Hungary 1956

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  • Created on: 06-02-13 12:46
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Hungary in 1956 seemed to sum up all that the Cold war stood for. The people of
Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe were ruled with a rod of iron by
Communist Russia and anybody who challenged the rule of Stalin paid the price.
Despite initial hopes, Stalin's death in 1953 did not actually weaken the grip Moscow had
on the people of Eastern Europe. Hungary, by choosing to challenge the rule of Moscow,
paid a heavy price.
From 1945 on the Hungarians were controlled by Russia. All wealth of whatever nature
was taken from Hungary by the Russians who showed their power by putting thousands
of Russian troops and tanks into Hungary. Stalin placed the Hungarian leader, Rakosi, in
When Stalin died, all people in Eastern Europe were given hope that they might be freed
from Soviet rule ­ surely the United Nations, or the new US president, Eisenhower, would
help them.
In February 1956, Khrushchev made a speech that bitterly attacked Stalin's policies. In
a gesture to the Hungarians, Rakosi was forced to resign. The Hungarians were
inspired to revolt in a bid for change.
In October 1956, students and workers took to the streets of
Budapest and issued their Sixteen Points which included
personal freedom, more food, removal of secret police and
Russian troops etc. Poland had already been granted rights in
early 1956 through street protests, and the Hungarians were
Imre Nagy, a known moderniser, was made Hungarian Prime Minister and Soviet forces
retreated from Hungary. The Soviet Union had been surprised by the strength of
demonstrations: this was felt to be the best way to calm the protesters and to give the
Red Army time to regroup!
Nagy soon began to implement reform. Government control of press and radio was ended;
democratic elections were set up; NAGY DEMANDED THE RIGHT FOR HUNGARY TO

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You are an Hungarian protester who is keen to release Hungary from the shackles of
Soviet control. You have been inspired by recent events within the USSR and feel the
time is right to gather as many supporters of the revolution as possible. You aim to
produce a propaganda leaflet that will encourage people to join you. You should include:
Discuss: " The West was responsible for the deaths in Hungary, not the
Russians".…read more


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