the faults arising from it. A 
heavy responsibility is laid upon the Workers' Councils ; therefore you must elect 
the members of such Councils with great circumspection and from the most expe- 
rienced and best workers. The new Government will increase the pay of those 
earning low wages. The sooner you start production in the factories and the 
better our Councils work, the more speedily can wages be raised, and the higher 
will they rise. Therefore, support the new Hungarian Government in its efforts 
for socialist construction and a free and democratic Hungary". 

522. Later on in the evening of 26 October, the Central Committee of the 
Communist Party declared that it approved the election of Workers' Councils 
"with the co-operation of the trade union organs".^ It added that wages and 

^Magyar Filggetlensfg, 31 October 1956. 

»' Miskolc Radio, 1.10 a. m., 20 October 1956. 

«s Budapest Radio, 8.02 p. m., 2? October 1956. 

^Nepszava. 26 October 1956. 

1 Szahad N4p, Special edition, 27 October 1956. 


salaries had to be increased to satisfy "the lawful material demands of the 
working class". In explanation of this decision of the Central Committee, it 
was stated later that the Party had "perfect faith in our worliing class", in 
which it saw the leading force of socialism and on which it relied in all cir- 
cumstances. Hope was expressed that, by the organization of the Workers' 
Councils, the working class would lend its support to the new Politburo of the 
Communist Party and to the new Government. 

553. On 27 October, the Praesidium of the National Council of Trade Unions 
proposed that Workers' Councils should set up "everywhere", in factories, 
enterprises and mines, and issued directives for their "election, functions and 
tasks" : - "Members of the Workers' Councils should be elected by all workers of 
the factory, workshop or mine in question. A meeting called to carry out the 
election should decide the method of election. Recommendations for Workers' 
Council membership should be presented, as a general rule, by the shop com- 
mittees or by a worker who commands respect. Depending on the size of the 
undertaking, the Workers' Councils should generally consist of from 21 to 71 
members, including proportional representation of every group of workers. In 
factories employing less than 100 workers, all workers may be included in the 
Workers' Council. The Workers' Council shall take decisions on all questions 
connected with production, administration and management of the plant. There- 
fore: (1) for the direction of the production and management of the factory, 
it should elect from among its own members a Council of Direction with 5-15 
members which, in accordance with the direct instructions of the Workers' 
Council, will take decisions on matters connected with the management of tlie 
factory, such as the engagement and dismissal of workers, economic and tech- 
nical leaders; (2) it will draw up the factory's production plan and define 
tasks connected with technical development; (3) the Workers' Council will de- 
cide on the drawings up of the wage system best suited to the conditions 
peculiar to the factory and on the introduction of that system, as well as on the 
development of social and cultural amenities in the factory; (4) the Workers' 
Council will decide on investments and the utilization of profits; (5) the Work- 
ers' Council will determine the order of business of the mine, factory, etc. ; 
((>) the Workers' Council will be responsible to all the workers and to the State 
tor correct management. The principal and immediate task of the Workers' 
Council is to resume production and to establish and ensure order and discipline. 
The workers, through their representatives, should protect their livelihood, the 

554. Additional directives were issued by urban and rural Revolutionary 
Councils in different parts of the country. For example, the Praesidium of the 
Revolutionary Council of Borsod County stated that the task of the Workers' 
Councils was "to exercise control over the manager, the chief engineer, factory 
roremen and the workers of the plant", and requested them to attend urgently 
to tne maintenance of order at their respective places of work.^ 

555. On 30 October, the National Council of Trade Unions became the National 
Council of Free Trade Unions, and replaced its old leadership by a "temporary 
revolutionary committee" composed of "old trade union leaders who had been 
dismissed and imprisoned in the past, and new revohitionary trade union lead- 
ers". One of the first actions of this committee was to declare that the Hiuigar- 
ian Trade Unions w(»uld leave the W<jrld Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) 
and that, "for the sake of strengthening international workers' solidarity", they 
would be willing to establish relations with any international trade union organ- 
ization." ' In addition, the committee issued an appeal on 31 October in which 
it hailed the Workers' Councils and "requested workers to return to their jobs 
and to create under the leadership of the Workers' Councils, the conditions 
necessary to resume production." ° 

556. The institution of the Workers' Councils was enthusiastically supported 
by the Hungarian press and radio and by professional and other organizations. 
Thus the People's Patriotic Front (PPF) declared, on 28 October, that this is 
"our revolution, because it abolishes the inhuman production norms and entrtists 
the factories to Workers' Councils.* The Revoltitionary Committee of Hungar- 
ian Intellectuals stressed in its programme, on 28 October, that "fact -ries and 

^:S_epszava, 30 October 1956. 

3 Eszakmagyarorszag, 27 October 1956. 

■* Nepakarat, 1 November 1956. 

s NepHzava, 1 November 1956. 

« Budapest Radio, 10.48 p. m., 28 October 1956. 

93215 — 59 — pt. 90- -9 


mines should really become the property of the workers" and that they should' 
"not be returned to the capitalists, but managed by freely elected Workers' 

557. The institution of the Workers' Councils, after having received the bless- 
ing of trade unions and the Communist Party, found its way into the programme 
of Mr. Nagy's nevv' Government. The Prime Minister stated on 28 October that 
the Government welcomed the "initiative of fact(-ry workers as regards the 
extension of factory democracy and approved the formation of Workers' Coun- 
cils". He also said that the Government would take measures to settle, to the 
satisfaction of the working class, "long-standing and justified demands and to 
remedy old complaints".* 

558. On 1 November, the Workers' Councils of the large Budapest factories 
and delegates of various revolutionary organizations and of the National Council 
of Free Trade Unions had two meetings with representatives of the Government, 
to discuss the •"'grave situation" created by the continuance of the nation-wide 
strike. At these meetings, speaking on behalf of Mr. Nagy's Government, Ferenc 
Erdei appealed, through the representatives of the Workers' Councils and the 
trade unions, to the workers of Hungary, pleading with them to resume work." 
The next day seventeen large factories of Greater Budapest, among them the 
Csepel iron and metal works, Mavag, Ganz electric and wagon factories and the 
Lang machine factory, as well as the transport workers and "all the workers" 
of Districts XIII, XIV and XV of Budapest, appealed to all workers of Hungary 
to "take up work immediately". They stated that, in their opinion, the Govern- 
ment had fulfilled the main demands of the Hungarian people : the repudiation 
of the Warsaw Treaty, and the declaration of neutrality. Furthermore, "there 
are guarantees that in the near future elections with secret ballot will be held". 
The appeal stated that "continuous strikers would paralyse the economic life of 
the country" and that "resumed production will provide the strength our polit- 
ical life needs at this moment".^" 

559. Witnesses stated to the Committee that further negotiations between 
representatives of the Government and the major Workers' Councils of Greater 
Budapest had taken place on 2 and 3 November, and subsequently an agreement 
had been reached for the resumption of work in all Hungarian industries and 
factories on Monday, 5 November. 


560. The Committee concludes from its study of the Revolutionary Councils 
that they were the result of a spontaneous, nation-wide movement to assert the 
right of the Hungarian people to assume the direction of their affairs and lives. 
This movement took shape, as did the uprising itself, at the local level and there 
was in the beginning little or no contact between the various groups. Never- 
theless, as in the case of the students and intellectuals, a broad identity of aim 
underlies both the demands and the methods. It is clear that the formation of 
these Councils met a need widely felt by the Hungarian people. 

561. The same is true of the Workers' Councils. All witnesses confirmed that 
dissatisfaction with the trade unions of the regime was one of the most important 
grievances of the Hungarian workers. In addition, they demanded a genuine 
voice in the control of the undertaking in which they worked, and this they set 
out to obtain by electing Councils along democratic lines. These Councils at 
once assumed important responsibilities in the factories, mines and other under- 
takings and they exerted a considerable influence upon the Government, with 
which delegations from a number of them maintained direct contact. The over- 
whelming support given by Huugai'ians to these Workers' Councils confirms the 
impression that they were among the most important achievements of the Hun- 
garian people during their few days of freedom. 

' Eqyetcmi Ifjusdg, 29 October 1956. 

^Nepszava. 29 October 1956. 

" Afnqynr Nem:rt. 2 Noven'her 1956 ; Kis Vjadg, 2 November 1956. 

** N6p8zava, 2 November 1956. 


Chapter XII. the Reassertion of Political Rights 

(26 October-3 November) 

a. introduction 

5G2. In Chapter VI, the circumstances have been described in whicli Mr. Nagy 
became Prime Minister, and an account was given of his situation during the days 
immediately following 24 October. For almost three days, Mr. Nagy was de- 
tained in the Communist Party Headquarters. Chapter VI has dealt with the 
movement of Mr. Nagy to the Parliament Building on 26 October. This chapter 
is concerned with developments in Hungarian domestic politics from 26 October, 
especially with regard to Mr. Nagy's reconstructions of his Government. 

B. the transitional period: the national government of 2 7 OCTOBER 

(26-29 OCTOBER) 

563. On 26 October the Coimcil of Ministers announced the "beginning" of the 
mopping-up of the remnants of the armed revolutionary groups, in the same 
phrases as had repeatedly been used since the 24th. '^ Under a new amnestj', 
which was to expire by 10 p. m., "Members of the armed forces, soldiers, armed 
workers, comrades" were called upon to "treat those who lay down their arms 
humanely" and to "let them go home after they have surrendered".'^ Hardly a 
word was said about Soviet forces ; the fiction was maintained of a fight between 
Hungarian forces on the one side, and, in the words of the Party newspaper 
Szabad Nej), "counter-revolutionary forces and other bad elements"." The 
Government order instructed non-existent Hungarian forces to "deal annihilating 
blows at all who continue the armed fight against the people's power" after the 
time limit had expired. 

564. Such phrases were indicative of the continued use of the propaganda slo- 
gans of the past years. Although the insurgents had been reported for two days 
as surrendering en masse, they still refused to lay down their arms. A new ap- 
proach was imperative. In the 26 October issue of Ssabcd Nep, severe condemna- 
tion was expressed of "a clique of wicked leaders estranged from the people, who 
cannot be identified with the Party" ; it was acknowledged that the people "led by 
their despair over the country's situation, have taken part in the armed rising". 

.^G."*. On Thursday, 25 October, Mr. Kadar had replaced Erno Gero as First 
Secivtary of the Central Committee. The next afternoon, ;Mr. Gero and Mr. 
Hegediis had fled from Party Headquarters, and Mr. Nagy had been able to 
move to the Parliament Building, where he immediately sought contact by 
telephone and othei-wise with a number of people regarding the formation of 
a new Government. On Saturday morning, 27 October, at 11 : 18 a.m., the new 
Council of Ministers was announced over the radio. It was stated that the 
Government "after taking the oath . . . had entered into office immediately". 
The announcement explained that the Government was "elected by the Praesi- 
dium of the HungariaTi People's Republic. v,'hich acted on the recommendations 
of the Central Committee of the Party and the Praesidium of the National 
Council of the People's Patriotic Front". The PPF " to which reference was 
made in the announcement on the same level as the Communist Party, was 
created in August 1954 on the initiative of Imre Nagy, when he was Prime 
Minister for the first time, with the purpose of obtaining the active support 
of intellectuals, bourgeois and other non-proletarian elements for the building 
of Hungarian socialism. 

566. By the careful selection of Communist members and the inclusion of non- 
Communists, the composition of the new Council of Ministers went far towards 
meeting the insurgents' viewpoint. Mr. Nagy had left out several Communists 
who had ordered Hungarians to fire at Hungarians, or who were "Stalinists". 
The Minister of the Interior, Lfiszl6 Piros, who, together with the First Secre- 

11 Radio Budapest, 26 October, 4. .30 a. m., text reproduced in Ssabad Nip, 26 October 

12 Radio Budapest, 26 October, 5.34 p. m., and 8.08 p. m. 
w fizahad Nrp, 26 October 1956. 

" Tlie PPF had not been an active force in Hungary since the beginning of 1955; its 
re-activat'on was announced by the resolution of the Central Committee oif the Party of 
21 July 1956. 


tary of the Communist Party, bad had some authority over the AVH, and the 
Defence Minister, Istvan Bata, were removed from office. Mr. Nagy's prede- 
cessor, Andras Hegediis, who had been a Vice-Chairman of the Council of Min- 
isters since 24 October, and Jozsef Darvas, Minister for Propaganda, had also 
been omitted. 

567, Excluding the Rakosi wing from power, Imre Nagy brought their oppo- 
nents in the Communist Party into the Government. Gyorgy Lukacs, the most 
eminent of Hungarian Marxist philosophers and scholars, became the new Min- 
ister of People's Culture. Radio Budapest commented on this appointment on 
27 October that ''the dogmatism which prevailed in Hungary in recent years 
had tried to push him into the background of the country's scientific life". It 
added that Antal Gyenes, the new Minister for Produce Collection, a former 
Secretary-General of the People's Association of People's Colleges (NEKOSZ), 
had similarly been thrust aside, and although he had an economist's diploma, 
he had had to take a position as an unskilled worlcer, until he had been engaged 

"by Mr. Nagy as his assistant at the University of Agronomy. The key posts 
of the Interior and Defence were assigned to Ferenc Miinnich, a lawyer in his 
seventies, who, though a former adherent of the Il'ikosi-liero group, was well 
regarded by the surviving followers of Rajk, and to Karoly Jauza, who had a 
pro-Nagy record. Similarly, Arpjld Kiss, the new head of the National Planning 
Office, had backed Mr. Nagy's campaign in favour of the promotion of light 
industry. Later in the day, Zoltan Vas, well known to the Writers' Union, was 
placed in charge of Budapest food supplies. He had distinguished himself in 
this sort of work after the liberation of Budai>est in 1945. 

568. But the most striking feature of the new Government was that, in the 
spirit of the revived People's Patriotic Front, it contained three members who 
formerly held leading posts in the two large Peasant Parties : Zoltan Tildy, Bela 
Kovacs and, Ferenc Erdei. Tildy, who was made a Minister of State, had been 
one of the founders of the Independent Smallholders' Party in 1930. He had 
been active in the wartime resistance m(jvement, headed the Government in 
November 1945 and had been President of the Hungarian Republic from 1946 to 
1948. "The Rakosi clique, however, forced him to resign," the commentary re- 
called, "and kept him under house arrest for a long period." Bela Kovacs, the 
former Secretary-General of the Independent Smallholders' Party, who became 
the new Minister of Agriculture, had been attacked by the "Rakosi clique," 
accused of conspiracy and had been under house arrest for some time. Two 
other former members of the Independent Smallholders' Party became mem- 
bers" of the Government, Jozsef Bognar, Deputy Chairman of the Council and 
Miklos Ribianszki, Minister of State Farms. A former co-founder of the Na- 
tional Peasant Party, Ferenc Erdei, became Deputy Chairman of the Council. 

589. The pressure still exercised by the old forces limited Nagy's ability to 
form a Government altogether acceptable to the fighters. Antal Apro became 
another Deputy Chairman of the Council, in charge of Construction ; several 
other unpopular Communists or Stalinists had been carried over into the new 
administration. The appointments of Istvan Kossa, Lajos Bebrits, Janos Csergo 
and Sandor Czottner, as Ministers of Finance, Post and Communications, Metal- 
lurgy and Machine Industry and Mining and Electricity, respectively, specially 
irritated the insui-gents, as did the retention of Erik Molnar as Minister of 
Justice in the face of a campaign against him in the Irodalmi Vjsdfj. More- 
over, the presence of members of two peasant parties in the Government in- 
evitably raised the question of the reason for not including a Social Democrat — 
since the Social Democrats had been one of the non-Communist "big three" at the 
the Chairman of the Praesidium, Istvan Dobi, had indeed approached such 
1945 elections. Witnesses told the Special Committee that Mr. Nagy, as weii as 
the Chairman of the Praesidium, Istvfin Dobi, had indeed approached such 
Social Democrats as Anna Ketbly, Gyula Kelemen and Agoston Valentini. but 
without success. The Government had not as yet recognized even the peasant 
parties ; the members of the latter joined the Government only in a i>ersonal 
capacity — even though the public announcement referred to their association 
with the peasant parties. The circumstances of Mr. Kovacs' participation in 
the Government were explained by him in a speech on 31 October. He said 
that he was "astonished" to see on the new Government list the names of Com- 
munist leaders. He drafted a letter of resignation, expressing disagreement 
with the composition of the Government, but his friends persuaded him not to 
send the letter.^ 

" Kis Ujsdg, 1 November 1956. 


570. The carefully balanced Government team of 27 October did not please 
the insurgents, who cai-ed little about political niceties and compromise. Gen- 
erally speaking, they accepted Imre Nagy without enthusiasm ; nobody else 
more qualified was acceptable to the Soviet authorities, with whom a Hun- 
garian Prime Minister had to deal. 

571. Mr. Nagy sought to jjlacate the insurgents in other ways, by adopting 
a line sympathetic to their views in a broadcast speech on 28 October, at 5.25 
p. m., when he stated : "The Government condemned those views according to 
which the present vast, popular movement is a counter-revolution." While 
"evil-doers seized the chance of committing common crimes" and "reactionary 
counter-revolutionary elements joined in the movement," it was also a fact that 
a great national and democratic movement, all-embracing and unifying, un- 
folded itself with elemental force." 

572. One more step was necessary before the one-party system could be 
discarded, namely the disbanding of the political police. In his speech on 
28 October, Mr. Nagy had dealt with the question of the AVH in somewhat 
cautious terms : "After the restoration of order, we shall organize a new 
unified State Police and abolish the State Security Authority". In actual 
fact, the decision was taken almost at once. At 5 p. m., on 29 October, it 
was announced in a news bulletin that the Minister of the Intei'ior had started 
on 28 October the organization of "the new, democratic police," and in that 
connexion he had abolished "all police organs invested with special rights, as 
well as the State Security Authority (AVH)", for which there was no further 
need "in our democratic system". 



573. It had been customary in the People's Republics for the First Secretary 
and the Head of Government to make joint broadcasts to the nation. A broad- 
cast of 30 October at 2.28 p. m., was ditTerent. Four Hungarian leaders spoke 
in turn, each in his own mood or in that of his party or group. Developing 
further his democratic programme, Imre Nagy, addressing himself to the "work- 
ing people of Hungary, workers, peasants, intellectuals", announced a de- 
cision which, he said, was "vital in the nation's life. In the interests of the 
further democratization of the country's life, the Government, acting in full 
agreement with the Praesidium of the Hungarian Workers' Party, has abolished 
the one-party system. ... In accordance with this, it is setting up an Inner 
Cabinet within the National Government". It was clear that Mr. Nagy had 
gone beyond his earlier position. From his address of three hundred words, two 
words were conspicuously absent, "Communist" and "Socialist". Instead the 
new slogan was: "Long live free, democratic and independent Hungary!". The 
relatively sober, brief address of Imre Nagy was followed by a ringing declara- 
tion in patriotic terms from Zoltan Tildy : "Hungarian brethren ! The will of the 
nation and the national revolution have conquered. The representatives of this 
nation will have been the young people with their heroic struggle, the writers, 
hundreds of thousands of workers, the peasants, the farmers — in short, the whole 
country. All violence and all resistance against this will was in vain. I stand 
before the microphone deeply moved. I haven't written down my speech ; it may 
therefore be disjointed. But I greet, I embrace, Hungary's dear youth, my 
heart overflowing with warmth". It was left to Tildy to draw the consequence of 
the abolition of the one-party system in the declaration that "we must pre- 
pare for free elections". 

574. Ferenc Erdei, speaking for the other peasant party, the National 
Peasants, hailed "the struggle of the rising nation" ; but the problem of recon- 
ciling the gains of the revolution with the post-war achievements was stressed 
in his speech : "The creative force of the revolution will . . . still have to be 
carried to final triumph. The victory of the revolution must now be defended 
with unmistakable determination, above all against those who would like to 
reverse it. It also has to be defended against those who would like to drown 
it in anarchy or to turn it against the vital interests of and rights attained 
by our people". Lastly, Janos Kadar voiced the pledge of the Communist 
Party to take its place alongside, rather than above the other parties: "I 
declare that every member of the Praesidium of the Hungarian Workers' Party 
agrees with today's decisions by the Council of Ministers". 

575. The "Inner Cabinet" announced by Mr. Nagy was set up within the Council 
of Ministers and was made up of the Chairman of the Council, Mr. Nagy (Com- 


rnuuist), and three members of the Government, Zoltan Tildy and B61a Kovacs 
(Independent Smallholders), and Ferenc Erdei (National Peasants). In addi- 
tion, Janos Kadar and Geza Losonczy (Communists) not previously in the Coun- 
cil of Ministers of 27 October, were made members of the Inner Cabinet. To con- 
form with constitutional requirements, Mr. Nagy stated in his speech of 30 Octo- 
ber that he would submit a proposal to the Preasidium of the People's Republic 
to elect them Ministers of State. He added that the Inner Cabinet would also 
include a person to be nominated by the Social Democratic Party. As against a 
proportion of non-Communists to Communists of five to twenty in the Council 
of Ministers as a whole, the Inner Cabinet ratio was three to three, not taking 
into account the prospect of Social Democratic participation. Moreover, the 
non-Communist members were no longer to serve in a personal capacity but, in 
Mr. Nagy's words, the Government of the country was now placed "on the basis 
of democratic co-operation between the coalition parties reborn in 1945". 


576. After the spring of 1949, political parties in Hungary with the exception 
of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party, which in June 1948 had absorbed 
part of the Social Democratic Party, ceased in effect to exist, though no legis- 
lative text was published in the Hungarian official Gazette, forbidding or dis- 
solving them. 

577. The introduction of a multiparty system which of course implied the 
revival of parties, was among the most popular demands of the insurgents and 
it had reappeared constantly among the demands voiced by different groups ever 
since the resolution of the students of the Building Industry and Technological 
University on 22 October. Thus it was quite natural that almost within an hour 
of the announcement by Prime Minister Imre Nagy of the abolition of the one- 
party system," political parties were being re-established in Budapest and in the 
provinces. Messrs. Tildy and Erdei, who spoke after Mr. Nagy, appealed to the 
leaders and members of their respective parties, the Independent Smallholders 
and the National Peasants, to revive party organizations all over the country. 
These two parties, and the Social Democratic Party were formally reconstituted 
on the afternoon of 30 October, and their national headquarters were re-estab- 
lished in Budapest. Two of them, the Independent Smallholders and the Social 
Democrats, had even reoccupied the former premises of their party headquarters. 
Party newspapers appeared from 1 November and appeals had been issued through 
the radio and the press and through leaflets for the setting up of local party 
groups. By 3 November these three major parties had groups reconstituted in 
most of the twenty-two districts of Budapest, as well as in cities in the various 
provinces of Hungary. In addition other smaller parties were set up. 

578. Among the three major parties that were revived on 30 October, the 
Independent Smallholders Party ^^ had been the most powerful in the past. 
Founded in 1930 by the late Gaston Gaal, Zoltan Tildy and Ferenc Nagy, its 
original programme included universal suffrage, laud reform, improvement of the 
economic and cutlural status of the peasant population, progressive taxation, 
simplified public administration and increased social benefits. This party had 
polled at the general elections of 4 November 1945, 2,688,161 out of 4,717,256 
votes (57.5 per cent), obtaining 245 of the 409 seats to be filled by election. 
Thus at that time the Smallholders' Party had represented a clear majority 
of the Hungarian people. On 30 October 1956 a provisional executive committee, 
which included Jozsef Kovago and Istvan B. Szabo, was charged with the man- 
agement of party affairs, and B61a Kovacs vi^as elected Secretary-General. Apart 
from local party groups which had been set up in a number of areas, several 
specialized party organizations were established during the four or five days of 
the party's new existence : a party organization for the technical intelligentsia, 
another for educators "who do not stand on the platform of Marxism and mate- 
rialism" and who wish to "re-establish the religious, moral, national and Euro- 
pean basis of Hungarian education." " Groups were also set up of party mem- 
bers who had in the past occupied posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well 
as party organizations for railway men, doctors and artists.^' The Party had a 
daily paper between 1 and 3 November, the revived Kis JJjsdg. By 3 November 

13 Radio Budapest, 2.28 p. m., on 30 October. 
1' Fiiggetlen Kisciazda Part. 
^ Kis Ujsdg, 1 November 1956. 
ȣ:t8 Ujsdg, 2 November 1956. 


the party had not drawn up a new programme, but its political outlook is known 
through stntements of witnesses, declarations of the party's leaders, and resolu- 
tions of party meetings between 31 October and 3 November. Witnesses ex- 
plained to the Special Committee that Smallholders basically opposed the forcing 
of workers into particular jobs or the drafting of farmers into Kolkhozes. They 
stood for free choice for the peasants to own their property or to join a collective 
organization. They were, however, not really in doubt as to what the peasants 
would decide, and believed that Hungarian peasants would never work well 
within the Kolkhoz system. B^la Kovacs, speaking on 30 October before a meet- 
ing of party members at Pecs, said that the Independent Smallholders' Party was 
the only Hungarian party which "since 1945 had really wanted to build a 
Hungary on the basis of independence and liberty." ^ As for the future he 
added that members of the party had to change tlieir way of thinking, not to 
think any more on the lines of the past, but whatever new programme they would 
draw up, it "must be based on the creation of a new, free, independent Hungary". 
On foreign affairs Mi'. Kovjics stated : "When Hungarian freedom fighters fought 
against the Russian tanks, they fought for the country's independence. This 
does not mean that we regard the Russian people as our enemies, but one cannot 
follow a unilateral policy .... It is necessary to establish relations, based on 
equal rights, witli all nations and one cannot tie the country's fate to one or 
another military bloc. The Hungarian people want a neutral Hungary". In 
an appeal issued on 2 November by the pi'ovisional cxeciitive committee, the 
Independent Smallholders' Party called on all Hungarians to resume work ; 
"Let us restore order and start work. The revolution now needs ploughs, ham- 
mers and production. The revolution expressed our national demands : freedom, 
independence and equality among nations. Every Magyar may fight for the 
realization of these aims in our party"." 

579. The Hungarian Social Democratic Party ^^ founded in 1880, with a 
Marxist programme, secured sixty-nine parliamentary seats at the 1945 elections, 
and ceased to exist as an independent party three years later. In the years 
after, many of its leaders and members had been imprisoned or interned in 
labour camps and tortured. 

580. On 30 October 1956, Anna Kethly, who spent many years in jail during 
the Rakosi era, became the President of the reorganized Party ; Gyula Kelemen 
l)ecame its Secretary-General and Dr. Andras Revesz Deputy Secretary-General.^* 
The executive committee of the party stated that it would not take back former 
Social Democratic leaders (such as Arpad Szakasits, the first Chairman of the 
Praesidium of the People's Republic, elected in August 1949), who had supported 
the "fusion" in 1948 between the Communist and Social Democrats. Mr. Kele- 
men, who was charged with the rebuilding of the party, appealed on 1 November 
to the Hungarian Social Democrats in the following terms : "Hungarians, 
brother workers . . . Hundreds of thousands of organized workei's, who . . . 
had suffered the bitterness of oppression, are today rebuilding the Hungarian 
Social Democratic Party. Not even the most cruel capitalism exploited them 
as have the masters [of our country] during the last eight years. They lied 
when they said they were governing in the name of the workers !" He asked 
them to support the Revolutionary Councils and National Committees in their 
tasks and stressed the need to develop youth organizations and peasant groups 
within the party." The same day, another appeal was made to "young workers 
and students", asking them to join the Social Democratic Party to promote "the 
independence and full democratization of the country". The convening of a 
mass meeting of Social Democratic youth was also announced.^* 

581. On 30 October, an invitation was extended by Imre Nagy to the Social 
Democratic Party to join the Inner Cabinet set up on that day. It was reported 
on 1 November that the party was "negotiating" concerning this matter.^^ It 
Avas known, however, that Socialist leaders did not favour entering the Govern- 
ment at that time on account of the continued presence of Soviet troops on Hun- 
garian territory ; ^^ they contended that "in the Government every key position 

^'iTw UjuCip, 1 November 1956. 

21 Magyar Nemset, 2 November 1956. 

^^ Magyar f^zocidl-nemokrata Part. 

'^^N^puzava, 1 November 1956. 

-* Nepszavn, 2 November 1956. 

-'^Nepssava, 1 November 1956. 

^ Nrpssava, 3 November 1956 (statement by Anna K6thly In Vienna). 


is in the hands of the Communists" — a situation which, in their opinion, cor- 
responded "neither with justice nor the actual political situation".^' 

582. On 3 November, three Social Democrats were added to the Government, 
including Anna Kethly. The latter had been in Vienna since 1 November, at- 
tending an executive committee meeting of the Socialist International, and was 
prevented from returning to Hungary on 2 November by Soviet guards on the 
Austrian frontier.^ 

583. On 1 November, Nepszava, the central organ of the Social Democratic 
Party for seventy-six years, and the mouthpiece of the Communist-controlled trade 
unions between 1948 and 1956, reappeared as a Social Democratic paper ; from 
the three issues of Hepssaim during this period little information can be derived 
regarding the programme of the party in the new circumstances. The first issue 
carried an editorial by Anna Kethly in which she wrote that the Social Democratic 
Party in the last eight years had been "a giant paralyzed by dwarfs", until it had 
won its freedom "from a regime which called itself a popular democracy," but 
which, in form and in essence, was neither popular nor democratic. In later 
issues both Anna Kethly and Gyula Kelemen stressed that Hungary should 
become a socialist, democratic and neutral country .^^ 

584. The National Peasant Party ^" had been founded in July 1939 by Imre 
Kovacs, Ferenc Erdei and Peter Veres to represent the interests of the agricul- 
tural labourers ; it had twenty-three members in the 1945 Parliament. After 1948 
many of its former members, among them its last President, Peter Veres, collab- 
orated with the Communists ; some of them from 1955 on became active in the 
Writers' Union and the Petofi Club. The party was formally re-established on 30 
October, and the first local organizations were set up the following day. On 2 
November, JJ) Magyarorszdg (New Hungary), the official party organ, appeared. 
The Party spread rapidly in Budapest and in north-eastern and eastern Hungary. 
At its first public meeting, held on 31 October, it decided to change its name to 
Petofi party ; and elected a provisional executive committee of eleven members, 
including Istvan Bibo, a professor of law, and Attila Szigetly, the Chairman of 
the National Revolutionary Council of Gyor-Sopron county. Ferenc Farkas was 
elected Secretary-General. Instead of a Chairman, a supervisory committee of 
eleven members was set up, composed of well-known members of the Writers' 
Union, such as Laszlo Nemeth and Gyula Illyes.'^^ While Ferenc Erdei, Minister 
of State, had taken the initiative for the revival of the Party on 30 October, he was 
unpopular^owing to his collaboration with the Hungarian Workers' Party — with 
the rank and file of the National Peasant Party, and was not included in the 
provisional leadership.^ 

585. The attitude of the Petofi Party was made clear in an article in the party 
paper by Mr. Farkas. He stated that the party wished "to serve the cause of the 
peasantry" and of "Hungarians in general". Mr. Farkas announced that : "as 
long as Soviet troops were in Hungary", his party could not take part in the 
Government. He contended that, although the insurrection had scored a military 
success, it had not so far been politically successful. In order to support Mr. 
Nagy's decision to terminate the Warsaw Treaty, he proposed that a referendum 
be held within three days on the following points : immediate abrogation of the 
Treaty, neutrality and non-adhesion to any particular group of interest. With 
regard to internal politics, he proposed that a Supreme National Council be 
formed of representatives of the armed insurgents, the democratic parties and 
the Writers' Union, to be headed by the composer Zoltan Kodaly — one of the ten 
personalities who, in 1945, had been selected to supplement the elected member- 

^'' IfiazsdQ, 1 November 1956 (statement bv Laszlo Farag6). 

2s Kis Ujsdg, 3 November 1956. 

28 Nepszava. 1, 2. and 3 November 1956. 

30 Nemzeti Paraszt Pdrt. 

31 Uj Magyarorazdq. 2 November 1956. 

3- The following: statement was issued by Mr. Erdei on 31 October: "Several fellow- 
members of the former Peasant Party have criticized the fact that it was I who made the 
appeal for reorganization of the National Peasant Party. I feel it my duty to state that 
my simple reason was that I took part in initiating and making this decision, and I alone 
was in a position to make the relevant announcement. Of course, this does not mean that 
I intend in anv wnv to influence the reorganization of the National Peasant Party" (Szahad 
Szo, 31 October 1956). 


ship of Parliament. This Council would be the supreme governmental power in 
the revolutionary period and would also exercise the functions of head of State.^ 

5S6. Both the Independent Smallholders' Party and the Petiifi Party supported 
the re-establishment of the Hungarian Peasants' Alliance {Magyar Paraszts- 
zovetseff) ^* which was to represent and protect the cultural and economic inter- 
ests of the peasants. 

587. An indication of the speedy revival of political fi-eedom was the establish- 
ment of more and more organizations^ after 31 October as well as the estab- 
lishment of several minor political parties between 31 October and 3 November. 
Among these was the Christian Democratic Party ^ which had been dissolved in 
June 1947 ; it appealed to "Christian Hungarian brethren" and asked them to help 
in the building of a "new, happier, free and independent Hungary under the sign 
of Christian morality". Other parties re-established included the Democratic 
People's Party which stated its support for the Government "as far as the main- 
tenance of order and protection of life and property are concerned" ; and the 
Hungarian Independence Party. In addition, the Hungarian Revolutionary 
Youth Party was established and the existence of the Hungarian Conservative 
Party, which functioned "for ten years in illegality" was announced.^' 

3* Uj Magyarorszdg, 2 November 1956. On 3 November the organizing Secretary of the 
Petofl Party for the County of Borsod, SAndor Varga, outlined the following programme 
over Radio Borsod Count.v Miskolc : 

"The Petofi Peasant Party believes in private property and advocates free production and 
marketincr. In the fiekl of religion we advocate the fullest freedom of conscience, freedom 
of religion and institutional protection of the activities of churches true to the spirit of 
Christ. The Petiifl Peasant Part.v announced that it will not retreat from its demand to 
give to peasant children and peasant youth more education. We declare that we accept 
fully the 1945 Land Reform Law. that we will not return land now in the possession of 
our peasantry, that we will fight relentlessly against any attempt which would try to chal- 
lenge the rightfulness of that great national achievement, against anyone who would dare 
attack land reform measures. But we deem it necessary to re-examine all illegalities in 
this field committed from 1948 until our national revolution. While fully respecting the 
maintain existing agricultural co-operatives until peasant co-operatives are set up on a 
sound basis . . ." 

■^ Mayiiar Nemzet, 1 November 1956; Uj Magyarorszdg, 2 November 1956; Kis TJjsdg, 
1 November 1956. 

''^ E. g., The Christian Youth League, the existence of which was reported by Budapest 
Radio on 31 October, with the aim of rallying Hungarian Christian youth into a single 
camp "which would represent the ideals of youth on the basis of Christian principles and 
within the forces guiding the country's political life." 

3" Magyar Vildg, 3 November 1956. 

3" The following note briefly summarizes changes in the Press : 

In the days prior to the revolution of October 1956, the Hungarian Press mainly con- 
sisted of official Party papers. Besides the Szabad Ncp (Free People), the Party had an 
afternoon paper Esti Budapest (Evening Budapest), and the monthly Tdrsadalmi Seemle 
(Social Review), the scientific organ of the Party. The Communist-controlled National 
Council of Trade Unions had also a daily paper Nepszava (People's Voice), and the League 
of Working Youth (DISZ), the Communist youth organization, the Sxabad Ifjiisdg (Free 
Youth). The People's Patriotic Front, which was given new importance by the resolution 
of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' (Communist I Party of July 1956, 
controlled the Magyar Nemect (Hungarian Nation), a newspaper of liberal tradition. The 
official gazette Magyar Kiizltiny was considered between 1950 and 1954 as a "confidential" 
publication with a very limited circulation. The Irodalmi Ujsdg (Literary Gazette), the 
weekly paper of the Hungarian W^riters' Union, was the only Press organ in Hungary 
which, since 1955, defied the Party orders on uniformity. 

The uprising had a great impact on the Hungarian Press and Radio. The tone of the 
papers suddenly changed, and after 30 October more than twenty daily papers started to 
appear. Szabad Nep came out for the last time on 1 November, and was then replaced by 
Nepszabadsag (People's Freedom) as "the newspaper of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' 
Party". Ifcpszava, the daily of the National Council of Trade Unions, from 1 November 
became the central organ of the Social Democratic Party again. The re-organized National 
Council of Free Trade Unions brought out Nepakarat (People's will) the first issue of 
which appeared on 1 November. The Smallholders Party after six years, resurrected on 
1 November Kia Ujsdg (Little Paper), and the Petofi Party (formerly National Peasants) 
launched on 2 November the Uj Magyarorszdg (New Hungary). The Magyar Nemzet con- 
tinued to appear, but from 31 October it ceased to call itself the organ of the People's 
Patriotic Front. 

The revolutionary organizations also had their own papers : The Hungarian National 
Revolutionary Committee controlled Magyar Fiiggetlenseg (Hungarian Independence) ; the 
"Revolutionary Hungarian Army and Youth"' produced on 28 October, Igazsdg (Truth) ; 
the Students' Revolutionary Council on 29 October Egyetemi Ifjusdg (University Youth) ; 
the Revolutionary Council of Young Workers and Working Youth launched, on 1 November, 
Magyar Ifjusdg (Hungarian Y'outh). The youth had two other publications: the Szabad 
Ifjusdg, formerly the Press organ of the Central Committee of DISZ, which became on 
30 October the newspaper of the "Revolutionary Hungarian Youth", and Magyar Jijvo 
(Hungarian Future), "the newspaper of the university youth", of which one issue appeared 
on 3 November. The Array and National Guard issued on 30 October the Magyar Honved 
(Hungarian Soldier), replacing Nephadserag (People's Army), the central organ of the 
Ministry of National Defence. On 3 November, two Catholic weeklies appeared : A Szlv 
(The Heart), the weekly of the Society of Jesus' Heart, and the Uj Ember (New Man). 
Also a Protestant weekly appeared dated 4-10 November, Reformdcio, under the sponsor- 
ship of the Hungarian Calvinist Church and with Bishop Laszlo Ravasz as editor-in-chief. 



588. The creation of the Inner Cabinet on 30 October had the effect of con- 
centrating the executive responsibilities of the Government within a small group 
of personalities acceptable to the fighters, but the status of the other Ministers 
was not clear. Nominally, they remained in office. In fact, several of them 
had been in conflict with the staff in their Ministries who had formed Revolu- 
tionary Committees which, in some cases, refused to recognize them or admit 
them to their offices.^ The question of the Social Democratic participation in 
the Cabinet, as envisaged on 30 October, was yet to be solved. 

589. On 3 November, the Praesidium of the People's Republic announced that 
three Deputy Chairmen, Antal Apro Jozsef Bognar and Ferenc Erdei, and twenty 
Ministers, including those of the Interior (Ferenc Miinnich), Defence (Karoly 
Janza), Foreign Affairs (Imre Horviith), and Justice (Erik Molnar), had been 
"relieved ... of their posts at their own request" but, "for the purpose of 
complementing and consolidating the National Government" a small number 
of appointments were made, including General Pdl Maleter as Defence Minister. 
Imre Nagy remained Chairman of the Council of Ministers and took over the 
portfolio of Foreign Minister.^^ No other portfolios v/ere assigned to individual 
members of the Government, which now consisted mainly of Ministers of State. 
Four of them had been Ministers of State in the Cabinet constituted on 30 
October, namely, two Communists, J^nos Kadar and G6za Losonczy, and two 
Independent Smallholders, Bela Kovacs and Zoltan Tildy. Six new Ministers 
of State were appointed, one Indei>endent Smallholder, Istvan B. Szabo; three 
Social-Democrats, Anna K^thly, Gyula Kelemen and Jozsef Fischer ; and two 
members of the Petofi Party, Ferenc Farkas and Istvdn Bibo. Thus the Cabinet 
of 3 November consisted of four Communists, three independent Smallholders, 
three Social-Democrats, and two Petiifl Party members. The Praesidium had 
decided to leave all but two Ministerial portfolios — those held by Mr. Nagy and 
General Maleter — vacant and to appoint' Deputy Ministers — not members of 
the Government — to be in charge of the Ministries concerned. The explanation 
was given that it would be "the duty of these Deputy Ministers to exercise leader- 
ship over the functioning of the Ministries and their governmental and economic 
activities, and to do so on the basis of decisions and measures taken by the 
National Government." Members of the National Government, as Ministers 
of State, would be designated later by the National Government to undertake 
responsibility for the Ministries through the Deputy Ministers. 

590. A witness, who had been a leader of the Smallholders' Party, emphasized 
the significance of the entry of his Party into the four-Party coalition. Con- 
sidering the clear majority which the Smallholders had at the last free elections 
in 1945, their decision to participate in the Government of 3 November on an 
equal footing with the Communists and Social Democrats demonstrated, in the 
opinion of the witness, that his party had no intention of eliminating genuine 
socialist achievements such as land reform. 

591. Similar views had been expressed by B61a Kovacs, of the Independent 
Smallholders' Party who stated on 31 October, liefore the constitutive meeting 
of his Party in Pecs : "No one should dream of going back to the world of 
aristocrats, bankers and capitalists. That world is definitely gone ! A true 
member of the Independent Smallholders' Party cannot think on the lines of 
1939 or 1945."^" These views largely concided with opinions voiced by leading 
members of the two other major parties. On 1 November, the President of the 
Social Democratic Party, Anna Kethly, said : "The factories, mines and the land 
should remain in the hands of the people." " Writing on the same day in the 
newspaper of the Petofi Party, Laszlo Nemeth suggested that all four parties 
should issue a declaration in which they would confirm their faith in some great 
principles of socialism, such as retention of factories in the hands of the State ; 
no return of land properties larger than 2-5-40 hectares to their former owners ; 
the participation of the workers in the management of factories, and the support 
of smaller co-operatives. In conclusion, Nemeth called for what he said would 

S8 Mr. Nagy was reported as having assumed "the direction of the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs" on 1 November. 

=» Mr. Nagy was reported as having assumed "the direction of the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs" on 1 November. 

^ Kis Ujsdg, 1 November 1956. 

