The Historical Text Archive: Electronic History Resources, online since 1990 Bringing you digitized history, primary and secondary sources
 
HTA Home Page | E-books | Europe | Appendices: The Problem of Hungary

Appendices: The Problem of Hungary

<< Glossary || TOC


Appendices: The Problem of Hungary

United Nations Committee Reports on the Hungarian Uprising (1)
The Students' Sixteen Points
Copy this and spread it among the Hungarian Workers
The Sixteen Political, Economic and Ideological Points of the Resolution adopted at the Plenary Meeting of the Building Industry Technological University

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

1. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all Soviet troops in accordance with the provisions of the Peace Treaty.

2. We demand the election of new 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 Rákosi 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 Judgment.

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 conditions and to the vital interests of the Hungarian people.

8. Our foreign trade agreements and the real figures in respect of reparations that can never be paid should be made public. We demand frank and sincere information concerning the country's uranium deposits, their exploitation 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 intellectuals. We demand that minimum living wages for workers should be fixed.

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 circulation for the MEFESZ [League of Hungarian University and College Student Associations] 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 Hungarian 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 he a national holiday 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 connection 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 convene a Youth Parliament in Budapest for the 27th of this month (Saturday) at which the entire youth of this country will be represented by their delegates. The students of the Technological University and of the various other Universities will gather in the Gorkij Fasor before the Writers' Union Headquarters tomorrow, the 23rd of this month, at 2.30 p.m., whence they will proceed to the Palffy Ter (Bem Ter) 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 procession.


The Sixteen Points: Demands of the University Students

The Writer's Demands

The Chronology of the Hungary Question at the United Nations

WHEN the General Assembly established a five-nation fact-finding committee in January 1957 to gather information on the Hungarian revolt and its suppression, it was generally recognized that the assignment was an extremely difficult one. Some opinion tended toward the view that it was a virtually impossible task, considering the position taken by the Soviet Union and the Hungarian authorities. The mandate to the Committee was explicit, but the problem of where and how to begin the study was a large one. The new Hungarian Government headed by Janos Kadar flatly refused to permit the Committee or its staff to enter Hungary, on the grounds that the political and military developments following the uprising were an "internal" affair, and that establishment of the Committee was an "illegal" act in violation of the United Nations Charter. The evidence, therefore, had to be gathered outside the country from reliable and knowledgeable sources.

Five months after it came into being, the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary reported its findings. The evidence showed that the revolt which began in October 1956 was a spontaneous national uprising, and that it had no outside assistance; that the Soviet Union intervened twice, first to crush the up rising, and a second time to overthrow the legal and popularly supported Hungarian Government; and that the Kádár regime installed by the Soviet Union did not have the confidence or approval of the Hungarian people.

These conclusions are the core of the historic Committee report released on June 20, 1957. It is a clear and concise document of 148 printed pages, summarizing testimony from 111 eyewitnesses, information from governments which had diplomatic establishments in Hungary during the course of the revolt, memoranda provided by non-governmental organizations, official Hungarian and Soviet statements, and broadcasts of official and unofficial Hungarian radio stations. The verbatim record of hearings runs to some 2,000 pages.

Members of the five-nation Committee were K. C. 0. Shann of Australia (Rapporteur), R. S. S. Gunewardene of Ceylon, Alsing Andersen of Denmark (Chairman), Mongi Slim of Tunisia, and Enrique Rodríguez Fabregat of Uruguay. There was no minority report and no dissent from the general conclusions. Questioned at a press conference on this unanimity, the Committee Rapporteur declared: "I do not suppose there was any particular unanimity amongst the members of the Committee for some time. It took us some time to get into the work. It took us quite a long time to make up our minds what had happened. But after a certain period, general unanimity in the Committee as to the broad outlines of what took place in Hungary existed, and continued to exist right through to the end."

Spontaneous Uprising

The Committee found that what took place in Hungary in October and November 1956 was a spontaneous national uprising which developed from "long-standing grievances which had caused resentment among the people." One of these grievances was the inferior status of Hungary in its relations with the Soviet Union. The system under which the Hungarian people were governed was reinforced by "the weapon of terror" wielded by the secret police and "a complex network of agents and informers permeating the whole of Hungarian society." Soviet pressure was resented in other respects also. "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 Soviet soldiers, the report notes, "but these armed forces were symbols of something which annoyed a proud people and fed the desire to be free."

