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6: One Day in the World's Press

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One Day in the World's Press(1)


(Our inf.). Yesterday Drs. Wojciech Wiechno and Henryk Wolf, representatives of our Health Service staff, returned to Warsaw after a two days' stay in Budapest.

Dr. Gyözö Karas, president of the Hungarian Red Cross, and Dr. Drexler, vice-minister of health, declared in an interview with our delegates that for the time being they cannot estimate the total number of killed and wounded. They said, however, that during the first 24 hours of fighting the number of wounded amounted to 1,000 persons, although this number dropped during the night of October 30 to only 60.

Transport facilities to hospitals are adequate; also there is no lack of health personnel.

However, there is a lack of drugs and provisions, but only in Budapest itself -in the rural areas these shortages do not appear.

The need is above all for morphine, antibiotics, various serums, blood, plasma, X-ray films, chirurgical needles, and a few other items. All these supplies have to be sent by air because of their urgent need and transport difficulties. Other drugs can be sent in a few days when normal railroad communication is reestablished through Czechoslovakia.

Vice-Minister Drexler and Dr. Karas expressed the gratitude of the Hungarian nation to - [33 (p.3, col. 1/col. 2)] the Ministry of Health and to the Polish Red Cross for their speedy and effective help. [33 (p.3, col. 2) 155 (p.3, col. 4)]


Count Esterhazy in Budapest - Forces opposing restoration of capitalism organized - Hungarian government retreats before reactionaries

BUDAPEST, November 1 (CTKP)

In Budapest, capital of Hungary, the French news agency announced Thursday morning that it is not known who is in power in the city and who has control of Hungary. It is said that at least four "governments" exist, which is well demonstrated by the confused situation existing in the country. These "governments" are mentioned in today's "Manchester Guardian," which writes, "Their authority reaches only as far as their words and weapons are heard."

The French news agency (AFP) also says that further political developments in Hungary will not include creation of a coalition government, but that open preparations are being made for a bourgeois dictatorship. This goal is also proved by the request of the "government" in Raab [Gyor] -which in the last few days was taken over by counterrevolutionary elements- to substitute Bela Kovacz, landlord and leader of the Agrarian party, for Imre Nagy as Premier. Kovacz even after 1945 was in contact with the Fascist organization "Swastika."

According to information from different sources, Count Esterhazy, who after the war was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for his support of fascism, has returned to Budapest. Esterhazy is a leader of the wealthiest Hungarian nobility, a monarchist, and close [col. 4/col. 5] friend of Cardinal Mindszenty and Otto Hapsburg. Esterhazy came to Budapest so that he could again take over his estates. Before the land reform in Hungary 115,000 hectares belonged to him (one-fortieth of all the arable land in Hungary) and three million dollars.

In Austria he owns 60,000 hectares of the best land, and 67,500 hectares in western Germany.

The AFP stated that since Thursday evening books are still being burned on the Budapest streets-among them the works of Tolstoy, Dostoevski, and Pushkin -which were burned by fascist elements after raiding libraries and bookstores.

On Thursday there also was a reorganization of the government, in which the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic dismissed the present Minister of Foreign Affairs, Imre Horvath, from his office and allocated this function to Imre Nagy, who at the same time will be the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

In some parts of Hungary forces are arising, primarily workers, and are fighting with determination against all reactionary attempts to renew capitalism.

Simultaneously the news arrived that in one village a landlord was killed when he tried to reclaim his land, which had been allocated to [col. 5/col. 6] farmers during the land reformation.

BUDAPEST, November 1 (CTK)

Imre Nagy, in his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced November 1 that the Hungarian government has declared the Warsaw treaty immediately invalid.

This is another sorry step by the Hungarian government, which gives in to the reactionary forces in the nation by step ping out of the organization of peace loving, socialistic nations and taking Hungary on a dangerous journey. This decision was made at a time when the aggressive forces of imperialism unwisely attacked Egypt, simply because its people wanted to take advantage of the riches of their country. This gives a welcome opportunity to foreign reactionary circles to continue supporting those in Hungary who are definitely rebelling against all the achievements which the workers' class and all laborers in Hungary achieved during the time when the Soviet Army disposed of landlords and fascism for the Hungarian people.