*i N6pszdva. 


be "a political system of historic importance ; a multi-party system based on a 
common fundamental principle combining the force of ideology based social sys- 
tems with the elasticity of the parliamentary system." *- 

592. One of the last political statements broadcast over the Hungarian Radio 
before the second attack by Soviet troops also dealt vpith the areas of agreement 
among the four political parties in the coalition.^ It was delivered by Ferenc 
Farkas, Minister of State and Secretary-General of the Petofi Party. Mr. 
Farkas said that all parties in the coalition showed that "they identified them- 
selves with the activities of the National Government to achieve neutrality". 
The new Government was not separated by the differences which characterized 
the coalition of 1945, but had a "completely unified stand" on the following 
points : 

"(1) It will retain from the socialist achievements and results everything 
which can be, and must be, used in a free, democratic and socialist country, 
in accordance with the wish of the people. 

"(2) We want to retain the most sincere and friendly economic and cul- 
tural relations with every socialist country, even when we have achieved 
neutrality. We also want to establish economic and cultural relations with 
the other peace-loving countries of the world. 

"(3) We, the parties participating in the National Government, feel that 
party interests must be subordinated unconditionally to those of the nation. 

"(4) We must continue our efforts and the negotiations which we have 
started with the Soviet Union as regards the recognition of our neutrality 
and independence and the withdrawal of Soviet troops. 

"(5) We consider it absolutely essential that an appeal be made to the 
great friendly socialist empires, the Chinese People's Republic, friendly 
Yugoslavia and neighboring friendly Poland to the effect that they support 
us in the peaceful settlement of our just cause. 

"(6) The National Government is completely as one in its stand for the 
resumption of work and production as absolutely essential to the realization 
of our demands for independence through peaceful means. 

" (7) The Government is also unanimous that it will proceed most severely 
against any kind of anarchist or counter-revolutionary activities and, should 
such demonstrations take place, would punish those concerned." 

593. By the changes of 3 November, the Government of Hungary commanded 
the support of all sections of the nation. The four parties now sharing power 
had received 4,632,972 of the 4,717,256 votes cast and had won 407 out of 409 
seats in the free elections of 1945." 

594. Since the overthrow of Mr. Nagy's Government was closely linked with 
the political circumstances of the second Soviet intervention, the final phase 
of his Government has been dealt with in Chapter VII, which deals also with 
the establishment of a government by Mr. Kaddr. 

Chapter, XIII. Soviet Intervention Under Present Regime 

A. introduction 

595. The second intervention of the Soviet military forces had been described 
in chapter V. The circumstances in which the Kadar Government was established 
have been given in chapter VII. In the present chapter, the development of events 
in Hungary is examined with a view to studying (1) the measure of Soviet action 
to undo the results of the Revolution, (2) the extent of dependence of Mr. Kadar 
and his Government on Soviet support and (3) the specific measures that were 
taken by the Soviet Government, following the cessation of the fighting, to impose 
the Kadar Government and maintain it in power. 

B. soviet administration of HUNGARY 

596. In the "Szolnok" broadcasts of 4 November announcing the establishment 
of the Hungarian Worker-Peasant Government, it was explained that this drastic 
step was taken by Mr. KadSr and his colleagues for the purpose of saving the 
Hungarian workers and peasants from the dangers of fascism and reaction. The 
statement read by Mr. MUnnich declared : "We have decided to fight with all our 

*^ Uj Magyarorssdg, 2 November 1956. 

*^ Budapest Radio, 9.15 p. m. on 3 November 1956. 

"Tbe two remaining seats had been secured by the Democratic Party. 


strength against the threatening danger of fascism . . .". Similarly, one hour 
later Mr. Kadar was heard to say : "We must put an end to the excesses of the 
counter-revolutionary elements. The hour for action has sounded. We are going 
to defend the interest of the workers and peasants and the achievements of the 
People's Democracy". 

597. It has not been established whether Mr. Kddar or other members of his 
Government actually prepared the other announcements which were heard over 
the Soviet-controlled radio stations of Hungary between 4 and 7 November. In 
these announcements, the Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government 
appealed to the Hungarian people, "to the workers, peasants and soldiers", and 
called upon them to fight against "the forces of reaction". However, there is no 
evidence that during the fighting from 4 to 11 November there were any soldiers or 
groups of Hungarians, whether organized or unorganized, who fought against each 
other. The evidence supports unequivocally the conclusion that all fighting oc- 
curred exclusively between Hungarian nationals and the Soviet forces. Any 
Hungarian assistance that the latter may have received came solely from persons 
who had been identified with the AVH and persons closely associated with the 
past Rakosi leadership. 

598. A striking feature in the period between 4 November and 11 November, 
when the Soviet forces finally prevailed, was the use of radio stations by the 
Soviet military commanders to transmit orders to the population. After the 
broadcasts of 4 November, the voices of Mr. Kadar or his colleagues were not 
heard again until the morning of 8 November when Mr. Marosan, Minister of 
State, made an appeal for a return to order. What was heard instead were the 
appeals for outside help addressed from those stations still under the control of 
the Hungarian fighters, and, from the other stations, the orders of the com- 
manders of the Soviet troops to the Hungarian people. Thus at 10 a. m. on 4 
November, Radio Szombathely transmitted an order of the Soviet Military Com- 
mander of Vas County which stated that, "as the local administrative organs have 
been unable to maintain order and to secure public safety . . ., the Commanding 
Ofiicer of the city and country has ordered patrols of Soviet troops to guard public 
buildings and enterprises". The order further stated that all civilians should 
deliver all weapons to the Soviet Military Command, otherwise they would be 
severely punished ; it established precise hours of curfew and regulated matters 
relating to the supply of food. 

599. Similar radio announcements from Szolnok, Pecs, and Miskolc and Nyire- 
gyhaza were heard throughout the days of 4 and 5 November, transmitting the 
orders of Soviet Commanders for the surrender of arms, the establishment of 
curfew hours and other administrative matters, or appealing to the population 
to assist in the re-establishment of order and the resumption of work. 

600. Despite the appeal broadcast in the name of the Kadar Government by 
the Soviet controlled Budapest radio, in the evening of 4 November, calling upon 
"the faithful fighters of the cause of socialism" to come out of hiding, the fight- 
ing which took place in Hungary had nothing of the character of a civil war 
with one part of the population in armed opposition to another. The military 
operations were essentially those of a well-equipped foreign army crushing by 
overwhelming force a national movement and eliminating the Government 
through which that movement was finding effective expression. The mere 
facade of a Government installed by the Soviet authorities was no substitute for 
an effective administration. Consequently, the Soviet Army was placed in the 
position of undertaking various administrative functions, which were clearly of 
a civil nature, in addition to attaining its military objectives by the use of arms. 

601. It is difficult to determine the precise extent of Soviet military admin- 
istration after 4 November ; but that it involved far-reaching control of internal 
Hungarian afi:airs by foreign military authorities is apparent from available 
texts of military orders. The following examples may be cited : 


"Budapest, 6 November 1956 

"At the request of the Hungarian Revolutionary Government of Workers and 
Peasants, the Soviet troops have marched into Budapest temporarily in order 
to help the Hungarian people to protect its socialist achievements, to suppress 
the counter-revolution and to eliminate the menace of fascism. 


"With a view to re-establishing order and normal life in Budapest, I issue the 
following instructions : 

'■(1) Those persons who are in possession of arms should immediately, i. e.^ 
not later than 1700 hours on November 9, 1956, hand them to Soviet military 
units or to the Soviet Military Command. Those persons who hand over their 
arms will not be called to account. 

"Persons who, by the dateline fixed above, have not handed over their arms 
or who hide arms, will be severely punished. 

"(2) From November 7, 1956, the public is allowed on the streets of the city 
of Budapest only between 0700 hours and 1900 hours. 

"Everyone must unconditionally obey the patrols of the Soviet Military Com- 
mand and carry out their instructions and orders without question. 

"(3) We call upon the workers and employees of the factories, of the .shops, 
of the transport and municipal services and of other enterprises and offices to 
resume work. 

"Persons who in any way hinder workers and employees in the resumption of 
work will be called to account. 

" (4) Local authorities must ensure food and fuel supplies for the people. The 
Soviet Military Command will give all help in this matter to the local admin- 
istrative organs. 

"All food shops must be opened to ensure the people a continuous food supply. 
Shops must be open from 0800 hours to 1800 hours. Railroad and motor vehicles 
delivering food and fuel can — with special permission — operate both day and 

"I call upon all Budapest workers to help local administrative organs and 
Soviet troops to re-establish and maintain normal life and public order in the 

"The Military Commander of the Soviet military units in Budapest. 

"K. Grebennik 
''Major-General of the Guards" 

"Order op the Soviet Military Commander'^ 

"Today the Soviet Military Commander of the Pecs has taken up his duties. 

"I issue the following instructions : 

"(1) The counter-revolutionary National Committees must be dissolved. 

" (2) The population must hand over their arms to the Military Commandatura 
(AVH building) by 1900 hours, November 5, 1956. Those who keep arms at 
home illegally will be called to account in accordance with the emergency 

"(3) In all factories and offices, work must be resumed on the 5th at the 
official hour. 

"(4) Demonstrations and meetings are forbidden. 

"Cultural institutions and places of amusement will remain closed until fur- 
ther notice. All citizens will observe the laws and regulations of the Hun- 
garian People's Republic. 

"(5) In the town, the public will be allowed on the streets from 7 a. m. to 
7 p. m. Shops may remain open between the same hours. 

"(6) Should there be shooting at Soviet soldiers or at citizens in general, the 
fire will be returned by Soviet armed forces with arms of all types. 

"Major Kornusin 
"Soviet Military Commander of P4cs" 

602. Such were the orders issued by Soviet military authorities at the time of 
their armed attack on the Hungarian people. But even after the fighting had 
ceased there was no response from the people, or even a segment of the people, 
showing that they would be prepared to assist the Soviet-sponsored Government 
in the reconstruction work that lay ahead. Newspapers and radio broadcasts, 
for the next two weeks, repeatedly announced that order had been restored 
throughout the country. Such reports, however, had to be discontinued, for it 
was clear to all that this was untrue and that large numbers of the people 
were actively devising ways and means to oppose the Government. Thus the 
Soviet Military Command found itself confronted by the problem of having to 
continue the administration of the country without the necessary administra- 

*^ From the special edition of the Dumintuli Naplo published in P6cs on 5 November 1956. 


tive machinery. The Revolutionary Councils had ousted those administrators 
of the old regime who had not sided with the Revolution, but it had not yet 
been possible to replace them effectively. Furthermore, members of the Revo- 
lutionary Councils were participating in the armed resistance and at the end 
of the fighting were obliged to go into hiding. In many cases, even essential 
services in Greater Budapest were unable to function effectively, because many 
of the key personnel were not available. Another factor, and doubtless the most 
important one, was that, with the end of the fighting, the workers decided 
on an organized campaign of passive resistance. This phase of the resistance, 
which was to continue until January 1957 inflicted an additional burden upon 
the Soviet Union, which was obliged to subsidize the Hungarian economy both 
in goods and services. 

603. In some provincial centres, where the fighting had been limited, the 
Revolutionary Councils were permitted to continue their functions, with certain 
changes in personnel, under the over-all supervision of the Soviet Command. 
In other centres, however, all Revolutionary Committees were abolished by 
military order. In many centres, the persons who had been ejected from office 
by the Revolution reappeared at the Town Hall and, in the presence of Soviet 
officers or NKVD or former AVH personnel, resumed the positions they had 
held prior to 23 October. According to the evidence, these persons were often 
unable to render any effective service to the Soviet military authorities, as 
the local government or public utility staff had either abandoned their posts 
or limited their work, so that only the consimiing public would benefit by their 
services, and not the country as a whole. 

604. The Committee was told that, although all public services were disorganized 
or had ceased to function, the population, particularly in Budapest, did not suffer 
directly as a result of this situation. Peasants from the surrounding countryside 
continued, as at the outbreak of the Revolution, to come daily to the capital 
with produce which they sold at little or no profit or even gave away to those 
in need. Similarly, the coal miners, truck drivers, and power station operators 
produced the minimum amount of goods and services for the needs of hospitals 
and private homes, but far less than the requirements of industry or public 
services. The tenacity of the workers had brought the economy to a complete 
standstill. On 28 November, Antal Apro, Minister of Industry, speaking at a 
meeting held in the Parliament Building with representatives of the Workers' 
Councils, emphasized the gravity of the situation due to the abstention from work 
by factory workers and miners. The factories were idle owing to the lack of 
raw materials and fuel. The Communist countries, he said, had sent great 
quantities of raw materials needed by Hungarian industry ; these were now 
massed on the frontier and could not reach the factories. 


605. The only way by which order could be restored, short of acceding to the 
demands of the Hungarian people, was first for the Soviet Military Command to 
initiate a policy of repression and fear that would be pursued with equal 
tenacity by the Government of Mr. Kaddr and, secondly, to remove centres of 
political opposition through the reactivation of the Hungarian Communist Party. 
The first policy was put into effect as soon as the fighting was over. The second 
followed towards the end of November, and is dealt with later in this chapter. 

606. General Grebenik, the Soviet Military Commander in Hungary, in his 
appeal to the Hungarian people on 5 November, emphasized that the Soviet 
forces were in Hungary, not because they needed more land or more national 
resources, but because the Worker-Peasant Government of Mr. Kadar had re- 
quested the Soviet Military Command "to give a helping hand in the liquidation 
of the counter-revolutionary forces." He called upon the Hungarian officers 
and soldiers to fight on the side of the Soviet troops "for freedom and democracy 
against the unbridled forces of reaction". But this appeal, and many others, 
remained unheeded by the Hungarian fighters. In the face of this opposition, 
the Soviet Military Command adopted stringent measures — individual arrests 
of persons suspected of leadership in the resistance, mass arrests and deporta- 
tions. Occasionally, the Soviet troops resorted to summary executions, to instill 
fear into the people. Simultaneously, the Soviet Command took over the control 
of the nerve centres of the country, such as broadcasting stations, telephone 
exchanges, road transport, and the principal railway lines, so as to maintain 
control within the country and to suppress any opposition movements. 


607. These controls were effectively maintained by the Soviet Military Com- 
mand for a number of months. It is known that, after the battles outside the 
Central Telephone Exchange of Budapest, the Exchange was immediately taken 
over by Soviet troops, who apparently remained to monitor all official calls. The 
Committee was informed that an official of a Foreign IMinistry of a Western Eu- 
ropean Government, while calling up in December its diplomatic representative 
in Budapest, was interrupted by a person speaking Russian, who broke off the 
connexion. Similarly, it was reported that all cars, including those with diplo- 
matic licence plates, were obliged to receive a Soviet permit to circulate. The 
Committee was told that diplomatic personnel leaving the country with exit 
visas issued by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry were turned back at the 
frontier by the Soviet guards, if they had not also received an exit clearance 
from the Soviet Military authorities. 

608. The Soviet Command laid special emphasis on control of the railroads. 
During their advance at the time of the second intervention, the Soviet troops 
commandeered the principal lines leading to Budapest. This v?as first noted on 
the Zahony-Nyiregyhjiza-Szolnok line, which was seized on 2 November after a 
skirmish with the Hungarian railway workers at Nyiregyhaza. At the outset, 
the Soviet Command tried to get the railwaymen to operate the trains, but this 
was effected only under duress, by seizing the men in their homes and taking 
them to the marshalling yards. Eventually, on the main lines the railroads 
actually had to be operated by Soviet personnel and the trains were protected 
against saboteurs and guerrillas by Soviet armed guards. The secondary lines 
were apparently in a chaotic state. 

609. While fighting was still going on, the Soviet troops used varying tactics 
to consolidate their military gains. In some cases, if their objectives had been 
achieved easily, the Soviet troops, after disarming the fighters, would allow 
them to go home. This was the case in the smaller provincial centres during the 
(lays of 4 and 5 November. On the other hand, in Budapest, or wherever the 
Hungarian fighters persisted in their resistance, the Soviet troops showed 
severity. In some districts of Budapest, when the fighting began to die down, 
Soviet troops, with the assistance of AVH men, effected mass arrests of persons 
suspected of having taken part in the fighting. Witnesses testified that, at 
Gyor. at the end of the fighting, they seized sixty men, of whom eight were sum- 
marily executed. There is evidence that on numerous occasions truckloads of 
men and women were driven to jail under Soviet armed guard, and were kept in 
prison under the supervision of Soviet personnel. Some mtnesses were emphatic 
in their statements that these arrests often had no direct connexion with the 
fighting. One witness stated that fifty prisoners had escaped from such a round- 
up, and Soviet troops immediately collected an equal number of persons from 
the houses surrounding the area. 

610. The use of repression by the Soviet Military Command as a method of 
establishing some pattern of order in Hungary is illustrated by the following 
cases which were reported to the Committee : 

611. Witnesses have testified that persons arrested by the Soviet Military Com- 
mand were not turned over to the Hungarian authorities, as officially reported 
in the press. The Chief Public Prosecutor, Geza Sz6nasi, stated that he had no 
competence to order the Soviet troops to release anyone they had seized. Another 
witness stated before the Committee that when he, with some of his colleagues, 
had approached the Soviet Military Command of Budapest, asking for the return 
of a group of persons who had been deported to the Soviet Union, they were told 
by a senior Soviet officer that this could be done, if the group would undertake 
to persuade the workers to return to work. 

612. The Soviet Military Command was particularly interested in bringing 
under its control the Hungarian Officer Corps, as it had been demonstrated that 
pro-Soviet indoctrination had not prevented many of the officers from siding with 
the nationalist uprising. There is evidence that the Soviet Command, on the 
outbreak of hostilities, ordered certain Hungarian troops to their barracks in 
garrison towns, demanding their surrender. In a number of cases there was 
no opposition, as the barracks were denuded of troops except for a few pro- 
Soviet officers. There were instances where Hungarian officers had already been 
seized by Soviet troops on 3 or even 2 November. In Budapest, Soviet armoured 
imits, during the day of 4 November, surrounded the Military Staff College and 
seized the few men they could find there. It has been reliably reported that 
even in the case of a Hungarian imit which had remained passive, Soviet ti'oops 
issued an ultimatum to vacate the barracks witliin thirty minutes. They then 


proceeded to occupy the premises and take over all the military stores. In Buda- 
pest, former members of the AVH attached to the Soviet troops assisted in 
identifying Hungarian officers who were considered to be in sympathy with the 
uprising. According to witnesses, these officers were immediately dispatched to 
the Soviet military base at Tokol and were put under arrest. Witnesses, wha 
had themselves been deported to the Soviet Union, told the Committee that a 
proportion of the deportees were Hungarian officers. 

613. Ferenc Miinnich, Minister of Armed Forces and Public Security Affairs, 
in orders and appeals addressed to the armed forces between 8 and 10 November, 
asked the men to report to their units. These orders, however, were soon to 
be countermanded by the issue of other orders by which a considerable part of 
the standing army was demobilized. Apparently the pro-Soviet Generals of the 
Hungarian Staff came to realize that the Army had disintegrated, and that 
it was impossible to reassemble it by issuing orders and appeals. In addition, 
according to witnesses in a position to know the facts, the Soviet Military 
Command at this stage objected strongly to the reestablishment of any organi- 
zation that would have the status of a Hungarian Army, as recent experience 
had shown that Hungarian troops were liable to turn weapons against their 
Soviet allies. Instead, they demanded that State Security Forces be so organ- 
ized as to provide a more effective political ccmtrol against the present opposi- 
tion and any subversive movements that might develop in the future. 

614. Dr. Miinnich, in his Instruction for the implementation of the "Officers* 
Declaration" issued on 12 November, ordered all offi ers of the Hungarian Army 
who agreed with the Declaration and desired to pursue their military career 
to sign the document. Those who refused to sign or "disagree with the Dec- 
laration, or want to be disarmed for any other reason" would cease within 
twenty-four hours to be part of the active Hungarian Army. The instruction 
further established committees of five to seven officers to decide doubtful cases 
of officers who had signed the Declaration but who, having "participated with 
arms on the side of the enemy", could not remain in the Army. Witnesses 
estimated that, as a result of this Instruction, perhaps 80 percent of the Hun- 
garian officers have been separated from the forces. Of the remaining 20 percent 
who signed the Declaration, it is said that a considerable number did so for 
family reasons. 

615. One of the first pronouncements of Mr. Kadar, following the cessation of 
hostilities on 11 November, was that past mistakes would not be repeated. As a 
proof of his intentions, he declared that the liquidation of the AVH would be 
completed. The day before, however, a new security organization had been 
established, known as the "R" *" group which was to serve as an adjunct of the 
regular police, ostensibly to protect the i>eople from being "molested by crimi- 
nals." "Security Forces Regiments" were also established, whose task would 
be to patrol the cities, collect arms and prevent any disturbance of order. The 
press also announced the formation of various other security groups; thus in 
all there were the "Security Force Regiment", the "R" groups, "mixed action" 
groups, "factory guards", the "Frontier Guard," the "Home Guard" and the 
"Militia." These forces, with the exception of the factory guards became, and 
still continue to be, following cei'tain mergers, the foundation upon which the 
Kadar Government must rest. Witnesses have explained how these forces, 
under whatever title they may have been known, were fostered by the Soviet 
Military Command, and worked closely with Soviet troops in the repression of 
armed or passive resistance. There is evidence that these security groups were 
staffed, at least to a considerable extent, by former members of the AVH. In 
some cases, the groups also included members of the NKVD, who were seen on 
duty wearing Soviet, and in other cases Hungarian, uniforms. The function of 
these groups was to discover any centers of resistance, to make home arrests of 
individual suspects and to act as guides and interpreters for the Soviet troops 
wherever it was necessary to exercise armed force. 

616. The Soviet Military Command, having achieved its primary objective 
which was the overthrow by force of Premier Nagy's Government, had, indeed, 
to rely on the personnel of the disbanded AVH as the only group in Hungary 
whose" loyalty and interests lay on the side of the Soviet Union. Mr. Kadar, 
who came to power as a result of the Soviet military intervention, was pre- 
sumably selected as Premier partly because his own imprisonment might en- 
courage the people to believe that there would be no return of Rakosi's methods 
and of his terror weapon, the AVH. It is possible that the Soviet authorities 

46 '-R- from the Hungarian word narf(3 = alarm. 


believed that the Hungarian people, following the military defeat, would submit 
to the new order under Mr. Kadar, and that through him a new equilibrium might 
be reached that would satisfy certain minimum political and strategic re- 
quirements of the Soviet Union. Developments, however, after 4 November 
showed that the Hungarian people were not prepared to co-operate with any 
Government which would not, or could not, satisfy their two basic demands — 
the withdrawal of the Soviet troops and free elections. Resistance continued 
in the form of persistent strikes, deputations with demands that were ab initio 
unacceptable, passive demonstrations, manifestoes and the intermittent ap- 
pearance of guerrillas. In consequence, the mopping up operations of the 
Soviet troops at the end of the fighting became an organized system of armed 


617. The most significant evidence of the reality of Soviet control is to be 
found in the dealings of Soviet Military Commanders with the Workers' Coun- 
cils. An essential element of the Soviet Military Commander's Order No. 1 
issued on 6 November was his call to the workers to resume work. In the 
weeks following the revolution, negotiations between the Workers' Council and 
the Soviet Command centred mostly around this question. In some instances, 
however, specific incidents occurring in the city were taken up by the Workers' 
Councils with the Soviet Commander, who was asked to intervene. The Greater 
Budapest Workers' Council was in continuous communication with the Soviet 
Commander of Budapest. 

618. On several occasions, leaders of the Workers' Councils were summoned 
to Soviet headquarters and called to account for the failure of the workers to 
resume work. A meeting between the Soviet Military Commander and leaders 
of the Workers' Councils of the 11th District of Budapest took place on 8 
November, and a number of witnesses testified that this conversation took place 
in a strained atmosphere. The workers' delegates declared that they had certain 
demands to make before work would be resumed ; these demands, which reflected 
the sixteen-point programme of 23 October, were read out. The answers of the 
Soviet Commander were, according to a witness, given an obdurate tone : in so 
far as workers had not resumed work in the factories, the members of Workers' 
Councils and other fascist revolutionaries would be taught a lesson ; workers 
who did not report for work would be locked out of factories and removed to 
a place "where they would have ample time to think about starting work again" ; 
Mr. Nagy and Mr. Maleter would not be taken back into the Government, be- 
cause they were imperialist agents. They would go elsewhere, but not into the 
Government ; there would be no secret elections, and Hungarians would never 
again have an opportunity to put the revolutionaries back into power ; things 
would be done differently, as in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Commander then 
stated that he expected the Workers' Councils to use their influence to encourage 
the resumption of work within two or three days ; otherwise members of Workers' 
and Revolutionary Councils would be put to work themselves. 

619. On another occasion, according to testimony, the Soviet Commander sum- 
moned the representatives of the Central Workers' Council of Csepel to his head- 
quarters and told them that workers who refused to resume work would be 
"removed". The workers' delegation answer, however, that work would not 
be resumed "in the shadow of arms or in the presence of foreign troops", and 
demanded that Soviet troops be withdrawn from the factory. After a certain 
amount of discussion, the Soviet Commander agreed that the armoured troops 
should leave the factory, but that if work was not resumed within twenty-four 
hours after their leaving, the factory would be reoccupied. After the withdrawal 
of Soviet troops, about 20 per cent of the workers resumed work. 

620. Witnesses have testified about a considerable number of interventions by 
Soviet armed forces in the proceedings of the Workers' Councils. The meeting 
place at Ujpest, where delegates of the Workers' Councils were to meet on 13 
November to set up the Greater Budapest Workers' Council was surrounded by 
twenty Soviet tanks, and it was only after lengthy conversations with the Soviet 
Commander that the meeting was authorized to take place elsewhere. On 15 No- 
vember, at another meeting of workers delegates held at the headquarters of the 
Tramcar Workers' Union at Akacfa Sti-eet, Soviet troops surrounded the building, 
entering during the proceedings from both sides of the room. The ineeting con- 
tinued, and after three hours the Soviet ofl[icer in charge announced that it had 
been a misunderstanding, and the troops left. On 16 November, at a meeting of 

!t3215— 59— pt. 90 10 


workers' representatives of twenty-eight of the largest factories in Budapest at 
the Iron Workers' headquarters, six Soviet soldiers, armed with submachine guns, 
surrounded the place ; the meeting then broke up. It was reported by witnesses 
that one or two Soviet officers were continuously present at meetings of the Cen- 
tral Workers' Council of Csepel. The first time they appeared, the Council pro- 
tested, but was told that the Soviets were there only as observers, as they wished 
to learn how these councils functioned, not having similar councils in the Soviet 
Union. Later, the officers said that their intention had been to protect the workers 
against "ill-intentioned fascist imperialist agents". The presence of the Soviet 
officers was then debated, and the workers answered that, as a matter of principle, 
they did not wish outsiders to be present at their meetings ; nevertheless, if the 
officers wanted to attend, the Council would be happy to tell them of the problems 
which faced the workers. On occasion, the Soviet observers were asked questions 
in the course of such meetings. Thus, when the Council was discussing the with- 
drawal of Russian troops, they turned to the Soviet colonel present and asked him 
about it. The colonel answered that his information was that the moment work 
was resumed, troops would be withdrawn from the territory of Hungary. 

621. Numerous clashes between factory workers, Soviet forces and the militia 
were reported to the Committee. Russian troops participated in the attempted 
arrest of the workers' leaders in the Danubia factory and in the actual arrest 
of the Chairman of the Workers' Council of the Ganz and Mavag factories. At 
the mining centre of Salgotarjan, in the course of a miners' demonstration, Soviet 
troops and militia opened fire. Those among the demonstrators who were armed 
returned the fire, and there was a large number of casualties. For a time after 
the dissolution of the Greater Budapest Workers' Council on 9 December, Soviet 
pressure on the Workers' Councils seems to have continued. At Csepel and in 
other places, the Soviet authorities did not refrain from open threats and de- 
manded to know the names and addresses of members of the Council. 


()22. When Soviet troops reached the Parliament Building on the morning of 
4 November, the Soviet Commander-in-Chief and his Staff established their 
headquarters in the very offices that had been vacated earlier that same morning 
by Premier Nagy. Various witnesses who visited Mr. Kfidar at different times 
after 11 November have reported that the Parliament Building, both outside and 
inside, looked like a Soviet military stronghold. Soviet tanks protected th^ 
entrances to the buildings ; at the entrances themselves, Soviet Army and NKVD 
personnel checked the credentials of all who sought admittance, while inside, 
in the halls and corridors, many Soviet officers were to be seen. Witnesses ex- 
plained that, during the meetings they held with Mr. Kadar, there were usually 
one or two people present, who apparently acted as observers, while remaining 
silent throughout the proceedings. Witnesses also told the Committee that 
around 17 November, when the Greater Budapest Workers' Council was pressing 
Mr. Kadar for the withdrawal of Soviet troops as a condition for the resumption 
of work, General Grebennik enlightened them on the situation as follows : "You 
have to understand that it is not the Kadar Government which is in control 
here, but the Soviet Military Command, and it has the power to force the Hun- 
garian workers to return to work". When a delegation from the Kobanya dis- 
trict of Budapest visited Mr. Kadar to ask him to intervene with the Soviet Mili- 
tary Commander to stop the deportation of workers, Mr. Kadar is reported to 
have said to them in private: "Don't you see there are machine-guns at my 

623. Evidence given to the Committee has illustrated the dependence of Mr. 
Kadar's Government on Soviet support and the limitations on the exercise by 
it of independent power. Upon Mr. KJldar's return on 6 or 7 November after his 
visit to Moscow, he held a meeting with Zoltttn Tildy and certain other non- 
Communist political personalities to discuss the possibility of their joining his 
Government. The Committee received testimony to the effect that they accepted 
but that, when the question was submitted to the Soviet Military Commander, 
the latter immediately replied with a categorical refusal. 

624. One of the many difficulties confronting Mr. Kadar at the time of his 
appointment was that the various elected bodies, such as Revolutionary Coun- 
cils, Workers' Councils, trade unions, student unions and professional societies 
that visited him in Parliament made a point of stating that they did not consider 
him and his Government as being legally in power. There were numerous i-eports 


in the Hungarian press and on the Budapest radio between IG and 23 November 
indicating that the representatives of these groups -were pressing lor the return 
to po\^•er of Premier Nagy. On one occasion. Mr. Kadar was forced to state that, 
as soon as Premier Nagy left the Yugoslav Embassy, negotiations would be under- 
taken to change the structure of the Government. 

625. The degree to which the Government of Hungary reflects autonomous 
political evolution within the country is also seen in the somewhat abortive ef- 
forts towards the reactivation of the Hungarian Communist Party. When Mr. 
Kadar came to power, his Government represented a iwlitical Party that had 
disintegrated the previous week. The Central Committee of the Party — the 
Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party — dissolved itself on 28 October. Fol- 
lowing Mr. Kadar's declaration on 30 October that the Party had failed, the 
more iirominent Hungarian Communists whose faith was still unshaken decided 
to make a fresh start. For this purpose, they establish >ii the Preparatory Com- 
mittee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. The seven members of this 
Committee, which was intended to link past practice wnth the future reformed 
Communist movement, have all, with the exception of Mr. Kadar, been con- 
sidered enemies of the State following the second Soviet intervention. 

626. Many witnesses declared that Mr. Kadar had difficulty in finding people 
who would join his Government. They testitied that many leading Communists 
had trusted Premier Nagy and had accepted his stand on the major political 
issues, while others again, during the uprising, had undergone a change of heart 
and refused to be associated with the Communist movement any longer. Mr. 
Kadar thus found himself with only a few associates and with a party machinery 
that could not operate. 

627. Mr. Kadar's Government had to try and reassemble the rank and file of 
the Party and to deploy it in key positions. In the provinces and, to some extent, 
in the capital, this was done by using former members of the AVH who came 
out of hiding or were liberated from prison by the advancing Soviet troops. The 
various local administrators, Government officials and trade union leaders who 
had not sided with the uprising and had consequently been ejected from office 
by the Revolutionary Councils, were reinstated in their former positions. Wit- 
nesses testified, however, that this was no solution, as so many of the former 
officials had broken away from the Party during the uprising that many essential 
posts had to remain vacant. In the industrial town of Dunapentele, for example, 
with the exception of the AVH and one or two Army officers, everyone bad sided 
with the uprising. A similar situation existed in a number of other towns. The 
Government was therefore often unable immediately to remove from office even 
its declared enemies. Evidence has been received that Borsod County (Miskolc 
area) was administered independently up to January 1957 with few, if any, ties 
with the central Government. 

628. Repressive measures by the Soviet Military Command helped to solve 
this problem. By 17 November when under-production by factory workers and 
miners amounted to a sit-down strike, the Soviet Military Command, with the 
AVH, arrested many of the leaders in the factories and mines. As vacancies were 
created in the Workers" Councils, they were filled by persons designated by the 

629. Witnesses maintained that, among the 200,000 who are now claimed by 
the Government to be members of the Party, a considerable proportion joined 
solely for pecuniary reasons and could not be relied upon by the Government in 
an emergency. It w-as stated before the Committee that, in certain cases, a fac- 
tory group or group of factories was told that it had to increase its quota of Party 
members. For the purpose of avoiding the imposition of persons from outside, 
the workers decided that they would till the quota by drawing lots from among 
the staff in the factory. 


630. A most conclusive sign of the inability of the Hungarian Government to 
maintain its sovereign independence against Soviet intervention was the abduc- 
tion of Mr. Nagy. When Premier Nagy left the Parliament Building on the 
morning of 4 November, he told other members of his Cabinet that he was going 
to the Soviet Embassy to protest personally against the Soviet military attack. 
However, instead he sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in the company 
of his son-in-law. Dr. Ferenc .Janosi, and was followed by the other Communist 
member of his Government, Geza Losonczy. Within a few hours Messrs. Ferenc 
PonAt, GAbor Tancos, SSndor Haraszti, Gyorgy Fazekas, Janos Sziliigyi, Sizil^rd 


Ujhelyi, Miklos V^sarhelyi and Mrs. Julia Rajk, together with fifteen other 
women and seventeen children, came to the Yugoslav Embassy seeking asylum. 

631. According to a report issued by the Yugoslav News Agency Tanjug, dated 
25 November, certain negotiations had taken place on 2 November between Zoltau 
Szanto, one of the I\i(-mbers of the Provisional Committee of the new Socialist 
Workers' Party of Hu.igary, and a member of the Yugoslav Embassy, with regard 
to the possibility for him and some other Hungarian Communists to seek refuge 
in the Yugoslav Embassy, should this prove to be necessary. The next day the 
Yugoslav Ambassadnr stated that in principle he would grant asylum, if this 
were requested. 

632. Negotiations were under way between 11 and 22 November in which the 
Yugoslav Government and Mr. Kadar sought to settle the problem connected with 
the granting of asylum to Premier Nagy and his group. The Yugoslav Govern- 
ment proposed that (a) the Government of Mr. Kadar should provide a written 
guarantee that Premier Nagy and his group would be allowed to return freely 
to their homes or, if this were not possible, that ( b ) the persons in question would 
be permitted to proceed freely to Yugoslavia, where they would be granted 

633. In the course of the conversations that were held in Budapest between 
Mr. Dobrivojc Vidic, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Federal People's 
Republic of Yugoslavia, and Mr. Kildar. the latter, while accepting the above 
proposals of the Yugoslav Government had also suggested as an alternative 
solution that Premier Nagy and his group should seek refuge in Romania. This 
proposal was communicated by Mr. Vidic to Premier Nagy and his group, who 
ruled it out as unacceptable. The question was again submitted to Mr. Kadar 
on the basis of the original alternative proposals. Mr. Kadar seems to have 
agreed to this orally on 16 November. However, the next day he set new con- 
ditions. These were that Premier Nagy and Mr. Losonczy should resign from 
their positions in the Government, that they should declare themselves in sym- 
pathy with the efforts of the Hungarian Worker-Peasant Government, that they 
should offer a self-criticism of their earlier activities, and that they should 
guaraiitee not to undertake any steps against the activity of the Hungarian 
Government. Mr. Kadar also requested that Premier Nagy and Mr. Losonczy 
should seek asylum in one of the socialist countries, until conditions in Hungary 
became normal. These proposals were refused both by Premier Nagy and by the 
Yugoslav Government, which declared that it could not agree to release the group 
in question on the basis of special terms which were exclusively of domestic 
concern to Hungary. Witnesses who had been in contact with Premier Nagy 
while he was in the Yugoslav Embassy have testified that they learned from him 
that he had rejected an offer to go to Romania. 

634. In the letter of the Yugoslav Government dated 18 November addressed 
to Sir. Kadar, it was specifically stated that the Yugoslav Embassy would agree 
to the departure of the group from the premises only upon the receipt of the 
written guarantee of Mr. Kadar, in his capacity as President of the Government 
of the Hungarian People's Republic, that Premier Nagy and his party would 
be granted safe conduct to proceed freely to their respective homes. Mr. Kadar, 
in his reply to the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia 
dated 21 November, stated : 

"In the interest of terminating the matter, the Hungarian Government, agree- 
ing to the proposals contained on page 3, section 8 of the letter of 18 November 
1956 addressed to me by the Yugoslav Government, hereby confirms in writing 
its verbal declaration that it does not desire to apply sanctions against Imre 
Nagy and the members of his group for their past activities. We take note 
that the asylum extended to the group will hereby come to an end and that 
they themselves will leave the Yugoslav Embassy and proceed freely to their 

635. The next day, 22 November, at 6.30 p. m.. a bus arrived at the Yugoslav 
Embassy. This bus had been placed at the disposal of the refugees by Mr. 
Miinnich, Minister of the Armed Forces and of Public Security Affairs. As 
the group was boarding the bus, Soviet military personnel arrived and insisted 
on entering it. Thereupon, the Yugoslav Ambassador asked two Embnssy dtficials 
also to accompany the group, to make certain that Premier Nagy and the party 
reached their homes as agreed. The bus was driven to the city Headquarters 
of the Soviet Military Command, where the two Yugoslav officials were ordered 
by a Soviet Lieutenant-Colonel to leave. Under an escoit of Soviet armouretl 
cars, the bus then drove away to an imknown destination. 


636. The above incident caused the Yugoslav Government to issue a note 
verhale condemning the action of the Hungarian Government in severe terms. 
It described the action of the Hungarian Government as "a flagrant breach 
of the agreement reached. The very fact that it was committed immediately 
after the agreement was concluded sheds a peculiar light on the breach." The 
note categorically denied the version that Premier Nagy and his party volun- 
tarily left for Romania, for they had made it quite clear while they were at 
the Yugoslav Embassy that they would refuse to go to Romania. The note 
then stated that this violation of the agreement would have a negative effect 
on Yugoslav-Hungarian relations and declared it to be completely contrary to 
the generally accepted practices of international law. 

637. On 24 November Mr. Vidic received in Belgrade Mr. Graznov, Counsellor 
of the Soviet Embassy, to whom he transmitted a note setting forth the contents 
of the note addressed to the Hungarian Government. The note in addition 
stated : "In informing the Government of the USSR about the foregoing, the 
Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia is obliged to express 
its surprise to the Government of the USSR over the fact that Soviet authorities 
in the Hungarian People's Republic prevented implementation of the above- 
mentioned agreement which was to have provided a friendly settlement of a 
disputed issue between the Government of the Federal People's Republic of 
Yugoslavia and the Hungarian People's Republic." 

638. The Ncpakarat, organ of the Hungarian trade unions, in its issue of 23 
November, mentioned that the "Cabinet" sat until 1.30 a. m., after which Mr. 
Kadar assumed full responsibility for Mr. Nagy's journey to Romania. In a 
Government communique issued in the evening of 23 November, it was announced 
that Premier Nagy and some of his colleagues who had sought refuge in the 
Yugoslav Embassy had left the premises of the Embassy on 22 November and 
had gone to Romania, in accordance with a request they had submitted previ- 
ously to be permitted to go to the territory of another socialist country. 

639. From the evidence at its disposal and the testimony of witnesses, the 
Committee is convinced that Premier Nagy and his party did not proceed of their 
own free will to Romania, as declared in the Hungarian communique, but that 
they were forced to do so as a result of Soviet action. It has evidence that, when 
they were forced to board a plane, they did not even know where they were 
being taken. From other testimony, it appears that the group is still held in 
Romania and that some of them are living under prison conditions. 


640. The data in this chapter should be considered in conjunction with the 
information in chapter VII regarding the establishment of Mr. Kadar's Govern- 
ment, and that in chapter V regarding Soviet military ojierations at the time. 
During the early days of the Kadar Government, the administration of the 
country was, in fact, in the hands of the Soviet Military Command. Soviet 
military force was the effective backing of the Government installed in power, 
and the political changes described in the next chapter can be explained only 
against the background of such intervention. 

Chapter XIV. Political Rights After the Revolution 

I. workers' councils 


641. After the second Soviet attack on 4 November, the only political organs 
that remained were the Revolutionary Councils and the W^orkers' Councils. 
The Workers' Councils were the most important by virtue of the number of 
people they represented, the advanced state of their organization and their 
economic bases in the factories. The Workers' Councils emerged from the Revo- 
lution as the only organizations commanding the support of the overwhelming 
majority of the people and in a position to require the Government to negotiate 
with them, because they constituted a force able to bring about the resumption 
of work. In the weeks following Soviet suppression of the Revolution, the 
Councils sought to fortify their position as masters of the factories by taking 
over managerial functions in relation to the organization of production as well 
as the direction of work itself. 


642. In announcing on 4 November the formation of his Government, Mr. Kadar 
outlined its programme in fifteen points : 

1. The securing of our national independence and our country's sovereignty. 

2. The protection of our people's democratic and socialist system against 
all attacks. The protection of our socialist achievements and the guaran- 
teeing of our progress through the building of socialism. 

3. The ending of fratricidal fighting and the restoration of internal order 
and peace. The Government will not tolerate the persecution of workers, 
on any pretext, for having taken part in recent events. 

4. The establishment of close fraternal relations with every socialist country 
on the basis of complete equality and mutual non-interference. The same 
principle governs those of our economic relations which are mutually advan- 
tageous as well as our mutual assistance relationships. 

5. Peaceful co-operation with every country, irrespective of its social 
organization and form of state. 

6. Rapid and substantial raising of living standard of workers, particularly 
of the working class. There must be more houses for the workers. Factories 
and enterprises must be enabled to build apartments for their workers and 

7. Modification of the Five-Year Plan, changing of the methods of economic 
management, taking into consideration the economic characteristics of the 
country, so as to raise the population's living standard as quickly as possible. 

8. Elimination of bureaucracy and broad development of democracy in the 
interest of the workers. 

9. On the basis of the broadest democracy, worker-management must be 
put into effect in factories, enterprises and undertakings. 

