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The People's Revolution

Updated on February 25, 2016

Extraordinary times.

This was the state of Hungary under communism, which prompted the events that took place at 4:15 a.m. on November 4, 1956 called the Hungarian Revolution, that had a lasting affect on the Hungarian people as well as on the world. It serves as a constant reminder that everything is not always as it seems.

Despite the strong arm of the government the country was in shambles. Unemployment was at an all time high and large-scale layoffs intensified the negative attitude of the people. The standards of living were slowly falling below acceptable levels, and the government had to institute emergency measures to aid the unemployed.

The government had assumed control of all education and academic freedom was abolished, textbooks were rewritten towards their views. Teachers were under close supervision and were instructed to teach children loyalty to the government by producing songs in praise.

Measures were placed against religion and prayer was removed from schools, religious instruction was banned, and religion was constantly attacked until many churches were abolished. People who continued to practice religion were discriminated against, even ridiculed.

Students were offered reduced tuition for volunteering during summer vacations. Youths were assigned work designated by the state, and were often recruited to canvas homes and business with propaganda.

Many small merchants were forced out of business because the government stopped giving loans, and many were forced to go work for large factories. The same factories that were taken over and run by the government requiring worker to work long hours with little pay while working conditions and defective materials demanded a speedier output.

Many stood in line for hours to receive medical attention, and appointments were made months in advance. Any major health threats to the elderly were ignored.Shortages of housing, food and consumer goods reduced purchasing power and eventually wiped out any savings or retirement funds

To a proud and independent people, this government was oppressive and degrading, and the idea that people worked for the benefit of the government rather than for themselves, and the taking of resources at a low cost and reselling it to the people at inflated prices, did not sit well and pushed the people to the edge.

On this day the Soviet forces launched a major attack on Hungary aiming to crush, once and for all, the national uprising which began 12 days earlier as students protested as they marched through central Budapest. Because the new Soviet government had suppressed all public opposition, they were not to be embarrassed internationally by any protesters apposing the regime.  

Soon the protest grew to hundreds of thousand of people who were lead to believe that they would receive help from the United Nations especially from the United States to overthrow the government. During the uprising Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America broadcasted news of the situation and encouraged Hungarians to fight the Soviet forces. They were led to believe that the US would make good on their promise to provide assistance, if only politically. They even broadcast tactical advice and resistance methods. Later RFE was criticized for having misled the people into believing that help was on the way.

Even with several requests for help from the US, the Eisenhower administration turned their heads, taking this situation as leverage in the conflict with the Suez Canal, and the Middle East, and avoiding conflict at all cost with Russia. Later Eisenhower’s aid was quoted as saying "I told him I believed military intervention would end in nuclear war and Hungary would be the first to be evaporated." On Oct 31, 1956 in a state of the Union speech Eisenhower said that “our hearts go out to the Hungarian people” but continued to say:

“We could not, of course, carry out this policy by resort to force. Such force would have been contrary both to the best interests of the Eastern European peoples and to the abiding principles of the United Nations. But we did help to keep alive the hope of these peoples for freedom.”

With pressure form the Chinese leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), Soviet tanks began to roll through the city and the industrial areas of Budapest were ravaged by artillery and air strikes. Over 2,500 Hungarian and 723 Soviet troops were killed and thousands were wounded. 200,000 Hungarians fled to other countries, over 13,000 were imprisoned, and over 350 striking workers were executed.

The Anniversay

John F. Kennedy had this to say on the first anniversary of the Revolution:

"October 23, 1956, is a day that will live forever in the annals of free men and nations. It was a day of courage, conscience and triumph. No other day since history began has shown more clearly the eternal unquenchability of man's desire to be free, whatever the odds against success, whatever the sacrifice required."

President Bush issued a proclamation honoring the Revolution by saying this:

"The story of Hungarian democracy represents the triumph of liberty over tyranny. In the fall of 1956, the Hungarian people demanded change, and tens of thousands of students, workers, and other citizens bravely marched through the streets to call for freedom. Though Soviet tanks brutally crushed the Hungarian uprising, the thirst for freedom lived on, and in 1989 Hungary became the first communist nation in Europe to make the transition to democracy."

The US took in 21,000 refugees, and the last Soviet soldier left the country in 1991 thus ending Soviet military presence in Hungary.