The claim made in support of Soviet intervention that the uprising was fomented by "reactionary" circles in Hungary and that it drew its strength from outside "imperialists" failed to survive the Committee's examination. "From start to finish," the report declares, "the uprising was led by students, workers, soldiers and intellectuals, many of whom were communists or former communists." Most of the political demands put for ward during the revolt included, in fact, stipulations that "democratic socialism" should be the basis of the Hungarian political structure, and that such social achievements as the land reform were to be safeguarded. At no time was any proposal made for return to power of any person associated with prewar days. "Fascists" and "saboteurs" from the outside could not possibly have entered the country under conditions prevailing at the frontiers or have landed at the airports which were under Soviet supervision.

It was the universal testimony of witnesses that the uprising was not planned, and that developing events took the participants by surprise. "No single explanation can determine exactly why the outbreak occurred just when it did," the report says. But communist spokesmen, including Janos Kadar, had recognized both the grievances of the Hungarian people prior to October 23, and the "broad, popular movement" which was caused by bitterness and indignation. The Committee concluded that two factors seem to have brought popular resentment to a head. The first was the news of a successful Polish move for greater independence from the Soviet Union. This news was largely instrumental in bringing Hungarian students together in the meetings of October 22. The second factor was the acute disappointment felt by the people when the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers' (communist) Party in a speech on October 23 failed to meet any of the popular demands and adopted what was considered a truculent tone toward his hearers.

Though the uprising was not planned in advance, and though its whole development "bears the hallmark of continuous improvisation," Soviet authorities had taken steps as early as October 20 to make armed intervention possible. Troop movements and projected troop movements were noted from that date on. The Committee found that Soviet troops from outside Hungary were employed even in the first intervention, and that 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.

Peaceful Demonstrations

When the demonstrations began on October 23 they were "entirely peaceful," the investigation found. None of the demonstrators appears to have carried arms, and there was no evidence of any kind that resort to force was intended. For the transition of the peaceful demonstrations into an armed uprising, the actions of the AVH (security police) in firing on the people outside the Radio Building were largely responsible. Within a few hours Soviet tanks were in action against the Hungarians. The appearance of Soviet soldiers in their midst, not as friendly allies but as enemies in combat, "had the effect of still further uniting the people."

Regarding the request alleged to have been sent out by the Hungarian Government to Soviet authorities for assistance in quelling the uprising by force, the Committee report observes that Prime Minister Imre Nagy "has denied, with every appearance of truth, that he issued this invitation or was even aware of it." Since Soviet tanks appeared in the streets of Budapest at approximately 2 a.m. on October 24, the Committee declared, "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." Nor was any evidence uncovered which might substantiate the claim of Janos Kadar that he had invited the second Soviet intervention. There was "abundant evidence," however, that Soviet preparations for further intervention, including the movement of Soviet troops and armor, had been under way for some time. The report observes that "Mr. Kadar and his Ministers were absent from Budapest during the first few days after he formed his government, and administrative instructions to the people of Hungary were issued by the commanders of the Soviet troops."

People's Initiative

When Imre Nagy became Prime Minister, the Committee said, he was not in the beginning able to exercise the full powers of that office because of the influence of the AVH (security police). Only when the grip of the AVH was loosened by the victory of the insurgents was he able to take an independent stand. "By this time, the real power in Hungary lay with the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils, which had sprung up spontaneously in various parts of the country to replace the collapsing communist party structure." Though a communist of long standing, Mr. Nagy invited non-communists into his new government and listened to the demands of the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils. The Prime Minister himself, like the country at large, was surprised by the pace of developments. "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 insurgents." Although Mr. Nagy had not instigated the uprising and was never its actual leader, he became a symbolic figure.

The few days of freedom enjoyed by the Hungarian people "provided ample evidence" of the popular nature of the uprising. A free press and a free radio came to life throughout the country, and there was general rejoicing over the disbanding of the security police. Steps were taken by the Workers' Councils to give the workers real control of nationalized industrial undertakings and to abolish unpopular institutions such as production norms, which were widely resented as being unfair to workers and interpreted as an indication of secret trade agreements for the benefit of the Soviet Union. During these days of freedom, while negotiations went on for the withdrawal of Soviet troops, attempts were made to clear the streets of battle debris, and life was beginning to return to normal. There were a number of beatings and lynchings by crowds during this period, in almost all cases confined to attacks on members of the AVH or those who were believed to have cooperated with them.

Violations of Rights

Regarding the violations of basic human rights prior to the uprising, particularly up to the autumn of 1955, the Committee said that on the evidence it was convinced that numerous accounts of inhuman treatment and torture by the AVH were true. Also on the evidence, it had to be acknowledged that numbers of Hungarians, including women and children, were deported to the Soviet Union. These deportations were designed to break the back of the revolution. The momentary success of the uprising succeeded in ridding the country for a few days of the apparatus of police terror, but this democratic achievement succumbed to the counter revolution, with Soviet armed forces setting up Janos Kadar and his colleagues "in opposition to a Government which enjoyed the overwhelming support of the people of Hungary."