Imre Nagy announced this decision to the attache of the Soviet Union in Hungary and also to others in the office accredited to Budapest, and at the same time announced that he had asked the United Nations to start negotiations concerning the future status of Hungary. [55 (p.3, col. 6) /59 (p. 1, col. 1)]



From DN's correspondent Bertil Tombera BUDAPEST, Thursday

A revenge-thirsty crowd, cheering and shouting hurrahs at four men about to hang another, who had just been revealed as a member of the security police, from a lamp post in the middle of Jugendstrasse; a truck, jammed with teenagers waving their guns and pistols, rushing by and into a side street where a couple of submachine guns are rattling; these were the first scenes that met our eyes in desperate Budapest.

Two girls aged 14-15, with a submachine gun each, are checking on the pedestrians in [col. 1/col. 2] a crosswalk near the Staatspark. A Russian officer with [59 (p. l, col. 2)/67 (p. l0, col. 1)] pistol in hand forces us to surrender a nearly all-exposed roll of 35 mm film because we had been taking pictures of Russian armored cars roaming around downtown Budapest -in spite of the promises to be out 36 hours ago.

These were some of the episodes we encountered during a 35 minute round trip by car in the center of Budapest, while the whole city awaits the worst -that the Russian armored divisions stationed at the border should come anew and drown in blood the thought of freedom.

Blood boils anew in the torn city of revolt. The happy feeling of victory coloring the last few days -when only minor skirmishes took place in the streets, within range of the flag- and flower-bedecked houses -has disintegrated into an uncertainty which no one can stand after the past weeks.

Street fights between gun-crazy teenagers and security police who have entrenched themselves in cellars divide up the city into small islands which are completely isolated from each other with the exception of sporadic occasions when the telephone for some unknown cause functions and the lynching that we witnessed was only one of the many.

At the wheel of our auto during the journey sat the Hungarian-born doctor Otto Galambos of Gothenburg. He was on vacation in his native country when the disturbance broke out and he plunged immediately into rescue work. He has been the cause of countless, unbelievable offers [(col. 1/col. 2)] when he has driven his auto which prominently displays a large Swedish flag past hardened revolutionaries in Budapest, but he perceives that the feeling among the people has now been whipped by uncertainty to a desperation which has not had its parallel since the first terror-ridden days of the blood bath.

The Hungarian revolt is a revolt of youth -there was one grisly example after the other while the auto slowly rolled on through the crowds that surrounded us, screaming and shouting hurrahs, kissing the flag, and asking us to send greetings to Sweden. With only several hundred meters' distance between them, groups of armed youths stood in the middle of the streets and stopped cars. They searched the passengers carefully. Many of the hated secret police were attempting to flee the city in disguise and it was mainly against them that the search was directed. The searchers were often thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds with carbines and ammunition belts and a pistol holster on one hip -both boys and girls.

"We are no longer human; I scarcely dare hope that we will again be after this," said a desperate young doctor whom we met at the airfield. The lynching in the afternoon in the heart of the city illustrated his words. When we slowly drove along the Jugendstrasse, which was called Stalinstrasse before the Revolution, people shrieked at us to hurry. At the next crossing, however, there was a compact crowd of at least 1,000 people, who upon noticing our Swedish emblem helped to make a place for us to see better. When they failed, the crowd attempted to describe what was happening. A member of the secret police in disguise had been recognized by one of the street patrols. The man had no chance to defend himself; he was grabbed and beaten, shown off to the crowd, which, drunk with revenge, alternately hurrahed and sang songs of freedom when the rope was placed around the neck of the unconscious victim, who was strung upon the nearest lamp post.

Those who hurrahed were not only rabble; many well-dressed women and older married couples were found among the jubilant.

We turned down the nearest side street to avoid the seething crowd, but these streets, too, were packed with people waiting for something to happen. Curfew had earlier been set at 4:00 p.m., but today the Nagy government changed the time to 6:00 p.m. The shops were empty; outside some grocery stores people were continually in a queue but it appeared that it was mainly to occupy themselves. There were no goods left in the shops.