My family was part of those who fled, I invite you read a short story of what freedom really means in America the Land of the Free. And while I love America, and appreciate it’s embrace, this administration and the current affairs, are a constant reminder of where we came from how a government can go wrong.

 This was the 2009 White House statement released in honor of the 53rd anniversary.


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    • Willey Peter profile image

      Willey Peter 

      9 years ago from United States

      Outstanding Points!! Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it!

      Those who believe this could never happen here need to wake up and take a look around. The beginning of the end of our way of life has already begun and will certainly continue if we do not stop this. Remember "All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing"

      Thanks again!

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Today is the 53rd anniversary..Thank you all for stopping in!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for this timely reminder. I wept as I watched the video as I watched the refugees crossing into Austria.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      9 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Scary! At first I thought you were writing about the U.S. This is an excellent hub - you are such a gifted provider of information.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      VR, thank you for sending me Milton Cooper's videos, it was an eye opener.

    • vrajavala profile image


      9 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      one small correction "On Oct 31, 1056"Great hub. It's hard to believe that Eisenhower was such a jerk. He was also creepy about civil rights too. He told his own appointee, Earl Warren, that he didn't want to have any big Negro boys sitting next to white girls in class. Good thing Warren was his own man and loved children.The only reason he intervened with troops in school integration conflicts is that he didn't want any uppity governors thinking that they were were powerful than him.

      I might also mention one other lady, Dr. Orly Taitz, who escaped from communism and lives here in the US. she has attempted quite a few lawsuits against Obamma for demanding his birth certificate.

      thanks for the history lesson

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      James, you have been a great source of inspiration, I appreciate you visits and you kind words. Thank you.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      These were heroic people. You have once again written a stunning piece that should give pause to any thinking person—if they can get their nose out of the government trough long enough. Thank you for your fine service in a great cause. The cause of liberty and freedom.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Funny you should mention that. Thank you Larry, yes I do remember. Thank you for stoping in.

    • Larry Ivey profile image

      Larry Ivey 

      9 years ago from South Florida

      Washington has abandoned others in our brief history. After the brave, freedom loving Hungarians were left to fend for themselves in 1956, another group was abandoned in Cuba. Remember the Bay of Pigs? Looks like, if you want something done by our elected critters, you need to have very strong lobbyists working on your behalf.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Sue, Oct 23rd was the first wave, for 12 days the Hungarian people believed they were liberated. They thought all was over until the morning of Nov 4th. Thank you for visiting. I look forward to reading your Hub.

    • Sue Adams profile image

      Juliette Kando FI Chor 

      9 years ago from Andalusia

      I was born in Hungary and now you inspired me to immediately post a hub with more information about the 1956 revolution. The anniversary has just been celebrated on October 23rd.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      PeeDee, The constitution and every amendment is important. Thank you for stoppint in.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      The peasants were not factory workers, but they were made to leave their fields and go to work for larger factories, as did the independent business owner. I had become an industrialized country where the government owned it all.

    • lostgirlscat profile image


      9 years ago

      Bravo. And while you made many fine points, one that struck me particularly, was the death of small business,when people were forced to go to work for large factories. It is that independent, entrepeneurial spirit that the liberal agenda seeks to crush, as a threat to the power they obtain by creating a dependent welfare state that looks to the almighty government to supply all their needs.

    • profile image


      9 years ago from Just Across The State Line

      We are living in increasingly dangerous times here in America. There are people who are American citizens whose desire is to subject their fellow Americans to tyranny. It is more important than ever to guard our constitutional liberties tighter than what we have been used to doing. The Second Amendment is so vital nowadays! Thank you for reminding us of how easily liberty can be stripped away.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Thank you CJV123. I appreciate that.

    • cjv123 profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      I am SO Tweeting this Hub! ABSOLUTELY RIVETING, SCARY AND FASCINATING all at the same time!

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Thank you, I'll tell my father, he always gets sad on this day remembering the friends he lost. He was one of the 'freedom fighters'.

    • Misha profile image


      9 years ago from DC Area

      I know, I was not even born yet, but still... There are things you feel ashamed for your country/nation, this is one of them...

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Thank you so much for stopping in and for your great comments.