Following the second Soviet intervention on November 4, the Committee found, there was no indication of any popular support for the Kadar Government. Violations of basic human rights were reinstituted. Mr. Kadar successively abandoned most of the points contained in the revolutionary program which he at first promised to the Hungarian people. In the beginning he accepted the popular demand that Soviet troops should be withdrawn, but soon refused to discuss the matter further. "Against the workers, he has proceeded step by step to destroy their power and that of the Workers' Councils," with capital punishment now applicable to strike activities, the report states. The Social Democratic Party was again forcibly liquidated. General elections were postponed for two years. Writers and intellectuals were subjected to repressive measures. Of the 190,000 Hungarians who fled the country, mostly young people, "only a small fraction" returned.

Soviet action in Hungary, the Committee concluded, was a massive armed intervention by one power on the territory of another," with the avowed intention of interfering in its internal affairs.

Background of Revolt

Political developments in Hungary leading up to the events of October-November 1956 were these:

A general election was fought in 1945 by six political parties authorized by the Allied Control Commission, five of whom won seats in Parliament. The Small-holders Party won 245 seats, the Social Democrats 69, the Communists 70, the National Peasants 23 and the Democratic Party 2. The four major parties formed a coalition, but communist influence steadily asserted itself. By 1948, the Committee report recalls, leaders of non-communist parties "had been silenced, had fled abroad, or had been arrested." In 1949 Hungary officially became a "People's Democracy," with real power in the hands of Mátyás Rákosi, a communist trained in Moscow. Under his regime "free speech and individual liberty ceased to exist," with arbitrary imprisonment becoming commonplace. Purges took place both within and outside the communist party. In June 1949 Foreign Minister László Rajk was arrested, charged with attempting to overthrow the regime, and hanged. Numerous others were victims of similar actions. These purges were facilitated by the apparatus of the security police.

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 independence and a relaxation of police rule. In March of that year, Rákosi announced that the Supreme Court had found that Lász1ó Rajk and others had been condemned on "fabricated charges." This official admission of crimes by the regime had profound repercussions. Rákosi was dismissed in July, and in the presence of large crowds Rajk and other victims of the 1949 trials were reburied with ceremony. Rákosi was succeeded as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the party by Ernö Gerö, and Hungarians looked for a softening of the regime.

As early as 1955 protests against the dictatorial regime had been voiced by Hungarian writers. These protests mainly concerned the doctrine of party allegiance in literature. Although a number of writers were arrested, the scope of the protests gradually widened to take in other grievances of the Hungarian people. On October 19, 1956, the Minister of Education announced certain changes as a result of requests put forward by Hungarian students, one of which concerned abolition of compulsory teaching of the Russian language in schools. This announcement, the Committee report observes, was followed by student demands of more far-reaching character in Szeged and other towns. News of developments in Poland was received with enthusiasm.

The Committee found evidence that as early as October 20 steps were being taken by Soviet authorities for use of armed force in Hungary, though the mass demonstrations did not occur until three days later. On October 20 and 21 floating bridges were assembled at Zahony on the Hungarian-Soviet frontier. On October 21 and 22, in neighboring areas of Romania, Soviet officers on leave, as well as reserve officers speaking Hungarian, were recalled to duty. Soviet forces in western Hungary were observed moving toward Budapest on October 22.

On that same date a number of student meetings were held in Budapest. At the most important of these meetings, students of Building Industry Technologcal University adopted a list of sixteen demands(2) which expressed their views on national policy. They included the immediate withdrawal of all Soviet troops, the reconstituting of the Government under Imre Nagy (who had served as Prime Minister from 1953 to 1955), free elections, freedom of expression, reestablishment of political parties, and sweeping changes in the conditions of workers and peasants. It was learned 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 statue of General Bem, a hero of Hungary's 1848-49 War of Independence, who was of Polish origin. The students decided to organize a silent demonstration of sympathy on the same occasion.

Early next morning, the Committee report recounts, the students' demands became known throughout Budapest. Radio Budapest referred to the planned demonstration, and later announced a communiqué from the Minister of the Interior prohibiting it. However, the ban was lifted in the early afternoon, when the demonstration was already under way. Thousands of young people took part, including students, factory workers, soldiers in uniform and others. A similar demonstration took place at the statue of Sandor Petöfi (a nationally honored Hungarian poet, 1823-49). At the statue of General Bem, the President of the Writers' Union, Péter Veres, read a manifesto to the crowd, which also heard a proclamation of the student's "sixteen demands." Most of the crowd later crossed the Danube to join demonstrators outside the Parliament Building. By 6 p.m. between 200,000 and 300,000 persons were gathered at this site. Repeated calls for Imre Nagy eventually brought the former Premier, and he addressed the crowd briefly from a balcony of the Parliament Building.