10. The development of agricultural production, the abolition of com- 
pulsory deliveries (of agricultural produce) and the assisting of individual 
farmers. The Government will firmly revoke all acts which have infringed 
the law in the field of co-operatives and the regrouping of plots of land 
[commassation] . 

11. Ensuring the democratic election of existing " administrative bodies 
and revolutionary councils. 

12. Support for retail trade and artisans. 

13. The systematic development of Hungarian national culture in the spirit 
of our progressive traditions. 

14. The Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government, in the 
interest of our ijeople, working class and country, requested the Command 
of the Soviet Army to help our nation in smashing the sinister forces of 
reaction and rest<a-ing order and calm in the country. 

15. After the restoration of order and calm, the Hungarian Government 
will begin negotiations with the Soviet Government and with the other 
participants to the Warsaw Treaty about the withdrawal of Soviet troops 
from Hungary. 

643. This declaration contained several points which were meant to reassure 
the workers. However, the programme failed to win their confidence or to 
induce the Workers' Councils to recognize the authority of the new Government. 
The demands which the Councils made in the negotiations which they undertook 
with the Kadar Government were based on the students' sixteeu-point revolu- 
tionary programme of 2 October. The following is a summary of their demands : 

(i) The immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from the territory of 
Hungary ; 

(ii) Free elections at a definite date under the supervision of the United 
Nations, with the participation of all democratic parties, and an immediate 
announcement by the Government that United Nations observers would be 
allowed into Hungary ; 

(iii) Pending the holding of such elections, formation of a new coalition 
Government in which members of the Kadar Government would not partici- 
pate ; the return of Mr. Nagy into this new Government and his appointment 
as Minister of State ; 

(iv) Immediate withdrawal from the Warsaw Treaty; 

(v) An efliort to secure recognition of Hungary's neutrality ; 

(vi) Liberation of those imprisoned for participating in the fighting and 
assurances that they would not be prosecuted ; 

(vii) Recognition of the right to strike; 

(viii) Re-examination and publication of all commercial agreements. 

" Hungarian : eddigi. 


In addition, demands were made pertaining to the status of tlie Workers' 
Councils, and to the organization of armed guards in factories and the banning 
of Party organizing within the factories. 

644. In the weeks that followed the second Soviet intervention. Workers' 
Councils from different factories sent delegations to the Parliament Building to 
discuss their demands with representatives of the Government. Despite varia- 
tions, all demands were based on the position outlined above. There was 
also tacit agreement among the Workers' Councils that the strike would continue 
\intil such time as the Government signified its intention to satisfy, or at least try 
to satisfy, the essential demands. According to a witness, one of he first negotia- 
tions was between Mr. IMiinnich as Minister of the Interior and representatives 
of the Workers' Council of the eleventh District of Budapest in the Parliament 
Building. It was reported that a man in Soviet military uniform was in the 
Tooui during the negotiations, but did not intervene in the discussions. Agree- 
ment was reached on one point only, namely the question of establishing a 
workers' armed guard. But the next day. Mr. IMiinnich is said to have retracted 
even this permission by telephone. The Eleventh District Workers' Council 
therefore continued the strike. A succession of delegations from Workers' 
Councils appeared at the Parliament Building. They included delegations from 
the Tata and Oroszlfinyvaros mines, the Central Transdanubian industrial area, 
the Klement Gottwald factory, the Ganz Wagon and Engineering Works, the 
Hungarian State Iron. Steel and Engineering Works (MAVAG), Workers' Coun- 
cils from factories in Baja, and others. 

64.5. During the first part of November, individual Workers' Councils discussed 
the possibility of co-ordinating their activities by establishing an organ on a 
broader geographical basis, which would be a more effective means of negotiation 
with the Government. At meetings which took place on 13 and 14 November in 
Ujpest and in which 500 delegates of Workers' Councils participated, the Greater 
Budapest Workers' Council was established, and Sandor Racz was elected Chair- 
man. From that time onwards, negotiations with the Government were carried 
out mostly through the Executive Committee of the Greater Budapest Workers' 
Council, even though representatives of particular Workers' Councils did, in 
some instances, continue to negotiate directly with the Government as, for exam- 
ple, the Central Workers' Council of Csepel, the biggest industrial combine in 
Hungary. Much the most important question which the Greater Budapest 
Workers' Council had to consider was the resumption of work. Delegates from 
individual Workers' Councils reported that workers insisted on continuing the 
strike because they considered that this was their last weapon until such time 
as the Government gave them gtiarantees to meet their demands. At the meet- 
ing on 14 November, a delegation from the Greater Budapest Workers' Council 
was formed and requested to go to the Parliament Building and present the 
demands of the workers to Mr. Kadiir. 

646. Important meetings occurred on 15 and 17 November between representa- 
tives of the Greater Budapest Workers' Council and Mr. Kadar. Several wit- 
nesses have testified before the Committee on what happened at these meetings. 
At the first meeting, the Council representatives made it clear that the Workers' 
Councils adhered strictly to socialism and the social ownership of the means of 
production. They then put forward their demands. Concerning Mr. Nagy, 
Mr. Kadar said that, as he was then on the premises of the Embassy of a foreign 
State where he had asked for political asylum, there was no opportunity to 
confer with him. Should Mr. Nagy decide to return to Hungarian soil, it would 
be possible to consult and possibly to reach an agreement with him. In answer 
to the demand for the establishment of a multi-party system and free elections, 
Mr. Kfidar stated : "We surrender the Party's monopoly : we want a multi-party 
system and clean and honest elections. We know that this will not be easy, 
because the workers' power can be destroyed not only by bullets but also by 
ballots. We must reckon with the fact that we might be thoroughly beaten at the 
elections, but we undertake the election fight because the Communist Party 
will have the strength to gain once more the confidence of the working masses." 
He declared that if the Communists were crowded out of Parliament, the over- 
throw of socialism would necessarily follow. Of the Soviet troops, he stated that 
"We were compelled to ask for the intervention of Soviet troops * * *, we were 
threatened with the immediate danger of the overthrow of the people's power. 
* * * First, the counter-revolution must be broken by the people's power con- 
solidated with the help of armed workers * * * and, after that, Soviet troops 


will be withdrawn from Budapest and we shall negotiate with a view to their 
withdrawal from Hungary." The composition of the present Government, Mr. 
Kadsir stated, was not to be regarded as final ; it would be broadened. Referring 
to the question of neutrality, he said : "it is a highly understandable demand * * * 
but in vain do we demand neutrality, when the counter-revolutionary imperialists 
spit on our neutrality". Touching the Workers' Council demands bearing on 
Soviet-Hungarian economic relations, Mr. Kadar assured that delegation that, 
in future, all trade agreements would be made public. He said that Hungarian 
uranium ore was being sold to the Soviet Union at world market prices, "but we 
do not possess the extremely expensive equipment needed for uranium process- 
ing". Mr. Kadar's reply to the demand of the delgation that there should be 
no re-establishment of Party cells in the factories was that he considered Party 
organization in the factories essential. However, he renewed the promise that no 
one would be harmed for having taken part in the great popular movement of 
the last few weeks. In the course of the meeting, Mr. Kadar is said to have told 
the delegation that the Greater Budapest Workers' Council, for which they 
spoke, should prove that it truly represented the workers of Hungary by seeing 
to it that work was resumed. 

647. The conciliatory attitude of the Government towards a number of the 
workers' demands and the realization that a successful appeal to resume work 
would be a show of strength led the Greater Budapest Workers' Council to 
exercise a moderating influence on the Workers' Councils, which agreed to 
resume work, but reserved the right to strike should the Government fail to 
carry out its promises. The Workers' Councils therefore agreed that the 
Greater Budapest Workers' Council should issue an appeal on 16 November 
asking for a return to work at the latest at 8 a. m. on 19 November. The 
proclamation stated that work was to be resumed in view of the Government's 
recognition of the competence of the Workers' Councils in the field of economic 
management of the factories and its earnest promise to fulfil within the fore- 
seeable future the revolutionary demands formulated on 23 October 1956, in- 
cluding the gradual withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary. 

648. The second meeting between delegates of the Greater Budapest Workers' 
Council and Mr. Kadar took place between midnight and 4 a. m. on 17 Novem- 
ber. Mr. Kadar was informed that, as a token of goodwill to the Government, 
the Greater Budapest Workers' Council had asked the Workers' Councils to 
resume work. The delegates then asked for the establishment of a supreme 
national organ of Workers' Councils to be regulated by decree law of the Presi- 
dential Council. Mr. Kadar replied that he did not consider the creation of 
such a controlling organ necessary, as there was a workers' Government in 
Hungary. He was, however, ready to recognize the Workers' Councils of indi- 
vidual factories and even to agree to the establishment of workers' guards in 
such factories. He then repeated his plea to delegates to exert their influence 
for the resumption of work ; if they would do so, he would use his influence to 
effect the withdrawal of Russian troops from Budapest and, together with 
representatives of Workers' Councils, would start negotiations with the parties 
to the Warsaw Treaty about the possibility of declaring the neutrality of Hun- 
gary. The delegation is then said to have asked Mr. Kadar for a written state- 
ment, which they could show to the Workers' Councils, in which the Revolution 
would be declared lawful and in which it would be stated that Mr. Kadar 
would do all he could to secure the withdrawal of Russian troops and the 
release of freedom fighters who had been made prisoners. Mr. Kadar answered 
that his word should be enough. 

649. The relationship between the Kadar regime and the workers took a turn 
for the worse when a meeting called on 21 November by the Greater Budapest 
Workers' Council to discuss the decree law on the establishment and competence 
of Workers' Councils promulgated the same day, was forbidden and disbanded. 
The workers objected to certain aspects of this law," especially to the clause 
which gave Ministries the right to appoint directors ; this was felt to be an 
invasion of their sphere of authority. Moreover, the decree failed to provide 
for the setting up of Workers' Councils in the transport and telecommunica- 
tions industries and implied the abolition of existing Workers' Councils in 
those industries. In protest against the banning of the meeting, the Greater 
Budapest Workers' Council called a 48-hour strike. The situation was aggra- 

■"8 Magyar Kozlony, No. 94, 20 November 1956 ; No. 95, 24 November 1956 ; Nepszabadsdg, 
22 November 1956. 


vated by a Government decree at about the same time for the appointment of 
Government commissioners to certain enterprises/" This measure was justified 
on the ground of the "extraordinary difficulties in certain enterprises in con- 
nexion with the resumption of worli and the ensuring of its smooth continuance". 
The commissioner was to decide disputes between Worliers' Councils and Min- 
isters. New discussions therefore took place between the Greater Budapest 
Workers' Council and Mr. Kadar ou 22 and 23 November, in the course of which 
Mr. Kadar promised that he would propose to the Council of Ministers that the 
paragraph of the decree law concerning the appointment of directors would be 
changed. The Government is understood to have stated that it recognized the 
Greater Budapest Workers' Council as a consultative body, whose recommenda- 
tions would be given careful examination and consideration. On 28 November, 
as a result of this talk, the Greater Budapest Workers' Council issued an 
appeal for a return to work, but also declared the results of the conversations 
unsatisfactory, renewed its original demands and held it necessary to continue 
negotiations without delay. 

650. Further negotiations took place on 2.5 November, when the issues at stake 
were reviewed by the representatives of the Greater Budapest Workers' Council 
and leading members of the Government in the Parliament Building. In their 
demands, the representatives of the workers continued to cling to the programme 
of 23 October, and they reproached the regime for its unyielding attitude and 
for other unfulfilled demands, such as the inclusion of workers in the public 
security forces and the organization of factory guards. They refuted Minister 
Apro's allegation that many Workers' Councils were not led by workers, by 
stating that technicians and engineers directly engaged in production were 
workers ; one of the representatives declared "we shall not permit a we<lge to 
be driven between the progressive intelligentsia and the workers". Concerning 
the right to strike, they stated that if, in principle, this was within the com- 
petence of the trade unions, nevertheless the trade unions could not speak for 
the workers, until such time as the workers had built the unions up from below. 
Until then, the Workers' Councils considered themselves to be the competent 
organ to decide on matters pertaining to strikes. 

651. The attitude of the Government on specific issues was expressed by several 
Ministers, after which Mr. Kc'idar made a general statement which showed a 
reversal of his previous declarations. For the first time, Mr. Kadar stated 
flatly that the Nagy Government had been a camouflage for counter-revolution- 
aries ; only when the People's Democratic State had been strengthened, order 
restored and life normalized, and when the last vestiges of the counter-revolu- 
tion had disappeared, would the Government start negotiations with the Soviet 
Government on the question of withdrawal of Soviet troops. Then and then 
only would the Government be enlarged to include non-members of the Party. 
Mr. Kiidar justified the abduction of Mr. Nagy on the ground that had he been 
allowed to return home, counter-revolutionary elements might have murdered him 
and placed the blame on the Government in order to create unrest in the country. 
The first task of the Government was to crush what remained of the counter- 
revolution ; Mr. Kadar considered that inciting to strike was a counter-revolu- 
tionary act. The following day, even stronger words were used ; referring 
to those responsible for the strikes, he added that "a tiger cannot be tamed 
by baits, it can be tamed and forced to peace only by beating it to death . . . 
Every worker, instead of drawing up and scribbling demands, must immediately 
and unconditionally begin to work to the best of his ability". 

652. Meanwhile, tension increased ; the Revolutionary Councils were abol- 
ished °° and there were clashes between factory workers on one side and Russian 
forces and the militia on the other, and on 6 December, the chairmen of the 
Workers' Councils of the Ganz and MAVAG factories were arrested. In a procla- 
mation of the same day, the Greater Budapest Workers' Council warned the 
Government that the policy of arresting workers' leaders would lead to a general 
strike, fresh bloodshed and a new national tragedy. "The Government does 
not build its power on the Workers' Councils, in spite of the promises by Com- 
rade Kadar. Leaders and members of Workers' Councils are being arrested, 
. . . dragged from their homes during the night without investigation or hear- 
ing, . . . peaceful meetings of Workers" Councils are interrupted or prevented 
by armed forces." A reply to the proclamation was demanded by 8 p. m. on 

^0 Mnoi/ar Kozliiny, No. 95, 24 November 1956. 
^"Magyar Kdzliimi, No. 99, 8 December 1956. 


7 December. As uo answer to their proclamatiou was received, on 9 December 
the Greater Budapest Workers' Council called a 48-hour strike to take place 
on 11 and 12 December "in protest against the repression of workers and their 
chosen representatives". The Government thereupon declared illegal both the 
Greater Budapest Workers' Council and all Workers' Councils above the factory 
level and issued a decree abolishing them. At the same time, a series of decrees 
was issued : one required all factory guards to inform the competent police 
authorities of any arms they might have in their possession or be subject to 
summary jurisdiction." It made the specific crimes of murder, homicide, robbery, 
looting, arson and concealing weapons punishable before courts of summary 
justice empowered to pass death sentences." On 11 December, the Chairman of 
the Greater Budapest Workers' Council, Sitndor Racz, and its executive sec- 
retary, Sandor Bali, were arrested. In the following days, further arre.sts of 
workers' leaders were made, and further decrees were issued banning meetings 
without police permission ^^ and authorizing detention by the police for a period 
of six months of those endangering public order, in particular those hindering 
the resumption of work." 

653. On the whole, the Greater Budapest Workers' Council appears to have 
been more willing to conciliate Mr. Kadar than the rank and file of the workers. 
In November, as a token of good faith, the Council called for a return to work, 
at a time when many workers wanted to remain, and did remain, on strike because 
their demands were not met. In December, the Council seemed rather disposed 
to compromise, and it appears that it was Mr. Kadar's intransigence or, rather, 
as the Council put it, his powerlessness, that finally drove the Greater Budapest 
Workers' Council to call a strike.'^ With the dissolution of this Council, the 
Workers' Councils lost much of their power as a political institution, and it 
became clear that their functions were to be restricted to certain limited internal 
problems of individual enterprises. 

654. Some negotiations were still taking place towards the end of December 
between representatives of Workers' Councils and the Government. Delegations 
from mining centers came to see Mr. Kadfir and expressed their willingness to 
resume production gradually, should the Government accede to their demands 
on the 27th. Mr. KildAr also received representatives of the Central Workers' 
Council of Csepel, who had wanted to see him for some time. On this occasion, 
according to testimony, there was considerable tension between Mr. K;'ular and 
the workers. The delegates protested against the fact that former AVH mem- 
bers were being recruited into the militia, as well as into the workers' factory 
guard. Mr. Kadar is said to have answered : "What do you think? Do you 
really think that we will reinforce the militia with fascists? These people 
are all victims of the counter-revolution and are supporting the Government. 
It is clear that it is on them that we rely." To the workers' request that they 
be allowed to have a newspaper in the factory, Mr. Kildar is said to have 
answered : "Everyone wants to have permission to start new papers. I can 
tell you what the headline of your front ))age will be: 'The Heroic October 
Revolution of the Hungarian People.' We have already had great experience 
in that line, and it is for this reason that we banned all the other newspapers, 
because they contained such provocative articles." The delegation left the 
Parliament Building outraged. 

655. In an interview over Radio Budapest on 28 December, the Chairman of 
the Workers' Council of Csepel further described the causes of dissatisfaction. 

" Magyar Kozlony, No. 100, 11 December 1956. 

f-2 Ihid. 

^^Ihid., No. 101, 12 December 1956 and 27 March 1957. 

^Ibid., No. 102. 13 December 1956. 

65 On the handling; of the Workers' Councils by the Hungarian Government, speakinji 
at a joint session of both Houses of the Yugoslav Assembly on 7 December, Mr. Edvard 
Kardelj had the following comment to make : . 

". . . The most surprising thing in the recent events in Hungary is that the Communists 
were afraid of the Workers' Councils. I,enin had the courage to voice the slogan "All 
power to the Soviets", although the Bolsheviks were not in the ma.lority in the Soviets. 
However, as a Marxist, Lenin rightly expected that the working masses, once they became 
responsible for power, must act in their own interests, that is in a Socialist way. And 
he was not deceived. In Hungary nobody had the courage, not even the Workers' Councils 
which were too much under the influence of petit-bourgeois, abstract-liberalistic slogans, 
to make such a demand. But however they might have been, these Workers' Councils were 
the only real socialist force which probably would very soon have become free from the 
foreign anti-socialist influence, if they hiid had to take the ma.ior responsibility in factories 
and self-managing communities, as well as in the central authority. . . ." YUGOSLAV 
REVIEW, Vol. 6, No. 10, December 1956, p. 15. 


In spite of the official assignment of certain functions to Workers' Councils, the 
former system of management was renewed. "The Ministries are exerting their 
tutelage over us, just as they did before ; moreover, they would not let us even 
remove from the factory certain leading officials whom we wish to replace by 
experts. On what socialist principles do you imagine the country's future is to 
1)6 built?" 

650. On 5 January 1957, a declaration on "Major Tasks" was made by Mr. 
K&dar, which throws some light on the attitude of the Government towards the 
political issues for which the Workers' Councils had fought so hard. The declara- 
tion reviewed the situation in Hungary from 4 November and, after stating that 
"the treachery of Imre Nagy had opened the road to counter-revolution", de- 
clared that the task of the Hungarian Worker-Peasant Government was to crush 
it. This had been effected with the assistance of the Soviet Army, which came 
in "at the request of the Government on the basis of contractual obligations". 
No mention was made of negotiations for their withdrawal. It was declared 
that the purpose of the Government was the furtherance of "the proletarian 
dictatorship" ; political activity, therefore, was to be confined to Communists 
and to persons who, although not belonging to the Party, accepted its policy 
and direction. The leading forces in Hungary were the Hungarian Socialist 
Workers' (Communist) Party and the People's Patriotic Front which "unites 
all democratic forces and is guided by the Party." The Government's aim was 
to ensure freedom and democracy for workers, peasants and the intelligentsia 
loyal to the people. However, elements opposing the Government's aims would 
not share in these freedoms ; "their lot will always be the severest punishment 
the law can decree". The establishmnt of Workers' Coimcils was held up as one 
of the achievements of the regime. Their scope, however, was redefined and, 
contrary to the often reiterated wishes of the Workers' Councils, it was stated 
that the directors of enterprises were to be appointed by the State and to be per- 
sonally responsible for the economic management of the factories. The director 
was bound "to prevent and refuse to implement any Workers' Council resolution 
which clashes with a law or a decree, should such a resolution be passed". 
Worker.s' Councils should lend a helping hand in the socialist State leadership 
and industry. Together with Government authorities and trade unions, they 
were "to elaborate the wage and bonus system . . . and see that workers adhere 
^strictly to Government resolutions". 

657. The uncompromising tone of the statement, the failure of the Government 
to abide by its promises, the belief that the Government did not seek co-operation 
with them but rather wanted to whittle away their powers, the increased police 
and Party activities, prompted a number of Workers' Councils to resign. In 
"Red" Csepel, where two former dii'ectors had been reinstated over the protests 
of the workers, there was a mood of discouragement, and the workers, whose 
attitude had been branded over and over again as "counter-revolutionary", 
greeted each other ironically as "Baron" and "Count." On 8 January, the Cen- 
tral Workers' Council of Csepel, which had been electe>i in mid-November and 
was composed of fifty-eiglit members, forty of whom were labourers, resigned and 
issued the following proclamation : 

"It was the hallowed events of the 23 October Revolution of the Hungarian 
l>eople that brought us into being so that we coiild build an independent, free 
and democratic Hungary, and establish the basis for a way of life free from fear. 

"The events that have taken place in the meantime, however, prove that we 
are unable, in present circumstances, to fulfill our mandate. We have no other 
role but to carry out orders of the Government. We cannot, however, carry out 
orders that are against our convictions and we cannot sit by passively when mem- 
bers of Workers' Councils are being arrested and harassed without any reason 
and when the entire work of the Workers' Council is, in fact, branded as 
'counter-revolutionary'. We have finally come to the conclusion that we cannot 
realize the wishes of the workers and. regardless of our personal fate, we are 
unanimously resigning our Workers' Council mandate. 

"Our decision does not mean that we are trying to evade responsibility, but 
it is our opinion that since we are not in a position, in the present situation, 
to fulfill the wishes of the workers, we should not mislead our comrades by our 
existence. For this reason, we are returning our mandate to the workers." 

65S. With the removal of the Workers' Council buffer between the regime and 
the workers, labour troubles flared up even more violently. In Csepel, for in- 
stance, a demonstration was organized on 11 January to protest against the con- 
firmation of the Government commissioner and the director in their positions. 


The militia tried to stop demonstrators from entering the administration build- 
ing. The militia was reinforced, Soviet troops surrounded the factory and, after 
three hours' fight the crowd was forced to scatter. The disorders at Csepel were 
such that, on 12 January, the Government issued an order forbidding newsmen 
to visit the island. 

659. It was announced over the radio on 13 January that, in view of the strikes 
and disorders, the existing powers of summary jurisdiction had proved "inade- 
quate" and that "expedited procedure had now been introduced." The decree 
enlarged the power of courts of summary justice and made the death penalty 
applicable to the crime of "causing wilful damage to factories of public interest" 
or of "intentionally disturbing the functioning of such factories by inciting others 
or calling upon others to strike". Persons accused of such crimes could be 
charged orally, no bill of indictment being necessary.^* 

660. In the meantime, a new set of rules is said to have been issued to cover 
the activites of Workers' Councils. They stated that activities of the Workers* 
Councils had to be directed so that the enterprises might achieve as great eco- 
nomic results as possible ; workers of enterprises working economically were to 
receive a share, amounting to half a week's wages. However, if an enterprise 
was working uneconomically, the workers concerned were not to get their full 
wages. In these cases, the State guarantees only 75 per cent of their full wage. 
In case of bankinipcty of an enterprise, all decisions as to its future belonged to 
the Ministries. Complaints were again voiced concerning the Government's 
refusal of permission to organize Workers" Councils in railway and postal com- 
munication enterprises and in internal trade. Mr. Kadtir declared in a state- 
ment to the Trade Union Council at the end of January that he considered the 
demand for establishment of Workers" Councils in the Hungarian State Railway 
as prompted more by military considerations than by a desire to obtain represen- 
tation of the interests of the workers. 

661. During February, the membership of the remaining Workers' Councils 
seems to have changed sufficiently for the Government to issue decrees on the 
use of workers in the militia and the authorizing of armed factory guards. 
There was more and more talk about returning to the piece-rate system and out- 
put norms ; the Minister of Finance, Mr. Kossa, described pay by the hour as 
"wage demagogy". 

662. At the meeting of the National Assembly on 10 and 11 May, Mr. Kadar 
summarized the situation in Hungary. He made no reference to the role of the 
Workers' Councils, but he did make certain remarks recognizing the dissatis- 
faction of the workers. In this connexion, he called for a closer relationship 
between the masses and the leadership. He went on to make the following 
statement : 

"In my opinion, the task of the leaders is not to put into effect the wishes and 
will of the masses. ... In my opinion, the leaders' task is to realize the inter- 
est of the masses. ... In the recent past, we have encountered the phenom- 
enon that certain categories of workers acted against their own interests and, 
in this case, the duty of the leader is to represent the interests of the masses and 
not to implement mechanically their incorrect ideas. If the wish of the masses 
does not coincide with progress, then one must lead the masses in another 


663. The dissolution of Party cells was one of the first acts of the Workers' 
Councils during the Revolution, and the workers were anxious to receive as- 
surances from the Government that no Party organization whatsoever would 
again be authorized in factories. However, official declarations on this subject 
from 4 November onward were uniformly opposed to this demand. "To call for 
the abolition of Party organs within the factories", Mr. Kadar declared at his 
first meeting with representatives of the Greater Budapest Workers' Council, 
"is clearly a counter-revolutionary objective. * * * There is no Communist Party 
in the world without its factory organization. * * * The Communist Party 
cannot give up its organization within the factories, even if some misguided 
workers are now clamouring for it." 

6« Magyar Kdzlony, No. 5, of 15 January 1957. By a decree supplementary to the law, 
factories employing regularly 100 people or more are defined as being "factories of public 


664. During November, a campaign was launched to reactivate the Party 
movement. At a meeting of the activists of the Communist Party which tooli 
place on 27 November, Karoly Kiss, member of the provisional executive com- 
mittee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' (Communist) Party announced that 
the formation of Party cells in the factories was part of the plan, as was "the 
winning over of the working classes, the elimination of confusion of ideas, the 
combating of still strong nationalism and the strengthening of the armed forces". 
He stressed the importance of the press and radio as a means "to win over the 
passive layers, and first and foremost the workers". In the first resolution 
passed by the Socialist Workers' (Communist) Party on 8 December, it was 
stated that Workers' Councils were "to be taken over by the Communists and 
cleansed of unsuitable demagogues". 

665. In the meantime. Communist infiltration into the factories had begun 
and Party organizations, often with the help of the militia, were able to secure 
office space in the factories. When the Csepel Workers' Council delegates raised 
the question at their meeting with Mr. Kadar on 27 December, he answered 
"You will see, the time will come when the workers themselves will demand 
that the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party should function within the fac- 
tory". Official sources admitted, however, that workers were opposed to the 
setting up of Party organizations within factories. For example, at the end 
of Dei-ember, the Hungarian Telegraph Agency reported that Communist activ- 
ists had met at the Lenin Metallurgical Works "to inform workers that the 
Socialist Workers" Party will begin its activities in the factory". Many work- 
ers opposed the formation of a Party organization in the factory, but the Com- 
munists and workers who supported the Party pronounced themselves in favour 
of it. According to the same source, the total Party membership in Hungary 
towards the end of December amounted to 103,000 out of a population of less 
than 10 million. Membership was particularly low in the working-class areas 
of Budapest. There were only 500 Party members in the Csepel Iron Works; 
total membership in Budapest was 21,000. 

666. A tone of greater urgency was evident in the official statements in the 
first months of 1957. In his speech on "Major Tasks" of 5 January, Mr. Kddar 
stated that the Government "regards the party of the Hungarian working class, 
namely the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party and the People's Patriotic 
Front, as the leading forces in the country". In another speech at the end of the 
month, Mr. Kadar expressed the opinion that the functioning of the Workers' 
Councils could be really useful and fruitful only if they were guided by the 
Communist Party, the party of the working class. More and more Workers' 
Councils found themselves, therefore, in a position where they had to negotiate 
on all major issues with the delegates of the factory Party cell ; witnesses re- 
ported such negotiations in Csepel, and in Dunapentele, where a joint statement 
by the Party Branch Chairjuan and the Workers' Council Chairman asserted 
that "the Workers' Council needs the Party's help and will co-operate in plans 
of a social character calculated to permit the building of socialism". 

667. Although Party cells were established by force, workers could not be 
compelled to co-operate with them and, at the beginning of the year. Com- 
munists remained isolated. On 24 January, the Hungarian Press reported that 
"there was no proper contact" between Party officials and the workers, whereas 
"there should be friendly and fraternal relations between the worker and his 
brother, the Party organizer". Even offers to protect worker Party members 
against dismissal did little to attract members. In a speech in the first part of 
February, Mr. Kiss acknowledged the existence of difficulties in organizing 
Party cells in factories. He said that "in coal mines, the strength of the Party 
organizations is growing, parallel with the output achievements. As for the 
large factories, the consolidation of Party organizations in these enterprises is 
hampered by the continued internal confusion in many places. * * * Though 
it is not the case today, Party organizations in the large factories will again be 
our strongest organizations." 

60.S. One witness testified that although in some factories where the Workers' 
Council had not carried out Government or Party instructions, the Government 
had intervened directly and dissolved the whole Council : in most cases, "the 
Workers' Councils have not been stopped, but their form, their activities and 
their personnel have been changed and they are carrying out work whidi is 
completely foreign to the purposes for which they were established : whereas in 
former times, workers discussed whom they wanted to elect openly and from 
every angle, nowadays the only question that is raised about candidates to the 


Workers' Councils is whether or not they are in conformity with the system." 
As the Communist Party grew stronger, in each factory it dominated the elec- 
tions to the Workers' Councils. "A Party member asked to be recognized and 
proceeded to make derogatory statements about the nominees of the other 
workers : 'one was a counter-revolutionary, a second was a mui'derer, a third 
had left the country, a fourth had committed some other misdeed, therefore they 
are not worthy of representing the workers. However, we, the Party, recom- 
mend this able man here, that worthy man there, and so on, who are all 
reliable Party men and will represent the workers satisfactorily'. Then he would 
add 'Of course, you iu-e in full agreement, Comrades, with their election? Say 
'yes' or 'no' !" When reporting this mode of election to the Committee, the 
witness added "I should like to ask the Committee whether they think that, 
under the form of government that exists in the country presently, there w^ould 
be a worker who would say 'I do not like this'. He has to earn his living 
because of his family, he wants to sleep peacefully at night without being woken 
up by the police, he has to work next day, so he cannot but agree." 

669. By the end of April, the campaign to entrench the Party cells within the 
factories was well under way. On 20 April, an article in N^pszahadsdg, entitled 
"Communist Leadership for the Workers' Councils", referred to heated discus- 
sions in factories about Workers' Councils. "Let us speak frankly, is there a 
need for the very existence of Workers' Councils?" The article stated that it 
was not surprising that the need for the existence of these Councils should be 
questioned as the Workers' Councils were born during the counter-revolution 
and bore the marks of their origin for a long time in their objectives and activi- 
ties. "It is now our task to instil a socialist substance into them. Of late, 
process of purification has been speeded up in the Workers' Councils. Workers 
themselves are beginning to demand the removal of class, alien and other dema- 
gogic elements. Speaking on their behalf . . . the events of recent months show 
convincingly that the Workers' Councils cannot function without Communist 
leadership. In a dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class cannot have 
an organization independent of the Party. It has been proved that, whenever 
they tried to represent the workers' interests by opposing the Party or by em- 
phasising their independence from it, they actually harmed the people. Let us 
remember in this connexion the counter-revolutionary strikes, which did severe 
damage. The Communist activists in the Workers' Council will be the ones who 
will have to carry out the policy of the Government." 

670. "The Party must organize, unite and lead the people", said Mr. Kadsir 
in his speech to the National Assembly on 11 May. Nevertheless, an article in 
N^pssaiadsdg of 4 May complains that, even at that date. Communists were 
working under a handicap in certain factories and were not promoted because 
of discrimination against Party members. The complaint was also made that 
many Commimists removed from their posts by the counter-revolution had not 
yet been reinstated. Justice demanded that the Communist leaders and the 
leaders who, even though not Communist, were faithful to the People's Republic, 
should be reinstated, and those who sympathized with or did not fight against 
the counter-revolutionaries should not be allowed to remain in their positions. 

c. workers' councils and trade unions 

671. After 4 November, the former Praesidium of the National Council of Trade 
Unions resumed its functions ; S:indor Caspar remained the Secretary-General, but 
the organization maintained the name National Council of Free Trade Unions, 
acquired during the Revolution. Some independence of spirit persisted ; in a 
speech from which extracts appeared in the British Communist Daily Worker 
of 15 November 1956, Mr. Caspar stated that it was "unthinkable that any one 
political party should in the future take over alone the government of the coun- 
try", and added that representatives of other parties and men belonging to no 
political party should be given responsible posts. Adopting certain principles laid 
down by the provisional organizing Committee, he declared : "We are for the free- 
dom of the trade unions and their independence from the Government and political 
parties." Nevertheless, he advised the workers to trust the Kadar Government 
and called upon them to stop the general strike. Similar declarations in favour 
of non-interference by the State were made by the individual trade unions, such 
as the Teacher's Trade Union, the Hungarian Telegraph Agency Trade Union, the 
local industry of music workers and of trade and finance workers. 

672. On 24 November, the trade union daily, N^pakarat, published an article 
entitled "The Workers' Councils, the Workers' Democracies and the Right to 
Strike", in which it criticized the decree of the Workers' Councils promulgated 


by the Kiidiir regime on the 21st, and sided with the Workers' Councils on the 
question of the appointment and removal of factory directors. The article even 
reproached the Government that it had not published the Worliers' Councils' pro- 
posal, which differed on several points from the decree and which, in some re- 
spects, was substantially broader. The disagreement of the trade unions with 
the Government's social programme was further pointed out in the same article, 
which stated the principle that should guide trade unions regarding the right to 
strike. "Ever since the idea of strikes has been in existence — whenever and in 
whatever country in the world — it has been connected with the trade unions. That 
applies even to instances where the strike has been used as a political factor. We 
want the workers, through the Workers' Councils, to be masters of the enterprises 
in actual practice. We want them to be better, more careful and more competent 
managers than the capitalists were in their time. The world, however, has never 
seen a master who has ensured the right to strike — whether a capitalist master 
or any other kind. However, it is important that the master, the owner of the 
enterprise, even if it be the workers themselves, be controlled by an organ whose 
primary task is to protect the workers' interests. This is the mission of the trade 

673. In view of the foregoing, the Trade Union Council showed an astonishing 
pliancy in the joint statement issued with the World Federation of Trade Unions 
delegation which visited Budapest betv^'een 23 and 26 November. This declared 
that, following a study of various aspects of the Hungarian trade union movement 
and the recent events in Hungary, both delegations had arrived at the conclusion 
that "certain reactionary and fascist elements, taking advantage of the discontent 
of the workers and of youth . . . sought to achieve their counter-revolutionary 
aims". By the end of the month, a proposal was made in the trade union organ, 
Nepakarat, that "trade unions should be the sole representatives of the workers' 
interests in their dealings with the Government". 

674. By the time the Workers' Councils' representatives of Csepel resigned in 
January, the Trade Union Council was critical of Workers' Councils, which it 
charged with having "heeded the provocative voice of alien elements who have 
infiltrated into these Workers' Councils". They condemned the Csepel Council 
resignation as a provocative step. At the end of January, at a three-day meeting, 
the Trade Union Council officially revoked the withdrawal from the World Federa- 
tion of Trade Unions and other measures taken during the Revolution. The 
communiques issued made it clear that the status of the trade union organization 
was to be superior to that of the factory Workers' Councils. A resolution on 
current problems and tasks adopted by the Provisional Central Committee of the 
Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party on 26 February 1957 made the official attitude 
towards trade unions clear. "We have rejected the reactionary demands that 
the trade unions should be 'independent' from both the Party and the Workers' 
and Peasants' Government and for the right to strike in defiance of the workers' 

675. In the past few months, new trade union statutes have been drafted. At 
the meeting of the Hungarian National Assembly on 11 May, Sandor Gaspar, the 
Secretary-General of the National Council of Free Trade Unions, came out 
strongly against the counter-revolution of October, and added that the previous 
half-year had shown that the trade unions were able to maintain their unity 
and withstand the attacks of the counter-revolution. He supported the re-intro- 
duction of the workers' competitions, the norm system and piece-rates. He also 
stated that the Praesidium of the Trade Unions would submit proposals for the 
improvement of workers' competitions and would propose the re-introduction of 
the title of Stakhanovite worker. These efforts to conciliate the Government 
won from Mr. K^dar in his answering speech, only a reproach against the trade 
unions for their lack of adequate contact with the workers." 

57 Since the end of the Revolution, the International Labour Organisation has repeatedly 
called upon the Hungarian Government to ensure the freedom and independence of Trade 
Unions and to allow an on-the-spot investigation. Moreover, the Governing Body, on the 
reconmwmdation of its Committee on Freedom of Association, decided : 

"(a) to reaffirm the importance which it has always attached to a prompt and fair trial 
by an independent and impartial judiciary in all cases, including cases in which trade 
unionists are charged with political or criminal offenses which the Government considers 
have no relation to their trade union functions ; 

"(b) to reaffirm the importance which it attaches to full protection in such cases against 
the i-etroactive application of any penal law ; 

"(CI to declare that these principles are fully applicable to the arrest of members of 
workers" councils by the Hungarian authorities ;" 

For further details and the reply from the Hungarian Government, see documents A/o.30() 
A/3571 and A/.^578. 



676. Parallel with the negotiations between the Workers' Councils and the 
Kadar regime were the political dealings between Mr. Kadar and the leaders 
of the three principal non-Communist parties. Evidence on these negotiations 
is much less abundant and less direct. The Committee is, therefore, unable to 
set forth exactly the course of their dealings. Its information is principally 
derived from the public statements of the parties to the negotiations. There 
were some noteworthy differences between Workers' Council dealings with the 
Government and the transactions of the regime with the political parties. The 
Workers's Councils had, in the stoppage of work, an instrument of pressure which 
gave the Kadju* regime much concern. Although the Workers' Councils put 
forward a comprehensive political programme, their pressure on the Government 
was effective principally to obtain temporary recognition of their own position 
in the factories. The political parties had no such lever to employ in seeking 
to move the Government to accept them. The regime therefore seems to have 
found it easier to put off the representatives of parties with vague declarations. 
Finally, it should be noted that, while there vv-as a fairly complete coincidence 
of political views between the Workers' Councils and the party leaders, they 
appear to have had little organizational connexion. The Government could 
therefore negotiate with each separately. The following paragraphs contain a 
review of the principal facts concerning negotiations with party leaders, and of 
the eventual disappointment of the hopes which they had entertained for 
compromise with the regime. 

677. For a brief interval, after the military phase of the suppression of the 
Revolution was substantially completed, there appear to have been political deal- 
ings between Mr. Kaddr and the leaders of the three principal non-Communist 
parties. These concerned the possibility of what was called by some "a broaden- 
ing of the Government" and by others a "coalition Government". Evidence 
concerning the details of these negotiations is incomplete and does not enable 
the Committee to set forth exactly the course of events or the reasons for the 
disappointment of hopes which were entertained for compromise. 

678. Witnesses have reported that, immediately upon his return to the Parlia- 
ment Building as head of the Hungarian Worker-Peasant Government on or 
about November, Mr. Kadar started negotiations with representatives of the 
Independent Smallholders' Party, the Social Democratic Party and with other 
personalities, with a view to forming a coalition Government. These negotiations 
were unsuccessful. 

679. During the discussions between Mr. KadSr and the representatives of the 
Greater Budapest Workers' Council on 15 November, Mr. Kadar said that while a 
multi-party regime and free and honest elections might be desirable, one should 
bear in mind that "not only by bullets, but also by the ballots" can workers' powers 
be destroyed. He also said that one must guard against a situation where the 
Communists would be crowded out of Parliament, as this would necessarily 
"lead to the overthrow of socialism and the people's power". However, Mr. Kadar 
conceded that the composition of the Government was not final and should be 
broadened, and declared himself willing to start negotiations with INIr. Nagy. 
should the latter consent to leave the Yugoslav Embassy. This stand encouraged 
hopes for an eventual inclusion of non-Communists in the Government. 

680. It has also been reported by witnesses that Mr. Kadar again discussed 
the possible formation of a coalition Government in the second part of November, 
and expressed the conviction that his original view had been correct and pointed 
to the only possibility of solution. These ideas and hopes were again disappointed 
by the opposition of Soviet officials, both civil and military, among them — accord- 
ing to one witness — the Soviet Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Koniev, who came 
to Budapest at this time. Following the visit of the Soviet officials, the attitude 
of Mr. Kadar towards the formation of a coalition Government changed. His 
statement on 26 November still contained allusions to the possible broadening 
of the Government, if not to include representatives of other parties, at least 
to include non-Communists who "recognized the socialist order and were pre- 
pared to work for the defence of the socialist achievements and the building of 
socialism". A broadcast statement on 1 December by Mr. Dobi, Chairman of 
the Praesidium, still moved within this order of ideas in its declaration that "We 
will build socialism in our specific Hungarian way according ... to our national 


-traditions", and that the Government would be enlarged by giving place to the 
leaders of the former democratic parties who agreed with the principles of 

681. In a memorandum of 8 December, the non-Communist parties and other 
organizations outlined a ten-point programme and conditions for their participa- 
tion in a Government. This memorandum showed how far the non-Communist 
parties were willing to go "to defend the socialist achievements" on which Mr. 
iKad^r insisted as a condition of participation in his Government. The memo- 
randum declared their objective to be "to protect the freedom and independence 
of the country, ensure the results obtained by socialism to date, consolidate and 
institutionalize the democratic achievements of the Revolution (among them, 
the Workers' Councils and their autonomy, the right to strike, freedom of the 
farn>ers' way of life, abolition of crop deliveries) and, finally, to put an end to 
the one-party system". The memorandum recognized that the Communist Party 
must play an important role. It asserted that "the Hungarian Communist Party, 
based on a democratic socialism, was necessary for the political life of the coun- 
try, as the Revolution had proved that the great masses of Hungarian Communists 
agreed to the principles mentioned above". 