Still the food situation was better than earlier. Bread rationed to one loaf per day per household had sufficed for most. For the first time since the Revolution a few vegetables were seen in the shops in the early morning but the black [col. 2/col. 3] market has also begun to show

up. It had not been in evidence up to now.

Hunt for hidden secret police

When we suddenly turned the next corner, sharp cries were heard and Doctor Galambos quickly swerved the auto in a complete turn in the middle of the street in order to avoid the dangerous neighborhood. We saw two men lying in a doorway shooting at a cellar window directly opposite. Clearly a hiding place for one of the hated secret police. The common tactics employed were to have several men pump bullets into the cellar to keep the victim away from the window until other freedom fighters had drenched some combustible material in gasoline and tossed it through the window after lighting it -thus burning the nest and its occupants.

We turned into the Jugendstrasse again. A truck loaded with screeching boys brandishing pistols in the faces of the pedestrians hurtled past and swung into a side street on the trail of a new nesting place to destroy. Most of the crowd was assembled nearby in front of the Soviet Embassy's great stone edifice. We heard a dull chorus of voices repeating the phrase which was heard on almost every street in every section of the city "Russians- Go Home!"

Outside the Russian Embassy stood three panzer tanks. The machine guns in the turret were never still but slowly swung back and forth. Folke Hellberg aimed his Leica through the automobile window [col. 3/col. 4], and all would have gone well if the crowds on the sidewalk had not waxed enthusiastic and shouted hurrah for us Swedes. We had to slow down in order to avoid running down some of the more eager spectators, and at that moment the car door was torn open and a Russian officer with three stars on his collar drew his pistol from his holster and pointed it at the camera amid shouts.

Without the crowd the situation might have been easier to explain. But the Hungarians in the meantime had begun to boo and shriek at the Russian, who became redder and angrier. They pointed at the Red Cross markings and the Swedish flag, but nothing helped. We could move the car -we could only secretly hope that a truck loaded with fiery freedom fighters would appear just at this moment.

Dr. Galambos tried to divert the Russian by talking with him. It was no use. He ripped open the camera while the crowd pushed closer around the auto. Then the Russian suddenly went along with Dr. Galambos' proposal: "Take the roll of film." Folke Hellberg tried to protest, but the pistol and the roar from the crowd and the machineguns on the panzer tanks on the other side which were now pointed at us and the crowd made us feel grateful when we were allowed to proceed after our license number had been taken down.

We had driven for thirty-five minutes. Perhaps we had gone five kilometers around a little district in the city's center. Our goal was actually the center of the old city where panzer tanks continued to be stationed, but it was impossible to get through. The skirmishes continued in every part of the city. It felt wonderful when we turned into the Swedish Embassy's police-guarded gates again. [67 (p.10, col. 4)/59 (p.1, col. 3)]


From DN's correspondent Agne Hamrin

BUDAPEST, Thursday

Large Russian armored units rolled in today from the borders of both Rumania in the south and Russia in the east, and a ring of iron was formed around the capital just as the revolt seemed a definite success.

Complete panic broke out in Budapest. The communist-dominated Premier Imre Nagy tonight forwarded a dramatic appeal to the Soviet President Marshal Voroshilov in a last resort to halt the Russian advancement.

He urged Voroshilov to pick the time and place [59 (p.1, col. 3)/68 (p. 11, col. 4)] for negotiations of withdrawal of the Soviet troops "as soon as possible," and he appealed to the Soviet leaders to order an immediate halt to the invading Russian forces.

The Russian armored divisions are rolling toward Budapest in an effort to force Nagy's government to rescind the Hungarian withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, which gives away the Russian military situation in Europe.

In an attempt to influence world opinion Nagy proclaimed Hungary as a neutral state and requested the guarantee of the UN and the four great powers of her neutrality.

"Take up the Hungarian question in the Security Council," he appealed in a telegram to the UN. After agitated discussions with Russian Ambassador Andropov while Russian units crossed the boundaries, Nagy declared that Hungary had left the Warsaw Pact, the communist military union which had formally motivated the Russian divisions' location in Hungary. A Russian ultimatum that the notice should be revoked was reported later in the day.