      Misha, I don't hold you personally responsible. :)

    • Misha profile image


      9 years ago from DC Area

      Yes, this is one of the darkest pages of Russian history. Still feel shame for it...

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Dito, an amazing hub!

      Thanks for sharing this. I hope many others read this and learn. It shows so much.

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • myownworld profile image


      9 years ago from uk

      such an amazing hub! I come from a very different part of the world, but have seen enough chaos and suffering caused by the misuse of power, so I can feel your frustration. thank you for sharing this with us....peace and hope to all!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      9 years ago

      Dear jiberish,

      What an amazing hub. You have every right to bitch and to spread the word because you know that history repeats itself. I am horrified by the members of Congress you are so willing to strangle the United States and rob its citizens of the blessings of liberty. There is a pervasive insanity running through our nation.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Habee, yes it was scary, and what started out as a peaceful demonstration turned out to be a crisis. Thank you for visiting.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Great, It will be the 53rd anniversary of this event, I can almost guarantee Obama will not even acknowledge it. Thanks.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, Jib - great hub. Scary!

    • greatAmerican profile image


      9 years ago

      Please folks, stop thinking everything is about race and just think about the facts presented by Jiberish and other

      writers who are not advancing any political party. Screw the Democrats, Republicans, just think about the facts as

      AMERICANS! When we lose our Freedom, do you think you will still be Free? Think again!

      Thanks Jib, great reading!

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Tom, the world was breathless, there were protest around the world in apposition to what happened. Hungary was used by the Soviets as an example and their tactics were the hardest on our people. Thank you for stopping in.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Yes this could well be a parody to the events in our country, however those were the real events of that time. Thank you for visiting.

    • profile image

      partisan patriot 

      9 years ago


      My God, when I first started reading I thought you were writing a comparative account of what is occurring in America today with Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia. All the areas you mention, unemployment, education, religion, co-opting the students, controlling business, HEALTH CARE; Wake up America! I only hope and pray our desire to be free will indeed triumph because every day the odds against success are increasing exponentially!

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      9 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      jiberish, as soon as I saw the picture at the top of your hub I knew you were talking about Hungary. The parallel to the the United States today is eerie.

      This was not the Eisenhower administrations proudest moment. The same is true of the Johnson administration in The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in the spring 1968.

      Today in America there is no one else but the American people to turn to, we must save ourselves from totalatarian rule.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      As always Jiberish a great hub. It is great that you know your personal heritage so well. This is a great example of where we seem to be headed in our government. We may all be protesting in the streets before this is over. Our current leaders are evil!

    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Where can we run? We see it and we know where we're headed. It's very frustrating to say the least.

    • Flightkeeper profile image


      9 years ago from The East Coast

      The next three years are going to be very long and it's going to be an uphill battle all the way. Thanks for the warning Jib.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Rochelle, your professor friend may have had a scary personal history because anytime you see your family and friends die in the streets it can leave a lasting impression. I appreciate your visit and comments, thank you.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes -- I recognized the "striking" resemblance.

      I had a Hungarian art history professor who restrained himself to stick to the subject he was hired to teach-- but he had a fascinating and scary personal history, which he did give a few hints about. He was very thankful to finally live in "the land of the free".

      Too many people are unaware of the events leading up to the Hungarian Revolution.

      My In-laws lived under Hitler when it was illegal to NOT have a nicely framed picture of The Leader prominently displayed in every home. They came very near to big trouble when their picture was a bit small.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Tony, the first half of this hub has a triking resemblance of what is happening now in this country. Thank you for stopping in.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Suzie, it's the history that make the current affairs so scary. Thank you.

    • tony0724 profile image


      9 years ago from san diego calif

      jiberish I hate to think that history Is repeating Itself , but anybody with half a brain can see It for themselves that we are the new Hungary and anarchy at some point will be Inevitable . Ask Iceland also how good a liberal Government Is !

    • suziecat7 profile image


      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      What an interesting Hub. We can learn so much from history. Too bad so many folks have their heads in the sand.

    • jiberish profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from florida

      Thank you Hmrjmr1, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Jiberish - You need to change your Hub Name it should be 'Clarity' - God Bless you and the now Free People of Hungary, Keep up this good work to remind us of what is at stake here in America. GBY


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