Incendiary First Shots

Up to this point there had been nothing to suggest that the crowds would not disperse in due course and return home. But at 8 p.m. the First Secretary of the Central Committee, Erno Gero, who that morning had returned from a visit to Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, broadcast a speech. "The general hope," says the report, "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 about this time, another crowd had undertaken to carry out one of the students' demands -the removal of the statue of Stalin. By 9.30 p.m. they had overturned it from its pedestal.

On the evening of October 22 some of the students had tried to have their demands broadcast by Budapest Radio. The censor, however, had been unwilling to broadcast demands for free elections and withdrawal of Soviet troops, and the students would not agree to have their demands expurgated.

The following day a number of students went again to the Radio Building with the intention of making an other effort to have their demands broadcast. What followed, in the words of the report, was this:

"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 rumor 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. Insofar 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 defenseless 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."

Meanwhile, workers from Csepel, Ujpest and other working-class districts heard of the situation by telephone. They seized trucks and drove into Budapest, obtaining arms on the way from friendly soldiers or police, or from military barracks and arms factories known to them. Starting at about 11 p.m., the Radio Building came under attack with light arms. At midnight the radio aunounced that clashes had taken place at various points in the city. Early on October 24 the demonstrators seized the Radio Building, but were driven out again. Elsewhere in the city the AVH guards opened fire on unarmed demonstrators. While fighting was in progress at the Radio Building, the first Soviet tanks made their appearance in Budapest -about 2 a.m.- and soon went into action, though no official announcement of the Soviet intervention was made until seven hours later. Radio announcements gave the impression that Imre Nagy, appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers during the night, had invited the Soviet intervention, even though it was clear he held no responsible office at the time the invitation would have to have been made.

Armed Uprising

First shots at the Radio Building marked the beginning of a bitter five-day battle in which the people of Budapest found themselves in combat with Soviet armor and with the AVH. The ordinary police sympathized with the insurgents and gave them weapons or fought at their side. The Hungarian army as a whole began to disintegrate with the start of the uprising. Wherever they could do so, Hungarian soldiers gave weapons and ammunition to their compatriots, and in many instances deserted to join them,"sometimes in complete units. "There was no single instance recorded," the Committee determined, "of Hungarian troops fighting on the Soviet side against their fellow countrymen." The Hungarian resistance was composed primarily of workers and students. They usually fought in small groups. Against Soviet tanks the "Molotov cocktail" -a simple bomb made of gasoline- was used with effectiveness. The tanks had difficulty in maneuvering in the narrow streets, and the mechanized forces had insufficient supplies and infantry support. There was evidence that some of the Russian soldiers disliked the task assigned to them; many of them had established friendly relations with the Hungarian population. Most of the then available Soviet forces had been sent to Budapest, and there was comparatively little fighting in the provinces.

In the capital, the first few days of the uprising were marked by the transfer of power from the communist bureaucracy to the new Revolutionary and Workers' Councils. In most instances these Councils took over without opposition the various responsibilities of local government. There were also Revolutionary Councils or Committees in the army, in government departments, and in professional groups and centres of activity such as the radio and telegraph operations. The most influential of these bodies probably was the Transdanubian National Council, representing the people of Western Hungary. Using the Free Radio Station at Györ, this Council demanded that Hungary should denounce the Warsaw Treaty and proclaim her neutrality. Workers' Councils sprang up in industrial plants of various kinds, in factories and mines. Their principal purpose was to secure for the workers a real share in the management of enterprise and to set up machinery to protect their interests. The emergence of the Councils throughout the country "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."

Imre Nagy's Position

Imre Nagy's period of office in the premiership from 1953 to 1955 had been marked by a loosening of controls imposed earlier by Rakosi. He had been attacked as a deviationist, and while he escaped trial, he was expelled from the communist party and divested of all his offices. In the minds of numerous Hungarian com munists his name came to stand for more liberal policies, and many wished for his return to public life. Prior to the uprising, Nagy was readmitted to the party. During the formative hours of the demonstrations, his reputation was high with the Hungarian people, though it became somewhat clouded by Budapest Radio's attempt to tie him to the Soviet intervention.