682. Among the basic principles stated in the memorandum were the 
following : 

(a) The social and economic order was to rest on public ownership of the 
means of production ; mines, factories, banks and other enterprises owned or 
controlled by the State on 23 October 1956 should remain so. 

(b) Land was to be distributed on the basis of the land reform of 1945, 
private ownership of land being limited to what a family could cultivate 
without help. Peasants and small industries were to be permitted to join 
co-operatives on a voluntary basis ; a limited freedom of private enterprise 
was to be recognized ; the trade unions were to be free and independent ; 
State employees were to be guaranteed the right to participate in the man- 
agement of State enterprises through the Workers' Councils ; and the death 
penalty was to be abolished. Political parties seeking the overthrow of the 
existing political, social and economic order should not be allowed to 

(c) As an immediate step, formation of a Provisional National Governing 
Council of seven representing the democratic political parties to exercise the 
principal functions of Government was recommended. The memorandum 
called for enactment of a new electoral law under which national elections 
to Parliament should take place in the autumn of 1957. 

683. The principles enunciated in the memorandum concerning the bearing of 
:Soviet-Hungarian relations on co-operation between the parties were the fol- 
lowing : It was necessary to win the confidence and support of the Government of 
the Soviet Union, for which Hungary felt true friendship. Many of the 
existing difficulties arose from misinformation concerning the character and 
purposes of the Hungarian Revolution given by former Hungarian leaders to 
the leaders of the Soviet Union. The latter thus did not realize that the Revolu- 
tionary forces were unanimously on the side of socialism and stood ready to pro- 
tect the achievements of socialism against reactionary attack. This misunder- 
standing was the reason for the decision not to initiate negotiations for the 
withdrawal of Soviet troops until after the complete restoration of internal or- 
der. However, it was precisely the presence of Soviet troops that prevented the 
consolidation of order and the resumption of production. It was proposed in the 
memorandum that the Soviet Government authorize its publication, together with 
a statement of the Soviet Union's willingness to negotiate with the proposed 
provisional Hungarian Government on a number of problems including the AVar- 
saw Treaty, the modalities and time-table for the withdrawal of Soviet troops, 
the return to Hungarian jurisdiction of Hungarian citizens held by the Soviet 
authorities and, finally, establishment of Hungarian-Soviet economic relations 
on the lines of those between Poland and the USSR. On this basis, the democratic 
parties and organizations and the Government could achieve a return to order 
without external help. Hungary was ready to give far-reaching legal guarantees 
against use of her territory as a base by countries or forces antagonistic to the 
Soviet Union, and against the stationing of foreign armed units of any kind 
in Hungary. The manufacture of fissionable materials for military purposes 
would also be forbidden. 

684. On the same day, 8 December, the Hungarian Socialist Workers (Com- 
munist) Party adopted a resolution making it clear that it had no intention of 

93215— 59— pt. 90 11 


sharing power with any other party and reaffirming the merger of the Communist 
and Social Democratic parties in 1948 as a basis of present policy. 

685. During December, it still appeared, to outside observers, that a coalition 
Government might be possible. Western news services repeatedly reported the 
imminent inclusion of non-Communists in the Government and negotiations be- 
tween Mr. Kaddr and representatives of Imre Nagy. Members of the Inde- 
pendent Smallholders' Party were reported to be active, and there were rumours 
of change in the leadership of the Government, which were not denied. Hope was 
expressed that the programme of major tasks to be published by the Government 
early in January would include at least some of the principles in the memorandum 
of the democratic parties, and that their representatives would be included in 
the governmental committees to draw up programmes for individual sectors of 
the country's life. 

686. The Government statement of 5 January on major tasks facing the coun- 
try, did not rule out the possibility of a governmental change. He stated that 
the Government proposed to start negotiations to admit to a share in the direction 
of affairs various prominent persons with or witliout party connexions, who were 
willing to support the Government's policy of "furthering proletarian dictator- 
ship". These political conditions in effect limited the field to Communists and 
persons who, though not members of the Communist Party, accepted its policy 
and direction. The statement caused disappointment to those who had hoped 
that a coalition Government was imminent. 

687. Since the beginning of this year, the non-Communist political organiza- 
tions have in effect been excluded from any role in public life. Speaking of the 
Social Democratic Party, Minister Marosan, a former Social Democrat, said in a 
speech in Komlo on 5 January that the working-class "has and will have only one 
Party. To ask for the re-organization of the Social Democratic Party today is 
a hostile act, because it would divide the working-class". On 15 January, he 
repeated this idea, saying that "the Party will never allow disruption of the unity 
of the working-class by allowing political competition". This statement by Mr. 
Marosan came within twenty-four hours of the news that Bela Kovacs, leader 
of the Independent Smallholders' Party, had decided to retire from politics be- 
cause of ill health. The third party with whicli Mr. Kadar negotiated, the 
Petofi Party, had virtually dissolved itself. 

688. In spite of this, in a speech made at Ujpest on 9 February, Mr. Kadar 
stated that negotiations would be initiated with the Independent Smallholders' 
and the Petofi Party at an unspecified future date, in order to broaden the present 
Government. The Social Democratic Party, however, would be "liquidated", 
Mr. Kadar repeated, because it was illegal and because there was no need for 
such a party in Hungary. 

689. The National Assembly at the beginning of May approved an amendment 
to the Constitution prolonging the mandate of the National Assembly, which was 
to expire on 17 May, by two years. In support of this postponement of elections 
for two years, it was asserted that elections would hamper the rallying of forces 
for the task of reconstruction. "At this time we must not do anything which 
would take our attention away from the much more important task of recon- 
struction and ensuring our future development." It was denied that the leaders 
of the Government feared that the Communist Party might lose an election. The 
best interests of the people, it was asserted, would not be served by elections. 
Time to draft the necessary electoral law had also not been available because of 
the events of the Revolution, it was said. 

690. Several facts emerge from the foregoing account. No coalition Govern- 
ment has been established nor have non-Communist personalities of standing 
been included in the Kadar Government. Mr. Radar's policy in the matter of 
collaboration with those outside the Hungarian Socialist Workers' (Communist) 
Party appears to have been decisively influenced, if it was not directed, by Soviet 
military and civil authorities. The chief condition put by him for their par- 
ticipation in his Government, namely, the defence of post-war socialist achieve- 
ments, was expressly accepted by the non-Communist parties. It appears that 
the fact which more than any other disqualified the non-Communists as collabo- 
rators in the Kadar Government was their insistence on the restoration of Hun- 
garian national independence and on the withdrawal of Soviet troops as the 
necessary objective conditions for a restoration of order within the country. 
That those urging such a programme should now be dubbed counter-revolu- 


tionaries"* is a measure of Soviet determination of the policies of the KddSr 
Government. It appears not unreasonable to hazard the suggestion that the 
repeated Communist hints of coalition and collaboration reflected no intention to 
broaden the foundation of Government. The necessities of Mr. Kadur's own, 
situation in November, the lack of support when he sought to seize the reins of 
Government, a lack with which he reproached his colleagues in the National 
Assembly on 11 May of this year, required him to propitiate those whom the 
people supported, until he should have suflScient organizational strength of his 
own to demand a transfer of allegiance to his own regime. 


(1) Revolutionary Councils 

691. In the days following 4 November, the Kadar Government had dealings 
with the territorial Revolutionary Councils. Witnesses have reported that, on 
several occasions, members of Mr. Kiidar's staff telephoned the territorial 
Councils to ask them to lay down their arms, rid themselves of counter- 
revolutionaries and co-operate with the Government. Witnesses have also 
described how the Revolutionary Councils of given localities were treated ; when 
the Soviet troops took over the locality, the Soviet Military Commander, accom- 
panied by members of the AVH, would call on the Revolutionary Council and 
ask them to continue their work. The following day, former Hungarian Com- 
munist leaders would arrive and give orders, disregarding the fact that the 
Chairman and members of the Revolutionary Council were present. Arrests of 
members of the Council, mostly at night, followed. The Revolutionary Com- 
mittees and Councils were dissolved by a decree of 8 December.^* 

692. Long before the dissolution decree, the territorial Revolutionary Councils 
had lost much of their importance and the burden of negotiating with the 
Government on behalf of the Hungarian people fell on other Councils.^ In 
the days following the Revolution, workers and peasants alike once more found 
spokesmen in the Writers' Union to whom they took their grievances, and whose 
members were in close touch with the Workers' Councils, attended their meetings 
and advised them on the position to be adopted in negotiations with the Govern- 
ment. The sympathy of the Writers' Union with cause of the workers was well 
expressed in an open letter addressed to the Greater Budapest Workers' Council 
in which they wrote : '"We, the Hungarian writers, can think only in Hungarian, 
we can write only in Hungarian, and our fate is, therefore, tied to the Hungarian 
people. Without Hungarian workers, without Hungarian peasants, there can 
be no Hungarian literature." Accordingly, the Presidential Council of the 
Writers' Union extended its role to cover questions touching the Hungarian 
people as a whole, rather than problems peculiar to the practice of their own 

693. On 12 November, the organizations composing the Revolutionary Coni- 
mittee of Hungarian Intellectuals, which had ceased to function on 4 November, 
issued a joint appeal "to the Hungarian intellectuals and the people of the 
country''. They declared that until such time as the Hungarian people were 
given the opportunity of expressing their will by peaceful means, the writers, 
artists, scientists and intellectuals would make no demands for themselves!. 
Acting as spokesmen for the i)eople as a whole, they outlined a six-point pror 
gramme for Hungary based on the achievements of the Revolution. The points 
pertained to the independence of Hungary, including withdrawal of Soviet 
troops, fulfilment by Hungary of all her obligations as a Member of the United 
Nations, re-organization of the social and economic order of Hungary on a basi^ 
of democratic socialism, and guarantees that the former regime would not be re- 
established and that lawful justice would prevail. It was expressly stated thai; 
the organizations would co-operate not only with the political parties but, i^ 
the first place, with the workers, peasants and youth, and with their 
organizations. ' 

^ An illustration of the present oflBcial opposition to any idea of multi-party government 
is offered by the speech of Istvdn Dobi, Chairman of the Presidential Council, in the 
Hungarian National Assembly on 9 May 1957. Mr. Dobi's speech seems to have been aime<^ 
at self-exculpation for his role during the uprising. 

^^ Magyar Kozlony, No. 99, 8 December 1956. 

«"The most important of these were the Workers' Councils discussed earlier in this 


694. On the initiative of the Writers' Union, the Revolutionary Committee 
of the Intellectuals was formally re-established as Revolutionary C aiiic :>f 
Hungarian Intellectuals on 21 November under the chairmanship of the com- 
posed Zolitdn Kodaiy. The appeal issued by the Hungarian Writers' Union 
in this connexion read as follows: "The most sacred right of liter.-ture .'nd 
arts which has been achieved in the Revolution is freedom and the right to tell 
the truth. We shall protect this right and, led by a sense of responsibility 
towards our people, we will avail ourselves of it and will take part in the future 
in press work, including the radio, only if its guiding principle is truthfulness 
and the service of the people. We shall submit this resolution to those organi- 
zations of the intelligentsia which signed the joint declaration of 12 November 
and we will call on them to join us." 

695. Representatives of the Revolutionary Council of Hungarian Intellectuals 
iheld discussions with the Government about the general situation in Hungary 
the following day and, on 24 November, issued a new manifesto signed by 110' 
leading personalities in the cultural life of Hungary, who associated themselves 
with the "heroes who are pursuing the battle for the freedom of Hungary. We 
accept all the consequences that our acts or our words may bring upon us : prison, 
deportation and, if necessary, death." They protested against deportations, 
re-affirming that they did not seek a restoration of the old social order and 
would not tolerate a counter-revolution. In conclusion they stated : "Conscious 
of the truth of our ideals, we appeal to the writers, artists and scientists of the 
Soviet Union and of the entire world." 

696. After the dissolution of this organization, the Writers' Union still carried 
on. On 12 December, a protest was made against the arrest of several writers 
and journalists, among them Gyula Obersovszky, who during the uprising had 
edited the newspai)er Iga^zsdg. In a closed session on 28 December, the Writers' 
Union, by a vote of 150 to 8, condemned the Soviet intervention in Hungary as 
"a historic mistake". On that occasion, it was noted that a number of writers 
were still in prison. The Minister of the Interior answered this appeal in the 
Chri.stmas issue of N^pszabadsdg with the declaration that: "There exist no 
privileges for counter-revolutionaries whose profession happens to be writing.**^ 
The silence of the Hungarian writers was considered by the Government to be 
an act of provocation. In a speech made in Pecs, Minister of State Marosdn 
declared that the Government would break every form of resistance by writers 
and journalists without the slightest hesitation ; the Government had waited long 
and patiently in the hope that some writers might modify their opinions ; the 
Government's patience was interpreted by some as weakness and the adminis- 
tration would now resort to harsher measures. "All counter-revolutionary, 
bourgeois, nationalistic and anarchistic tendencies in Hungarian publications 
would be ruthlessly repressed." The writers should at long last free them^ves 
from the "spiritual terror" of their counter-revolutionary colleagues who were 
now under arrest. 

697. On 17 January, Minister Miinnich announced the temporary suspension 
of the Writers' Union. On 20 January, the inaugural meeting of the Tancsics 
Circle took place at the former meeting place of the Petdfi Club and was ad- 
dressetl by Mr. Miinnich. More writers were arrested and threatened with 
martial law penalties. In a speech, the Minister of Agriculture declared : "The 
majority of Hungarian writers have chosen the path of treason." Finally, on 21 
April, the Hungarian radio broadcast an announcement by the Minister of the 
Interior disbanding the Hungarian Writers' Union on the ground that "it has 
been found that an active group of the Union has used the Writers' Union as a 
tool for attacking the social order of the Hungarian People's Republic. The 
Minister of the Interior has therefore disbanded the Writers' Union. Tibor 
D§ry, a resident of Budapest, has been taken into custody by the police on a 
well-founded suspicion of having committed a crime against the State. 

(2) The Press 

698. Most Hungarian newspaper men who worked for papers of the regime 
before the Revolution had taken an active part in its psychological preparation 
and had worked for the Revolutionary press. Consequently, the Kadar Govern- 
ment had radically to reorganize the press. In the first months of the Kiid^r 
regime, only a few newspapers were permitted to be published, and there- 
fore most newspapermen were out of work. Those who still had jobs were re- 
luctant to sign their names, and their articles appeared anonymously. A num- 
ber of newspapermen were arrested for articles written during the Revolution 
or for participating in discussions of afterwards on ways of ensuring an honest and 


free press. The new official organ of the Communist Party, N4pszahadsdg, 
which replaced Szabad N^p, seemed somewhat more promising and more colourful 
than the latter at the start, but it was not well received and its issues were said 
to have been systematically burned at certain points in Budapest. N^pakarat 
continued to appear as the official organ of the National Council of Free Trade 

699. Even the limited freedom granted the newspapers and newsmen in the 
first weeks after the Revolution did not last. Step by step. Government pressure 
on the press increased. On 20 December, the Government announced the crea- 
tion of a state Information Office to control the press and information services." 
Newspapermen were assured that they would still be free to discuss so-called 
delicate questions, such as the role of Soviet troops in Hungary, free elections, 
etc., because the Government wanted to have the opinion of the press and wanted 
colourful papers. Discussions were even held about the possibility of establish- 
ing a Workers' Council newspaper ; it was only when all arrangements for this 
had been settled that the State Office of Information announced that it could 
not be published. It was suggested that delays in issuing authorizations to start 
new newspapers or resume the publication of old ones were used as instruments 
for bringing newspapermen, in need of employment, round to the Government's 
point of view. 

700. At the end of December, authorization was obtained for the publication 
of a non-political family illustrated called Erdekes TJjsay; in the beginning it 
published interesting pictures from Budapest and even from the West, but later 
its main concern seemed to be the rebirth of producers' co-operatives and the 
enthusiasm of the miners for their work. Permission was also obtained for the 
publication of Esti Hirlap, a daily paper, which was instructed to publish lively 
information on everyday life, the theatre and interesting information about 
the West. On the masthead it was described as an independent political paper, 
and the first issues were received with great enthusiasm. Gradually the tone 
of the paper changed, until it became a mere copy of N&pszabadsdg. Several 
of its editors and correspondents fled, and were replaced by reliable Party 

701. By the middle of February, all semblance of independence of the press 
was over. Newspapermen were ordered to sign their articles and to pay heed 
to Minister Marosan's declaration to several correspondents that "Newspaper- 
men should be mindful of the fact that, even while they are writing, they can 
be arrested". On 19 January, the Journalists' Association, which had expressed 
solidarity with the Writers' Union, was temporarily suspended. 

(3) Youth Organizations 

702. After the Revolution, the League of Hungarian University and College 
Students' Associations (MEFESZ), which continued to meet and to follow an 
independent line, was strongly attacked by the official press for its attitude dur- 
ing the October events. Attempts were made to neutralize the organization's 
independence, to intimidate the students by arresting them temporarily and to 
obtain control of the organization by infiltration. In spite of this, the newspaper 
Esti Hirlap reported on 6 January that MEFESZ had drafted a new programme 
in which the students endorsed the "socialist order", but were loyal to the 
Revolutionary ideals of the university students of 23 October; "it is imperative 
to create conditions for the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from our country 
as soon as possible ; furthermore, parties resting on the ideological basis of 
socialism should be formed." 

703. It was in order to balance the influence of the MEFESZ that the League 
of Communist Youth (KISZ) was established on 26 February 1957 by the 
Provisional Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' (Com- 
munist) Party. The resolution considered the establishment of such an organiza- 
tion necessary in the interest of unity, the furtherance of the education of 
Himgarian youth and the ensuring of new reserves for the Party. KISZ began 
to function on 21 March. One of its first acts was to issue an appeal attacking 
the League of Working Youth (DISZ), as unable to unite the different sectors 
of Hungarian youth. The appeal added that, before the Revolution, a rather 
nihilistic and cynical mood had prevailed among the university students. "We 
must now create a new youth organization which will utilize the experience of 
DISZ and other Hungarian youth organizations, but will not repeat their 

^ This office was abolished after a few months and its duties were taken over by the 


mistakes. The main tasli of KISZ is to serve the cause of building a socialist 
iSOciety in Hungary." 

704. In recent months repeated press references have been made to the im- 
portance of KISZ, an organization devoted to Communist ideals and reaching 
both the Hungarian University youth and the vs'orking youth. The April issues 
of Nepszabadsdff stated that KISZ was an organization of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. In the future, Hungarian youth would be led by Communist 
youth. Efforts must be made to establish branches of KISZ in factories and 
universities. Activist meetings of Communist students were held at which 
emphasis was placed on co-operation between MEFESC and KISZ. "The most 
important task of KISZ is to take a unified, disciplined and bold stand among 
the university students, and to organize debates." More attention should be 
paid to university students and the university council of KISZ should be set up. 
It was the duty of the young Communists to engage in lively, political activities 
within the MEFESZ organization. The task of KISZ was to educate true 
young Communists who would remain loyal to the Party and the people in all 

705. KISZ, however, seem not to have won much popularity. An article in 
N^pszaiadsdg at the end of March discussed the platform of the organization 
The author asked "What is worth more — to provide the League with a clear-cut 
Communist programme, or with a generally worded, non-Communist platform 
and a name that would conceal our aims, in order to attract to our League 
both the politically practising and non-practising youth?" The author answered 
this question by recalling that, since the October events, the Communist name- 
plate outside the League's headquarters, instead of attracting, had repelled a 
large proportion of the masses of youth. In spite of that, however, he advised 
candour and a frank admission of Communist aims, even though this slowed 
down recruiting. 

706. In a speech reported in the press on 29 January, Mr. Marosan stated that 
the universities were being exploited by counter-revolutionary elements to 
spread reactionary views. "Youth must be brought up in a spirit of Marxism- 
Leninism and therefore Marxist-Leninist education will go on in universities." 
The University of Budapest opened its doors again in February, and the Minister 
of Education broadcast an appeal concerning the re-opening of all Hungarian 
universities. The Deputy Minister for Education, who, at the same time, was a 
member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party, added another 
declaration to the effect that universities would be closed again at the first sign 
of any disturbance. Students who had caused difiiculties would be dismissed 
immediately and those who. instigated disturbances in the future would no longer 
be considered merely to have been led astray. He added that there had been no 
decision to abolish the teaching of Russian, which would continue to be com- 
pulsory in schools. 

707. There is evidence that the Government is not satisfied with the attitude 
of the young people of Hungary. In his speech to the National Assembly of 
11 May, Mr. Kadar commented on the behaviour of the youth of the country 
during the October events. The lesson to be drawn according to him, was that 
life must be pictured for the young people in all its grimness and not in idealized 
terms. Young people were too inclined to be idealistic, anyhow, Their faith 
in popular democracy and socialism was emotional and sentimental, rather than 
intellectual. No one told them the truth that the true socialist society did not 
exist and that it was only in the process of being born with much pain amidst 
great struggles, trials and tribulations ; the result was that the youth of Hungary 
had sulfered an overwhelming disillusionment. For the future, their elders 
should refrain from using superlatives, in order to ensure against a repetition 
of what had hapi)ened in October, when the children of the working class had 
gone over to the side of the counter-revolution and fascism. Mr. Kadar was 
not insensitive to the appeals to show patience and humanity, such as one mem- 
ber of Parliament had mentioned. He stressed the necessity for tempering 
patience with severity toward the guilty. Not all of the 170,000 °- young people 
who had emigrated from Hungary in the confused days after October were 
enemies of the people ; still, in view of the great number of dead on both sides, 
those who were guilty must be dealt with severely "because the life of the nation 
is dearer to us than anything else". 

, <^ According to figures released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees, the total number of refugees who had left Hungary for Austria and Yugo- 
slavia nn to 30 April 1957, amounted to 193,216 (U. N. H. C. R., Reference Service, No. 1, 
May 1957). 



708. Representative government does not exist for the time being in Hungary. 
In the interval between 23 October and 4 November 1956, the voice of tlie 
Hungarian people was heard in organizations which appeared or reappeared 
in the climate of freedom which spread through the country in those ten days. 
Contrary to what might have been expected, the voice that spoke through these 
organizations was harmonious, rather than discordant. The Committee has no 
doubt that this was the expression of the will of the Hungarian people and that 
the organizations of workers, of farmers, of writers and of youth were repre- 
sentative of the Hungarian people. 

709. After the installation of Mr. Kadar as Prime Minister, the workers, the 
peasants, the intellectuals, and the young people continued to speak through 
the organizations which had spoken for them during the Revolution. The 
Kadar regime was hostile to the recognition of these organizations as repre- 
sentative of the people. The gestures of conciliation, the discussions of enlarge- 
ment of the Government, the seeming concessions to demands in various fields, 
appear in retrospect as a sparring for time to grow in strength and to pick off 
these organizations one by one. In earlier pages it has been shown how the 
Government cut back the scope of activity and the powers of the Workers' Coun- 
cils step by step, how it provoked them by arresting their chairmen and many 
of their members, and how there followed a protest strike which the Government 
utilized to outlaw the Greater Budapest Workers' Council and all Workers' 
Councils above the factory level. Worker guards in the factories were disarmed. 

710. The workers were co-ordinated politically in the factories themselves, 
when the role of their Councils was progressively reduced, while Communist 
Party functionaries came in to organize Party cells over workers' protests. 
Capital punishment has been made applicable to strike activities. 

711. The same methods were used against the non-Communist political parties 
and their representatives. The Social Democratic Party, which had emerged 
again at the end of October for a few days of independence, was liquidated by 
the Communist Party, whose spokesman declared its existence to be a danger 
to the Hungarian State. The press has regressed to the pre-revolutionary level. 
Newspapermen have been officially reminded that the Minister of the Interior 
is looking over their shoulder as they write. Yet the allegiance which the 
Government is able to command from the intellectuals is so meagre that it has 
had to disband their organizations. 

712. In early November, according to Mr. Kadar, there were few candidates 
for the portfolios in his Government. The political victories of the Kadar 
regime since then have not succeeded in restoring even its Communist support 
to the pre-revolutionary level. Despite this, the Government has put off for two 
years a national election and continues with a pre-revolutionary legislature. 
At the National Assembly which was held on 10-11 May, speaker after speaker, 
with hardly an exception, rose to echo the official line of the Government and 
brand the October events as a "counter-revolution". Each promised to follow 
the Government's policy in the future. The prolongation of the National Assembly 
mandate for two years has deprived the Hungarian people of the exercise of 
their political right, that of participating in the function of government through 
elected representatives of their own choice. Parliament has played a central 
role in the political history of the Hungarian people. It is significant that dur- 
ing the events of October 19-56, the Government of Hungary was carried on 
from the Parliament Building. The Parliament is now being made a subordinate 
agency of the Government and the Communist Party. 

Chapteb XV. Deportations 
A. introduction 

713. Few aspects of the uprising have been the subject of more conflicting 
reports than that of the deportation of Hungarians to the USSR. The attitude 
of Mr. Kadar's Government in this matter has been equivocal. On 18 November, 
the Government issued a communique which was broadcast by Radio Budapest 
stating that false and "provocative" panic rumours were being spread by hostile 
counter-revolutionary elements that arrests were taking place in Hungary and 
that young people and others were being deported to the Soviet Union. The 
communique explained that in the interests of the working people, the authori- 
ties had been obliged to render harmless counter-revolutionaries, terrorists, 


anti-social instigators, armed bandits, thieves, and other common criminals. 
Arrest were being made, the communique added, but none of those arrested had 
been deported from Hungary.** 

714. Other stations subject to Soviet control also broadcast statements deny- 
ing the reports of deportations. Thus on 21 November, Radio P^cs called on the 
population not to believe the rumours of deportations. It assured the people 
that no one was being taken out of the country. The following day. Radio 
Szombathely, after mentioning that students had refused to go to school on 
account of the reports of deportations, asserted that such rumours had been 
proved untrue and that the students had nothing to fear. 

715. On 19 November, at the 582nd meeting of the General Assembly, a com- 
munique was read aloud by a Hungarian delegate, and distributed on the same 
day to delegations, announcing that no deportations had taken place.*' On 22 
November, the oflBcial newspaper Nepszabadsdg reported a similar statement 
which was said to have been made by Ferenc Miiuuich, Minister of the Armed 
Forces and Public Security affairs, who added that the Hungarian Government 
had asked the Soviet Military Command to turn over all arrested persons to 
the Hungarian authorities. 

716. These assurances did not prove suflBcient to calm popular fears and in- 
dignation. There is evidence that delegations from Workers' Councils and 
Revolutionary Councils protested against the deportations both to Mr. Kadar 
and to the Soviet Military Command. Thus, on 15 November, Radio Budapest 
announced negotiations between a delegation of the Central Workers' Council 
of Greater Budapest and Mr. Kadar. In reply to questions by the workers, Mr. 
Kadar was said to have declared that "agreement had been reached with the 
competent Soviet authorities that no one would be taken out of the country*'. 
Similarly, a statement by the Hungarian Writers' Union read over Radio Buda- 
pest on 22 November disclosed that on 20 November a delegation of the Writers' 
Union had called on the Soviet Military Headquarters to discuss the question 
of arrests and deportations ; representatives of the Hungarian police had also 
attended the meeting. According to the statement, the Soviet and Hungarian 
authorities had assured the delegation that no one had been taken out of the 
country or persecuted for taking part in the uprising. 

717. On 3 December, Western correspondents reported that, in the course of 
an interview in Budapest, Istvan Szirmai, Chief of the Hungarian Government 
Press Department, had admitted that "there were isolated cases in the first 
days of chaos after 4 November when the Russian authorities arrested and de- 
ported young people. However, when the Government was stabilized, it inter- 
vened and all persons deported were returned." °^ However, on 4 December, the 
East Berlin Radio ADN announced that Mr. Szirmai had denied having told the 
Western correspondents that there had been cases of deportation of Hungarians 
to the USSR. "In stating the correct facts," the broadcast said, "Mr. Szirmai 
pointed out that, when he was asked by the correspondents whether there had 
been deportations, he had replied : 'There have been no deportations from Hun- 
gary, and consequently your previous reports do not correspond to the facts'." 

718. Meanwhile, leaflets issued by the resistance groups and newspaper arti- 
cles published in Hungary had continued to make reference to deportations 
that were alleged to be going on. On 16 November, the Debrecen paper, Napl6< 
published an article stating that public opinion had been agitated by the news 
that people were being carried through Debrecen in closed wagons towards 
Zahony, on the Russian frontier. It added that it had been announced "offi- 
cially" that such occurrences would not take place in the future and that 
measures had been taken for the immediate return of the wagons in question. 
On 18 November the newspaper Szabolcs Szatmdrmegye Nepe reported that a 
special commission set up by the Committee of the Socialist Workers' (Com- 
munist) Party of the County of Szabolcs to investigate deportations had estab- 
lished that "on 14 November at 3 p.m. a train composed of six wagons had 
carried Hungarian prisoners across the Hungarian frontier." The article con- 
tinued that the Committee immediately contacted Janos Kadar and told him 
that no Hungarian, not even those who had participated in the uprising, should 
be deported from Hungary. 

83 For the text of the communique, see A/3367. 


^ A text of this report appeared in the following newspapers : Manchester Ouardian, 4 
December : The Times of London, 4 December ; News Chronicle, 4 December ; Daily Tele- 
graph, 4 December ; Daily Mail, 4 December ; New York Times, 4 December and Le Monde, 
4 December. 


719. Leaflets were circulated in Budapest containing what purported to be 
accounts of deportations. One such publication entitled Magyar Oktober (Hun- 
garian October) dated 15 November 1956 declared that people living near the 
Western Railway Station in Budapest could hear hammering on the freight cars 
and that freedom fighters who escaped said that hundreds of captured fighters had 
been packed into freight cars. Near the Soviet frontier, a wallet was said to 
have been thrown from a train bound for the USSR. The wallet was alleged 
to have contained a list of names of Budapest youths who were being deported 
to the Soviet Union. 


720. Faced by this conflicting evidence, the Committee set out to make an 
objective and dispassionate study of the facts of the case. On 14 January 1957, 
the International Commission Against Concentration Camp Practices trans- 
mitted twenty- two signed depositions regarding deportations. While none of the 
refugees who had signed these statements had actually been taken to the USSR, 
several declared that they had been liberated from trains moving eastwards 
and, as they assumed, to the Soviet Union. Neither these statements nor any 
other written evidence in the Committee's possession at the outset was felt to 
justify it in adopting the attitude either that deportations had, or had not, 
occurred. As the Committee proceeded with its investigation, it found that 
the witnesses questioned on the subject seemed convinced that deportations had 
taken place. Some told of relatives or friends who had allegedly been deported. 
It was said that lists of names and addresses and appeals for help by those being 
deported had been thrown from trains moving eastwards and picked up. Students 
were declared to have visited the addresses in question and to have confirmed 
that members of the household had disappeared. Other witnesses claimed to 
have some first-hand knowledge of the deportations, such as seeing sealed trains 
on their way towards the frontier. None of these first witnesses, however, had 
themselves been deported and the Committee was still not prepared to voice an 
opinion based on hearsay only. 

721. After a while, however, the Committee had the opportunity to hear 
several witnesses — seven men and boys, and one young girl, a first-aid nurse — 
who had actually been deported to the Soviet Union after the events of 4 
November 1956. One of these witnesses had succeeded in escaping from a Russian 
prison. The others, for various reasons, had been returned to Hungary. 
Several other refugees offered to testify before the Committee about their de- 
portation to the USSR, but the Committee was unable to hear them, The Com- 
mittee also heard a number of witnesses who had been placed in deportation 
trains or trucks moving towards the Hungarian-Soviet frontier, but who had 
been liberated by Hungarian railway workers or freedom fighters. Other wit- 
nesses had participated in such liberation activities, and described how they had 
stopped trains or trucks and freed the prisoners. 

722. The Committee subjected all these witnesses to searching cross-examina- 
tion. As a result of its study of their testimony, and other evidence confirming 
it, it reached the conclusion that, beyond doubt, deportations to the USSR had 
indeed taken place, and had taken place in considerable numbers. It was 
satisfied that the circumstances in which these deportations had occurred were, 
in general, as described by the witnesses. The official statements denying that 
any deportations had occurred in Hungary are therefore not in accordance with 
the facts. These deportations may be regarded as an effort to undermine 
potential opposition within Hunararv. 


723. According to the evidence, deportations of Hungarian citizens of the 
Soviet Union began in the period following the second armed intervention by 
Soviet forces. The number of such deportations appears to have been particu- 
larly large during the three weeks following 4 November. Witnesses said that, 
on some days, in the middle of November, several trainloads of deportees left 
Budapest. Deiwrtation trains are said to have arrived in Russia as late as 
mid-December, and some Hungarians are alleged to have been deported even 
in January 1957. The largest number of deportees seems to have come from 
the provinces, especially from the eastern part of Hungary. Witnesses testified 
that they had seen deportees in Soviet prisons from such towns as Karcag, 
Szombathely, Gyor, Kecskemet, Miskolc, Debrecen, Nyiregyhaza and Veszpr^m. 

724. In Budapest Itself, most of the early arrests were made in a haphazard 


manner. People were rounded up in the streets in groups that ran into hundreds 
and sometimes included elderly people and children. According to witnesses, 
the general practice was to close off part of a street by stationing a tank at each 
end. Anyone found within the area was taken away. One case was reported 
where fifty people were liberated from a number of trucks, after which the 
Russian soldiers immediately arrested fifty other people in their place. Some 
people were seized in centres of resistance, such as the revolutionary barracks 
taken over by Soviet troops. Others were taken in house-to-house searches by 
teams of Russian soldiers and former AVH agents, after the fighting had sub- 
sided. In the provinces, few were arrested in the streets, but large groups of 
students, workers for freedom fighters were sometimes arrested together. In 
some cases, the entire Revolutionary Council in a town or the whole Workers' 
Council in a factory would be seized. 

72.'5. The prisoners were collected in trucks or Soviet arnioiired cars and 
generally taken to political prisons or to other assembly places. Witnesses 
described how, in Budapest, groups of 400-500 people were assembled in under- 
ground halls at the Eastern and Western Railway Stations. On 6 November, 
according to a witness, ninety men and eight women were kept in a Budapest 
church for three days before being taken to a deportation train. Some prisoners 
were held captive in the military barracks, such as the Kilian and Petofi Bar- 
racks in Budapest, and then transported to Vecses, a railway station south-east 
of Budapest. Prisoners were searched for weapons, questioned and any valu- 
ables or papers in their possession were confiscated. In some cases, it appeared 
that their shoes and top clothing were taken away. Sometimes, prisoners 
remained at the places of detention up to four days or longer, after which they 
were taken to heavily guarded trains or trucks. 

726. Most of the trains bearing deportees to the Soviet Union went through 
Zahony, the frontier station between Hungary and Soviet Union, but deporta- 
tion trains are also reported to have crossed into Romania. The Committee, 
however, has no conclusive proof that any Hungarians were taken to Romania, 
apart from those who accompanied Mr. Nagy. Trains bound for the USSR 
took either the Cegl^d-Szolnok-Debrecen-Nyiregyhaza line, or that through 
Godollo-Hatvan-Miskolc. Witnesses testified that these trains consisted of sealed 
freight cars or cattle trucks. There were usually from 20 to 35 wagons on 
each train, although sometimes there were less. These trains carried nothing 
but deportees, from 30 to 70 in each wagon. During the journey, the captives 
received scant supplies of food and there were no adequate sanitary facilities. 
Men and women all travelled together. Each wagon was guarded by Soviet 
troops and the engine-drivers were Russian. 

727. Many of the prisoners threw from the trains hastily-scribbled notes 
appealing for help and giving their names and addresses, so that their families 
could he notified. These messages were picked up by railway workers and other 
Hungarians, who arranged that as many as possible reached their destinations. 
One witness told the Committee that, out of seventeen messages thrown out of a 
train by himself, no fewer than eight reached his family. 

728. After a while, the Soviet authorities experienced difficulty in running 
deportation trains as far as the frontier, since railway workers went on strike and 
freedom fighters were sometimes able to stop the trains and liberate prisoners. In 
some places, as happened on 15 November outside the frontier station at Zahony, 
the rails were removed from the track. To an increasing extent, therefore, the 
Russians began to make use of trucks. One witness testified that he and 150 
other people had been taken from the town of Veszprem in western Hungary to 
the USSR in seven trucks, each guarded by four Russian soldiers. Another 
witness reported that he, together with eight others, had been taken to the Soviet 
Union from the city jail at Nyiregyhaza, near the Russian border, in two Rus- 
sian Red Cross cars. In one case a witness stated that the deportees were forced 
to travel, in bitterly cold weather, without coats in open trucks. 

729. When the freedom fighters stopped a deportation train, by removing the 
rails or by setting the signals, heavy fighting usually took place before the 
captives were liberated. In one case, however, the Russian guards fled without 
fighting. One of these liberation exploits took place while the train was still 
in a Budapest station, while the Committee also heard reports of the liberation 
of deportees close to the Russian and Romanian frontiers. 

730. Most of the deportees were captured by Soviet troops, but some were 
seized by formers members of the AVH. Some witnesses stated that, while 
being held in Hungary, they had been physically maltreated on a few occasions 
by Russian soldiers, but particularly by members of the AVH. Some were 


submitted to lengthy interrogation by AVH agents during which they received 
harsh and inhuman treatment. One witness reported that, befoi-e being taken 
to the USSR, he had been beaten by an AVH officer, until he signed a confession 
that he was a counter-revolutionary. Those who were found to be carrying 
arms were beaten ; often they were not given food and were threatened with 
execution. In some cases, a pretence was made that execution was imminent. 
One witness was placed against a wall by soldiers, who then fired all round him. 
Witnesses testified about several cases in which women were abused. One 
witness was told by the soldiers that he would be sent to forced labour in the 
USSR, while others were told that they would be sent to Siberia. It is note- 
worthy that witnesses stated that, with a few exceptions, they had been much 
better treated by Soviet officers and soldiers after they arrived in the USSR, 
where there were fewer troops of Mongolian origin. 


731. The eight witnesses who stated that they had actually been deported 
were all taken at first to a prison in the town of Uzhorod,"® in the Transear- 
pathian region, about 25 kilometres from Zahony, the frontier town. Other de- 
portees were reportedly taken to the prisons of Mukacevo " and Kolomea in 
the same district. The prison in Uzhorod had been built at the time when the 
area was part of Czechoslovakia. It had been emptied of its former prisoners 
to accommodate the deportees, the first of whom seem to have arrived on 7 
November. One witness said that it was already crowded by 10 November. 
One said that forty-two people were confined in a room large enough for about 
fourteen and one witness was locked in a room with other people, in which 
there was not enough space to lie down. According to the guards, Uzhorod 
was a place of assembly, and trains carrying deportees went further eastwards, 
while more deportees arrived from Hungary. It was estimated that the prison, 
after it was filled up, held at least 2,000 persons, all of whom were believed to 
be Hungarian. 

732. In general, the treatment given to deportees in the Soviet prisons was 
better than that in the Hungarian prisons, The building used for their deten- 
tion at Uzhorod is of modern construction. Food and general conditions im- 
proved, and were much better at the end than in the beginning. Deportees 
w^ere not tortured, nor were they obliged to do forced labour. Some of the 
prisoners were confined to individual cells. One witness said that many of 
these were students and other intellectuals, who were considered to be a dan- 
gerous influence. Others were divided into groups and placed in collective 
cells, men and women being separated. They were taken from the cells only 
for interrogation or for exercise in the prison yard. Witnesses testified that 
the Russian guards, many of whom spoke Hungarian, showed sympathy and 
friendliness towards the prisoners. The Committee was told that Russian peo- 
ple employed in the prisons of Uzhorod and Stryj smuggled messages into the 
prisoners' cells, which gave them encouragement and news of what was hap- 
pening in Hungary. Some of them also forwarded letters from the prisoners 
to relatives and friends. The guards and prison personnel also gave them news 
about the situation in Hungary and in the USSR. Thus, they learnt that stu- 
dents had been demonstrating in Leningrad and Kiev. According to witnesses, 
some of the deportees who were sent to the prison at Stryj were told by the 
guards that a large number of Polish prisoners had recently passed through 
the prison, and one witness stated that he had seen the words "Poznan 1956" 
carved on a bench in one of the cells. 

733. Witnesses testified that teams of Russian officers and members of the 
Russian secret police, NKVD, interrogated the prisoners both at Uzhorod and 
Stryj. In some cases, the interrogation was conducted only by members of 
the secret police. Apart from routine questions on their personal history, the 
prisoners were repeatedly asked about their activities during the uprising. In 
the opinion of the witnesses, the principal purpose of the interrogations was to 
obtain information about the causes and organization of the uprising, about 
foreign assistance the Hungarians were thought to have received and about 
conditions in Hungary before the uprising. It was the impression of the wit- 
nesses that the interrogations were not aimed at determining the guilt or inno- 

^ Hungarian : Ungvdr. 
8' Hungarian : MunliAcs. 


cence of individual prisoners, but rather at finding out why the Hungarian peo- 
ple rose in arms and how they had succeeded in doing so. Prisoners asked 
several times why they had been deported and under what law they had been 
brought to the Soviet Union. The answer was always that the Kadar Govern- 
ment had asked the Soviet authorities to take this step. 

734. There were women among the prisoners. The majority of deportees were 
young people, many of them not more than sixteen and some even younger. 
There were also some elderly persons, one a sixty-two-year-old farmer, who did 
not know why he had been deported, another a sixty-seven-year-old leader of 
the Independent Smallholders Party. The majority of the deportees in the 
prison seem to have been soldiers or freedom fighters. There were said to be a 
number of high-ranking oflScers and, among these, some members of the dele- 
gation which had been arrested with General Maleter, the Minister of Defence, 
at the Soviet Army Headquarters, at Tokol, on the night of 3 November. These 
officers had been brought to Uzhorod by plane. Many of the prisoners were 
workers and some witnesses estimated that about 20 per cent were students. 
The Committee received the names of a number of Hungarians whom witnesses 
declared that they had seen personally in Russian prisons, but the Committee 
feels obliged not to make these names public. Among them were members of 
Parliament, high-ranking officers, professors and members of Revolutionary 
and Workers' Councils from various parts of Hungary. Included among these 
names submitted to the Committee was that of the stationmaster of one of 
the Hungarian frontier towns. 