DN's foreign correspondent late on Thursday had a conversation with the men closest to Nagy in the communist government's headquarters in Parliament House. Both Nagy and Zoltan Tildy had been gripped by panic, they explained.

"Tell the whole world that Hungary now seems to stand on the brink of complete annihilation," explained Nagy's adjutant. "We have received reports that mighty Russian columns of troops are marching across the country's borders. A report was recently brought to us that eight hundred Russian tanks are swarming into the country from Rumania. They are just now crossing the Peipus [?] River and are using a temporary pontoon bridge.

"Even from the east, from Russia itself, stream the Russian columns in an endless forward flow to the Hungarian border.

"We shall fight to the last life but are fully aware that the Russians are on their way to eradicate us. We shall fight from village to village, from house to house with the heroism born of desperation. Hungary is ours. They may rather take our lives before our country."

Late on Thursday night unsubstantiated reports came from Budapest that the city was entirely surrounded by Russian panzer units. There still remained a few small gaps in the Russian iron chain- the only breathing space for the city of a million people.

Dramatic meeting

Nagy demanded on Thursday morning that the Russian Ambassador in Budapest, Andropov, should present himself before the Hungarian government in the Parliament Building's cabinet room. Nagy opened the meeting by declaring that the Hungarian government had decided to withdraw its membership in the Warsaw Pact. That should certainly imply that all Russian troops would have to leave Hungarian territory. The question of the Soviet troops' evacuation of Hungary would not be solved with a lesser action than Hungary's withdrawal from its [col. 4/col. 5] obligations in opposition to the Warsaw Pact.

This means that the Soviet Union automatically has the right to station a certain number of troops on Hungarian ground, a privilege which was not affected by those Russian promises of wanting to leave Hungary.

The meeting with the Soviet Ambassador was broken off, and when it was again resumed a little later in the morning, the Hungarian government had received information that Russian troops had pushed into Hungary across the Rumanian border -among other ways on pontoon bridges over the river boundary between Hungary and Rumania. President Nagy demanded that the Russian Ambassador explain this action from Moscow.

During the hours-long discussion in the cabinet room the Hungarian government now fought with the Russian Ambassador over Hungary's remaining or not remaining in the Warsaw Pact. It appeared as if Moscow had demanded that Hungary withdraw her statements on the Warsaw Pact. But the government would not be swayed in its decision, and in a dramatic radio speech on Thursday evening Nagy revealed that the Budapest government had withdrawn from the Warsaw Pact and had declared her neutrality. The government has even called upon the four great powers, the U.S.A., the Soviet Union, England, and France, to guarantee Hungary's neutrality. A similar petition has been sent to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.

Hungary has requested that the UN immediately take up the question before the Security Council.

All foreign embassies and legations in Budapest received official notification of Hungary's decision.

"Help us, help us!"

The government's meeting lasted until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday. In a tense atmosphere officials declared the government's decision. Tears stood in their eyes. In General Maleter's headquarters, officers told me that now it was a matter of concern for Hungary's existence. Will the [col. 5/col. 6] world help us? If the Russian threat is serious, will they crush us? We have been victorious over 20,000 Russian troops and one hundred tanks in Budapest, but we cannot hold out alone against the Russian panzer armies. Help us, help us, they said.

Calm before the storm

Budapest was enveloped in a new storm of panic in the wake of the approaching Russian panzers, and rumor had the Hungarian capital on Thursday for the first time in nine days presenting a picture of relative calm. No volleys of bullets were heard any longer, other than in the continued merciless search for the secret hiding places of the communist police. And many grocery stores were again open. But other shops, industries, and means of communication still lay closed down.

The city was bathed in sunshine and crowds of people took the chance once more of going out in the streets and leaving their hiding places from the most severe days of the revolt. City dwellers streamed through the city on a quest for something to ea t-searching after lost goods or trying to find lost relatives. Of the Russian tanks, only a few charred wrecks were glimpsed; the remainder had the day before completed their evacuation -and now suddenly they were expected to return in a new and more severe invasion.