A serious episode occurred on October 25 which embittered the population and further turned popular sympathy away from Nagy. Soviet tanks guarding the Parliament Building opened fire on unarmed demonstrators in support of the AVH. Many people lost their lives, and the incident shocked the nation, which was not aware that Nagy was at that time detained at communist party headquarters. On the same day Erno Gero was replaced by Janos Kadar as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. Subsequently, Gero fled to Soviet territory. The former Premier, András Hegedüs, also fled from communist headquarters.

Mr. Nagy was now free to move to the Parliament Building, and on October 27 he formed a Government into which he invited both communist and non-communist ministers. The noncommunists were serving in a personal non-party capacity, and several "Stalinists" were retained. The Central Committee of the party now aunounced that the Government would start negotiations for immediate withdrawal.of Soviet forces.

Fighting stopped on October 28, largely on terms offered by the insurgents. The Prime Minister announced he would abolish the AVH after the restoration of order. Popular resentment against the AVH was so deep, however, that Mr. Nagy carried out his promise without further conditions on October 29, and as a result he was for the first time free of control by the state security police. The following day Mr. Nagy announced that the Cabinet had abolished the one-party system. Speaking in the name of the communist party, Janos Kadar, still First Secretary of the Central Committee, agreed with this step, to avoid "further bloodshed." Plans were launched for free elections.

"Once the AVH had been disbanded," the Committee found, "Mr. Nagy felt free to explain his actions on and immediately after October 24." These clarifications, and the various steps he had taken, served to dispel popular doubts about his attitude toward the uprising, and his popularity quickly returned. Soviet armed forces began to withdraw from Budapest on October 30.

As for the communist party, it realized that a drastic overhaul of methods would be required to regain the confidence of the Hungarian people. Mr. Kadar announced that a reformed party was in the making. 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." He urged the newly formed parties to "overcome the danger" of intervention from abroad by consolidating the Government. "We do not want to be dependent any longer," he declared; "we do not want our country to become a battlefield."

On November 3 the Government was again reconstituted. Three ministries each were allotted to the communists, the Social Democrats and the Independent Smallholders, and two to the Petöfi Party. The parties of the new caretaker Government were the same which in 1945 had received the blessings of the Allied Control Commission, of which the USSR was a member. It was announced that they were agreed that the Government would retain such socialist achievements as could be used in a free, democratic and socialist country, in accordance with the will of the people.

Neutrality, Second Intervention

The Prime Minister told the Soviet Ambassador on November 1 that authoritative information had arrived confirming the entry of new Soviet military units in Hungary. He declared that this was a violation of the Warsaw Treaty, which the Hungarian Government would denounce if the reinforcements were not withdrawn. The Soviet Ambassador stated later that day that the new troops had entered only to relieve the Russian forces who had been fighting, and to protect the Russian civilian population in the country. He said the Soviet Government was ready to negotiate a partial withdrawal, and suggested that two delegations be appointed, one to discuss political, the other technical, questions. At 2 p.m. that day Mr. Nagy informed the Soviet Ambassador that more Russian troops had crossed the border. For this reason and effective immediately, he declared, Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Treaty. At 4 p.m. the Council of Ministers, including János Kádár, approved the action without dissent and adopted a declaration of neutrality for the country. This information was conveyed to heads of diplomatic missions in Budapest. They were informed also that the Prime Minister had communicated with the United Nations, asking for the aid of the four Great Powers in defence of Hungary's neutrality. The declaration itself was broadcast by Mr. Nagy that evening.

Negotiations continued, meanwhile, for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. By the afternoon of November 3 agreement seemed close, with only some technical details remaining to be settled. A Hungarian delegation, consisting of the Minister of Defence, the Minister of State, the Chief of Staff and another military representative, was invited to settle the remaining details at the Soviet Military Command at Tököl, near Budapest, at 10 p.m. The Hungarian negotiators attended a banquet given for them by Soviet military representatives at Tököl. At approximiately midnight, General Serov, Chief of the Soviet Security Police, entered the banquet room accompanied by NKVD officers and ordered the arrest of the Hungarian delegation.

Soviet armored forces continued to advance toward Budapest in battle formation. It was estimated that 2,500 Soviet tanks and 1,000 supporting vehicles were in Hungary by this time. Mr. Nagy, who was not yet aware of what had happened at Tököl, was still awaiting word from his negotiators, and he gave specific in structions that the invading Soviet forces were not to be fired upon. These instructions were not changed until news was received that Janos Kadar had set up a rival Hungarian Government. The Prime Minister then announced over the radio that Soviet troops had attacked the capital "with the obvious intention of overthrowing the legal Hungarian Democratic Government." He declared that the Government was at its post and that Hungarian troops were in combat. The Hungarian Army, the National Guard and groups of freedom fighters, equipped mostly with light arms, fought side by side against the advancing tanks. By 8 a.m. of November 4, Soviet tanks had broken through the defences of Budapest. Bitter fighting continued in various parts of the capital until the evening of November 6, with some resistance continuing both inside and outside the city several more days.