735. According to the witnesses, when the deportees arrived at Uzhorod they 
were usually photographed, full face and profile, and they underwent pre- 
liminary interrogation. They also received various injections and, in some 
cases, all hair was shaved from head and body. The guards told them that this 
was in preparation for their journey eastwards. One witness explained that 
his group was placed in a train heated by stoves. The group was told that they 
were going to an extremely cold area and that they would receive food and 
water only every second day. However, this train went no further than Stryj, 
some 136 kilometres from Uzhorod, and the Committee has no evidence that 
deportees were taken beyond this point. Russian guards told the deportees that 
they were held up because the students in Kiev were demonstrating ; other 
trains carrying prisoners, they declared, had already passed through to the 
east. Some of the other witnesses were also taken to the prison at Stryj. 

736. Of the eight deported witnesses questioned by the Committee, one had 
succeeded in escaping with five friends. The other seven witnesses had been 
returned to Hungary between 19 November 1956 and 5 January 1957. It was 
not always clear why these particular prisoners had been repatriated. One, 
however, was returned in a group of thirty young people all, with one exception, 
under sixteen. Another witness was a member of a Revolutionary Council in a 
town of Eastern Hungary. He was sent back with all the members of the 
Council, because the workers in that area went on strike, demanding their 
return. Some witnesses believed that their release was connected with the pro- 
tests against deportations in Hungary itself and the discussion of this matter 
in the United Nations. The witnesses were sent home in small groups and 
mostly by truck. After their return to Hungary, they were kept in Hungarian 
prisons for periods varying from a few days to several weeks. They were 
interrogated by the recreated state security police and, in some cases, roughly 
handled before being released. Their decision to escape from Hungary arose 
from the fear of further arrest. 


737. It has been seen that rumors of the deportations were current in Hungary 
soon after the second Soviet interventicm. During November, reports of such 
deportations became very numerous and a demand that deportations should 
cease was one of the conditions made by the workers for ending the strike. 
As was mentioned above, on 20 November the Hungarian Writers' Union sent 
a delegation both to the Ministry of the Interior and to the Russian Command 
in Budapest. One of the members of this delegation testified to the Committee 
that the Soviet Military Commander, after admitting that one trainload of 
deportees had been sent to the Soviet Union, tried to i>ersuade the delegation 
to have the Writers' Union intervene with the workers to end the strike. The 
witness stated that the Writers' Union decided to give in to what he described 
as "blackmailing tactics", since the writers felt that everything should be done 



to help tbose already deported and to put an end to deportations. An agree-- 
ment was therefore, made by which the Writers' Union was to try to persuade 
the workers to end the strike, while the Soviet authorities promised to seek the 
repatriation of individual deportees about whom the Writers' Union could give 
information. , , , . 

738. One witness, a professor in Budapest, testified that he and his colleagues 
had made several efforts to secure the repatriation of a number of students. 
According to this witness, Lieutenant-Colonel Sidorenko, of the Soviet Central 
Military Command, at first denied that the Russian authorities had given orders 
to deport anvone. If such a thing bad happened, it must have been an individ- 
ual action. The witness then handed him a list of names thrown from a 
deportation train and also told him of several fourteen- and fifteen-year-old 
children who had recently been brought back with heads shaven from Uzhorod 
and Kolomea in the Soviet Union. Lieutenant-Colonel Sidorenko then admitted 
that deportations had taken place, but be said that their object was to get the 
students away from the scene of fighting and that, once order had been restored, 
they would be sent home. This same witness told the Committee that he had 
pleaded the cause of his students almost daily in the Chief Public Prosecutor's 
OflSce. On 21 January, during his last visit before he left Hungary, he was 
told by the Chief Public Prosecutor that he had himself discussed the matter 
with the Chief Officer of the NKVD in Hungary, who said that the captives 
would be handed back to the Hungarian authorities, as soon as their interroga- 
tion was finished. 

739. Evidence from another quarter laid before the Committee came from 
an Assistant Prosecutor, who testified that, in November and December, the 
Chief Prosecutor's Office received hundreds of complaints and a list of names 
of people seized by the Soviet authorities. The witness and a colleague went 
to a town in Southern Hungary to negotiate, on behalf of the Chief Public 
Prosecutor, with the Soviet Commander. The latter at first denied that Hun- 
garian citizens had been captured by Soviet armed forces, until a list of names 
was put before him. He then said that these people were countei'-revolution- 
aries and that the amnesty announced by the Kadar Government did not apply 
to them. He refused to hand the people over to the Hungarian authorities, and 
suggested that the witness and his colleague were themselves counter-revolu- 

740. From the testimony of witnesses and from other evidence received, the 
Committee has I'eached the conclusion that, since 4 November 1956, deportations 
of Hungarian citizens to the USSR have talven place in considerable numbers, 
which cannot be accurately assessed, but which run into thousands. The 
Committee has no proof that more than a part of the deportees has been re- 
turned to Hungary. 

Chapter XVI. Other Violations of Human Rights and Fundamentai- 


a. prexliminaey remarks 

741. Entrusted with the task of studying "the situation created by the inter- 
vention of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ... in the internal affairs 
of Hungary," the Special Committee, as an organ of the United Nations, directed 
its attention during its investigations to the effect which the Soviet inter- 
vention has had on the rights of the individual. Its examination of the decisive 
role played by the Soviet armed forces in Hungary in the overthrow of a regime 
which intended to reestablish political rights and fundamental freedoms has 
inevitably led the Committee to consider the effects of that foreign intervention 
on human rights. 

742. It will be recalled in this connexion that, so far as Hungary is concerned, 
an uncontested contractual obligation arising from the Treaty of Peace imposes 
on that country, without any time limit and without any conditions, the duty 
to take "all measures necessary to secure to all persons under Hungarian juris- 
diction, without distinction as to race, sex, language or rellgi<m, the enjoy- 
ment of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of 
expression, of press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion 
and of public meeting." ** The General Assembly has already had occasion to be 
concerned with the application of these provisions. It has, by resolutions 

6« Article 2. 


adopted in 1949 and 1950 (resolutions 272 (III), 294 (IV) and 385 (V)), 
noted the accusations made against Hungary by certain countries parties to the 
Peace Treaty and has, in particular, expressed "the hope that measures will be 
diligently applied, in accordance with the Treaties in order to ensure respect 
(both in Hungary and in Bulgaria) for human rights and fundamental free- 
doms" (resolution 272 (III)). 

743. In most of the evidence it has collected, and in a large number of official 
documents, both legislative and other, which it has examined, the Committee 
has learned of individual cases and situations which can only be regarded as 
contrary to that obligation and to the meaning, even in a narrow sense, of what 
can be understood by "the enjoyment of human rights and of the fundamental 
freedoms." The Committee cannot, however, relate all the violations of rights 
and freedoms which came to its attention during its investigation. This would 
increase the volume of the report out of all proportion. Some of these violations 
have already been mentioned in the recital of incidents given in other chapters. 
The Committee will therefore deal in the following paragraphs with some of 
the problems affecting individual rights which could not be examined earlier 
or which seem to it to be especially serious and significant. 


744. The war waged by the Soviet Army in Hungary was a war carried on in 
the towns. During October the fighting was in the form of street battles be- 
tween garrison troops, using tanks and artillery almost exclusively, and the 
unprepared revolutionaries, armed with whatever light weapons they could 
find. Roving through Budapest, or guarding strategic points, the Soviet tank 
crews had little respite and appeared to be running out of food. On 4 Novem- 
ber, there poured into Budapest and other Hungarian towns a better prepared 
force which came almost entirely from outside the country. By following care- 
fully conceived plans and by using the massive superiority of its numbers and 
weapons, this force attempted to suppress, quickly and absolutely, all resistance 
to its aims. During the first intervention, the Soviet Army had shown a 
certain hesitation and uneasiness and some of its units had not concealed their 
sympathy for the rebels. In the second intervention, the Soviet units were 
better disciplined and were composed of less educated troops who were unaware 
of the aspirations, and sometimes even of the identity, of their enemies. In 
both cases, however, the evidence collected by the Committee points to many 
instances of brutality and of cruelty, 

745. It would be difficult for the Committee to undertake a detailed analysis 
of the hostilities in Hungary from the point of view of the limitations with 
which combatants have to comply in virtue of internationally recognized norms 
of conduct and, in particular, of conventions such as those concluded at 
Geneva on 12 August 1949. Regardless of the character attributed to the Soviet 
military intervention in Hungary, these Conventions, to which both the Soviet 
Union and Hungary are parties, contain numerous humanitarian provisions for 
improving the lot of the wounded and sick of land and sea forces and for the 
protection of prisoners of war and civilians. Each of the four Geneva Con- 
ventions contains many provisions relating to declared war and to other armed 
conflicts between the signatory States and also certain provisions applicable 
to "armed conflicts not of an international character." Even with regard to the 
latter type of conflict, the Conventions specifically provide as a minimum that : 

" (1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of 
armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de 
combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all cir- 
cumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded 
on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar 

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any 
time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned 
persons : 

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, 
mutilation, cruel treatment and torture ; 

(b) taking of hostages ; 

(c) outrage upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and 
degrading treatment ; 

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions with- 
out previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, 


affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispen- 
sable by civilized peoples. 
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for." 

746. The accounts and information collected by the Committee concur in the 
fact that for the purpose of crushing the Revolution, Soviet tanks moved along 
the streets of Hungarian towns shooting indiscriminately at armed groups or 
individuals and at every building from which they believed they were being 
attacked. In addition to operations of this kind, which could be described as 
military, there are numerous instances of mortar fire across the Danube from 
Pest to Buda on inhabited quarters, of artilleiy fire on buildings from which 
there was no return fire and of haphazard shooting at defenceless passers-by. 
By way of example, it was reported to the Committee that twenty to thirty 
tanks went up and down one Budapest street for about an hour, firing at the 
buildings until they were completely destroyed. Another incident as told to the 
Committee was as follows : "On 4 November ten armoured cars came towards 
our positions at Szeua Place by way of the Margit Bridge over the Danube. 
Their guns were pointed at each side of the street in turn. For one and a half 
kilometres they fired at each house, destroying a large number and killing many 
people, including women and children. When they arrived at Szena Place they 
fired at everything within a radius of one kilometre for several hours, although 
their fire was not returned." 

747. Many witnesses have reported cases where Soviet soldiers shot at queues 
of Hungarians waiting outside bakeries or other food shops. These incidents, 
in most of which the victims were women and children, contributed in a special 
way to arouse public indignntion, as did the many cases of shooting at ambu- 
lances. Red Cross vehicles and the doctors and nurses in those vehicles. 

748. It therefore appears to the Committee that, especially after 4 November, 
Soviet orders were to crush all resistance by every means that would prove effec- 
tive. Thus, even at Csepel, the number of "civilian" victims was said to be 
definitely higher than that of "military" victims. In December, the authorities 
of the city of Budapest estimate that, in the course of the revolt, 40,000 build- 
ings were damaged, 23,000 seriously, while 4,000 had been completely destroyed. 
The damage in Budapest was estimated at 700 million forints and business 
losses at 200 million forints. These estimates were, however, later denied by a 
report to the Budapest City Council which stated that "the number of partially 
or completely destroyed dwellings at 40,000 appears to be exaggerated, and a 
^figure of 20,000 appears nearer to reality." On 1 February, the official Central 
Statistical Office reported that about 20,000 flats were damaged in Budapest, 
which represents 4.1 percent of the total number of flats in the capital. Some 
2,217 were completely destroyed. About 260 million forints were needed for 
reconstruction of these flats.®" 

749. Among the witnesses questioned by the Committee were doctors, nurses 
and hospital staff, who complained of having been prevented by Soviet gunfire 
from assisting the wounded in the streets of Budapest. They did not conceal 
their indignation in recalling certain cases where Soviet soldiers had entered 
hospitals and carried off wounded persons whom they suspected of being "free- 
dom fighters". 

7.'')0. Witnesses also complained of the improper use of the Red Cross emblem 
by the AVH and tlie Soviet Army, the lack of respect for the white flag and 
hands raised in token of surrender. One incident reported related to young 
T)oys of thirteen or fourteen years of age who, on meeting Soviet tanks, tore up 
their shirts to make white flags — a gesture which did not have any effect on the 
soldiers determined to massacre them. During the first days of the Revolution, 
many cases were reported where weapons were transported by the AVH in 
ambulances and other vehicles marked with the Red Cross. 

751. With regard to the dispatch of medical supplies and of assistance from 
other countries, the information which the Committee was able to collect does 
not enable it to arrive at any definite conclusions. Some of the supplies reached 
their destination and were welcomed with the greatest satisfaction by the medi- 
cal corps. Later, when the airports were surrounded by Soviet troops and the 
frontiers closed, the delivery of these medical supplies was delayed. 

" Nepszahadsdg, 22 December 1956. N&pakarat, 1 February 1957. 



752. In his broadcast of 4 November 1956, Mr. Kddar stated that "the Govern- 
ment will not tolerate the persecution of workers on any pretext, for having^ 
taken part in recent events." Other indications were also given by Mr. Kiidar 
and his associates of their intention to follow a lenient policy towards those wha 
had taken part in what was then still called the "popular uprising." But, as 
related elsewhere in this report, the Kadar Government had neither effective 
power nor organization and the Soviet Army was in full control. Shortly after 
armed resistence had ended, house to house searches were conducted for those 
suspected of having borne arms, by parties consisting of Soviet soldiers accom- 
panied by members of the Hungarian police or by former AVH members ; many 
of those suspected were seized ; some shot, some deported, some detained in. 
prison. On 23 November, Geza Szenasi, who had become Chief Public Prosecu- 
tor on 16 November, announced, according to Radio Budapest that the transfer 
to the Hungarian authorities of persons detained by the Soviet armed forces 
had begun. A number of protests were formulated during this period by Work- 
ers' Councils, the Hungarian Writers' Union, student associations and other 
organizations, against the detention of civilians in complete disregard of Hun- 
garian law. 

753. With a view to the "restoration of order . . . and . . . personal safety 
and . . . safety of property . . . endangered by the fact that large quantities of 
fire arms are in the possession of counter-revolutionary elements, professional 
criminals, . . .",™ a series of decree-laws and decrees was enacted by the Prae- 
sidium and the Government, in November and December, to "simplify criminal 
procedure" ^' and to establish a new regime of "summary jurisdiction" directed 
against "counter-revolutionary elements, professional criminals, irresponsible 
trouble-makers and other persons not entitled to possess arms." '° The offences 
subject to "summary jurisdiction" were at first "murder, willful homicide, arson,, 
robbery or looting and any kind of crime committed by the unlawful use of fire- 
arms, including the attempt to commit the aforesaid crimes"." Then other of- 
fences, such as "intentional damage to public utility enterprises or to public 
enterprises serving the population's vital requirements" and the "unlicensed 
possession of firearms, ammunition, explosives or explosive material", were 
added. Failure to report to the authorities the unlicensed possession of firearms 
by other persons except next of kin was also declared to be a crime to be tried 
summarily.'" For the implementation of the decree-law of 11 December, rules 
were promulgated by decree of 11 December 19.5G. By Article 12 of these rules, 
"legal redress" (peroi-voslat) against decisions of the courts which had juris- 
diction in these cases was excluded." 

754. With the enactment of the decree-law of 13 January," the list of offences 
was further enlarged to include such vaguely defined offences as : "organization 
against the People's Republic, or against the People's democratic order and 
associating for this purpose", as well as "revolt" and "treason". The sentence 
for all such crimes is death, although under this decree-law, the Court, in lieu 
of the death sentence, may, "having regard to all circumstances of the case," 
impose a sentence of life imprisonment or imprisonment for five to fifteen years. 
The decree-law authorizes summary trial before "Special Councils" attached to 
the Budapest City Court, to county courts, military courts and the Supreme 
Court. The "Special Councils" are composed of a President, appointed by the 
President of the Court to which the Council is attached, and "people's assessors", 
elected for one year by the Praesidium of the People's Republic. Appeals 
against the decision of Special Councils set up in connexion with county courts 
are decided by a Special Council of the Supreme Court, composed of two pro- 
fessional judges and three people's assessors. 

755. Under the summary procedures for trying offenders, the Public Prose- 
cutor has the power to bring the accused before the Special Council without 
presenting the charge in writing or in advance. The charge is to be made by 
the Prosecutor orally at the hearing. The rights of the accused to prepare an 
adequate defence are therefore very greatly jeopardized. Summary procedures 
can also be employed in the Supreme Court at the request of the Chief Publie 

7« Magyar Kozliiny, No. 100, 11 December 1956. 
■^ Magyar Kozlony, No. ft.3. 12 November lfl.56. 
''^ Magyar Kozlony,'No. 101, 12 December 1056. 

''^Magyar Kozlony, No. 5, 15 January 1957. Regardinpr the provisions of this decree- 
law in relation to certain industrial offenses, see Chapter XIV, paragraph 659. 


Prosecutor. It is provided in para. 8 (i) of the decree of 13 January 1957 
that its provisions will apply retroactively to crimes committed prior to the 
date of its coming into force, although the death penalty cannot be imposed 
with respect to crimes committed before that date. 

756. On 6 April 1957, the establishment was announced, for the purpose of 
unifying "jurisdiction over counter-revolutionary crimes, as well as crimes 
committed against public order and public security", of a special "People's Ju- 
dicial Council" '* which functions within the framework of the Supreme Court. 
It consists of a President, who is a judge designated by the President of the 
Supreme Court, and of four "people's judges" elected by the Praesidium of the 
People's Republic. The jurisdiction of the "People's Judicial Council" extends 
to all criminal cases which may normally fall within the jurisdiction of military 
or non-military tribunals. The Council acts as a tribunal of first degree, if a 
case is submitted to it by the President of the Supreme Court or if it is brought 
to it by the Chief Public Prosecutor. It may also be an appellate tribunal 
for any case decided upon by any other tribunal, if the President of the 
Supreme Court brings the case before it or if the Chief Public Prosecutor sub- 
mits an appeal. It is also possible to submit to the People's Judicial Council 
a request for a re-opening of a case already tried by a court.'^ 

757. It should be reported at this point that indications can be found of 
the reluctance of Hungarian judges and local prosecutors to apply these decrees 
with the desired severity. Newspapers have complained that in many cases, 
judges have acquitted offenders who should have been published. A conference 
of law court presidents was called in Budapest on 15 February 1957, in the course 
of which Ferenc Miinnich, Minister of the Armed Forces and Public Security 
Affairs, admitted : "Some judges and courts have been very reluctant to re- 
sume work. They are evidently under the influence of the principle of the 
independence of judges, which arises out of the traditions of the legal profession 
and which was misinterpreted by many people * * *". He threatened : "In 
the field of jurisdiction I have seen symptoms which, in the circumstances 
have been neither extraordinary nor surprising, but which I want to be changed 
as soon as possible. Where we see goodwill, we shall give enlightenment and 
assistance. But where we encounter an enemy, we shall resort to admin- 
istrative means". Ferenc Nezval, Government Commissioner to the Ministry 
of Justice defined the official position : "The most important task of the court 
is to defend and strengthen the People's democratic State order, to pass sentence 
in the spirit of the class struggle — both in summary and accelerated proceedings 
as well as in ordinary criminal jurisdiction — against subversive counter-revolu- 
tionary elements. The courts must take particular care that cases concerning 
counter-revolutionary crimes are heard before all others". He added : "Cor- 
rect political orientation is a basic condition of good jurisdiction * * *. In 
dealing with counter-revolutionary oftences, our jurisdiction must be tough, 
quick and merciless" but judges were fully to observe the principles of "so- 
cialist legality" in the discharge of their duties. Geza Szeniisi, the Chief Pub- 
lic Prosecutor, said, "Legality must fully correspond to the interest of the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat". 

758. Other decrees enacted in December and January instituted "public secu- 
rity detention".'*' Under these decrees, "any person whose activities or behaviour 
endanger public ordei-, or public security, and in particular the undisturbed con- 
tinuity of productive work and transport, may be placed in public security de- 
tention", for a period not exceeding six months. Detention is ordered by the 
chief police authority of the county concerned or of the city of Budapest and 
is subject to the approval of the Public Prosecutor. A "complaint" may be made 
to the Chief Public Prosecutor against a decision ordering detenti(m. Article 6 
of the decree of 13 January 1957 of the Minister of the Armed Forces and Public 
Security Affairs states : "A person placed under public security detention may be 
given permission for conversation, he may receive parcels and letters, and may 
write letters, at least once in every month" subject to supervision by police 
authority. Article 7 states that "A person under public security detention may " 
be employed for work" ; he is to receive, in such a case, adequate remuneration 
but "the cost of public security detention shall be deducted from his remunera- 

'•* Nepbirdadgi Tandcs. 

'''^ Nepozabadsdg^ 6 April 1057. 

■^^ Maoiinr Kozlony, No. 102, 13 December 1956; No. 4, 13 January 1957. 

" Italicizing of the word "may" by the Committee. 

'8 Magyar Kozlony, No. 4, 13 January 1957. 

93215— 59— pt. 90 12 


759. A decree published on 19 March 1957 provides that certain "harmful per- 
sons dangerous to the State and public security or to socialist coexistence, or 
causing concern from the point of view of other important State interests" may, 
by order of the head of the county or the Budapest police, be placed under police 
supervision or removed from their place of residence to another location, while 
being placed under police supervision or without such supervision having been 
ordered. Persons under police supervision may not change their residence with- 
out police permission, they must report to the police as prescribed and abide by 
other restrictions. They may be precluded from (a) leaving their domicile at 
certain periods of the day; (b) visiting certain public places; (c) using a tele- 
phone. These administrative measures may be taken for periods not exceeding 
two years and are subject to review every six months. Appeals may be lodged 
with the National Police Headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior.™ 

760. Efforts were made in the official Press and radio to justify these meas- 
ures and to explain their necessity for the protection of the "people's democracy", 
public order and economic life against the hidden action of the "counterrevolu- 
tionaries". It was indicated that they were temporary and would be applied 
with moderation. Stress was laid on the exceptions contained in some of the 
decrees, in cases where minors, sick persons and pregnant women were involved, 
and on the role of the public prosecutors in their fair application. Radio appeals 
"were also made by several personalities to those who had fled the country. A 
decree-law of 29 November provided that criminal proceedings on the charge of 
illegally crossing the frontier between 23 October and the date of the decree-law 
would not be instituted provided the refugees returned voluntarily to Hungary 
not later than 31 March 1957."" Nevertheless, newspapers regularly carried 
reports of trials and death sentences and of some executions, the best known 
being that of Jozsef Dudas, the former Chairman of the Hungarian National 
Revolutionary Committee and of Janos Szabo, the former Commander of the 
armed revolutionary groups of Szena Place. Official statistics of arrests, con- 
victions and executions suggested an attitude of relative mildness. It was 
announced that by 21 December only six death sentences- had been carried out. 
On 28 January, Dr. Szenasi, the Chief Public Prosecutor, declared that up to 
then there had been only 148 cases of summary trial involving 193 accused, of 
whom 29 were sentenced to death, 9 executed immediately and 5 executed after 
their appeal for mercy had been rejected. On 15 February, Mr. Nezval, Govern- 
ment Commissioner to the Ministry of Justice, stated that since the introduction 
of summary proceedings, 254 persons had been tried and 208 sentenced, of whom 
31 were sentenced to death. The death sentence had been carried out in only 
21 cases. 

761. However, this official picture of relative leniency and the official data 
of arrests and executions since 4 November are entirely at odds with the ac- 
counts given the Committee by several witnesses, of whom some had left 
Hungary only recently and others had maintained regular, and apparently re- 
liable, contacts in Hungary. It was reported to the Committee as late as April 
that Soviet Army and security organs were still conducting their investigations 
and arrests independently of the Hungarian authorities, although, in some cases, 
with the assistance of Hungarians. It was said that a large number of persons 
were still being arrested throughout Hungary. Workers' Council members and 
other leaders of the revolution had been seized. Executions were reported 
throughout the country and many pre-printed notices that persons "had been 
sentenced to death for counter-revolutionary activities and that the sentence 
was duly carried out" were being sent to relatives of executed persons, whose 
names were inserted in the printed forms by hand. The Committee has not been 
able to check this information. 

762. A few days after the Soviet occupation of Budapest, measures were 
taken to reconstitute the police and to create new security organs. On 8 No- 
vember, the Commander of the National Police issued an order that all regular 
policemen were to report for duty, and a decree was issued for the creation of 
special armed groups, the "R" police and others, to assist in the restoration of 
order. District police headquarters were given instructions to organize armed 
guards composed of workers^ whose task was to restore law and order in fac- 
tories and in the districts in which those factories were located. Later, the ob- 
ject of the workers' armed guards was declared to be "to support armed forces 

■">N6pakarat, 24 March 1957. 

80 Magyar Kozlony, No. 98, 1 December 1956. 


which may have to guarantee uninterrupted production and prevent attempts 
by counter-revolutionaries to regain power". Reports appeared in the Press, 
however, indicating that there were very few volunteers, and testimony was 
received of the reluctance shown by the workers to co-operate with the Kddar 
Government in this respect. 

763. A i)ermanent security police was organized under the leadership of 
Colonel Laszlo Matyas, a foraier cellmate of Mr. Kadar, in AVH prisons, and 
stress was laid oflBeially on the significance of this change of leadership. But 
many of the other members of the new secret police were recruited among former 
AVH personnel." 

764. Early in February, branches of the police responsible for defending "pub- 
lic order and security", as well as "State security", were unified. As stated on 
the radio, "the new unified police has to deal not only with common criminal 
cases, but also with subversive activities directed from abroad, and all criminal 
deeds directed against People's Democracies". Efforts were made officially to 
stress the differences between the new secret police and the AVH. It was 
stated that "the new police had broken with the methods used by the notorious 
State security police investigations having a political character." The new 
guarantees, in this respect, were said to be the powers of the public prosecutors 
who "regularly supervise" the activities of all police bodies, including all inves- 
tigations. It was recalled that the independence of the Chief Public Prosecutor 
was stipulated by the Constitution and that he had the power to examine com- 
plaints directed against the work of the investigating authorities, to re-examine 
all cases and to take legal measures against police officers suspected of vio- 
lating the law. It was pointed out that detentions, which in common criminal 
cases could not exceed thirty days and in political sixty days, could be 
prolonged only in very special cases with the consent of the public prosecutors. 

765. On 21 April, the Ncpssabadsdg announced that the Praesidium of the 
People's Republic had expressed its appreciation and thanks to all members 
and officers of the police for "defeating the counter-revolution, for the liquida- 
tion of the counter-revolutionary bands and for a heroic and devoted stand in 
the defence of socialism". A new medal was struck "for the power of the 
workers and peasants" and awarded to those members of the police who had 
"served with distinction". 

766. There is no evidence, however, in the possession of the Committee, which 
would show that these explanations and assurances have found credence among 
the Hungarian people or that the Kaddr Government's efforts to present itself 
as different in its methods from its predecessors before 23 October, have met 
with any degree of success. 

767. Thus, the authorities have made every effort to trace and punish se- 
verely those who played an active part in the revolutionary events. Searches 
and arrests are continuing. No one may publicly express an opinion which 
might be construed as opposed to the regime or to the Soviet occupation. The 
speeded-up trials do not allow the accused to make adequate presentation of 
their defence. People are distrustful of judges elected upon the nomination of 
the Communist Party. They are aware, too, of the re-establishment of camps 
for political prisoners. They must take into account the threat of eviction from 
their normal place of residence. Aware of the police surveillance and per- 
turbed by reports of executions, the Hungarian people have a real fear and 
hatred of the new security police, which they identify with the AVH. Many 
of the witnesses who appeared before the Committee appealed to the United 
Nations to exert every effort to have the repression stopped. 


768. The Committee was deeply shocked by what it learned from witnesses 
who told of the sufferings inflicted on the Hungarian people by the AVH. It 
was struck by the extent of the abuses that could be perpetrated by a police 

*i No formal revocation was made of the decision of 29 October 1956 abollshins "all police 
organs invested with special rights", as well as the AVH. In various declarations to the 
public, however, it was stated that the AVH would be disbanded and that political in- 
vestigations would be handled henceforth by a special department set up within the regular 
police. It was even stated by Mr. Miinnich that past activities of the members of the 
AVH would be investigated by the public prosecutors' offices and special committees were 
said to have started functioning for this purpose throughout the country in the beginning 
of December. The results of these investigations have not yet been made public. There 
are indications that many of the former AVH personnel have been rehabilitated for lack 
of evidence against them. 


force without control and thus all-powerful, pitiless and unabashed by any 
shameful act. It realized that the existence of such a body, whose secret power 
affected every phase of public and private life, prevented the enjoyment of all 
human rights and perverted the functioning of every independent institution. 

769. Some information on the origins of the AVH has been given earlier in 
this report. Its links with the Communist Party, its recruiting methods and 
some of the ways in which it operated have been mentioned. Nominally en- 
trusted with the investigation of offences against the security of the State, the 
AVH devoted itself to the defence of the regime and more particularly of those 
who were in power. Granted unlimited freedom of action by the regime, it 
increased the number of its officers and planted its spies and informers every- 
where. Through them it penetrated into offices and factories, into apartment 
houses and schools, into diplomatic posts and into the courts. Its uniformed 
police guarded important public buildings, and its plain clothes police mingled 
with the crowds. Acting without any outside supervision of any kind, its 
members became a privileged group with important material advantages. Sep- 
arated from the rest of the population by a wall of hate, they became a state 
within the State and a group apart, dedicated to control of the people by terror- 
ism and oppression. During the days of October and November, the horrified 
revolutionaries discovered in the AVH headquarters files containing "blacklists'' 
with information and reports on almost every inhabitant of the country, count- 
less recordings of telephone and private conversations, and also "perfected" 
types of torture chambers. 

770. Many witnesses who appeared before the Committee had at one time or 
another been victims of the AVH. A good number of the Communist leaders 
themselves were, as is well known, the victims of AVH brutality, at times when 
doctrinal disputes or personal rivalries cut them off from those in power. 
What was the meaning of the word "torture'', which runs throughout the evi- 
dence? The verbatim records of the Committee's meetings contain appalling 
descriptions which the Committee would have hesitated to publish in their 
entirety, even if the necessity of protecting the families of the witnesses had not 
been an obstacle. 

771. Besides the examples of brutality and degrading forms of treatment 
causing unspeakable physical suffering, numerous "psychological" methods were 
used, such as mock executions, threats to families, interminable waiting by 
prisoners in inhuman conditions aimed at crushing their spirit and drawing a 
confession from them. The following extracts of testimony given to the Com- 
mittee will throw some light on this subject. 

772. The chairman of one of the Workers' Councils gave the following 
testimony : 

"* * * they took me to a prison, chained my right hand to my left foot, and 
left me in a dark cell about three metres square. There was no heating, and 
this was in the middle of the winter of 1950. For clothing I had nothing but 
a shirt, an undershirt, a pair of shorts and a pair of shoes, and I was left in 
chains in that hole. I was there for twenty-four hours when I was given a 
little piece of bread, about twenty decagrams. It was so dark I did not know 
what the time was and I could not move because, if I did so, my wrists and 
ankles bled. I had to freeze and starve. Then they took me up to a solitary 
cell on an upper fioor, where I got the regular prison fare and it was not dark 
and I was not in chains. After twenty-four hours of that, they took me down 
again and the whole performance was repeated * * *." 

773. A mechanic reported as follows : 

"When I was interrogated in the AVH prison and during the hearings I was 
subjected to two kinds of torture. One was physical and consisted of knocking 
out all my teeth. I was also starved. For six and a half months I was in a 
concrete cell, where I had no opportunity to wash myself or keep myself clean. 
I had one thin coverlet. While the accusations against me were being prepared,, 
I was left there and their psychological weapon was the continual threatening of 
my family. They tried to use hypnosis on me and they staged a mock execution 
in the courtyard, using blank shot. This was done in an attempt to break down 
my resistance and make me sign a false confession. Under this treatment I lost 
weight and in the middle of December weighed only forty-six kilos." 

774. A former university professor, an official and a member of the Communist 
Party declared : 

". . . During the first three days I was left completely alone. Everything- 
was taken away from me and I was put in a cellar. For three days I was bang- 
ing at the door and was shouting 'What is this? What do they want of me? A 


colonel whom I had known called me out (he had returned from Moscow in 
.1946). He told me to confess that I was a traitor. He did not at that time detail 
the accusation .... From . . . 1949 until October of the next year, for al- 
most eighteen months, I was completely alone in a cell one and a half or two 
storys below the ground and about 1.50 to 2 metres in size. Sometimes there 
was water up to my ankles in the cell. When my health become very bad, they 
put me in a somewhat better cell and they gave me a little more to eat but, with 
one exception, I was continuously in solitary confinement. At one time they did 
put someone in with me for a few days, I think to report and spy on me. Mean- 
while hearings proceeded, especially in the lirst months of my confinement. I 
was in this cell day and night. There was a light burning in it and I could not 
tell when it was day and when it was night, except that I assumed that it was 
daytime when they gave me food to eat .... 

"Later on, it was sometimes during the night that the hearings took place — 
that is to say when I thought it might be night, as they were not giving me any- 
thing to eat, but later it turned out I was mistaken. These hearings from the 
rtrst moment had a definite tendency. They tried to force me to confess firstly, 
that I had been the agent of the English. The second accusation was that I was 
an agent of the Yugoslavs .... The third accusation was that I was an agent 
of the French Intelligence .... The fourth was that the American Intelli- 
gence had given me instructions .... 

"It was not physically, but morally, that they were trying to force me to confess 
to these things. I was not willing to sign such statements. I went through 
tortures which were milder than the usual physical tortures ; this was after the 
period of great physical tortures. Rajk was arrested in June or July, and by 
the time they got to my case they had already got no confessions out of most of 
the people so, as far as physical force went they did not insist too much on it. 
I would say — and others of my comrades who were also accused would agree 
with me — that it was not the physical torture which was the most terrible thing 
at these times, but the solitary confinement- — being alone. It sounds somewhat 
paradoxical, I do not want to say I was glad, but it seemed better for them to take 
me up and slap me around, because then I could see people, I had some contact 
with people and I tried to hit back. 

"I could live ; down below it was a crypt in which I was entombed ; there was 
no life. It is very interesting; several years later I met other people who had 
gone through the same thing, and who said the same. The beatings were not too 
important, they did not bother us too much, in a way we could be amused, it 
was a diversion. I must say they did not achieve any real results with physical 
beatings. They admitted later at the hearing of several so-called criminals 
that this was not a fruitful way of proceeding. ... If I am a true Communist, 
they said, I must accept this sacrifice for the future. They told me I had 
joined the Party when it was an illegal movement, a resistance movement at the 
time of the German occupation, to sacrifice even my life in order to achieve the 
freedom of my country. This freedom, they said, could be ensured only by the 
Communist Party, which was having some difficulties at this time, as there were 
traitors in its midst and even though I might not be one of these, here was my 
opportunity to help it. At the same time, they said that naturally there was no 
question of sacrificing my life ; they said we would talk this over amongst our- 
selves and would decide together what the judge would say, and after the 
sentence they would put me in a villa somewhere without any publicity, and 
there I could communicate with my family, read, study and, apart from freedom 
of movement, I could have practically everything. 

"If I was not willing to sign this confession I would thereby have admitted that 
I was not willing to follow the orders of the Party, which was my first duty. I 
would really prove that I was an enemy of the Party and. against an enemy, the 
Party was entitled to use strong measures. They said if I did not sign, there 
were worse prisons and in a week I could be a corpse ; but if I did sign nothing 
bad would happen to me. So that briefly it came to this : after a year and a half 
I signed the confessions, not thinking whether they were true or untrue. This 
experience was enough for me to wake up ; I finally signed. I did it quite 
cynically. I thought I could not bear this any more. I did not think I would 
be put in any very good circumstances or that I could see my family regularly, 
but maybe they would let me write a letter now and then — after all, they even 
promised me that. It did not make any difference to me ; it was quite possible 
that, even if I signed, I might perish, they might hang me or sentence me, but, on 
on the other hand, maybe it would be better. I would at least see human beings, 


if not elsewhere, then at the hearing. So I declared, as I say, with some cynicism 
at that time, that if the Party wished I would be glad to sign. 

"So it happened I was put in much better confinement, I got very good food. 
There were two weeks to the hearing and they started to fatten me up. They 
gave me books to read ; they promised me that after the hearing I could write to 
my family. We discussed what kind of sentence the judge was going to give me 
and what kind of questions he would ask, also what I should answer. They 
showed me the script and warned me that the judge was a man of poor quality 
and would probably mix up the questions, but they told me not to bother about 
that, but just to answer the questions in the way I had been told, that we had 
agreed upon, and in the proper order, and I should not pay attention to what 
the judge asked me. It became a burlesque, the whole trial and hearing. The 
judge really asked other things, and it was quite embarrassing to me sometimes 
to have to suppress my laughter. He asked one thing, and I answered another. 
For example, he asked how old I was and I replied that 'Yes, I was an English 
agent.' This was what had been agreed upon beforehand, and this was the way 
the whole thing happened." 

775. Of what value are confessions obtained under these circumstances? The 
Party doubtless thought it useful to obtain these confessions by any means avail- 
able. In the same way, at other times, it had been necessary to obtain confessions 
from peasants that they had acted as kulaks, or from students that they had con- 
spired with foreign nations or from workers saying that they had sabotaged 
production in their factories. 

776. AVH methods were most brutal between 1948 and 1953, and the experience 
described above relate primarily to that period. This policy was somewhat 
relaxed under Prime Minister Nagy between 1953 and 1955. From that time on, 
it had been difficult to go back entirely to the past. The regime itself had appeared 
to understand the damage it was sustaining from the uncurbed activities of the 
AVH. The families of victims and certain prisoners released as a result of politi- 
cal changes, demanded safeguards and wanted revenge. Speaking before the 
National Assembly on 30 July 1956. the then Prime Minister Hegediis recognized 
the need to put the police and security agencies of the State "under close surveil- 
lance." ^ Gyorgy Non. the Chief Public Prosecutor, pointed out at that time that 
the responsibilities of his post, which was that of "supreme guardian of socialist 
law and order" included the security of the State. He had admitted publicly 
that "several directors of State agencies had misused their powers and had had 
recourse to moral and physical pressures by means of which they had extorted 
false confessions of guilt". He refered to their "illegal methods" and to "large- 
scale squandering of communal property to satisfy their boundless greed".*^ 

777. But despite these statements and declared intentions of reforms, and in 
spite of relaxations after the autumn of 1955, the Hungarian people continued to 
be afraid and to nourish feelings of hatred. At the beginning of the October 
Revolution, it was the members of the AVH who first tried to put down the insur- 
rection with machine-gTins and their usual methods of terror and torture. The 
people's vengeance was turned against them, and it knew no bounds. Their 
former victims and the children of their victims committed atrocities in their 
turn. There were lynchings, hangings and shootings, and the pleas of the pro- 
visional leaders who were trying to restore law and order, were often ignored. 
Many members of the AVH found sanctuary in refuges offered them by the 
revolutionary organizations pending trial according to regular judicial procedure. 


778. The Hungarian people's need for liberty manifested itself with an extraor- 
dinary burst of fervour during the brief revolution in October and November. Wit- 
nesses noted the joy shown by students on the afternoon of 23 October when they 
could march in a procession, undoubtedly for the first time in their lives, without 
their demonstration being compulsory and without having slogans imposed upon 
them. Their joyous shouts proclaimed their sixteen-point programme, which 
called for general elections by secret ballot, recognition of the right to strike, and 
complete freedom of opinion, expression, press and radio. During the days which 
followed, this long-suppressed desire to throw off restrictions spread to all ranks 
of society. Budapest and the rest of Hungary gave expression to this through 
spontaneous demonstrations, through the newspapers, the tone of which had 

82 Seahad Nep, 31 July 1956. 
63 Szahad Nep, 1 August 1950. 


changed completely, and through the radio stations, which promised henceforward 
to report "the truth and nothing but the truth". The revolutionary organizations 
included in their programme the establishing of human rights, and several of them 
referred to the Charter of the United Nations and some to the Universal Declara- 
tion of Human Rights. 

779. The Government quickly responded to these expectations. Mr. Nagy stated 
that his goal was to "carry out the systematic democratization of the country in 
all aspects, both political and economic, of the life of the Party and the State." 
Amnesties were proclaimed on 24 and 26 October. On 29 October, the AVH was 
abolished. On 30 October the one-party system came to an end. On the same day 
Cardinal Mindszenty was released fi-om prison, and on the next day he was once 
more granted full freedom to discharge his ecclesiastical duties without any re- 
striction. On 31 October, the new organization of free trade unions proclaimed its 
independence from the Government and from all political parties and demanded 
free elections and the recognition of the right to strike. Political parties began 
to organize and requested free elections as a condition for their participation in 
the Government. On 2 November, the Ministry of Education ordered that the 
history books in use in schools should be withdrawn, abolished compulsory study 
of the Russian language and authorized the reinstatement of religious teaching. 
There was no doubt that the success of the popular revolution could have restored 
to the Hungarians the enjoyment of the political rights and fundamental freedoms 
which the Peace Treaty had been intended to guarantee. 

780. The Soviet Army's suppression of the Revolution by force of arms put an 
end to these hopes. Although Mr. Kadar's initial statements still showed traces 
of a revolutionary programme, the positions adopted subsequently bore witness 
to the regime's determination to make no concessions to the demands of the 
"counter-revolutionaries", for, to use the words of Mr. Gvula Kallai, a member 
of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' (Communist) 
Party, "small concessions would inevitably lead to larger ones". This brings to 
mind the official attitude with regard to free elections and the multi-party system, 
as well as Mr. Kadar's statement on 1.5 November that the workers' power can be 
destroyed "not only by bullets, but also by ballots". 

781. Certain legislative and police measures by the Kadar Government here 
may be recalled. A decree of 8 December abolished the revolutionary commit- 
tees and councils. A decree-law dated 14 December prohibited public meetings 
and parades unless authorized by the police. On 20 December the Government 
announced the establishment of a State Information Office, which was to exer- 
cise supervision over the press and information services. The arrest of mem- 
bers of the executive committee of the Students' Association, of several young 
university professors and of a large number of .iournalists and writers was fol- 
lowed by suspension of the activities of the Writers' Union on 17 January and 
of the activities of the Journalists' Association on 19 January. At the end of 
January, the National Council of Free Trade Unions met and revoked the deci- 
sion taken by the Hungarian unions during the revolutionary period to withdraw 
from the World Federation of Trade Unions. On 29 January Mr. Kadar declared 
that under the dictatorship of the proletariat the right to strike served no useful 
purpose. At about the same time, students were deprived of freedom to choose 
the language which they wished to study, and the right to receive religious 
instruction was limited to those students whose parents had already entered 
them in such courses at the beginning of the school year. A decree-law of 24 
March provided that all appointments, transfers, or dismissals affecting posts of 
any importance in the Roman Catholic Church and the Presbyterian and Luth- 
eran Churches, as well as those concerning dignitaries of the Jewish faith, 
would be subject to approval by the Praesidium. This decree was made retro- 
active to 1 October 19.56. On 6 February a decree-law was issued which in- 
creased the penalties for encouraging or assisting persons attempting to cross 
the frontier illegally. Persons failing to inform the authorities of such offences 
were themselves made liable to imprisonment for terms of as much as two years. 