But during the day young revolutionaries streamed through the streets singing and shouting, "Freedom is here!" [68 (p. 11, col. 61/67 (p.10, col. 5)]


From DN's Foreign Correspondent, Bertif Tornberg

BUDAPEST, Thursday

The fourteen resident Swedes in Budapest, thirteen at the Embassy and the sixty-five-year-old Anna Sjoblom, who has lived in this revolt-torn city since her youth and refuses to leave it, had at least as late as Thursday afternoon withstood the direct attacks on the city.

The three-story stone building which lies on the edge of the Staatspark not far from the former Stalinplatz houses all the employees and some Hungarian servants and has the entire time been accorded the greatest respect. Everything having to do with Sweden has been met with an unbelievable enthusiasm and friendliness in spite of the terror and desperation, and the Hungarian police, who have been stationed outside the gates since the revolution began, have seen to it that crowds have never been allowed to collect there.

In the last few days even the Legation has felt the lack of food. Stores had begun to diminish last week, and one became as saving as possible. A little contribution to their stores was received on Wednesday when DN's expedition arrived with medical supplies, bringing several packets of food which their colleagues at the Viennese Embassy had gathered.

"We must stay indoors as much as possible -to go out on the streets where machine gun blasts are heard at regular intervals and stray bullets whistle would be foolish in the present situation," said Embassy chief Stig Rynell, who has his wife and three youngest [col. 5/col. 6] children with him at the Legation. Two more infants are also in the villa -they belong to Rune Ek, and he and his wife Marianne were strongly tempted to send their children home on the DN plane, but they refrained in the hope that the situation in this part of the city would not become threatening.

Lord Sigvard Kruuse of Verchou, who lives in the house with his wife Emy, has during the entire length of the revolt had his mother with him, Lady Frida Kruuse of Verchou.

She came down for a short visit immediately before the revolt broke out and illness delayed her return until all connections were severed.

The DN plane, the only civil airplane which hitherto had received the rebel government's permission to land in Hungary became a possible means of transport. There is one more Swede to be found in the Legation -Margareta Klingspor, a clerk.

Besides the residents there are also some Swedish journalists -how many it is impossible to say for sure. In addition, Dr. Otto Galambos from Gothenburg, a Swedish citizen but born in Hungary, is at the moment in the city with his parents.

The Social Democratic party's re-elected leader, Anna Kethly, has left for Vienna to take part in a meeting with the Socialistic International Bureau, to discuss the new situation which has arisen in eastern Europe. According to Budapest radio, it is the first time in nine years that

the Hungarian Social Democratic party has had contact with other lands' Social Democrats. [67 (p.10, col. 6)/117 (p.1, col. 7)]



(UP)-The coalition government of Nagy today sent a delegation headed by Zoltan Tildy to confer with Cardinal Mindszenty. The latter received the delegation in his palace after recording an address to the nation in which he begged for the re-establishment of peace.

It is said by informative [col. 7/col. 8] palace sources that Mindszenty declared to the delegation that he was trying to form a Christian democratic party that would have representation in the cabinet, and that he could not think of supporting the present government if this were not realized. It is Mindszenty's purpose, according to informants, that such a party would include all Christians, in other words, Protestants as well as Catholics. It is believed that the former are no more than 20 per cent of the population of the country, while Catholics are about 65 per cent.

The Cardinal also indicated that he was disposed to accept a coalition government which would include the "Hungarian Tito Communists." When asked by the United Press correspondent if he would personally accept an office in a future government, the prelate limited himself to answering, "Perhaps." [117 (p. 1, col. 8)]

1. Reprinted from One Day in the World's Press [November 1, 1956], ed. Wilbur Schramm with the permission of the publishers, Stanford University Press. Copyright 1959 by the Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. pp.33, 55, 59, 67, 68, 117.

2. Trybuna Ludu (Warsaw), p. 3 (cols. 1-2). Translated by Anthony Kawczynski.

3. Rudé Právo (Prague), p.3 (cols. 4-6). Translated by V. J. Kovalik.

4. Dagens Nyhefer (Stockholm), pp. 1 (cols. 1-2) - 10 (cols. 1-4), 1 (col. 3) - 11 (cols. 4-6), 10 (cols. 5-6). Translated by Shirley Strom.

5. La Prensa (Buenos Aires), p. 1 (Cols. 7-8). Translated by the staff of the Hispanic American Report.

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