Mr. Nagy took refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy on the evening of November 4, and Soviet commanders assumed control of the Government. They issued orders to the Hungarian people regarding the surrender of arms, movements in the streets, supply of food, and other matters normally within the province of civil administration.

Soviet Military Occupation

"Having taken over Hungary by armed intervention," the report of the General Assembly's Special Committee states, "the Soviet authorities were compelled by reason of the administrative vacuum to administer a country whose popularly supported Government they had overthrown. The Soviet-installed Government of Mr. Kadar commanded no following in the country, with the exception of individual members of the former AVH, a few senior officers of the Hungarian Army, and a small segment of former communist patty 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."

Confronted by this nationwide resistance, the Soviet military command resorted to mass arrests. Many apprehended persons had not been directly involved in the fighting. In numerous cases, captives were not turned over to Hungarian authorities, but loaded onto trains or trucks and deported, under Russian escort, to the Soviet Union.

When Janos Kadar announced the formation of his "Hungarian Revolutionary Worker-Peasant Government" he had with him three former members of the Nagy cabinet. They declared they had left the Government because of its inability to fight "the counter-revolutionary danger." The purpose of the new Government, they said, was to defeat "fascism and reaction." Mr. Kadar declared that reactionary elements were seeking to overthrow socialism in Hungary and restore capitalists and landowners to power, and that he had requested the help of Soviet troops to defeat these "reactionary forces." He gave no explanation of his reversal of position since his broadcast supporting Mr. Nagy on November 1. "There is no evidence," the report states, "that he had taken any steps to disassociate himself from Mr. Nagy's policies or to resign from his Government." It is known that Mr. Kadar visited the Soviet Embassy after his broadcast on November 1, and that he and his Ministers were briefly in Moscow some time prior to their taking the oath of office on November 7.

The Committee found no evidence to suggest that any Hungarian group opposed the actions of Imre Nagy, which in most cases merely reflected what the Revolutionary and Workers' Councils had insisted upon from the beginning of the uprising. All the evidence shows that the Soviet troops fought alone against the Hungarians, except for some former members of the AVH and a small group of former party officials. Among the new Soviet troops who came in with the second intervention were a considerable number from distant regions of Central Asia, many of whom believed at first Anglo-French "imperialists." It would seem, says the report, "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."

Nagy's Abduction

Shortly after Imre Nagy took refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy, he was joined there by other leading Hungarians, along with fifteen women and seventeen children. During negotiations which ensued between the Yugoslav Government and Mr. Kadar, the Yugoslav Government proposed that 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 suggestion by Mr. Kadar that they should seek asylum in Romania was rejected by Mr. Nagy. Other demands which Mr. Nagy rejected were that he should resign from his position in the Government, offer a self-criticism of his activities, and should declare himself in sympathy with the Kadar regime.

Eventually the Yugoslav Government declared that it would agree to the departure of Mr. Nagy and his friends only if Mr. Kadar, as President of the Hungarian Government, guaranteed in writing that the party would be granted safe conduct to proceed freely to their respective homes. In reply, Kadar confirmed in writing that the Hungarian Government did not desire to apply sanctions against Nagy and the members of his group for their past activities. What followed, in the words of the Committee report, was this:

"The next day, November 22 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 ascertain that Mr. Nagy and his party reached their homes as agreed. The bus was driven to the headquarters of the Soviet Military Command, where a Russian lieutenant colonel ordered the two Yugoslav officials to leave. The bus then drove away to an unknown destination escorted by Soviet armored cars."

The Yugoslav Government, in a note verbale, condemned the Hungarian action as "a flagrant breach" of agreement. The note recalled that Mr. Nagy and his party had refused to go to Romania, and it condemned the Hungarian move as completely contrary to the generally accepted practices of international law. Nevertheless, Mr. Kadar's Government announced publicly that Mr. Nagy and some of his colleagues who had sought asylum in the Yugoslav Embassy had gone to Romania in accordance with their own request.

Deportations to USSR

As a result of its study of eye-witness testimony and other confirming evidence, the Committee reached the conclusion that "beyond doubt, deportations to the Soviet Union had indeed taken place. . . . in considerable numbers," and that official statements denying the deportations were not in accordance with the facts. Among the witnesses were seven men and boys and one young girl, a first-aid nurse, who had been among the deportees. In addition, the Committee heard from a number of others who had been placed in deportation trains, but who had been liberated by Hungarian workers or freedom fighters. Some of the evidence was given by persons who had helped to stop trains or trucks to liberate prisoners.