782. The state of affairs which existed before the events of October is thus 
being reimposed on the Hungarian people step by step : impossibility of express- 
ing opinions differing from those of the regime: a controlled press and radio, 
which are forced to carry official propaganda justifying the actions of the Gov- 
ernment; denial of the right of assembly and association and of choosing for 
political, administrative or economic posts candidates other than those proiKtsed 
by the single Party ; control of all artistic expression by injunction and by eco- 
nomic pressure ; prevention of any personal scientific contact with the West ; 


prohibition of free organization for the defence of economic and social interests ; 
an educational system steeped in an imposed doctrine and oriented towards adula- 
tion of a foreign country ; interference with the work of representatives of reli- 
gious faiths ; and measures to prevent Hungarians from seeking asylum abroad. 
Any infringement of these restrictions and prohibitions is punished by new 
penal measures. The Hungarians whom the Committee heard are firmly con- 
vinced that their compatriots once more find themselves living under the threat 
of the concentration camp, forced residence or police surveillance and in fear of 
losing their means of earning a living. 

783. A survey of the situation which prevailed in Hungary before the popular 
uprising of October 1956 and of conditions in that country since the Soviet inter- 
vention makes clear the futility of trying to establish an applicable criterion on 
the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The "common stand- 
ard of achievement for all peoples and all nations" which the Universal Declara- 
tion proposes to hold up before the contemporary world is too far removed from 
the situation in Hungary today. It is rather in the following paragraphs of the 
Preamble that the Declaration reveals itself : 

"TFTiereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous 
acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world 
in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom 
Irom fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common 

"Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a 
last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should 
be protected by the rule of law, . . .". 

Chapter XVII. Conclusions 

784. The terms of reference of the Special Committee covered a broad field, 
namely to report to the General Assembly of the United Nations after fiill and 
objective investigation, its findings on all aspects of the question of Soviet inter- 
vention in Hungary by armed force and by other means and the effects of such 
intervention on the political development of Hungary. The Committee's investi- 
gation, as has been explained, involved the study of copious documentation from 
various sources and in several languages, as well as the questioning of more 
than a hundred witnesses, whose testimony fills two thousand pages in the verba- 
tim record. The Committee regrets that the attitude of the Hungarian Govern- 
ment has prevented it from basing its investigation on direct observation in 
Hungary, as required by the General Assembly resolution. 

785. The Committee's findings relate to many aspects of the events in Hungary 
and are concerned with numerous points of detail that have a bearing on the 
origin and nature of those events. The report itself embodies the conclusions 
of the Committee, and these conclusions cannot be readily dissociated from the 
evidence which is there assembled. A summary of the Committee's findings on 
individual aspects of the situation in Hungary has been appended to certain of 
the chapters. It would, however, seem appropriate at this stage to summarize a 
number of conclusions drawn by the Committee from its study of the evidence 
as a whole. To the best of the Committee's belief, these conclusions represent 
the essential facts about the Hungarian uprising which are necessary to an 
understanding of its nature and outcome. They are as follows : 

(i) What took place in Hungary in October and November 1956 was a 
spontaneous national uprising, due to long-standing grievances which had 
caused resentment among the people. One of these grievances was the in- 
ferior status of Hungary with regard to the USSR; the system of Govern- 
ment was in part maintained bv the weapon of terror, wielded by the AVH 
or political police, whose influence was exercised at least until the end of 
1955, through a complex network of agents and informers permeating the 
whole of Hungarian society. In other respects also, Soviet pressure was 
resented. From the stifling of free speech to the adoption of a Soviet-style 
uniform for the Hungarian army, an alien influence existed in all walks 
of life. Hungarians felt no personal animosity towards the individual So- 
viet soldiers on Hungarian soil, but these armed forces were symbols of 
something which annoyed a proud people and fed the desire to be free. 

(ii) The thesis that the uprising was fomented by reactionary circles in 
Hungary and that it drew its strength from such circles and from Western 
"Imperialists" failed to survive the Committee's examination. From start 
to finish, the uprising was led by students, workers, soldiers and intellectu- 


als, many of whom were Communists or former Communists. The majority 
of political demands put forward during the revolution included a stipula- 
tion that democratic socialism should be the basis of the Hungarian political 
structure and that such social achievements as the land reform should be 
safeguarded. At no time was any proposal made for the return to i)ower, 
or to the Government, of any figure associated with pre-war days. "Facists" 
and "saboteurs", heavily armed, could not have succeeded in landing on 
Hungarian airfields which were under Soviet supervision, or in crossing 
the Austrian frontier, where a closed zone was shown by the Austrian au- 
thorities to the military attaches of France, the United Kingdom, the United 
States of America and the USSR; 

(iii) The uprising was not planned in advance. It was the universal testi- 
mony of witnesses examined by the Committee that events took participants 
by surprise. No single explanation can determine exactly why the outbreak 
occurred just when it did. Communist spokesmen, including Mr. Kadar and 
the members of his present Government, have recognized the bitter grievances 
of the Hungarian people before 23 October. They have spoken of a "broad, 
popular movement" caused by the "bitterness and indignation" of the 
masses. Two factors would seem to have brought this resentment to a head. 
The first of these was the news received on 19 October of a successful move 
by Poland for greater independence from the USSR. This news was largely 
instrumental in bringing the Hungarian students together in the meetings 
of 22 October. The second factor was the acute disappointment felt by 
the people when Erno Gero, First Secretary of the Central Committee of 
the Hungarian Workers' (Communist) Party, in his speech on the evening 
of 23 October failed to meet any of the popular demands and adopted what 
was considered a truculent tone towards his hearers ; 

(iv) Although no evidence exists of advance planning, and although the 
whole course of the uprising bears the hallmark of continuous improvisa- 
tion, it would appear that the Soviet authorities had taken steps as early as 
20 October to make armed intervention in Hungary possible. Evidence 
exists of troop movements, or projected troop movements, from that date 
on. It would appear that plans for action had therefore been laid some 
time before the students met to discuss their demands. The Committee is 
not in a position to say whether the Soviet authorities anticipated that 
the grievances of the Hungarian people, stimulated by events in Poland, 
could no longer be contained. Signs of opposition were evident before the 
23rd : the Hungarian Government had reason to foresee that trouble was 
brewing. While the evidence shows that Soviet troops from outside Hun- 
gary were used even in the first intervention, no clause of the Warsaw 
Treaty provides for intervention by armed forces of the Soviet Union to 
dictate political developments within any signatory's frontiers ; 

(v) The demonstrations on 23 October were at first entirely peaceable. 
None of the demonstrators appear to have carried arms, and no evidence 
has been discovered that any of those who voiced the political demands or 
joined the demonstrators had any intention to resort to force. While dis- 
appointment at Mr. Gero's speech may have angered the crowds, it would 
hardly of itself have sufficed to turn the demonstration into an armed 
uprising. That this happened was due to the action of the AVH in opening 
fire on the people outside the Radio Building. Within a few hours. Soviet 
tanks were in action against the Hungarians. This appearance of Russian 
soldiers in their midst not as friendly allies, but as enemies in combat, had 
the efifect of still further uniting the people ; 

(vi) Obscurity surroimds the invitation alleged to have been issued by 
the Hungarian Government to the Soviet authorities to assist in quelling 
the uprising by force. Mr. Nagy has denied, with every appearance of 
truth, that he issued this invitation or was even aware of it. Since Soviet 
tanks appeared on the streets of Budapest at about 2 a. m. on 24 October, 
it would have been impossible for him to have addressed any official message 
to the Soviet authorities, since he held no Government post at the time 
when the tanks must have received their orders. An invitation may have 
been made privately by Mr. Gerft, First Secretary of the Central Committee 
of the Communist Party, or Mr. Hegediis, the Prime Minister. The Com- 
mittee, however, has had no opportunity of seeing a text of such an invita- 
tion, or of considering the exact circumstances in which it may have been 
issued. Until further information comes to light, it would be wise to sus- 
pend judgement as to whether such an invitation was issued at all. 


Similar considerations apply to the invitation which is alleged to have 
been addressed to the Soviet authorities before the second intervention on 
4 November. Mr. Kadar had remained a member of Mr. Nagy's Govern- 
ment when the latter was reconstituted on 3 November and the Committee 
is unaware of his having given any recorded indication of his disapproval 
of Mr. Nagy's policies. Mr. Kadar's movements at this time are not fully 
known, and he cannot be considered to have substantiated his own claim 
to have called, in the name of the Government for Soviet help. In any 
event, there is abundant evidence that Soviet preparations for a further 
intervention, including the movement of troops and armour from abroad, 
had been under way since the last days of October. Mr. Kadar and his 
Ministers were absent from Budapest during the first few days after he 
foi-med his Government, and administrative instructions to the people of 
Hungary were issued by the commanders of the Soviet troops ; 

(vii) When Mr. Nagy became Prime Minister, he was not at first able to 
exercise the full powers of that office. Only when the grip of the AVH was 
loosened by the victory of the insurgents was he able to take an independ- 
ent stand. By this time, the real power in Hungary lay with the Revolu- 
tionary and Workers' Councils, which had spi'ung up spontaneously in 
different parts of the country and had replaced the collapsing structure of 
the Communist Party. Mr. Nagy, though himself a Communist of long 
standing who had lived for many years in the USSR, invited non-Commu- 
nists into his new Government, and listened to the demands of various Revo- 
lutionary and Workers' Councils. It would appear that Mr. Nagy himself, 
like the country at lai'ge, was somewhat taken aback by the pace of devel- 
opments. However, seeing that his countrymen were united in their desire 
for other forms of Government and the departure of Soviet troops, he threw 
in his lot with the insui'gents. By this action, he obliterated the impres- 
sion which he had created while still under the domination of the AVH, 
and he became a symbolic figure in the uprising, although he had not insti- 
gated it, and was never its actual leader ; 

(viii) The few days of freedom enjoyed by the Hungarian people pro- 
vided abundant evidence of the popular nature of the uprising. A free 
press and radio came to life all over Hungary, and the disbanding of the 
AVH was the signal for general rejoicing, which revealed the degree of 
unity achieved by the people, once the burden of fear had been lifted from 
them ; 

(ix) There were a number of lynchings and beatings by the crowds. 
These were, in almost all cases, confined to members of the AVH or those 
who were believed to have co-operated with them ; 

(x) Steps were taken by the Workers' Councils during this period to 
give the workers real control of nationalized industrial undertakings and to 
abolish unpopular institutions, such as the production norms. These were 
widely resented as being unfair to workers and also a reflection of popu- 
larly suspected secret trade agreements with the USSR, whiih were said 
to make heavy demands on the Hungarian economy for the benefit of the 
Soviet Union. During the days of freedom, while negotiations continued 
with the Soviet authorities for the withdrawal of Russian troops, attempts 
were made to clear up the streets of Budapest and life was beginning to 
return to normal. The insurgents had agreed to amalgamate, while main- 
taining their identity, in a National Guard, which would have been respon- 
sible, with the Army and Police, for maintaining order ; 

(xi) In contrast to the demands for the re-establishment of political 
rights put forward during the uprising, is the fact that basic human rights 
of the Hungarian people were violated by the Hungarian Governments 
prior to 23 October, especially up to the autumn of 1955, and that such 
violations have been resumed since 4 November. The Committee is con- 
vinced that the numerous accounts of inhuman treatment and torture by 
the AVH are to be accepted as true. On the evidence, it is also convinced 
that numbers of Hungarians, including some women, were deported to the 
Soviet Union and that some may not have been returned to their homes. 
These deportations were designed to break the back of the revolution. 
Action taken by the Hungarian i)eople in their spontaneous uprising suc- 
ceeded in ridding them for a few days of the apparatus of police terror. 
This democratic achievement of a united people was indeed, threatened by 
a form of "counter-revolution" and it was to this that it succumbed. How- 
ever, the "counter-revolution" consisted in the setting up by Soviet armed 


forces of Mr. Kadar and his colleagues in opposition to a Government which 
enjoyed the overwhelming support of the people of Hungary; 

(xii) Following the second Soviet intervention on 4 November, there has 
been no evidence of popular support for Mr. Kadar's government. Mr. 
Kadar has successively abandoned most of the points from the revolutionary 
programme which he had at first promised to the Hungarian jjeople. On 
the central question of the withdrawal of Soviet troops, he has moved from 
complete acceptance of the nation's wishes to a refusal to discuss the sub- 
ject in present circumstances. Against the workers, he has proceeded step 
by step to destroy their power and that of the Workers' Councils. Capital 
punishment is applicable to strike activities. The processes of justice have 
been distorted by the institution of special police and special courts and by 
the ignoring of the rights of the accused. The Social Democratic Party has 
again been forcibly liquidated. General elections have been postponed for 
two years. Writers and intellectuals are subjected to repressive measures. 
The Hungarian workers have shown no sign of support for Mr. Kadar's 
Government or for the prospect of continuous Soviet occupation. Only 
a small fraction of the 190,000 Hungarians, mostly young people, who fled 
the country have accepted his invitation to return. The peasants have 
reason to be grateful to Mr. Nagy for his attitude towards collectivization 
of agriculture and forced deliveries of farm produce ; 

(xiii) In the light of the extent of foreign intervention, consideration of 
the Hungarian question by the United Nations was legally proper and, 
moreover, it was requested by a legal Government of Hungary. In the 
matter of human rights, Hungary has accepted specific international obli- 
gations in the Treaty of Peace. Accordingly, the Committee does not regard 
objections based on Paragraph 7 of Article 2 of the Charter as having 
validity in the present case. A massive armed intervention by one Power 
on the territory of another, with the avowed intention of interfering with 
the internal affairs of the country must, by the Soviet's own definition of 
aggression, be a matter of international concern. 

List of Material Relating to the Problem of Hungary ** 
A. united nations documentation 

1. Documentation of the Security Council and the General Assembly 

2. Proceedings of the Security Council and the General Assembly 

3. Documentation of the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary : 

( a ) Records of the proceedings 

(b ) Classified extracts from hearings of witnesses. Nos. 1-2 

(c) Documentation prepared for the Committee 

4. United Nations — Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, April 1957, Vol. XI, No. 4 

5. Publications of the Economic Commission for Europe : 

(a) Economic Survey of Europe in 1955 (E/ECE/235) 

( b ) Economic Survey of Europe in 1956 ( E/ECE/278 ) 

(c) Economic Bulletin for Europe, Vol. 8, Nos. 1-3, May, August and 
November 1956 ; Vol. 9, No. 1, May 1957 


6. Documents issued before the uprising 

(a) Magyar Kozlony (Hungarian Gazette). The Official Gazette of the 
Hungarian People's Republic. Index for Nos. 1-57, 4 January-29 June 1956 ; 
1 June-20 October 1956, Nos. 48-92 

(b) Budapest Statisztikai Zsebkdnyve ( Statistical Handbook of Budapest) 
1956, published by the Central Statistical Office of Hungary, 1956 

7. Documents issued by the K<idar Government 

(a) Magyar Kozlony: 12 November-29 December 1956, Nos. 93-106; 5 
January-3 February 1957, Nos. 1-15 

(b) Some official Hungarian statements (4 November 1956-9 May 1957) : 
(i) Programme of the Revolutionary Workers' Peasants' Government, as 

announced by Mr. Janos Kadar on 4 November 1956 

^ NOTE : This is not a bibliography of the Hungarian Revolution but a list of docu- 
mentation made available to the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary. 


(ii) Declaration of the Revolutionary Workers' Peasants' Govern- 
ment of the Hungarian Peoples Republic, 5 January 1957 ("Major 

(iii) Current Problems and Tasks. Resolution adopted by the Pro- 
visional Central Committee, Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, 26 
February 1957 

(iv) Speech by Mr. Istvan Dobi, Chairman of the Praesidium of the 
Hungarian People's Republic, before the Hungarian National Assembly, 
9 May 1957 

(c) Publications of the Central Statistical Office {Kozponti Statisztikai 
Eivatal) of Hungary : 

(i) Fontosabh adatok az 1956 okidber-decemheri idoszakrdl (More 
important data relating to the period of October-December 1956) 
Budapest, 15 January 1957 — 81 pages 

(ii) Statisztikai Szemle (Statistical Review) Vol. XXXIV, Novem- 
ber-December 1956, Nos. 11-12 

(d) The Counter-Revolutionary Forces in the October Events in Hungary. 
Published by the Information Bureau of the Council of Ministers of the 
Hungarian People's Republic ("White Book") (Vols. I and II) 

(e) "Siege of Radio Budapest: 23 October 1956." Articles in N6psza- 
hadsag, 22-28 January 1957 (Translated from Hungarian) 

(f) Hungarian Review. Published by the Publishing House Akad^miai 
Kiado, Budapest. March 1957 
8. Hungarian Newspapers 

(a) Published before the uprising : 

(i) H^tfoi Hirlap (Monday News) 22 October 1956 

(ii) Irodalmi Ujsag (Literary Gazette). The organ of the Hun- 
garian Writers' Union. 1955: July 23, 30; August 6; September 3, 
10; October 8, 23; November 2; December 24, 31. 1956: January 7, 
14, 21; February 4, 25; March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; April 7, 14, 21, 28; 
May 5; June 2, 9, 16; August 25; September 1, 8, 15, 29; October 6; 
November 2 

(iii) Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation). The organ of the People's 
Patriotic Front. 20 June 1956. 

(iv) Nepszava (People's Voice). The organ of the National Council 
of Hungarian Trade Unions. 9 September 1956 

(v) Szabad Ifjusdg (Free Youth). The organ of the League of 
Working Youth (DISZ). 18 October 1956 

(vi) Ssabad N^p (Free People). The organ of the Hungarian Work- 
ers' Party. 30 June-31 December 1955 ; 1 January-22 October 1956 

(vii) Tdrsadelmi Szemle (Sovial Review). The scientific organ of 
the Hungarian Workers' Party. September 1955 

(b) Published during the uprising : "*"' 

A Sziv 3 November 

Az En Uisagom 31 October 

Egyetemi If jiisag 29, 31 October ; 2 November 

Esti Budapest 27 October 

Esti Hirlap 30 October 

Gyor-Sopron-Megyei Hirlap 1, 3 November 

Hefoi Hirlap 30 October 

Igazsag 30 October ; 1, 2, 3 November 

Irodalmi Ujsag 23 October; 2 November (also French 

and English translations) 

Kis Ujsag 1, 2, 3 November 

Magyar Fiiggetlens^g 30, 31 October ; 1, 2, 3 November 

Magyar Honved 31 October ; 1, 2, 3 November 

Magyar IfjQsag 3 November 

Magyar Jovo 3 November 

Magyar Nemzet 26, 31 October ; 1, 2, 3 November 

Magyar Szabadsag 30 October ; 1 November 

Magyar Vilag 1, 2, 3 November 

N^pakarat 1, 2, 3 November 

Nephadsereg 29 October 

N^pszabadsdg 2, 3 November 

86 See Chapter XII, para. 587, footnote 1. 


N6pszava 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 October; 1, 2, 3 No- 

Reformdcio 4 November 

Szabad Dunantul 1, 2 November 

Szabad Ifjusdg 23, 27, 29, 30 October 

■Szabad Magyar BSdio 31 October 

Szabad N^p 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29 October 

Szabad Sz6 31 October 

Szabolcs-Szatmdri N6plap 23, 24, 25 October 

Uj Ember 4 November 

Uj Magyarorszag 2, 3 November 

Val6sag 1, 2 November 

Vasi Hirlap 1 November 

Veszpremmegyei Nepiijsdg 30 October 

(c) Published after 4 November 1956:'* 

DunSntuli Napl6 5 November; 28-31 December 1956; 

13-16, 19-20 January 1957 

Bsti Hirlap 28-30 December 1956; 3-11, 13-17 

January 1957 
Eszakmagyarorszfig 29-31 December 1956; 3-6, 9-20 Jan- 
uary 1957 

Fej4r Megyei Hirlap 16-18, 21 November 1956 

Hazdnk (Gyor) 10-26 November; 5 December 1956; 

5-15, 17-20 January 1957 

Magyar HonvM 22, 23 November 1956 

Magyar Ifjusdg 5, 12 January 1957 

Mai Nap 16, 19 December 1956 

Naplo (Debrecen) 16 November; 13 December 1956 

N^pakarat 16. 18, 23 November; 6-13, 16-20, 22 

December 1956; 3-22 January; 13 
March up to date 
N^pszabadsdg 13-14, 17-18, 20, 22-23, 27, 30 Novem- 
ber ; 1 December 1956 up to date 

Szabad Fold 16 December 1956 ; 13 January 1957 

Szabad Nep 6, 9. 11 November 1956 

Szabad Ozd 14 November 1956 

Uj Zala 13 November 1956 

Vasmegye 14 November 1956 

Vas N^pe 20, 24 November 1956 

«« See Chapter XIV, para. 700. 

:9. Other material of Hungarian origin received from witnesses 

(a) Memorandum from "Leaders of the Hungarian liberation forces" 
regarding the vievs^s of the "legal Government of Hungary, held captive by 
the Soviets and the Hungarian people fighting for freedom" 

(b) Written statements by a witness on : 

(i) The role of the Hungarian peasants and the Co-operative Move- 
ment from 1945 to 1956 

(ii) The origin of the Hungarian Revolution 

(iii) The Hungarian Army and the AVH between 23 October and 14 
December 1956 

(c) Memoranda of a witness on: 
(i) Hungarian justice, 1945-56 

(ii) The situation of members of the Bar 

(iii) The situation of workei's 

(iv) The situation of the bourgeoisie 

(d) Statement of a high-ranking engineer on the "economic exploitation" 
of Hungary since 1948 

(e) Photostat copies of documents concerned with the arrest of several 
-witnesses and their subsequent release 

(f) Statement by a Hungarian Communist woman on: 
(i) Her arrest and treatment in prison 

(ii) The disintegration within the Hungarian Workers' Party from 
May 1956 onwards 

(iii) The position taken by intellectuals 


(g) Photostat copies of material issued at the outset, or in connexion 
with, the mass meeting of the Building Industry Technological University 
students on 22 October 1956 " transmitted by a witness 

(h) Photostat copy of a leaflet containing 17 demands of the University 
Youth, issued on 23 October 1956 transmitted by a witness 

(i) Manifesto and four other declarations of Hungarian writers issued 
during the revolution; French translation of the issue of Irodalmi Ujsdg 
of 2 November 1956 ; and the issue of 15 March 1957 of the same publication 
published outside Hungary by the members of the Writers' Union in exile 

(j) Protocol drawn up on 31 March 1957 in a camp for Hungarian refu- 
gees in Italy on terrorist activities of AVH 

(k) Sketches and notes by a witness concerning the losses of Soviet 
forces between 24-27 October 1956 in Budapest 

(1) Memorandum on the discussions which took place on 29 October 1956 
at the Hungarian Air Force Command regarding the possibility of bom- 
barding Soviet forces in Hungary prepared by a witness 

(m) Statement by a witness on the Office of the Hungarian Chief Prose- 
cutor during and after the uprising 

(n) Ahogy Leliet (As it could be) (Special number devoted to the Hun- 
garian uprising of a literary and cultural review) Paris, October 1956- 
January 1957, Vol. Ill, No. 10; IX, No. 1, Nos. 93-94 (Transmitted by a 

( ) Memoranda submitted by a Hungarian journalist on : 

( i ) "The disintegration of the Hungarian Communist Party" 

( ii ) Russian troop movements 

(iii) "Russian control over Hungary" 

(p) Memorandum on the Central Workers' Council of Csepel, prepared 
by a witness 

(q) Memoranda supplied by a witness on : 

(i) The origin and role of Workers' Councils in Hungary 
( ii ) The economic situation in Hungary before the uprising 

(r) Leaflets supplied by a witness (Photostat copies of twenty leaflets, 
declarations, manifestos and memoranda issued in Budapest during and 
after the uprising) 


10. British Broadcasting Corporation {B. B. C.) Summary of World Broad- 

* (a) Parti (The USSR) 

(b) Part II. A (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Germany, Finland) 

(c) Part II. B (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia) 
Published by the Monitoring Service of the B. B. C, 22 October 1956 
up to date 

11. Foreign Broadcast Inform,ation Service (FBIS) [USA] Daily Report 

Foreign Radio Broadcasts — USSR and Eastern Europe, 22 October 1956 
up to date 

12. A Magyar Forradalom, ^s Szaiadsdgharc. A hasai rddidaddsok tiikreben, 
1956 o'kt6her2S — vovcmhvr 9. (The Hungarian Revolution and fight for Freedom 
in the Light of Hungarian Broadcasts. 23 October — 9 November 1956) 


18. Australia. — Report of Mr. Eugene Gorman, Q. C, on the Problem of Hungary 

14. Belgium. — Note transmitted by the Head of the Permanent Delegation of 
Belgium to the European Oflice of the United Nations [Translated from French] 

15. France. — Report on the Hungarian Revolution (Communicated by the 
Permanent Delegate of Italy to the European Office of the United Nations) 
[Translated from French] 

16. Italy. — Report of Hungarian Events (Transmitted by the Permanent Dele- 
gate of Italy to the European Office of the United Nations) 

17. Netherlands. — Statement on Events in Hungary and the foreign interven- 
tion in that country during October and November 1956 (Transmitted by the 
Permanent Delegate of the Netherlands to the European Office of the United 

8T See Chapter X, paras. 439-452. 
88 See Chapter I, paragraph 28. 


18. United Kingdom. — 

(a) Report on the Hungarian Revolution (Transmitted by the Permanent 
Delegation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 

(b) Documentation transmitted by the Permanent Delegation of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as annexes to 
"Report on the Hungarian Revolution": 

A. Students' Manifesto of 22 October 1956 ; B. Translation of article 
by Miklos Molnar in Szabad Nop, 29 October 1956, replying to Pravda; 
C. Translations of broadcast speeches by Cardinal Mindszenty on 1 and 
3 November 1956 ; D. Translations of speeches and declarations by lead- 
ing Hungarian personalities, 29 October-3 November 1956 ; E. Transla- 
tions of Party programmes and announcements, 26 October-3 November 
1956; F. Translations of articles and declarations on the neutrality 
of Hungary ; G. Declarations and opinions of Hungarian personalities^ 
26 October-3 November 1956 ; H. Translation of Irodalmi JJjsug, pub- 
lished 2 November 1956 ; I. Memorandum of Greater Budapest Workers' 
Council, 6 December 1956 ; J. Translation of declarations by the Demo- 
cratic Parties and Revolutionary Organizations of Hungary, 8 Decem- 
ber 1956 ; K. Telegram addressed to Mr. N. A. Bulganin by the Greater 
Budapest Workers' Council, 15 December 1956; L. Statement of the 
Hungarian Writers' Union passed at the General Meeting, 28 December 

(c) Cuttings from the British Press from 23 October 1956 to 31 January 
1957 (transmitted by the Permanent Delegation of the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 

(d) Summaries of Hungarian daily and weekly Press: 

(i) Relevant is.sues of the daily Press summary from 22 October 
1956 to 3 February 1957 ; 

(ii) Two issues of the fortnightly "Review of Hungarian Periodicals", 
21 January and 4 February 1957 

(e) Other Memoranda on Different Aspects of the Hungarian Revolt, 
provided by the Government of the United Kingdom. 

(f) Photostat copies of a number of leaflets, declarations and manifestos, 
issued in Budapest during the revolutionary period and now in the possession 
of British authorities. Informal translations of a few of these are included. 
The material is numbered 1-44 and two photostat copies of a list, summariz- 
ing the contents of each leaflet, are also included. 

(g) Material Published in the United Kingdom : 
( i ) "Hungarian Tragedy", by Peter Fryer ; 

( ii ) "Hungary and the Communist Party", by Peter Fryer 
(iii) "A Handful of Ashes", by Noel Barber 
( iv ) "The Hungarian Revolution", by George Mikes 
(v) "What Really Happened in Hungary", by Basil Davidson 
(vi) "Encounter" January 1957, containing an article entitled "Two 
Wandering Satellites" by Peter Miles 

(vii) "Picture Post" special supplement entitled "Cry Hungary" 
( viii ) "The Hungarian People's Rising", December 1956 
(ix) "Hungarian Resistance Continues", January 1957 
(x) "Repression in Hungary", February 1957 
(The last three items also in French and Spanish) 
(h) A set of photographs from an exhibition held in London in November 

19. United States of America 

( a ) Chronology of Events in Hungary, 23 October-23 November 1956 

(b) Report on the Hungarian Revolution (Background; Chronology of 
Events ; Analysis and Comments) 

(c) Monitoring material of the Hungarian revolution of October-November 

(d) Appeals and Leaflets : 

(i) Appeals of the university students (22-24 October 1956) 
(ii) Appeals of Revolutionary Councils: Budapest, 28 October 1956; 
Gyor, 30 October 1956 

(iii) Appeals of the Soviet Military Command in Budapest and 


Gyor, 6-7 November 1956 

(iv) Appeal of the World Federation of Trade Unions, Prague, 3 
November 1956 

(v) Other miscellaneous appeals and leaflets (88 photostat pages) 



20. Summaries of communications received by the Committee from non-gov- 
ternmental sources 

21. Material submitted by the International Commission of Jurists : ** 

(a) Memoranda: (i) Background Material to the Legal Situation in and 
concerning Hungary ; (ii) Hungary and the Soviet Definition of Aggression; 
(iii) The Hungarian Situation in the Light of the Geneva Conventions of 
1949; (iv) Summary Trials in Hungary 

(b) "The Hungarian Situation and the Rule of haw". The Hague, April 

22. Depositions transmitted by the International Commission against Con- 
centration Camp Practices *" 

23. "Vier Tage Freiheit" — "Der Kampf des ungarischen Volkes und die Gew- 
erkschaften der freien Welt" [Brussels, 1957]. Pamphlet transmitted by the In- 
ternational Confederation of Free Trade Unions 

24. "On Human Rights in Hungary before the Revolution". Memorandum 
transmitted to the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary by LdszW 
Varga on 12 April 1957, in the name of the Federation of Free Hungarian Jurists 
in America 

25. "Plainte contre le gouvGrnement hongrois relative aux atteintes port^s A 
la liberte syndicate". Text of a complaint submitted by the General Secretary 
of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions to the Director-General 
of the International Labour OflBce [10 April 1957] 

26. Report on Hungary by the Delegation of the World Federation of Trade 
Unions [23-27 November 1956] [includes in Appendix No. 1 "Notes on an In- 
terview with Janos KS,dar and Gyorgy Marosan. on 24 November"] 


27. Files of OflBcial Statements of Governments on the Problem of Hungary 
other than those made within the United Nations 

28. Cuttings and extracts from the Ward Press, 22 October 1956 up to date. 

*» See Chapter I, paragraph 29. 
•• See Chapter XV, paragraph 720. 





iW^!^^ Intornational boundary 
M o o City and town 

A^a;n road 

—;—;^ Secondary road (salarted) 





VI Vln<?!i^© ^ 



"% VIII 


I Pirliiment Building 

I Mlnlslr> of Agriculture 

3 Communist Pjrty H.Q. 

4 5lh Dist Communist Party H.Q, 

5 U.S. Legation 

6 Ministry of Interior 

7 Ministry of Defence 
e Mar> Square 

9 Western [Railway Station 

French Legation 
Zoological Garden 
13 City Park 
Soviet H.Q. 
Stalin Statue 
Polish Embassy 



' Soviet Commandatura Occ H.Q. 
USSR Embassy 
Eastern Railway Station 

Peoples' Park 
: Clinics 
I Corvin Cinema 
I Kilian Barracks 
> Radio Building 
i Hotel Astoria 
' University Central 
I Petofi Statue 
i Hotel Dung 
) U.K. Legation 

Yugoslav Legation 
: Bern Statue 

33 Royal Palace 

34 Soutliern Railway Station 

35 Citadel 

3e Gellert Hill 

37 University of Technokjgy 

38 Morid Zsigmond Crde 

39 Public Cemetery 

40 Soviet Army Supply BIdg. 

41 Arpad Bridge 

42 Margaret Bridge 

43 Kossuth Bridge 

44 Chain Bridge 

45 Petofi Bridge 

46 Eliiabeth Bridge 

47 Freedom Bridge 



V / 







7 ^ 

> > 


A Survey of Developments Since the Report of the U. N. 
Special Committee 

Prepared by the American Friends of the Captive Nations, and the Assembly of 
Captive European Nations, in Association With the Hungarian Freedom 
Fighters Federation, the Hungarian National Council, the National Represen- 
tation of Free Hungary 

Editorial Committee : A. A. Berle, Jr., Leo Cherne, Clare Boothe Luce, 
Reinhold Niebuhr 


As organizations working for the restoration of freedom in Eastern Europe, 
we welcomed the report of the U. N. Special Committee on Hungary as an 
historic document. The report saved the honor and restored the prestige of the 
United Nations, which was so gravely shaken by its failure to act more vigor- 
ously during the Hungarian Revolution of last October. By providing the 
occasion for the Special Session of the U. N. General Assembly on Hungary, on 
September 10, the Special Committee's report has given the world organization 
a second chance to do some of the things public opinion hoped it would do last 

However, although the U. N. Special Committee closed its hearings in April 
and completed its report in May, the report was not published until June 20 
and its consideration by the Assembly was postponed to September 10. The 
report is complete in great detail through the month of February and reason- 
ably complete for the month of March. But it only contains a few references 
to developments of April and early May and none thereafter. Thus, through no 
fault of the Special Committee's, there is a time lag of almost five months be- 
tween the terminal point of the report and the date of its discussion by the 
Assembly. It was basically for the purpose of filling this hiatus that the present 
study was undertaken. 

Since the U. N. Special Committee completed its hearings, the Soviet-controlled 
government in Budapest has continued at an accelerated rate the destruction 
of human and political liberties so graphically described in the Committee's 
report. Our organizations believe that the delegates to the U. N. Assembly, and 
world opinion in general, will welcome this wholly unofficial but carefully docu- 
mented study of the tragic events of recent months. It is our hope that the 
information contained in this study will be of some help to the delegates in 
carrying the record of Soviet intervention right down to the end of August. 

Our purpose is to support and supplement the magnificent work of the U. N. 
Special Committee. We hope that this modest effort will serve to emphasize the 
absolute necessity of keeping the U. N. Special Committee in being, encharged 
with the task of submitting periodic, oflicial, supplementary reports — so long as 
the Soviet Union continues to defy the U. N. General Assembly by refusing to 
withdraw its troops from Hungary and by continuing its intervention in the 
internal affairs of that country. 

We wish to express our appreciation to the distinguished members of the Edi- 
torial Committee — Mr. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Mr. Leo Cherne, Mrs. Clare Boothe 
Luce and Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr — who, despite the pressure of their private 
responsibilities, undertook the task of weighing and shaping the report for final 
presentation. And we wish also to express our gratitude to Mr. David Martin 
who was chiefly responsible for initiating this study and for the tremendous labor 
of coordinating the work of research and presentation. 

Cheistopheb Emmet, 
Chairman, American Friends of the Captive Nations. 
ViLis Masens, 
Chairman, AssemMy of Captive European Nations. 
93215— 59— pt. 90 13 



Several weeks ago the American Friends of the Captive Nations and the As- 
sembly of Captive European Nations invited the undersigned to assume editorial 
responsibility for a study designed to provide the U.N. delegates with an account 
of events in Hungary from the time the U.N. Special Committee terminated its 
hearings until the end of August. We agreed to serve as an editorial board be- 
cause we considered it of the greatest importance that the delegates, in addition 
to discussing the revolution, the Soviet invasion and the post-occupation terror, 
should also be able to discuss the situation as it exists today. 

As the work got under way, it was decided to extend our study to include a 
fairly comprehensive and documented summary of Soviet rule in Hungary prior 
to October 1956. The report of the U.N. Special Committee contained certain 
information on the political background ; but the Committee was restricted by a 
mandate that, of necessity, placed emphasis on the central subject of the revolu- 
tion and Soviet intervention. We feel that the material contained in our chapter 
"Soviet Intervention and the Violation of Human Rights Prior to the Revolution" 
will help to provide a better understanding of the revolution itself. Indeed, there 
is a vital conclusion to be drawn from this chapter — Soviet intervention did not 
begin on October 23, but in the early post-war period, and the revolution itself 
can best be understood as a national uprising against existing intervention. 

Our material has been interwoven deliberately with the material of the U.N. 
Report, because only in this way could it be extended intelligently in both 

Although our effort cannot hope to emulate the authority and thoroughness of 
the splendid report of the U.N. Special Committee, the nature and authenticity of 
the evidence contained in this text is similar. It is based to a large degree on 
official Communist documents, speeches, radio broadcasts and items in the con- 
trolled Communist press. In addition, the material submitted to our staff in- 
cluded numerous statements by recent escapees, statements and documents 
smuggled out of Hungary, and letters written directly from Budapest — several 
of them mailed during the month of August. 

Although time and facilities were limited, we believe that our report adheres 
to the same common sense laws of evidence which governed the report of the U.N. 
Special Committee. Where the information submitted by individual Hungarians 
was completely consistent with reports contained in the official Communist press, 
such information was considered acceptable. Information from individual Hun- 
garians which is basically substantiated by independent statements from several 
other Hungarian sources was also accepted as almost certainly authentic. Certain 
items of information which had the quality of plausibility but which lacked con- 
firmation were not included. Because this report had to be prepared within a 
three-week period, it may contain a few errors in detail — but in all fundamental 
points, we believe that facts contained in our report are authentic and beyond 

We must express our deep gratitude not only to the great Hungarian organiza- 
tions whose cooperation made this report possible but also to the many volunteer 
workers who did the research and helped prepare the material. We should like 
especially to mention the following individuals who carried a major share of the 
work : 

Moshe Decter David Martin 

Janos Horvath George Perenyi-Lukacs 

General Bela Kiraly Istvan Szabo 

Imre Kovacs Dr. Laszlo Varga 
Andrew Kovats 

We are indebted to Mr. Moshe Decter and Mr. David Martin for their assistance 
in preparing the final text of this report. 

(Signed) Adolf A. Berle, Jr. 
Leo Cherne. 
Clare Boothe Luce. 
Rein HOLD Niebuhe. 
New York, N. Y., September 3, 1957. 


Soviet Intervention and the Violation of Human Rights in Hungary Before 

THE Revolution 

No report which seeks, as this one does, to supplement and bring np to date 
the Report of the United Nations Special Committee on Hungary can fail to 
call attention to the continuous and widespread violation of human rights in 
Hungary over a period of many years before the Revolution, or to the fact that 
this repressive system, modeled in every detail upon the Soviet system, was forced 
upon Hungary by direct Soviet intervention. Indeed, the Revolution can scarcely 
be understood except as the explosive culmination of powerful undercurrents of 
resentment by the Hungarian people directed against this repression and inter- 
vention. The United Nations Report makes this very point when it states: 

"In any study of the causes of the uprising, attention is necessarily focused ou 
the penetration of Hungary by strong Soviet influence over a period of years. 
This influence was felt in the life of every Hungarian citizen. It dictated the 
foreign language he was to study at school, it obliged Hungary to accept unfavor- 
able trade agreements with the USSR which adversely affected his standard of 
living, and it maintained, on the Soviet model, the apparatus of a secret police 
under the shadow of which he lived. It was precisely against such conditions 
that the Hungarian people fought. ... An understanding of the Hungarian 
uprising calls for recognition of these political, economic and cultural influences 
or pressures against which the demonstrators of 2-3 October protested."' ^ 

The United Nations Committee was constrained by its mandate from the Gen- 
eral Assembly from undertaking detailed examination of the internal affairs of 
Hungary and political and other developments in that country before 1956, save 
insofar as those developments had a direct bearing on the uprising of October 
1956. It did consider, however, that its primary concern was "to ascertain the 
extent and the impact of foreign intervention, by the threat or use of armed 
force or other means, on the internal affairs and political independence of Hun- 
gary and the rights of the Hungarian People" ." 

The present report, sharing the Special Committee's conviction that the Revo- 
lution was the outgrowth of systematic Communist repression, cannot in good 
conscience restrict itself to a consideration of Soviet intervention at the time 
of the uprising. 

The U. N. Committee itself notes that the Kadar regime, in its "White Book" 
on the October uprising, characterized the policies of its predecessor regime, 
headed by Matyas Rakosi, as "criminal". The Committee adds : 

"If a regime can be described as 'criminal', there cannot be much cause for sur- 
prise that a people which has been obliged to live under it for years should 
eventually bring its resentment into the open." ' 

If, therefore, Soviet repression of Hungarian independence in the autumn 
of 1956 bears investigation, surely Soviet intervention at the very outset of the 
Communist regime in Hungary and for a decade thereafter warrants examination. 
If the Hungarian Revolution must be viewed as the outcome of a decade of 
Soviet intervention and of Communist repression at Soviet instigation, surely 
that intervention and the violation of human rights to which it gave rise must 
be catalogued — both logic and history required such an endeavor. 

Considerable evidence exists, much of it in the form of admissions by the 
Communist leaders themselves, that from the outset the Communist regime 
attained its monopoly of power because of the backing of the Soviet army and 
secret police, and other Soviet pressures. To begin with, the leadership of the 
Communist Party itself was in the hands of a group of men who returned to 
Hungary from Russia with the Soviet military victories in 1944-45. Top men 
like Matyas Rakosi, Erno Gero, Istvan Bata, were Soviet citizens; Andras 
Ilegedus, an intimate and reliable disciple of Rakosi, spent a few years in Moscow 
to complete his Communist schooling. 