The deportations began after the second Soviet intervention. Witnesses declared that on some days several trainloads of prisoners left Budapest. Deportation trains were reported to have arrived in the Soviet Union as late as mid-December, and some Hungarians are believed to have been deported in January of this year.

Most of the arrests in Budapest 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 report states, "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 in which fifty people were liberated from a truck; following this, Russian soldiers arrested fifty other people to take their place. Some of the deportees were seized in resistance centres, others in house-to-house searches after the fighting had ended. In some cases the entire Revolutionary Council in a town or the whole Workers' Council in a factory was taken.

The prisoners were carried in trucks or armored cars to political prisons or other assembly places such as underground halls at the railroad stations, military barracks and churches. Most of the deportation trains passed through Zahony, the frontier station between Hungary and the Soviet Union, but some trains were also reported to have crossed into Romania. The trains to the Soviet Union usually consisted of from twenty to thirty sealed freight cars or cattle trucks, with thirty to seventy persons in each car. Soviet troops guarded every car, and the engine drivers sometimes were Russian.

Messages to Kin

Many of the prisoners threw notes out of the cars appealing for help, giving their names and addresses so that their families could be notified. A considerable number of messages were picked up by Hungarian railroad workers and forwarded to families of the deportees. When freedom fighters stopped a deportation train by removing the rails or setting signals, heavy fighting usually took place before the captives were liberated, but in one instance the Russian guards fled without resistance.

The eight witnesses who had been taken to the Soviet Union were imprisoned at Uzgorod. Other captives were taken, reportedly, to prisons in Mukacevo and Kolomea in the same district, and to Stryj. Guards informed them that Uzgorod was a place of assembly for prisoners who were to be taken eastward from that point. The Uzgorod prison was believed to hold 2,000 Hungarians prisoner at a time when it was filled.

In general, the Committee heard, the treatment given to deportees in the Soviet prisons was better than in Hungarian prisons. Food and general conditions improved after their arrival, and they were not obliged to perform forced labor. They were taken from the crowded cells only for interrogation or for exercise in the yards. Witnesses testified that Russian guards showed sympathy and friendliness.

Interrogations were conducted by Russian officers and members of the NKVD. "In the opinion of the witnesses," the report says, "the principal purpose of the interrogations was to obtain information about the cause 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 witnesses that the interrogations were not aimed at determining the guilt or innocence of the individual prisoners, but rather at finding out why the Hungarian people rose in arms and how they had succeeded in doing so."

Of the eight deportees questioned by the Committee, one had succeeded in escaping from the Soviet Union with five friends. The other seven had been returned by January 5. After arriving in Hungary they were kept in prisons for periods of from a few days to several weeks. Their decision to escape from Hungary arose from their fear of further arrest.

The Committee estimated that the number of persons deported ran into the thousands, and it was unable to find evidence that many of them have been returned to Hungary.

Developments Under Kadar

In an effort to win popular support, Mr. Kadar declared that the policy of his Government would include implementation of various demands made during the uprising, including raising the standard of living, factory management by Workers' Councils, and the abolition of compulsory agricultural deliveries by the peasants. These promises failed to satisfy the Hungarian people, who continued to press for withdrawal of Soviet troops, for free elections, and for the return of Nagy. Industrial production had been completely disrupted and continued to deteriorate, since the workers refused to return to the factories unless the Government gave evidence it would comply with their demands. Workers' Councils still remained the principal chaunels through which demands were conveyed to the Kadar regime. On November 14 the factory Councils established the Greater Budapest Workers' Council in order to present a united front. "It became clear from the Government's attitude," the report says, "that it was in no position to satisfy the workers' demands."

Meanwhile new security forces were organized, including among their numbers many former members of the AVH. Arrests of members of the Workers' Councils began, and party personnel were infiltrated into key posts of the Councils. When the greater Budapest Council called for a forty-eight-hour strike to take place on December 11 and 12, the Government decreed the abolition of all Councils above the factory level. Decrees were also issued instituting the death penalty for a large category of offences, including participation in strikes.

Factories had been almost entirely idle for about two months. Because of a slow-down strike of the coal miners, electric power plants were able to produce only a minimum of electricity. But by mid-December, dire necessity forced a resumption of work. The Hungarian workers now found themselves in factories and mines policed by Russian soldiers.