Early in 1945, free political parties were reorganized. A provisional govern- 
mental coalition, comprised of the Smallholders Party, the Communist Party, 
the Social Democratic Party and the National Peasant Party, was constituted. 
and a free parliamentary election was held on November 4, 1945. The Small- 
holders enjerged with an absolute majority of 59.9 percent of the vote, the Com- 
munist Party with 17.11 percent, the Social Democrats with 16.9 percent, and the 
National Peasants with 5.6 percent. Nevertheless, the Smallholders were not 

1 Report of the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary, Chap. IX, para. 372, 
New York, 1957. 

a Ibid., Chap. I, para. 36. 
3 Ibid., Chap. IX, para. 376. 


allowed to form a government. No less an authority on East European affairs 
than Professor Hugh Seton-Watson, of the University of London, has stated 
that "the Soviet commander, Marshal Voroshilov, had only given his consent to 
an election based on free competition between the parties on condition that all 
agreed to maintain the coalition".^ Furthermore, the Smallholders were forced 
to give the position of Minister of the Interior, who controlled the secret police, 
to the Communists. The first Interior Minister under this arrangement was 
Imre Nagy, soon to be followed by Laszlo Rajk. 

The Soviet intention to back the power of the Communist Party in Hungary 
is attested to by Antal Ban, a major Social Democratic leader, writing of events 
in 1945-46 : "Pushkin, then Soviet Ambassador in Hungary, once remarked in 
the presence of the writer : 'We have shed our blood for Hungary and we do not 
want to loosen our grip on her' ".^ 

This testimony of early Soviet intervention is confirmed by Jozsef Revai, one of 
the important Communist figures who returned to Hungary on the wings of Soviet 
victory. In 1949, after this chapter of events had concluded, he stated : 

"Our force was multiplied by the fact that the Soviet Union and the Soviet 
Army were always there to support us with their assistance." ' 

As the U. N. Special Committee Report summarizes the events of the four 
years following the election of November 1945 : 

". . . Communist influence steadily asserted itself. By 1948, leaders of the 
non-Communist parties had been silenced, had fled abroad or had been arrested, 
and in 1949, Hungary oflicially became a People's Democracy. Real power was 
in the hands of Matyas Rakosi, a Communist trained in Moscow. Under his 
regime, Hungary was modelled more and more closely on the Soviet pattern. 
Free speech and individual liberty ceased to exist. Arbitrary imprisonment 
became common and purges were undertaken, both within and outside the ranks 
of the Party." '' 

The pattern of events was established and clearly discernable within little 
more than a year after the November election. In February 1947, the Secretary 
General of the Smallholders Party, Bela Kovacs, was arrested by Soviet MVD 
forces and disappeared. This action was the equivalent of death for the party. 
The fate of Kovacs was decisive proof that the Communist Party relied on the 
Soviet Army for help. A few months later. Premier Ferenc Nagy, also of the 
Smallholders, went on holiday to Switzerland and, seeing the handwriting on 
the wall, resigned his oflSce from that country on May 31, 1947. The President of 
the National Assembly, Msgr. Bela Varga, barely escaped with his life. As a re- 
sult of these events, the Communist Party declared the National Assembly con- 
stitutionally invalid and forced it to dissolve on July 1947. 

Thirty-eight days later, on August 31, 1947, new Parliamentary elections were 
held. In that short period, several new opposition parties appeared on the scene, 
and all but the Communist Party had to conduct their campaigns under the most 
difficult and adverse circumstances. The Communists had at their disposal 
several newspapers, radio stations and associated organizations and had ample 
funds ; the other parties had virtually none of these aids. The state of disorgani- 
zation in the opposition ranks was exacerbated by Communist tactics, as Matyas 
Rakosi has himself avowed : 

"In this situation we did not allow any time to the enemy for reorganization 
of his ranks, for reshuflling or regrouping. Instead, we proposed new elections 
in the weeks when confusion, flurry, indecision, and competition were greatest 
among the new, reactionary opposition parties." " 

Despite all these pressures, the Communist Party received only 22.4 percent 
of the vote cast. The closeness of the election and the determination of the 
Hungarian people to retain its independence were demonstrated by the votes cast 
for the other major parties : Democratic People's Party, 16.5 percent ; Small- 
holders, 15.5; Social Democrats, 14.9; Hungarian Independence Party, 13.1. 
Altogether, 77 percent of the vote was cast for the opposition parties. 

But the will of the majority was again thwarted. The Communist Party held 
the reins of the state machinery, the police and the army and had the Soviet 
Occupation Army firmly behind it. By forced amalgamations and subversion of 

* Hugh Seton-Watson. Introduction to The Hungarian Revolution, p. 17, New York, 1957. 

s Antal Ban. The Curtain Falls, London 1951. 

« Cited by Hugli Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 18. 

' Report of the Special Committee, Chap. II, para. 47. 

« Taraadaimi Szemle, February-March, 1952, p. 137. 


the other parties, the Communists succeeded in destroying the opposition. Again 
Rakosi explained the process : 

"Our party sped up developments after the formation of the government. One 
of its targets was to prevent the fascist organization calling itself the Hunga- 
rian Independence Party . . . from continuing to sabotage the building of our 
democracy . . . Finally, such a situation developed that even the Smallholders 
Party demanded the abolition of the fascist party . . ." * 

Further steps followed in rapid succession. The Communist Party forced the 
Social Democrats to "fuse" with them in June 1948. The leader of the Christian 
Women's Camp was expelled from Parliament. The Democratic People's Party 
announced its dissolution soon after the arrest of Cardinal Mindszenty. And the 
last flicker of opposition was extinguished in the Hungarian Parliament in 
February 1949. 

How had it all come about? Rakosi, in his famous speech of February 1952, 
provided the classic explanation : 

"In March 1946 . . . the exiwsure, removal and Isolation of the reactionary 
elements in the Smallholders Party continued without interruption. The Small- 
holders Party was obliged to exclude or remove one by one or in small groups 
the compromised members. Day by day we carved off the reactionary elements 
hiding in the Smallholders Party, one by one like slices of salami. In these 
unrelenting fights we gradually undermined the enemy's strength and diminished 
his influence on the masses of working peasants." ^" 

But the Communist Party did not accomplish these results alone, as Rakosi 
himself conceded : 

"The Soviet Army protected us from diplomatic interference by the Western 
powers . . . All this naturally helped the consolidation of Communist in- 
fluence . . ." " 

The final and crucial step in demonstrating Soviet intervention in the internal 
affairs of the Hungarian people from 1944 on is an explanation of the role of the 
AVH, the Hungarian Secret Police. Rakosi, speaking in 1952, stressed the key 
position accorded by the regime to this institution : 

"There was only one organization over which our Party had control from the 
very first, and which was never influenced by the political coalition : that was the 
AVH . . . We maintained firm control of it from the moment of its creation, and 
we made certain of it as a safe weapon in our fight . . ." " 

The intimate connection between the AVH and Soviet power in Hungary is 
repeatedly adverted to by the U. N. Special Committee. Its report fully credits 
testimony that the AVH "adopted in full the methods of the NKVD" and was 
"the real machinery of Party control," " that AVH personnel were "carefully 
screened, not only by the AVH itself, but also by the NKVD," " that "about a 
dozen advisers from the NKVD served at its Headquarters ... an NKVD oflBcer 
was permanently stationed in each department of the AVH ... an NKVD 
Lieutenant Colonel and Major were always present in the investigation depart- 
ment . . . many Hungarian members of the AVH were Soviet citizens and most 
of the Hungarians serving with it had been trained in the Soviet Union," " and 
that ". . . the AVH functioned under direct Soviet control . . ." ^* 

The Hungarian Revolution itself bore witness to the people's resentment of this 
powerful Soviet encroachment on its daily life. As the UN Committee points 
out : 

"Fundamentally, all classes wanted to see Hungary become free to adopt a 
policy and to live a life of her own, for which purpose freedom of expression and 
genuinely free elections were considered essential. There were two obstacles 
to the achievement of such desires — the presence of Soviet troops by arrangement 
with the Government which had failed to meet the Hungarian people's griev- 
ances and the ubiquitous activities of the State security police, or AVH. These 
two facts explain the frequency with which demands were put forward that 
Soviet armed forces should withdraw from Hungary and that the AVH should 
be disbanded. It was the resistance offered by both which transformed the 
demonstrations into an armed uprising . . ." " 

"Ibid., p. 140. 
w Ibid. 
"Ibid., p. 123. 


^3 Report of the Special Committee, Chap. IX, para. 427. 

" Ibid., Chap. IX, para. 432. 

^ Ibid., Chap. IX. para. 430. 

^8 Ibid., Chap. IX, para. 431. 

" Ibid., Chap. IX, para. 424. 


From the very outset, the Hungarian people were saddled with a regime in- 
stalled under the aegis of Soviet intervention, ruled by a Party which itself 
credits Soviet force for aiding its accession to power, and whose chief instru- 
ment of rule, in turn, was the Party security police, a creature of the Soviet 
NKVD. It is indubitable that the wholesale violation of human rights in 
Hungary, which will presently be catalogued and documented, was a direct 
product of Soviet intervention in the internal affairs of the Hungarian people 
during a period of more than a decade before the Revolution. 

The obligations of the Hungarian government to secure and safeguard the 
human rights of the Hungarian people flow from several forms of solemn cove- 
nants, domestic and international. One of the earliest acts of the coalition gov- 
ernment formed after the election of November 1945, was the promulgation in 
1946 of a law pledging "personal freedom, a life free of oppression, fear and 
want ; free expression of thought, freedom of opinion, religion and assembly ; 
the maintenance of private property and the security of the individual ; freedom 
of work and the right to lead a decent life ; participation in the management of 
the affairs of state . . ." The government further pledged itself to "guarantee 
all these rights within the framework of a democratic state to all citizens of 
Hungary, equally and uniformly and without discrimination." ^* 

Similarly, in the Constitution which took effect on August 20, 1949, the Hun- 
garian government bound itself to secure all the rights promulgated in the 
1946 law.'" 

A number of international agreements, having the force of law, also commit 
the government of Hungary to respect the human rights of the people of Hun- 
gary. In the Peace Treaty signed with Hungary in 1947 by, among others, the 
Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, the government of 
Hungary assumed the obligation to ". . . take all measures necessary to guar- 
antee for all persons under Hungarian jurisdiction, without distinction as to 
race, sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights and of the 
fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of press and publication, 
of religious worship, of political opinion and of public meeting".^ 

In a memorandum submitted to the United Nations in 1955 expressing its views 
on the proposed international covenant on human rights, the Hungarian govern- 
ment stated : 

'■In the sphere of international cooperation the People's Republic of Hungary 
supports all work and endeavor aimed at securing increased protection of human 
rights; and with reference to the draft covenants received, it particularly ap- 
proves the provisions guaranteeing the right of peoples and nations to self- 
determination, the provisions relating to discrimination as to nationality, race, 
religion, and the provisions relating to the prohibition of all propaganda de- 
signed to arouse racial, national, or religious hostility." " 

On December 14, 1956, Hungary was admitted to membership in the United 
Nations, having assumed the obligations of the U. N. Charter to promote and en- 
courage ". . . respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for 
all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion." The Charter 
itself was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament and was incorporated in the 
statutes under Art. I of 1956. 

These are the main legal commitments binding the Hungarian government to 
respect and safeguard the human rights of its people. The key to an under- 
standing of the means by which these rights have been systematically violated 
can be found in the formula of "socialist legality", in vogue throughout the 
Soviet orbit. The formula has been defined by two authoritative Hungarian 
sources, Professor Imre Szabo, a leading legal expert of the regime, and Minister 
of Justice Eric INIolnar. Prof. Szabo has stated that ". . . Socialist legality 
means the absolute and complete adherence to Socialist legal maxims, to the 
laws, ordinances and decisions expressing the will of the workers and of the 
working class." " Minister Molnar, in an article on "Our Administration of 
Justice and Socialist Legality," wrote ". . . Socialist legality demands from 
our administrators of justice strictest adherence to the laws and to their 

^f' Act I of 1946. 

^« Constitntion of 1949, Articles 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58. 

2" Peace Treaty With Hungary, 1947, Part II, Chapter I, Article 2. Point 1. 

21 Distributed to Members of the United Nations by the Secretary General on October 13, 
1955. under No. A/2910Add.6. 

22 Tarsadalmi Szemle, September 1953. 


spirit." ^ These definitions clearly amount to little more than an assertion that 
the laws ought to be obeyed; they do not clarify the key role occupied by the 
formula in the administration of justice in Hungary or the insistent and repeated 
emphasis placed on it by all leading Communist spokesmen. 

A more revealing and authentic definition has been provided by the former 
Chief Public Prosecutor of Hungary, Kalman Czako, who wrote : 

"... the fundamental components of Socialist Legality are the policy of the 
(Communist) Party and the political aims of the Government based on the pol- 
icies of the Party." ^* 

The meaning of this definition is clear : it represents a wholly new concept 
of law. The rule of law- is no longer supreme. The law has been made sub- 
ordinate and subservient to the objectives, purposes and policies of the Com- 
munist Party. Under the system of "socialist legality", the rule of lawi serves 
merely as a pious mask behind which arbitrary political considerations take the 
place of equal justice for all. 

One of the most notorious instances of the operation of "socialist legality" 
was the Laszlo Rajk affair. In a public trial that created a worldwide sensa- 
tion in 1949, Rajk and several of his associates were accused and found guilty 
of treason and sentenced to hang. In the wake of the trial, several hundred 
others were imprisoned, interned or sent to forced labor camps. Seven years 
later, on March 27, 1956, Matyas Rakosi announced that investigations made by 
the Hungarian Supreme Court had established that the entire Rajk trial, and 
others connected with it, had been based on fabricated charges. This pro- 
nouncement was followed by a "re-examination" process in the course of which 
some 300 "baselessly convicted" people were released from prison ; most of them 
had been members of the Party and some had occupied leading positions in it. 
About this affair and its legality the U. N. Special Committee states : 

"The statement about Rajk revealed how one of the most publicized actions 
of the Rakosi regime had been a travesty of justice and of law. From the 
mouth of its most powerful leader, the regime stood convicted of shedding 
innocent blood." ^ 

The laws under which Rajk and his associates were condemned in 1949 were 
xio different seven years later, it is clear that, under the system of "Socialist 
Legality," the arbitrary political considerations of the Party dictated the execu- 
tion of Rajk in 1949 and his rehabilitation in 1956. Equal justice and the rule 
of law were replaced by their trappings ; the hollow shell that remained was 
infused with the techniques of "socialist legality" : physical and psychological 
torture replaced the principle that guilt, not innocence, must be proven ; false 
confessions replaced incontrovertible evidence. 

It must be stressed, however, that "socialist legality" applied not merely to 
leading figures of the Party and regime but to the entire Hungarian people. 
The following section will examine the violation of four major categories of 
human rights under the system of "socialist legality" in Hungary. 


Criminal courts are not bound by strict formalities in the judgment of an 
accused person. Thus, Paragraph 4 of the Penal Code states : "The authorities 
are not bound by any specific method of producing legal evidence and are free 
to use any evidence." The accused, however, is not allowed similar latitude. 
This provision, so unfair to the accused, was made part of the Penal Code in 
1951 ^^ and reinforced in the 19.54 revision of the Code. 

Furthermore, the accused person was put at a further grave disadvantage by a 
ruling of the Supreme Court on the admissibility and evaluation of evidence : 

"It is not the number of confessions or of any other evidence, nor the presence 
or absence of any other matter of form, which decides whether or not an allegation 
has been proven — but rather the conviction of the Judge, who is to be free of any 
prescrilied forms or principles that oblige him to consider the evidence at hand. 

"If the judge, having proi^erly and scrupulously weighed the case with the 
methods of Marxist dialectics, is convinced that a thing happened, he so states ; 
if he is not convinced, he does not so state. . . . Any other . . . prescribed form 

23 Szahad Nep. June 2fi, 19.56. 

^Jofjtttdemanyi Kozlotii/. September 1953. 

^Report of the !?pccinl Commitfee, Chap. IX, para. 378. 

»Law III of 1951, Article 4, para (1). 


... of the production of legal evidence . . . does not fit into our Socialist system 
of adjudging evidence before passing judgment." " 

In tbis fashion, the administration of justice under a system of "socialist 
legality" is reinforced not by the normal rules of evidence but by the use of "the 
methods of Marxist dialectics". 

One of the most i)ersistent and pernicious abuses of the right to Security of 
Persons in Hungary resides in the extraordinarily elaborate network of spies^ 
informers and stool pigeons of the security police. The U. N. Special Committee 
Report takes considerable note of this system and of the widespread fear and 
insecurity which it engenders among all classes and elements of the population.** 
What the Report does not state, but what must be realized for a full understanding 
of the brutally repressive system that prevailed and prevails today in Hungary, 
is that this network of spies and informers exists as a matter of Party and State 
policy and is given ofiicial status and sanction and protection in statutes enacted in 
1952 and 1954.^' Another formal institution that preys on the lives of ordinary 
citizens and officials alike, further engendering an atmosphere of fear, suspicion 
and mutual distrust, is the Ministry of State Control, established in 1955, with 
jurisdiction to probe into virtually every aspect of life and activity conducted by 
government ministries as well as all other State, cooperative and social organiza- 
tions, institutions and enterprises.^" 

Alongside these oflScial instruments of terrorization and fear, there exists a 
whole insidious skein of informal, but ofiicially encouraged and protected means 
of prying into the lives of the people and destroying the very notion of privacy 
cherished in all civilized societies. Among such "voluntary" institutions are to 
be counted the individuals and groups who write letters to the editors of news- 
papers informing them, and through them the police, of "irregularities" at home 
or at work ; "patrols" of individuals who arrogate to themselves the right to 
enter shops, schools, homes and to accost passersby for the purpose of unveiling 
"inadequacies" ; "voluntary social supervisors" issued special certificates and 
frequently rewarded by the regime for inspecting highway traflSc and move- 
ments in border zones ; tenant committees, enjoying the right to call tenants 
to meetings and conduct political lectures, who supervise and report on the 
behavior of apartment-house dwellers ; voluntary militia groups whose function 
is to maintain direct and close contact with janitors of apartments in their 
districts and with tenant committees and district council members, and to 
transmit their observations to the competent auhorities. Reliable information 
about these uncivilized practices, it should be noted, does not depend alone on 
the testimony of people who have successfully managed to escape from Hun- 
gary. The Hungarian communist press and radio has frequently and consist- 
ently adverted to them with praise and encouragement.'^ 

Another aspect of the violation of the Freedom and Security of the Person 
is the restriction of freedom of movement. This applies with especial severity 
to movement out of the country, which is virtually prohibited except in rare 
individual cases of old people who have been granted special permission. Border 
zones have for years been evacuated and under special guard. Attempts to 
cross the borders are punished with prison sentences up to five years. A gov- 
ernment decree even requires comp«isory reports on any occurrence from which 
a plan to escape can be inferred.^ Organs of the regime, especially near the 
western and southern borders of the country, are empowered to ask all "sus- 
picious" travelers for identification papers : those who are unable to explain 
their presence in the area to the satisfaction of the guards are taken to the 
nearest police stations for questioning. Similarly, free movement inside the 
country, inherent in the right to choose one's place of work and of residence, 
is severely restricted by the system of work permits and residence require- 

The existence of this system of repression and the violation of human rights 
has frequently been conceded by leading members of the Hungarian Communist 

2' Supreme Court, Appeal II 1346/1953. 

23 Report of the Special Committee, Chap. IX, pars. 433-434 ; Chap. XVI, pars. 768-777. 

29 Law II of 1952, Article 28. Law I of 1954, Article 9. 

30 Decree No. 27 of 1955. 

« Nepaz<K)a, November 23, 1955, February 15, 1956. March 13, 1956, May 5, 1956, May 
9 1956 
' Radio Kossuth, February 2, 1956, March 13, 1956, April 27, 1956. 
32 Government Decree 1310, 1949. 
»3 Decree of the Council of Ministers 29/1955, Chapter 1. 


Party and government. For example, Gyula Benko, Presiding Judge of the 
Supreme Court, has written : 

". . . Secrecy in administrative procedures greatly furthered lavrlessness . . • 
A detailed investigation is necessary to determine how it was possible for in- 
vestigators to make up false charges, for the Public Prosecutor's Office to indict 
people on the basis of these false charges, and for the courts to pass judgment 
on the same basis." ^* 

Referring to the mass deportations carried out by the regime in 1951 and 1952, 
Judge Benko admitted in 1956 that "the deportations had no legal Justification 
and were carried out without regard to the laws of humanity.'"' 

Similar admissions as to the violation of human rights perpetrated under 
"socialist legality" have also been made by Minister of Justice Molnar. He 
stated : 

". . . In the future, the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice will carry 
out their constitutional duties in connection with all legal activities . . . There 
will be an end to the illegal and harmful practice of creating special courts to 
deal with political offenses . . . We shall do away with the special prisons of the 
Secret Police." ^* 

In elifect, then, Dr. Molnar confessed that the Ministry of Justice and the regu- 
lar courts had no jurisdiction throughout the years in cases of political offenses 
which were of importance to the Party, that the Party and the Secret Police 
constituted a state within a state. 

It should be noted, in conclusion, that all these instruments of control, con- 
stituting a public and private system of atomizing and brutalizing the entire 
population of a country, are closely modeled on methods perfected and refined 
in the course of many years of practice in the Soviet Union. 


Freedom of speech is not normally considered to include the freedom to 
incite or instigate against the basic foundations of a state. The law in Hungary 
does not officially differ in this respect from most laws elsewhere. However, 
the Communist regime has placed a special and unusual construction on the 
prohibition against incitation : "Anyone making a statement to the effect that 
he dislikes the present order and hopes for a change is guilty of incitation and 
of violating this Act (Act VII/1946)." ^' Under such a construction, freedom 
of speech clearly cannot exist. This situation is further aggravated by the 
fact that, under the law, incitation may be committed in the presence of only 
one person or even in a letter (if it should happen to fall into the hands of the 
censorship and the secret police). In this way, the law of "socialist legality" 
further enhances the potential role of informers and spies. 

A further restriction of freedom of speech is contained in an extraordinary 
ruling of the Supreme Court in 1955 : 

"Because of the close and inseparable connection between the Communist 
Party, as the guiding force of our nation, and the state order, as expressed in 
our Constitution, all statements against the Communists are considered to be 
automatically directed also against the democratic state order." '* 

Under such conditions, freedom of the press obviously cannot exist. Hun- 
garian regulations require that the publication of all printed matter receive 
official governmental permission. This applies not only to newspapers and books 
but even to catalogues, lists and calendars. Furthermore, all mimeographing 
and duplicating machines are placed under government control ; anyone using 
them or leasing them or even having them repaired without special permission 
is liable to punishment. Finally, not only the printing, but the dissemination 
of printed material requires governmental permission. Distribntors of publica- 
tions containing violations of the law are legally responsible even if they are 
unaware of the contents. 

In Hungary, the press is free only to praise and support the regime and the 
Party. During the brief period of "thaw" from late 1955 until the Revolution, 
intellectuals and writers began to speak out with increasing clarity for an end 


8* Uj Vilag, June 21, 1956. 
35 Ibid., July 12, 1956. 
38 Szaoad Nep, June 26, 1956. 

" "Act VII of 1946 — On The Defense In Criminal Proceedings Of The Democratic State 
.and Republic," Athenaeum Publications, p. 22. 

38 Supreme Court Appeal No. IV. 1003/1953, Birosagi Hatarozatok, October 1955. 


to what they called "parrot-freedom" and demanded full freedom of the press. 
In July 1956, the Central Committee of the Communist Party noted these 
demands with consternation : 

". . . Certain critics of the shortcomings of our Party from the platform of 
bourgeois ideology . . . demand 'complete' freedom of the press — in other words, 
freedom to spread bourgeois views. Today nobody in our country is to be per- 
mitted to come out with such anti-socialist views in front of the workers." ^^ 

This was the situation as it existed for a decade before the Revolution, and it 
persists today. 

Religious freedom, an aspect of Freedom of Expression, cannot be said to 
exist where, as in Hungary, all religious organizations with the exception of the 
churches themselves were disbanded, the formation of new religious organiza- 
tion prohibited, all church schools nationalized, religious orders dissolved, the 
head of the Hungarian Roman Catholic Church imprisoned on trumped-up 
charges and forced confessions, and all important Protestant and Jewish re- 
ligious and lay leaders either imprisoned or held in forced labor camps. 


We have already dealt with the travesty of free elections held by the Com- 
munist regime and the manner in which it repeatedly thwarted the will of the 
vast majority of the Hungarian people. It remains only to note that the forma- 
tion of any peaceful opposition party is by law subject to criminal prosecution, 
with the penalty of death. 

Under the provisions of the armistice agreement of 1944, the Hungarian 
government was obliged to dissolve all organizations of a fascist, pro-Hitler or 
anti-United Nations character. Early in 1945, 25 organizations were disbanded 
under this proviso. Almost immediately thereafter, however, and in the course 
of the next few years of Communist consolidation, thousands of organizations, 
clubs, societies were dissolved by government decree under the guise of the 
armistice provisions and the laws stemming therefrom — thus effectively destroy- 
ing a fundamental freedom, freedom of assembly. New organizations were per- 
mitted to exist only if they "served the social, economic and cultural aims of the 
People's Democracy".^" 

An unmistakable case in point is the short history of Farmers' Reading and 
Discussion Circles. In order to combat peasant apathy and resistance and in 
particular to stimulate their activity and support in the nation-wide municipal 
elections called for November 28, 1954, the regime announced the re-constitution 
of the traditional Farmers' Circles. The peasants were also promised that the 
Circles would be under the jurisdiction not of the Communist Party but of a 
newly-established Patriotic People's Front, in which the Communists were only 
one of several elements. Wary and suspicious at first, the peasants gradually 
began to appear at meetings of the Circles and even began to discuss their prob- 
lems openly, frequently expressing criticisms of the regime and its agrarian order. 
This unfavorable turn of events was enough to turn the regime against the 
Circles, but it did nothing until some days after the election. On December 9, 
the Communist press warned that ". . . the Farmers' Circles have become 
centers of local resistance." During the next few months systematic efforts were 
made to insure the orthodoxy of these groups. By April 1955 it was announced 
that "the Kulaks" had been eliminated from the Farmers' Circles; and on June 
24, 1955, the process of gleichschaltnng was completed with the announcement 
that the Circles ". . . are no longer under the supervision of the Patriotic People's 
Front; competent Party and State agencies now have exclusive authority over 


Both private proi>erty and free labor were eliminated or reduced to insignifi- 
cance from the very beginning of the occupation of Hungary by Soviet forces. 
By 1949, labor, land and industry had been effectively bolshevised. This term 
is used advisedly, since it differs fundamentally from nationalization, which, 
properly speaking, calls for fair compensation and the utilization of nationalized 

38 Resolution of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' Party [Communist 
Party], Szahad Nep, July 23, 1956. 
*o Decree of 1955, Article 1. para. (2). 
*i Smahad Nep, June 24, 1955. 


property for the benefit of the masses. Bolshevization does neither. This sec- 
tion surveys the bolshevization of three major areas of Hungarian life, modeled 
on the Soviet pattern : agriculture, industry, labor. 

1. Agrkulture 

The agricultural situation in Hungary was unquestionably ripe for change in 
1945 ; a basic land reform was needed. In that year, all estates in excess of 
1,000 acres were broken up and divided among the peasants ; the law also regu- 
lated the use of estates ranging from 100 to 1,000 acres in size, and in certain 
cases the state was permitted to use estates larger than five acres. 

Almost immediately, however, the regime began a systematic campaign of 
terror and pressure to force the peasants into Soviet-type Kolhoz, or collective 
farms. A favorite device was the institution of compulsory deliveries of farm 
products by the peasants. These deliveries placed such burdens on individual 
farmers that they were able to eke out a meager existence only by the maximum 
efforts. Those who broke under the regime's economic and political pressures 
were forced to give up their independence and join the collective farms. At 
the end of 1955, 4,816 Kolhoz were in operation with a total of 305,501 members. 
But despite all pressures, the majority of farmers are still outside the collec- 
tives and continue to maintain their independence by various forms of passive 

2. Industry 

Through a series of laws and decrees beginning in 1946, virtually every aspect 
of industry, business and commerce was taken from their owners without com- 
pensation. Herewith is the schedule of bolshevization of industry and business : 
1946 — coal mining, power plants 
1947— banks 

1948 — bauxite and aluminum production, all industrial, communications, min- 
ing, electrical enterprises employing 100 or more workers ; narrow-gauge rail- 
ways, movie theatres, water works. 
1949 — transiwrt services, freight railways, veterinarians 
1950 — pharmacies, hauling services (carts and horses) 

1952 — real estate, apartment houses and homes (including fixtures and appur- 

But, ironically enough, bolshevization did not result in an increase of public 
property proportionate to the elimination of private property. Quite the reverse. 
Bolshevization of property has led to an incredible degree of theft and damage, 
unprecedented in Hungarian history. And even a special law enacted in 1950 to 
protect public property, inflicting long prison terms and even death for damage 
done, the attitude of the people remained unchanged. Thus, in September 1954, 
a leading oflBcial periodical, Tarsadalmi Szemle, complained that "* * * the value 
of goods stolen during 1953 amounted to 600 million forints in state farms alone 
* * * thefts are uncommonly frequent around construction projects * * * much 
lumber is stolen * * * in a 100-acre forest, the trees were simply cut down on 
60 acres." 

3. Labor 

Three basic rights of labor, recognized by all free societies, are the right to 
organize free trade unions, to strike, and to change jobs. By a series of decrees 
beginning in 1945, the Soviet-imposed Communist regime in Hungary sought to 
duplicate labor's condition of servitude in Russia by depriving Hungarian work- 
ingmen of all three rights. 

Two decrees, in 1947 and 1950, effectively deprived workers of their right to 
strike or slow down or hinder production in any way. Penalties for attempted 
strikes range from severe prison terms to death, depending on the seriousness of 
the attempt. 

In 1045, when the Communist Party assumed de facto power with the backing 
of the Red Army, all pre-war trade unions that had been re-formed immediately 
after the War were dissolved and reorganized and placed under Communist 
control, where they remain to this day. A decree of 1953 legalizes this control. 

The Labor Code of 1951 lists the circumstances under which a worker may 
leave his place of work without permission ; it does not include the right to 
change jobs by his own volition. Furthermore, any worker may be transferred, 
even against his will, within an enterprise or to another plant, even from one 
city to another. The atomization of the working class, in whose name the Com- 


munist regime purjwrts to rule, couples this virtual serfdom of the worker with 
arbitrary and capricious regulation of work-norms and wages. It comes as no 
surprise, then, that the magazine, Tarsadalmi Szemle, in its issue of June 1955, 
describes the period of 1953-54 as one of laxity of norms, wages and labor. The 
most characteristic manifestation of the deteriorating discipline of the workers, 
the periodical notes, was absenteeism. The total loss of working days in 1954 — 
outside of paid leave and maternity absences — was equivalent to one year's work- 
ing time of 40,000 workers ! The complaints expressed in this magazine will be 
familiar to students of life in the Soviet Union, where the same work-system 
prevails and the same kinds of complaints recur with monotonous regularity. 

This chapter, in supplementing the U. N. Special Committee's Report on Soviet 
intervention in Hungary in October-November 1956, has sought to demonstrate 
that this intervention began with the first entry of Soviet forces into Hungary in 
1944. From that moment forward, Soviet intervention, direct and indirect, has 
penetrated every aspect of life in Hungary, beginning with the manipulation of 
elections and the use of terror to enthrone the Communist Party, shattering and 
remolding every institution along Soviet lines, and resulting in the gross and 
systematic violation of basic human, political, economic and cultural rights. It 
was against a dozen years of such terroristic violations, perpetrated by a puppet 
Communist regime which had been imposed on them by Soviet intervention and 
maintained in power by the presence of the Red Army, that the entire Hungarian 
people arose in October 1956. 

Soviet Troop Dispositions and Military Intervention in Hungary Today 

The Report of the UN Special Committee on Hungary has done full justice 
to the facts of the Soviet military suppression of the Hungarian Revolution. It 
is the purpose of this chapter to present information which documents the fact 
that Soviet military intervention continues unabated. Indeed, Hungary today can 
no longer be regarded as enjoying even the status of a Soviet satellite; after 
weighing all the evidence, the editorial committee believes that it must be con- 
sidered neither more nor less than a Soviet military protectorate. 

The total Soviet control over the life of the nation is based on the presence of 
the following military and para-military formations under Soviet command : 

1. The Soviet Army itself. 

2. Units of the Soviet Secret Police. 

3. The newly organized Hungarian Security Police. 

4. The newly organized Frontier Guards. 

5. The so-called "Workers' Militia." 

6. The newly organized units of the Army. 

In the following paragraphs we shall examine the special role performed by 
each of these formations. 

THE soviet army 

According to most recent reports, the Soviet Army forces in Hungary constitute 
a full Army organization, divided into three Army corps consisting of a total of 
eight armored divisions.^ The total of Soviet Secret Police units functioning with 
the regular army units is not known ; but judging by past procedures, it must 
run into the thousands. Based on an estimate of 10,000-14,000 men per division, 
the total of the Soviet army forces in Hungary amounts to 80,000-100,000 men. 
These are supplemented, in the work of control, by an equivalent number of 
Hungarians under their command and by a corps of Soviet civilian advisers, tech- 
nicians, secret policemen, etc., which may well exceed 20,000. 

The population of Hungary is approximately 9,500,000. The figures given above 
mean, in effect, that each 100 Hungarians are guarded by a Russian soldier, 
Hungarian soldier under Russian command, and a MVD man, or Soviet tech- 
nician. This scale of occupation and control very nearly approaches the cus- 
tomary proportion of prison guards to prison inmates — and warrants comparison 
of Hungary today to a national prison or an armed garrisoned protectorate. 

*2 Divisional strength, per se, is smaller than this figure, but the divisions are supple- 
mented by artillery, air force and other ancillary units attached to the Army corps and to 
other commands. 



OflBcially, the Security Police, notorious as the AVO — the only organized 
armed unit of Hungarians that sided with the Soviet forces during the Revolu- 
tion — has been formally disbanded. In point of fact, it continues to operate 
precisely as in the past and entirely under Soviet control and direction. (The 
operations of the AVO are dealt with more fully in the chapter on repression.) 


Following the crushing of the Revolution by the Soviet Army, the Kadar 
regime undertook with feverish haste to reorganize the military surveillance of 
its frontiers bordering on Austria and Yugoslavia. Before the Revolution, 
Frontier Guard units consisted of forty to sixty men who patrolled a frontier 
sector 20 kilometers deep. Since the Revolution, these units have been ex- 
panded to 100 men each, and each unit patrols a sector 50 kilometers deep. 
This is virtually equivalent to a full state of mobilization opposite Austria and 

The Hungarian frontier bordering on these two countries extends about 600 
kilometers — which means that some 30,000 square kilometers of frontier area 
are under constant surveillance. The total area of Hungary is 93,000 square 
kilometers — so that fully one-third of the country's area is systematically pa- 
trolled by frontier guards. 

This surveillance involves constant molestation and terrorization of the 
people. Among the techniques of the operation are the following : Passengers 
and luggage on trains within this area are regularly searched. Persons afford- 
ing the least grounds for suspicion are arrested and interrogated. Villages 
are periodically turned upside-down at unpredictable moments of the day or 
night. A Freedom Fighter from the Csorna district has described some aspects 
of these raids in his region. His eye-witness report also indicates that morale 
in the Frontier Guard units is not all the Communist regime would like it to 
be and that members of such units perform their unpleasant tasks only under 
severe compulsion : 

"There is great dissatisfaction in the ranks of the Frontier Guards because 
on several occasions this spring groups of thirty of their men were given orders 
to isolate and search certain communities ; such forays were undertaken to 
intimidate enemies of the regime. By way of preparation, several reliable 
(Communist Party) men, on instructions from the local Party secretary, wrote 
anti-Communist slogans on the walls during the night preceding the search. 
On the basis of this provocation, a band of Security Police appeared on the scene 
the next day and arrested many persons, who were then soundly beaten at the 
Council House under the guise of interrogation. At the same time, house 
searches were instituted. They sought abandoned motorcycles, illegally cut 
wood, even cameras and wrist watches. All watches not recently imported were 
simply confiscated. 

"Such occasions have been used in order to arrest persons accused of having 
helped escapees across the frontier. Interrogations of this sort have been held 
at Csorna by an alleged AVO Lieutenant-Colonel in mufti and by an Army 
Captain, Lajos David. 

". . . It is characteristic of the attitude of the men that after the revolt 
they replaced the red star on their caps only under the strictest official orders 
to do so . . . 

"Some time before March 15 (Hungary's Independence Day) ditches were 
dug all around the barracks and machine-gun nests emplaced there; and since 
then the men have been kept in a constant state of alert." 


This quasi-military group was formed after the Revolution and contains a 
significant component of former AVO men and loyal Communist Party people. 
It totals 25,000 to 30,000 men. Confirmed reports from a variety of sources 
indicate that it has become a weapon of terror against the workers, far ex- 
ceeding even the brutal ruthlessness of the AVO before the Revolution. Threats, 
beatings and other forms of violence are its instruments of intimidation. Pop- 
ular revulsion against these hated terrorists was poignantly demonstrated 


during the official May Day parades this year, when the people corralled to 
display "spontaneous" enthusiasm, turned their backs on the formation of 
marching Workers' Militia units. 


Soviet policies on the organization and function of the Hungarian Army 
have gone through two phases: (a) a phase of deliberate atomization and dis- 
integration of the Army and particularly its officer corps, from November 4, 
1956 to March 1, 1957; (b) a phase of cautious and selective reconstitution of 
the Hungarian Army, from March 1, 1957 to date. 

One of the purposes, indeed, of the Soviet intervention in force on November 
3-4 was to eliminate and disorganize the remaining elements of the Hungarian 
Army which had displayed so undisguised an anti-Soviet attitude during the 
Revolution. The Soviets even sought to disband those military units which had 
remained passive: the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff were given 
ultimatum to disperse these units within one-half hour. Several truckloads of 
top military leaders were taken to Tokol and placed under guard, and the 
Soviets appropriated the now-empty barracks and military stores to their own 

Because of the manifest unreliability of the Hungarian Army, Deputy 
Premier Ferenc Muennich, one of Kadar's most trusted associates, undertook 
to dissolve the officer corps. Officers were required to sign a statement attest- 
ing their faithfulness to Kadar and endorsing the decision to call in Soviet 
troops in November. The bulk of the officer corps, loyal to its own people, 
chose instead to leave the army. After December 1, a Control Commission was 
set up to investigate the behavior of high-ranking officers during the Revolution. 
This investigation led to the arrest and court-martial of the revolutionary mili- 
tary leaders. 

At the beginning of this period, members of the Hungarian Army were treated 
like prisoners of war — but without any of the protection prescribed by the Geneva 
convention. They were disarmed and guarded in barracks, some of them thrown 
into jail, and others deported to the Soviet Union. In late November and early 
December, 1956, many of the soldiers who had been imprisoned were allowed to 
return home. But the organization of Hungarian military units was strictly 
forbidden. The Army's heavy artillery and armored units were progressively 
shipped out of the country, and what was left of the Army became a mere auxili- 
ary force to the Soviet Army of occupation. The country was placed under direct 
Soviet military rule ; each county, district and village was assigned a Soviet 
commandant who issued formal military decrees to the populace. 

At the end of November, General Pal Uku, Chief of the Army's iK)litical divi- 
sion, stated that the Army, as an organized military force, had been abolished. 
"For years to come," he said, "the Army will only act in a police capacity and 
will not be trained for battle maneuvers." 

General Uku, it should be noted, is a key figure in Hungary today. He comes 
from the Carpatho-Ukraine and is a long-standing member of the Communist 
Party. Immediately after the Second World War, he became head of the Com- 
munist youth movement in Hungary. In 1948, in keeping with traditional Soviet 
practice, this professional Communist political leader was brought into the Army 
with the rank of colonel and given a high-ranking post in the political depart- 
ment. Later he went to Russia for five years of intensive military-political 
training. Unlike most of his colleagues who trained with him in Russia, he 
was one of five top-ranking officers who did not leave Moscow immediately to 
take part in the October events in Hungary. It was only on November 2-3 
that he re-entered the country, undoubtedly bearing with him last-minute Soviet 
instructions. He became one of the first Hungarian military leaders to pledge 
his support to the Kadar regime. 

After March 1, 1956, the Soviet rulers began to consider the reorganization 
of selective and "trustworthy" Hungarian military units. As a result, "elite" 
corps were organized, from which the most trusted individuals were selected 
as officer material, while the less reliable majority was relegated to the perform- 
ance of auxiliary duties. Particular caution has been taken in setting up an air 
force in training. The old air force, both officers and crews, had been, to a man, 
supporters of the Revolution. When the Soviets took over, they disbanded the 
air force and forbade all Hungarian fliers to leave the ground. At present, new 
Hungarian pilots are being taught to fly. They are presumed to be "reliable" — 


but they must be accompanied by Soviet instructors whenever they take an air- 
plane off the ground. 

The reorganization of the new "elitist" Hungarian Army, loyal to Kadar and 
his Soviet masters, is being handled by two key figures whose past history is as 
instructive as that of General Pal Ilku. They are Colonel Ferenc Ugrai, Chief 
of Staff of the new Hungarian Army since February, 1957, and Lieutenant Gen- 
eral Geza Revesz, who became Minister of Defense in March. 

Colonel Ugrai began his military career in 1945 as a lieutenant in the Commu- 
nist Security Police, the AVO. He rose rapidly through the ranks, and in the 
late 1940's was sent to advance his military training in Moscow, where he 
remained for several years. A few years ago he returned to Hungary and became 
Chief of Staff to the Commanding General of Artillery in the Hungarian Army. 
Faithful to the Soviets, he, like General Ilku, is primarily a "political" and secret 
police officer. His loyalty to Kadar was rewarded by his most recent appoint- 

General Revesz, Kadar's Minister of Defense, is a much older man ; his record 
as a loyal professional Bolshevik revolutionist dates back to the i>eriod imme- 
diately following World War I. In 1919, during the Communist coup led by 
Bela Kun in Hungary, Revesz was a Communist militia-man. After Kun's down- 
fall, Revesz, like Kun, fled to the Soviet Union where he studied at the Academy 
of Military Engineering. Upon graduation, he became a Comintern agent, his 
first as.signmeut being to return to Hungary illegally for Party organizational 
work. Arrested and imprisoned, he continued his Comintern activities following 
his release, this time in various West European countries where he declared 
himself a Soviet citizen. For the remaining years of his Comintern service in 
Western Europe he had no contact with the Party apparatus inside Hungary. 
Nevertheless, in 1945, following the Soviet military victories in Hungary, he was 
once again assigned a function in his native land — to direct Communist infiltra- 
tion of the Hungarian armed forces. In 1949 he became head of the Military 
Secret Police. It is this Soviet citizen and Comintern agent who is now direct- 
ing the reorganization of the Hungarian Army, with its system of Russian 
"advisers." " 

There are indications that the Soviet "advisers" ai-e building up the Hungarian 
Army as an auxiliary attacking force with the most advanced weapons and 
techniques. For example, according to highly reliable sources, rocket-launching 
and atomic weapon installations are being constructed in the Hajmasker, Papa 
and Tapolca districts — sites which were visited by Soviet Marshal Zhukov a few 
months ago. And since the middle of March, Soviet oflGicers have been training 
highly selected Hungarian soldiers in atomic warfare at camps in Szolnok, 
Nyiregyhaza, Debrecen and Orkeny. 

Soviet military support for the pupi>et regime in Budapest has not been re- 
stricted to purely military matters. It has also been employed as an instrument 
of terror. In the area alone, four prisons are operated by the Soviet 
Army. Most prominent is the Fo Street Jail in the First District of Budapest 
(formerly the Budapest County Court Prison). On several floors of this jail 
there are reported to be many Soviet soldiers who have been sentenced to death or 
are awaiting trial. The rest of the building is jammed with Hungarian citizens 
accused of "counter-revolutionary" activities. The Soviet Army also controls 
the prisons on Vilma Kiralyno Street and Conti Street in Budapest, on Osepel 
Island and at GodoUo. These are used for "unreliable" Hungarians. 

At the barracks on Haman Kato Street (formerly Haller Street), a Military 
Certification Committee, in which the Soviets participate, is engaged in the 
unending process of purging the Hungarian Army of officers and subalterns 
sympathetic to the Revolution. Soldiers who appear before this Committee 
generally do not regain their freedom. 

During the first few months of 1957, arrests of Hungarian patriots were made 
by joint Soviet-AVO patrols. More recently the AVO has been given this func- 
tion, but letters and reports as late as July 12th still speak of arrests made openly 
by the Red Army. The more important interrogations are still conducted by 
Soviet officers. 

*^ The Russian "adviser" system has been greatly expanded and exercises complete con- 
trol over the Hungarian army. During the Comintern's most belligerent period (1951-53), 
all departments of the Home Defense Ministry and all commands down to regimental level 
were controlled by Russian "advisers." After 1953, this control was relaxed substantially. 
Today the Hungarian army units are again controlled by Soviet "advisers" — this time 
down to battalion level. 


It is only against the background of the total Soviet military control of Hun- 
gary that one can understand the political developments and systematic destruc- 
tion of human liberties which have characterized the period since last November 
4th — and which is the subject of succeeding chapters. 

Soviet Intervention in Hungary and the Continuing Violation of Human 


1. the soviet role in the post-revolutionary terror 

The Report of the U. N. Special Committee set forth in painstaking detail 
the systematic violation of political and human rights which followed the sup- 
pression of the Hungarian revolt for freedom. All evidence points to the fact 
that, since the period covered by the U N report, the terror in Hungary has grown, 
enormously. Hundreds of arrests have been announced during the months of 
July and August, and the most sweeping measures are being taken against pro- 
fessionals and intellectuals whose loyalty is suspect. 

The Soviet Kadar regime has publicized a certain number of cases for the 
purpose of intimidating the Hungarian people. On the other hand, out of con- 
sideration for international opinion, they have sought to create the impression 
that only a small number of people were affected by the terror. The Report 
of the U. N. Committee casts serious doubt on Kadar's oflBcial statistics. Ac- 
cording to these statistics, only 21 people had been executed by February 15; 
while, as of the end of July, the figure stood at 105. But Hungarians who have 
made an assiduous study of the national and local Hungarian press and who 
receive regular information from contacts in the country, present the following 
figures as a conservative estimate of the casualties of the Soviet-Kadar terror : 

Executed 2,000 

Imprisoned 20,000 

Forced Labor Camps 15, 000 

Internal Deportation . 10, 000 

Deported to Soviet Union ' 12, 000 

1 Mostly youth. 

It is certain that a very large number of people have been imprisoned or 
executed without public notice of any kind. In an annex to this chapter, we 
give the particulars of almost 1,500 cases. The majority of these were taken 
from official Hungarian sources. Many of them, however, were not of public 

The mass arrests and persecutions that are being i)erpetrated today are being 
carried out for the most part by Hungarians, ostensibly under the orders of a 
Hungarian Government. The fact that the policemen and gaolers and execu- 
tioners are now in most cases — although not in all cases — Hungarians in no 
way reduces the reality of Soviet intervention. As the U. N. Report states 
in introducing the chapters on the suppression of political and human rights: 

"Soviet military force was the effective backing of the government installed 
in power, and the political changes described in the next chapter can be ex- 
plained only against the background of such intervention." 

The U. N. Report testifies in great detail on the direct employment of the Red 
Army as an apparatus of coercion and repression in the period immediately 
following the revolution. Indeed, for some months after the Kadar regime was 
installed in Budapest by Soviet tanks, the Red Army was not merely the chief 
but the only effective instrument of repression. It issued military proclama- 
tions, openly assuming the widest powers over the lives of the Hungarian peo- 
ple ; it instituted its own military tribunals, carried out mass arrests, house-to- 
house searches and summary executions ; it policed the railroads, broke strikes, 
guarded all key buildings and installations, and clashed with domenstrators. 
And, according to evidence from many sources, it rounded up thousands of 
young Hungarians for deportation to the Soviet Union. It recreated security 
police forces to replace the AVO, and it collaborated openly with them in the 
repressions of armed or passive resistance. 

As the report emphasizes repeatedly, the revolution of October 23 had the 
manifest support of the entire Hungarian people — with the almost insignificant 
exception of a handful of communist leaders and the hated AVO. During the 
second intervention, the Commission found no evidence that Hungarians had at 
any point fought against Hungarians ; it had been a clear-cut war between the 
invading Red Army on the one side, and the Hungarian people on the other. 


At the point of assuming office, Kadar was not merely without any popular 
support — he was without a police force, without an army, without an apparatus 
of government. It is not surprising, therefore, that for some time after Novem- 
ber 4, Kadar temporized with his people and spoke softly. He engaged in nego- 
tiations with the Workers' Councils, the trade unions, the Revolutionary Coun- 
cils and other organizations that had taken part in the revolution. He promised 
that "the Government will not tolerate on any pretext the per.secution of work- 
ers who have taken part in recent events." He also committed himself to 
democratic multi-party elections and to negotiations with a view to the with- 
drawal of Soviet trooijs from Hungary. The Commission's report presented the 
conclusion that "The gestures of conciliation, the discussions of enlargement of 
the Government, the seeming concessions to demands in various fields, appear in 
retrospect as a sparring for time, to grow in strength and to pick ofE these 
organizations one by one." 

The Revolutionary Committees and Councils were dissolved by decree in 
December. The Workers' Councils, as the chief stronghold of resistance, were 
the next target of repression. On December 11, the Kadar regime illegalized the 
the Greater Budapest Workers' Council and all Councils above factory level. 
Though strikes and disorders continued through the month of January 1957, 
the power of the Factory Councils had been effectively broken by the turn of 
the year. The Revolutionary Council of Hungarian Intellectuals was dissolved 
at the end of November, after issuing a heroic manifesto of solidarity with 
the revolution, accepting all the consequences their words might bring upon 
them, "prison, deportations, and even death." The Writers' Union carried on 
for a few more months ; but it, too, was dissolved on April 21. By the middle 
of February, according to the report, "all semblance of independence of the press 
was over." 

A series of decree-laws were enacted by the Praesidium in December and 
January to "simplify criminal procedure". These established summary jur- 
isdiction for a long list of crimes, including "the unlawful possession of fire- 
arms and ammunition," the failure to report to the authorities the unlicensed 
possession of firearms by other persons except next of kin ; "organization against 
the People's Republic or against the people's democratic order, and association 
for this purpose." Also subject to summary jurisdiction were: "Wilful dam- 
age of public service installations or of public institutions . . ." ; "trespassing 
on the territory of such installations, or the wilful disturbance of the activi- 
ties of such installations by any other act ; or instigation of any such offenses." 
The sentence prescribed for all of these "crimes" was death — although the decrees 
permitted the courts, "having regard to all circumstances of the case, to impose 
sentences of life imprisonment or imprisonment for 5 to 15 years." 

Since the professional judges were considered untrustworthy by the regime, 
it was stipulated that the Summary Courts should consist of one professional 
judge and two "People's Assessors." 

As a result of manifest dissatisfaction with the functioning of the existing 
courts, a decree-law of April 5 set up a "People's Chamber of the Supreme 
Court of Justice". Of the five judges of this court, only one must be a pro- 
fessional jurist— the other four are "lay assessors" appointed by the Praesi- 
dium. The People's Chamber can either serve as a court of first instance — or 
as a court of review or appeal if the Chief Public Prosecutor or the President 
of the Supreme Court is dissatisfied with the verdict rendered ty a loiver court. 
In the first case tried before the People's Chamber, the prisoner, who had been 
sentenced to 15 years imprisoment by a lower court, had his sentence increased 
to death by hanging — a sentence which was immediately carried out. 

Prosecutors were authorized to bring defendants before summary courts with- 
out presenting any charge in advance ; the charge is presented orally at the trial. 

Legal redress against decisions of the summary courts was excluded. 

The duration of the trial from the moment of arraignment to the passing of 
verdict was limited to three times 24 hours. 

Unless the summary courts recommended clemency, death sentences were 
ordered carried out within two hours of their announcement. 

The first decree prescribing the death penalty for the possession of arms was 
promulgated on December 11. It included the generous announcement that those 
surrending their arms by "December 11, 6 p. m." would not be subject to prosecu- 

Other decree-laws of the same period instituted "public security detention" for 
all those whose activities, in the opinion of the police authorities, "endanger 

93215— 50— pt. 90 14 


public order." Another decree published on March 19th gave the authorities 
almost unlimited scope in imposing police supervision or internal deportation 
on all those who might be suspect. These discretionary punishments were made 
applicable to all those "persons dangerous to the State and public security or to 
socialist co-existance, or for economic reasons, or who cause concern from the 
point of view of other important State interests." 

The professional judges of Hungary, it must be recorded have resisted heroi- 
cally the repeated demands that the Communist leaders have made for severity 
of punishment. In article in Magyarorszag of March 27 the Chief Public Prose- 
cutor complained that there are a minority of judicial officials who, "being pre- 
occupied with the mistakes of the past, are constantly scared, while administer- 
ing justice, of an excessively strict interpretation of the law (which they did 
to a nice degree in the past). Haunted by the nightmare of unlawful action, 
they violate the law in such a way that, displaying an incredible political and 
legal ignorance, they punish and forget to protect society . . . Their policy is to 
maintain cordial relations with all and to ensure the semblance of being 'hu- 
mane'. They try to dream of the judge's independence, of impartiality, though 
even awake they know only too well that such dreams do not exist. . . . Thus it 
can occur that political speeches of jurists begin with a Marxist quotation and 
wind up by saying that politics are contingent on jurisprudence." 

Premier Janos Kadar in his May 1 speech thimdered that "our legal organs 
are actually complying with the requirements of humanity and democracy when 
they treat the criminals with the utmost severity." 

Nepssabadsag on May 19 complained that : 

"The liberalism by which some sentences and the attitude of some judges 
towards the enemies of our people have been marked must be taken as a serious 
warning. The judicial administration and the Party organizations must arrive 
at the correct conclusions. We must eliminate the ideological chaos caused 
not only by the infiltration of counter-revolutionary ideology, but also by past 
mistakes . . . and by present defects in the administration of our courts. Our 
judicial administration must get rid of judges who are unfit for their profes- 

Despite all these exhortations, the judges of Hungary did not trouble to 
conceal their contempt for the legal precepts which were being foisted on them. 
Mrs. Imre Juhasz, representative of Szolnok County, recently admitted that 
"many judges have asked for their transfer from the criminal courts to the 
civil courts because this latter field is not so compromised." 
{Nepssahadsag, July 4) 


The general situation 

From the Communist press, from letters that brave Hungarians still continue 
to write to their friends abroad, and from those refugees who have escaiied 
to the West in recent months, it is possible to piece together a reasonably 
authoritative picture of the situation in Hungary today — a picture supported 
at many points by information that may be gleaned from the Kadar press or 

According to these reports, terror is rampant and punitive expeditions are 
roaming the country. During the first months after the revolution, the terror 
was of a haphazard nature, based for the most part on chance discoveries and 
denunciations. The present campaign of terror, in contradistinction, is system- 
atically organized on a national scale and is directed against all those who 
played even the least important role in the revolution — as well as against those, 
who, because of some personal or class interest, may be suspect of "sympathizing 
with the counter-revolution." 

Everyone is affected by the terror. Throughout the country, people are con- 
stantly being stopped in the streets and asked to identify themselves. People 
taken into custody on suspicion of passive resistance are questioned by the 
police for two or three days, then released, their bodies covered with bruises 
and contusions. In the Rakosi era it was common practice to fatten up prison- 
ers for several weeks prior to their release by way of "proving" the humane 
conditions in the Communist jails. Apparently the Communist regime now be- 
lieves that prisoners who have obviously been beaten up are more effective as 
vehicles of the terror than prisoners who appear to be fat and unharmed. Ac- 
cording to many recent arrivals from Hungary, one frequently comes across 
people in the streets of Budapest whose bruised faces betray a visit to the 


police. AVlien questioned, they simply sbrug their shoulders and answer : "They 
suspected me of passive resistance". 

According to an estimate by a former lawyer and police captain, up until the 
end of August some 50,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs under 
Paragraph 29 of the so-called "Working Law", and several scores of thousands 
more have been demoted or excluded from promotions. Paragraph 29 provides 
for penalties against people guilty of political unreliability. The threat of ac- 
tion under this Paragraph is one of the most potent measures the regime has 
been able to use in inducing former Communists to reenter the Party. 

There are many reports of continuing deportations during July and August. 
A recent refugee from the town of Miskolc submitted a deposition that six 
students of Miskolc University were deported to the Soviet Union in early 
August, allegedly because they spied against the Soviet. The deposition stated 
that the students' cries for help were heard by many i)eople as they were trans- 
ported out of the town in a covered Soviet truck, and that the students later 
were able to drop written slips from their railway wagons. 

Another deposition by a recent refugee from Eger states that in early August 
three students of the Academy of law of Eger University were deported to the 
Soviet Union. The slips of paper which they threw out of their railway wagons 
were forwarded by the finders to the students' parents. On the 22nd of August 
in Batonya, a village near the Roumanian frontier, five Hungarians, according 
to another deposition, were rounded up and deported as a result of a clash with 
some Soviet soldiers in a public bar." 

The report of the U. N. Committee referred to the master index covering the 
activities of virtually all adult Hungarians which was discovered in the head- 
quarters of the AVO, Information has come from a number of sources that, 
under the direction of the Ministry of the Interior, such a master list is again 
being compiled in the Jaszai Mari Square Building of the Home Office, and that 
over 100,000 names have already been entered in the card index which now serves 
as the basis for investigations and proceedings. 

Prisons and concentration camps 

The security organs of the Kadar Government are faced with a grave logistical 
problem : the capacity of their jails and internment camps lags far behind the 
rate of imprisonment and detention. On January 8th the ill-famed Recsk con- 
centration camp, which was closed by Prime Minister Imre Nagy in 1953, was 
reopened. Conditions in Recsk must be gauged from the fact that the Hun- 
garian people have always referred to it as "a death camp" or as "Auschwitz". 
The Kistarcsa concentration camp, whicli closed in the summer of 1956, is also 
operating again. In addition there are major camps at Hatvan, Hortobagy, 
Kovagoszollos, Varplalota and smaller ones at other centers. The number of 
persons detained in these camps is reported to be at least 15,000 — some estimates 
run as high as 40,000. 

In the jails and other places of detention the situation is reported to be even 
worse than it is in the internment camps. (Information on conditions in the 
prisons is based on many letters from Hungary and on the testimony of Hun- 
garians who passed through them and subsequently escaped to the West.) 
Although the employment of chains and other means of physical punishment has 
been officially abolished, they are, in practice, again employed. The overcrowding 
in many prisons is so serious that the prisoners suffer as much from this as they 
do from the physical tortures to which they are subjected. The number of 
names in the Gyujtofoghaz (now called the "National Prison") exceeds 5,000 — 
which is approximately six times its rated capacity. Ordinary criminals have 
been taken to other jails, so that at the present time it houses political prisoners 
almost exelusvely. The ill-famed Conti Street jail in Budapest is again oper- 
ating to capacity. In the Marko Street prison in Budapest, where several thou- 
sand prisoners are incarcerated, small cells, 6x15 feet, which were meant to 
contain 2 persons, have as many as 14 bodies jammed into them. In the larger 
cells which were meant for 4-6 persons, there are now 35-40. In the small cells 
there are 2 or 3 straw mattresses, in the large ones 7-S, so that most of the 
prisoners must lie on the stone floor. There is no soap, and towels must be 
shared by the inmates of 2 or 3 cells. Twice a day each cell receives 2 pails of 
water — which is barely enough for drinking. Medical attention is negligible, and 
drugs for the prisoners are non-existent. Death sentences in the Budapest area 
are for the most part executed in the closed yard of the National Prison. 


The legal terror 

The Ministry of the Interior is engaged in a country-wide manhunt for political 
prisoners who were freed in the course of the revolution. According to official 
Communist estimates, they have already succeeded in rounding up more than 
75% of these prisoners. Former political prisoners who were released during 
the revolution and have since been apprehended by the Soviet-Kadar police, 
are for the most part not listed among the casualties of the present terror. 
For example, on November 23rd, 1956, Nepssubadsag reported that in one single 
county, County Baranya, 175 "former convicts" who had been freed during the 
October uprising had been recaptured. But a survey of the official Hungarian 
press reveals the names of only 15 escaped and recaptured convicts for the 
whole of Hungary — and among these there is not one who was apprehended in 
County Baranya. 

One letter received quotes an important official of the Kadar party as admitting 
that "in Hungary no one can be certain that he won't be considered a counter- 
revolutionary. Hitler said that he alone decides who is a Jew and who is not ; 
Kadar has assumed the same arbitrary power. If he and his clique dislike anyone 
for any reason, they simply brand him a 'counter-revolutionary.' Even the 
most Innocent person whose participation in the revolution was limited to 
watching from behind drawn blinds with a nightcap on his head, cannot be sure 
that he won't be branded a saboteur or an imperialist agent." 

Prior to the massive campaign of repressions which was launched in July, 
the decree-laws promulgated earlier in the year were reinforced by even more 
draconic measures and amendments. Decree-law No. 34, which was announced 
on June 15, 1957, provided for the establishment of "People's Judicial Councils" 
for the purpose of "applying an accelerated procedure". Cases coming before the 
people's judicial councils are generally subject to the death penealty. However, 
where the court is persuaded that extenuating circumstances exist, it may 
exercise humanitarian discretion in imposing sentence of life imprisonment or 
5-10 years in prison. In no case can it pass sentence of less than 5 years . 

Section 31 of the same law provides that ". . . for the protection of the State 
if a defence counsel is needed, he may be appointed only from those listed by 
the Ministry of Justice for this purpose." 

Whereas the sentence of death for strikers was implicit in decree-law of 
January 11, 1957, it was announced on June 15th — for the first time in such open 
language — that the people's judicial councils are empowered to pass sentence 
of death in cases involving strikers or instigation to strike. {Magyar Koslowy, 
June 15, 1957) With these measures, the Soviet-imposed regime has introduced 
into Hungarian juridical procedure an unprecedented reign of terror, under 
which the slightest misdemeanor may be punished by death or at least by 5 years 
in prison. In their ruthlessness, these measures surpassed the worst days of 
Stalin and Rakosi. 

Theoretically defendants are supposed to have the right to engage counsel 
and to present evidence in their favor. However, a careful study of many of the 
cases that have been described in some detail by the official Hungarian press, 
indicates that cases were frequently decided without counsel for defense, and 
for that matter, without defense of any kind. To quote only a few examples, 
this was so in the cases of Andras Nagy and Jozsef Soltesz, sentenced to death 
by a military court at Miskolo. (Negssadadsag, December 16, 1956). It was so 
in the case of Ferenc Gobor, Jr., sentenced to death by the Kecskemet Military 
Court (Nepszahadsag, December 18, 1956) ; in the case of Elemer Kovacs, sen- 
tenced to 15 years by the Kecskemet Military Coiart for illegal posession of arms. 
(Nepszabadsag January 6, 1957) ; in the case of Andras Jakab, sentenced to death 
by the Budapest Military Court for the illegal possession of arms. (Neps- 
zabadsag, January 12, 1957) ; and in many, many other cases, running right down 
to recent weeks. 

The campaign against the intellectuals 

The chief targets of the current campaign of repression are the Hungarian 
writers and intellectuals, who played so outstanding a part in the revolution 
and the post-revolutionary resistance. So many prominent writers and jour- 
nalists fled to the West and so many more were arrested that literary life 
practically ceased to exist after the revolution. On January 26th the armed 
forces arrested the well-known writers Gyula Hay, Zoltan Zelk (Kossuth Prize 
winning author and poet) and Tibor Tardos, and the newspapermen Sandor 
Novobatzky, Pal Locsei, Miklos Gyimes, Balazs Lengyel and Domoskolos Varga — 


all of tliem Communists except Varga and Lengvel. The Writers' Union, as 
has been in-eviously pointed out, was dissolved by decree on April 21st because 
"it assaulted the Socialist system". Gabor Folly, a journalist accused of con- 
spiratorial organization, was executed in early July. Jozsef Gali and Guyla 
Obersovszky, also prominent journalists, were sentenced to death — but their 
lives were spared thanks to the energetic intervention of a number of well- 
known Western writers, and even writers in Poland. The internationally 
famous writer, Tibor Dery, is still under arrest, awaiting trial. Among the 
writers arrested in January, it is reported that Tibor Tardos has gone mad 
and is now in a prison hospital. All told it is estimated that more than 50 
newspapermen and writers are being kept under arrect in Budapest, among 
them the whole editorial staff of Somogyorszag and Miskolci Hirlag. Most of 
these are followers of Imre Nagy's Communist tendency. 

Driven to desperation by their failure to recruit any significant support from 
the cultural standardbearers of their country, the Communist leaders have 
repeatedly made sweeping denunciations directed against the entire category of 
writers and intellectuals. In an interview with an East German news agency 
reporter in January, Deputy-Premier Ferenc Muennich denounced the Hun- 
garian associations of newspapermen and writers as "hotbeds of the reaction- 
aries". He said the government had waited for a change in attitude on the 
part of writers and newsmen, and had made large scale arrests "only when 
the situation became intolerable." {'New York Times, January 26, 1957). On 
June 5tb, Kadar's puppet parliament stood and cheered lustily when a univer- 
sity lecturer, Bela Karasonyi, called for a purge of Hungary's intellectual life 
that would be far more sweeping than any attempted by the Rakosi dictatorship. 
"The cultural counter-revolution is waging a stubborn and often not unsuccess- 
ful rear guard action. We did not get rid of all the bourgeois in our intellectual 
life after 1945 as we should have done," {New York Times, June G, 1957). 

Most eloquent of all in bis denunciation of the intellectuals was Deputy Min- 
ister Gyorgy Marosan, who is notorious for the coarseness of his language. (It 
Avas Marosan, incidentally, who publicly accepted responsibility for demanding 
the intervention of the Red Army.) Spouting poison against the intellectuals, 
Marosan told the assembled workers of the Budapest Lang factory on Decem- 
ber 9: 

"I am the same kind of bum you are. I've never studied anything, just as 
you've never studied anything. All my life I have hated the gentry, hated the 
scholars, because every one of them is a rotten no-good 'ounter-revolutionary, 
and I should like nothing better than to hang them from the first available tree 
on a rope woven from their own intestines." 

The purge of Hungarian writers reached such proportions that the Polish 
Writers' Union on June 14th, in an act of the greatest political courage, con- 
demned the purge as a violation of the essential rights of men". Their resolu- 
tion described the arrests and imprisonments of Hungarian writers by the Kadar 
government as "harmful to the cause of Socialism common to all people's democ- 
racies." {New York Times, June 15, 1957) But to this day the regime has not 
been able either to intimidate the Hungarian intellectuals or to win them over. 
On August 2nd the Hungarian news agency MTI reported that 6 top leaders of 
Hungarian university life, among them Dr. Laszlo Gillemot, rector of the Buda- 
l)est Technical University, had been purged ; and that the purge also included 
the heads of other universities in the capital and in the cities of Pecs and 
Debrecen. Two days later on August 4th, the Kadar Minister of Culture, Gyula 
Kallai, announced the start of still another all-out campaign to smash intellec- 
tual re.sistance to Communism. Certain intellectual groups, said Mr. Kallai, 
■"still holding fighting positions in cultural fields, have started new aggressions." 
(AP dispatch — New York Times, August 8, 1957) 

The straight-jacketing of cultural life and the persecution of artists is not 
confined to the field of writing. The Hungarian theatre has also been accused 
of being a hotbed of reaction. For some time after the revolution, theatres con- 
tinued to present the plays of Western authors and there were virtually no 
Soviet plays. But it was not long before the regime was able to direct a portion 
of its attention to the theatre. Nepszahadsag pointed out that in the theatres 
'"they have simply banished plays dealing with the problems of a new society 
. . . they want to restore the bourgeois stage." Gabor Foldes, stage manager 
of the Gyor theatre, was sentenced to death because of counter-revolutionary 
activities. According to information received from several sources, the very 
talented actor, Ivan Darvas, was beaten to death by AVO men. Agi Meszaros (a 


Kossuth Prize winner) Bessenyei, Miklos Szakacs and 13 Budapest aetors are 
reported to be in prison because of their revolutionary attitude. The gifted 
young actor, Imre Sos, who helped organize the effective protest movement 
which saved the writers Oberszovski and Oali from the gallows, committed 
suicide together with his wife because of the persecution to which he was sub- 

The paper Delmagyarorszag has reported that Beethoven's opera "Fidelio" 
was taken off the program in Szeged after several violent demonstrations by 
the audience. The opera is a passionate protest against tyranny and at its 
first performance the audience clapped and demonstrated at certain references 
which applied transparently, mutatis mutandis, to the Kadar regime. 

Great numbers of educators and teachers are also in prison. In July, the 
teachers Istvan Filep and Imre Balogh were imprisoned on charges of carry- 
ing on counter-revolutionary activities among the students. Laszlo Bede, a 
university demonstrator, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in Debrecen 
on the same charge. University rector Dezso Baroti ; Gabor Fodor, brilliant 
chemist and twice winner of the Kossuth prize; and Istvan Penzes, a demon- 
strator, have been removed from Szeged University. The renowned professor 
of statistics. Pal Csonka, and the professor of architecture, Jeno Rados, have been 
discharged from Budapest University. Andras Zoltan, a teacher in Gyor, was 
sentenced to 2i/^ years imprisonment on the charge of incitement. And David 
Soveges, principal of Pannonhalma gymnasium, was sentenced to 2 years on the 
same charge. The list could be extended indefinitely. 

The persecution of the Hungarian youth 

Despite a decade of communist indoctrination, the youth of Hungary were 
in the forefront of the revolution. It was from the ranks of the student and 
working class youth that the shock troops of the Freedom Fighters were re- 
cruited. Not very surprisingly therefore, the Hungarian youth were the chief 
target of the mass deportations which characterized the initial period of th.e 
Soviet military occupation. During the exodus that followed November 4 — 
while the borders to the West were still open — some 7,000 university students 
and scores of thousands of young workers made good their escape. But this 
diminution in numbers has in no way weakened the spirit of Hungary's patriot 

It was February before lectures could be recommenced in the country's uni- 
versities. When the Polytechnical University in Budapest opened up, 40 per- 
cent of the student body was missing. In the case of the University of Sopron, 
the entire Faculty of Forestry, students and professors, had fled the country. 
Although the terror had already been in operation for more than three months, 
and although thousands of young people had been deported, arrested or executed, 
the many thousands of students who resumed their courses demonstrated any- 
thing but a chastened attitude. 

Dr. Pal Gegesi Kiss, dean of the medical faculty at the University of Budapest, 
complained some time after his university reopened that searches of the student 
quarters were daily turning up quantities of concealed weapons. The number 
of demonstrations and partial strikes that occurred in the period immediately 
following reopening led Minister of Education Albert Konya to explode: "The 
teachers and students are collaborating in the organization of these university 
strikes, and draconic measures will have to be taken against them." 

The League of Hungarian University and College Students (MEFESZ), which, 
had been set up on October 20, had developed almost overnight into the national 
organization of the Hungarian students. MEFESZ played a prominent role in 
the events of the revolution; and after the Soviet occupation it stubbornly con- 
tinued to uphold the revolution and to demand the withdrawal of Soviet troops 
(Esti Hirlap, January 6, 1957) . Since January, all of the members of the former 
MEFESZ committee have disappeared. In university circles it is taken as a 
certainty that of the MEFESZ leaders, Istvan Poznar, Ferenc Perger, Gyorgy 
Vince and Janos Molnar have been executed, and it is also generally believed 
that Pal Cserhati, Jozsef Molnar and Edit Molnar followed them to the gallows. 

On February 26 the Budapest regime established the League of Communist 
Youth (KISZ) in an effort to offset the influence of MEFESZ and DISZ (the 
once communist-controlled League of Working Class Youth which had gone 
over to the revolution). But despite propaganda and pressures, the most recent 
reports are that no more than 5% of the Hungarian youth have joined KISZ — 
and the majority of these are secretly hostile to the regime. 


Items which continue to appear in the press confirm reports of the continuing 
resistance of Hungary's youth to the terror of the regime. On March 23, on 
tlie 6 month anniversary of the revolution, the students appeared at their lec- 
tures in black suits, and they layed flowers on the graves of the revolution's 
dead. In the town of Tab in Somogy County, the security forces rounded up 
a "counter-revolutionary fascist" gang during the month of May. All 9 mem- 
bers of the gang were 1(^-17 year old students. 

The regime has shown itself merciless in dealing with its rebellious youth. 
The 15 year old student Maria Wizt, was sentenced to death by the Supreme 
Court for counter-revolutionary activities. Tlie 17 year old worker, Benjamia 
Szramek, was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison by the Court of Pest County in 
mid-April. On July 21. President Oldenbroek of the International Federation 
of Free Trade Unions, energetically protested against the verdict of a Kadar 
court which sentenced three young workers to death — the 20 year old iron turner 
Jozsef Burgermeister, the 20 year old mechanic Attila Olah, and the 23 year 
old welder Bela Laki. Their crime was that they had taken part in the 

The persecution of the peasants- 

By means of terror and economic pressure the Communist regime had suc- 
ceeded in forcing some 50% of the stubbornly independent Hungarian peasantry 
into the collectives by 1953. Under the first premiership of Imre Nagy in that 
year the peasantry received a limited increase of freedom — as a result of which 
some of them were able to extricate themselves from the hated kolhoz. The 
October revolution turned what had been a trend into a mass movement. It 
is estimated that by the beginning of this year almost 9090 of the Hungarian 
peasantry were again producing as independent farmers. 

During the period November 1946 to February 1947, the Communist regime, 
under Soviet direction, was concentrating all its eil'orts on the destruction of 
the workers' councils and the intellectual resistance. During this time it made 
no effort to restore the collectives or to reinstate the system of forced deliveries 
because it was understandably afraid of having to fight on an additional front 
at the same time. 

A deliberate effort was made to isolate the peasantry from the workers, and 
many articles appeared in the press praising the peasantry for not having 
taken an active part in the revolution and for having continued to do their 
work honestly. 

In January and February, some of the leading Communist agricultural ex- 
perts, under the leaderiihip of Antal Marcisz. Minister of Agriculture, went to 
Moscow for discussions with the Soviet agricultural authorities. Shortly after 
they came back, the regime embarked on a ruthless campaign to force the 
peasants back into kolhoz and to undermine the individual peasant producers. 
In this campaign they resorted to many of the methods of physical, economic, 
and psychological coercion instituted against the peasantry by the Rakosi 

The campaign got under way in March and reached its height during the 
month of May. For their repressions they employed formations of the recently 
created "Workers Militia" composed of former AVO men and Conmiunist stal- 
warts. The Hungarian press is replete with stories relating to the persecution 
of the peasantry, and much more information has of course reached the West 
from escapees and travelers. 

In the village of Vamostercs, the militia beat up 52 peasants, including 
women, in the course of their "investigation." The crime of the villagers was 
that they had "expelled the chairman of their council and his companions from 
the community." The community of Morahalom was occupied for weeks by 
members of the militia and the AVO. The June 15th issue of the paper Bel- 
magyarorszag in describing this episode said that Istvan Antal, a resident of 
Morahalom, had embarked on his revolutionary activities under the inflamma- 
tory influence of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. According to 
the accusation he had dismissed the former leaders of the tractor station and 
relegated them to lower positions. He had also i)ersonally taken down the 
Red Star from the tractor station and had broken it up. The article then de- 
scribed how Antal and his companions, leading a mob of peasants, started out 
to set fire to the Council house. The local police held back the crowd with 
warning shots until military help (the AVO) arrived from Szeged. The police 
and the AVO fired into the crowd, reportedly after ordering them to disperse. 
Two peasants were killed, seven seriously wounded and thirty slightly wounded. 


Istvan Antal and his companions were prosecuted for the murders committed 
by the AVO and for the additional crime of tearing down the Red Star. 

Throughout the summer montlis the provincial papers have carried almost 
daily accounts of the arrests of peasants. The arrests almost invariably in- 
volved groups of peasants who took the leadership in the dissolution of their 
agricultural collectives and in the dismissal of their Council chairmen. At 
Fertoszentmiklos, Ferenc Osze and ten companions were sentenced to prison on 
this charge. At Sokoropaka, twelve peasants went to prison on the charge of 
damaging community property. At Mihalyi, four farmers were sentenced for 
periods ranging from 2 to 12 years on the charge of having beaten up the local 
party secretary and having kept their Council leader under arrest. The sen- 
tences passed against the peasants usually include complete or partial confisca- 
tion of their property. This property finds its way into the newly formed 
agricultural collectives. 

The provincial press is also full of news items concerning the formation of 
"voluntary agricultural collectives." The techniques employed in promoting the 
formation of these voluntary collectives are highly interesting. In some cases, 
a squad of workers' militia, in civilian clothes, occupy a community and set 
themselves up in the former offices of the dissolved collective. Then they call 
in one or two former members of the collective and attempt to persuade them 
to undertake its reorganization. If they prove uncooperative, they are subjected 
to a two-day treatment. Inevitably, a certain i)ercentage of the peasants suc- 
cumb to this treatment. 

A peasant who escaped from Hungary several months ago testified in Vienna 
that on March 4 he and other peasants were called upon to return to the collec- 
tive. When the peasant resisted, they confiscated his pig and his cow. Then on 
March 12 he was informed by the community council that his share of the col- 
lective's debt to the bank was 3,500 forints and that he was expected to repay this 
within three days. On the same day they told him that he owed 1,000 forints 
more as an installment payment on the land he had received in 1945. At this 
point the i>easant decided that the hard life in the Austrian camps was preferable 
to rejoining the collective. 

Despite the combination of police terror and economic coercion, almost 60% 
of the Hungarian peasantry have, as of this moment, still refused to join 
the collectives. In July, the government fixed the prices of agricultural produce 
in an effort to force the peasantry to sell their wares only to the State. Those 
who sell or buy produce for resale without a government license are imprisoned. 
The widening price spread is imposing the greatest hardship on the peasants. 

Against this background of terror and bungling it is not surprising that agri- 
cultural production this year will be seriously reduced. Nor are matters helped 
by the fact that the most capable peasants simply cannot be persuaded to return 
to the collectives. In its June 28th issue Nepszabadsag complained that "at 
the head of the cooperatives there are at present much fewer expert farmers 
skilled in the management of the cooperatives than there were before October. 
On the national average, only every second producer cooperative has a chairman 
who has had more than elementary schooling." 

But despite such admissions and despite the drastic crop reductions now an- 
ticipated, the Communist regime seems to be irrevocably committed to its policy 
of "voluntary" collectivization. The chances are, therefore, that the coming 
period will see an increase in the official terror directed against the peasantry 
of Hungary. 

The persecution of religion 

About 65% of Hungary's population is Catholic, and the Communist perse- 
cution of religion is therefore directed in the first instance against the Cath- 
olic church and against the person of Cardinal Mindszenty, whose imprison- 
ment has made him a symbol of resistance to the entire Hungarian people. 
Since the Soviet occupation of November 4th, hundreds of Catholic priests have 
been thrown into prison on accusations of "counter-revolutionary" activity. 
Among those interned are Joseph Peteri, the bishop of Vac ; Vendel Endredi, 
abbot of the Cictercian Order, who under the Eakosi regime was sentenced to 
y years in prison ; Andras Zakar and Egon Turcsanyi, the secretaries to Cardinal 
Mindszenty ; Father Imre Varju and Father Antal Kukla of the Budapest 
Theological Seminary : and the well known theologian Istvan Tabodi. 

Strong pressure is being brought on the Catholic church to support the so- 
called "priests for peace" movement. The basic purpose of this movement is to 
attempt to reconcile faithful Catholics to the Communist system. But so far 


the regime has found only a handful of intimidated compromising priests who 
are willing to work with it. The so-called "Department of Church Affairs" is 
again in operation. This department has an oflSce in every diocese and even 
the most inconsequential administrative matters must be channeled through the 
state organ. On March 23rd the Praesidium of the Council of Ministers issued 
a decree, retroactive to October 1, 1956, making the consent of the state essen- 
tial for every ecclesiastical appointment, transfer, or suspension. In practice 
this means that the government's approval must be obtained for the filling of 
even the lowliest ecclesiastical office — and that appointments or changes which 
were made during the brief period of freedom are automatically invalidated. 

The Protestant church is under similar attack. The more bitter attacks in 
this field have been directed against Bishop Ravasz who is under house arrest 
at Leanyfalu. Many Protestant ministers are in prison. Among them the 
theology teacher Barna Nagy, the minister Sandor Joo of Fasor, and the pro- 
fessor of reformed theology Laszlo Papp. Lajos Gulyas, a Reformed minister 
of Level in West Hungary, was sentenced to death for participation in the 

The Communist regime has also made heavy attacks on Hungarian Jewry. 
Many Hungarian Jews played a prominent part in the revolution. The leaders 
of the Jewish community at the time openly supported the uprising, and they 
condemned the conduct of those Jews who had taken any part during the years 
of terror in the persecution of the people. In February, four Jewish univer- 
sity professors were arrested, among them professors Imre Szabolcsi and Izidor 
Miskolczi because they refused to cooperate in the editorship of the government 
so-called "whitebook", in which the regime alleges that there were anti-Semitic 
pogroms during the revolution. 

But despite all of these attacks, religion in Hungary is stronger than ever. 
The Yugoslav paper Ljudska Pravica recently said in a report that in Budapest 
"the churches are crowded; conspicuously large numbers of young people are 
attending mass." 

Political deveJopments and the fate of the political parties 

The report of the UN Committee states that Kadar seemed at first disposed to 
consider the possibility of a coalition government, but that this development was 
impeded "by the opposition of Soviet officials, both civil and military, among them 
. . . the Soviet Commander in Chief, Marshal Koniev, who came to Budapest at that 
time. Following the visit of the Soviet officials, the attitude of Mr. Kadar towards 
the formation of a coalition government changed." (para. 680). T'he report 
concludes that : "Mr. Kadar's policy in the matter of collaboration with those 
outside the Hungarian Socialist Workers' (Communist Party), appears to have 
been decisively influenced, if it was not directed, by Soviet military and civil 
authorities." (para. 690). 

The same pattern of Soviet intervention continues to manifest itself at all 
levels. There has been an entire series of "diplomatic" visits to Budapest by 
Soviet and Comintern leaders — Khruschev and Bulganin, Marslial Zhukov, Anas- 
tas Mikoyan, Chou En Lai, and the leaders of the "reliable" Czechoslovak, Ru- 
manian and Bulgarian parties. It is of course impossible to adduce evidence 
in black and white that the actions of the Budapest government are determined in 
Moscow. But even the most credulous would find it difficult to pretend that it is 
simply coincidence that every conference between the Soviet leaders and the 
Kadar regime is followed immediately by a dramatic hardening of attitude, or 
by a rash of decrees or pronunciamentos or by mass arrests. 

The arrival of the new Soviet Ambassador, J. Ivanovich Gromov on March 12, 
coincided almost to the day with the launching of a massive campaign of arrests 
and with large-scale military movements obviously designed to discourage any 
revolutionary manifestations on Hungarian Liberation Day, March 15. During 
the week of March 20, Premier Kadar visited Moscow. There had been some 
hope that he would bring back an agreement on the status of Soviet troops in 
Hungary — but when he returned at the end of March, all he could promise was 
talks on the subject "in the near future." But on other points the talks were 
apparently highly effective. In Moscow, Kadar promised to step up the puni- 
tive aspects of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to tighten up on party 
discipline. On March 19th, the Budapest regime issued a decree establishing 
police surveillance and internal deportation by administrative decision of those 
elements "who endanger the stjite . . . but whose deeds are not serious enough to 
warrant criminal procedure. . . ." On March 23, the Ministry of the Interior is- 

5274 SCOPE OF SOVIET ACTrvaxY m the ujstited states 

sued a decree stipulating that all Hungarians must present their identity cards 
for revalidation at local police headquarters. On the same day, two decrees were 
announced tightening the regime's control over the Church. The decrees gave the 
state complete control over Church appointments. They also stated that the "full 
rigor of the law" would be applied against those individuals who use religious 
instruction for purposes directed against the political, social or economic order. 

The account of the UN report on the sub.1ect of the non-communist political 
parties leaves off at the point where the Petofi Party had dissolved itself, Bela 
Kovacs, leader of the Independent Smallholders' Party had retired, and the Gov- 
ernment had announced its intention of "liquidating" the Social Democratic 
Party. Despite this, on February 9, Mr. Kadar promised negotiations with the 
Independent Smallholders and with the Petofi Party "with a view to broadening 
the Government." But in recent months there has been no pretense of broaden- 
ing government and the non-communist political leaders have been the victims 
of a systematic campaign of repression. Zoltan Tildy, leader of the Peasant 
Party, was placed under house arrest on May 6 in his villa at 42 Budakeszi ut — 
where he had already spent seven years under house arrest imposed by Rakosi. 
There have been persistent reports that during the last days of May, house 
arrest was replaced by effective arrest