A State Information Office to control the press was inaugurated, the Revolutionary Council of Intellectuals was dissolved, and the Petofi Club ceased to function. The Writers' Union, which had branded the Soviet intervention a "historic mistake," was disbanded. By the beginning of 1957 non-communist organizations had in effect been barred from any role in public life. The mandate of the present Hungarian Assembly was due to expire last May 17, but an amendment of the Constitution postponed its termination for two more years.

The Committee observed in its report that it was twice refused permission by the Kadar Government to enter Hungary in pursuance of its fact-finding mission. This not only compelled the Committee to gather its testimony from persons outside that country, but deprived it of an opportunity of hearing representatives of the Kadar Government express their views directly. Nevertheless, it declared, in its effort to present an objective picture of developments it felt obliged to include in the report a representation of the opfnions expressed by the Government of the USSR and that of Mr. Kadar.

No evidence was found that either of them had published anything in the nature of an objective statement of the facts behind the uprising, the Committee declared. But there are various indications that the Soviet authorities "were baffled by the spontaneous uprising of the Hungarian people" and that they did try to obtain information on it from various sources 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" seems to have caused misgivings. Some Hungarians received the impression that their interrogators were not unsympathetic.

The memorandum circulated by the Hungarian delegation to the United Nations on February 4 alleged that the aim of the Hungarian "counter-revolution" was to "reinstate the system of capitalists and estate owners, who have never given up hope since their defeat in 1945." A Pravda article suggested that no one regarding himself as a Marxist could fail to understand that a radical change in Hungary's political system would inevitably mean the restoration of capitalism. Spokesmen for the USSR and Mr. Kadar have acknowledged a number of legitimate grievances about which the Hungarian people had complained before and after the date of the revolt. "These concerned manifest errors and shortcomings of the Government headed by Rakosi, who failed, as did his successors, to meet even the most justified demands."

But the Kadar-Soviet view maintains that reactionary elements within Hungary and "imperialist circles" abroad took advantage of such legitimate grievances and the unrest they generated "to mislead the people and to strive by violence to overthrow the People's Democratic Republic."

Kadar Government "White Book"

In the Hungarian White Book on the uprising, The Counter-Revolutionary Forces in the October Events in Hungary, Rakosi policy is described as "criminal." It is said to have aroused "deep indignation and a broad popular movement." However, the White Book asserts, "the dark forces of the counter-revolution tried from the very beginning to take advantage of the movement

...in order to overthrow the people's power" [italics in original]. The Soviet Union's Minister of Foreign Affairs, D. T. Shepilov, told the United Nations General Assembly on November 22: "For the first time since the defeat of fascism in the Second World War, 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." The Hungarian White Book charges that the instigators of the armed uprising were "foreign agents, Horthyite emigrés and leaders of the underground organizations in the country, who took an organized part in the mass demonstrations and increasingly assumed a leading role in them. . . . The only possibility of saving popular power and eliminating the threat of a new, devastating war in the Danube Valley was to suppress counter-revolution." The White Book declared that the real objectives of the uprising were quite different from its publicly announced aims. Only the assistance of Soviet troops, it is claimed, enabled the true leaders of Hungary to throw back the armed forces of reaction.

Against Public Will

Despite the Soviet Union's and the Kadar Government's self-justification, however, the Committee found the interventions to be against popular will.

"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 negotiated 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.

"It is no less incontrovertible," the report says, "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.

"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 postwar 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."

The Committee did not find that Hungarian feelings and aspirations were antagonistic to the USSR as a state, or to the Soviet people as individuals. Furthermore, Hungarian feelings did not exclude sympathy in many quarters for a number of features of the Soviet economic and social system.

How the Committee Worked

The Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary was established on January 10. It held its first meeting one week later at United Nations Headquarters and elected Alsing Andersen as Chairman and K. C. 0. Shann as Rapporteur. It had been charged by the General Assembly with the duty of assembling "the fullest and best available information regarding the situation created by the intervention of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, turough 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."

Following a preliminary examination of available documentation; the Committee gave hearings to thirty-five witnesses at United Nations Headquarters, after which it went to Europe. From March 11 to April 16 it held meetings in Geneva, and thereafter in Rome, Vienna, London and again in Geneva. The Committee's last meeting was on June 7 in New York. One hundred and eleven witnesses were heard, including twenty-one in Geneva, sixteen in Rome, thirty in Vienna and nine in London. The first three witnesses were heard in open meetings. They were Miss Anna Kéthly, Minister of State in the Hungarian Government of Imre Nagy; Major-General Bela Kiraly, Military Commander of the City of Budapest and Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard during the uprising; and József Kövágó, Mayor of Budapest during the years 1945-47, and from October 31 to November 4, 1956. These three witnesses and other prominent Hungarians requested the Committee to hear certain other witnesses. Suggestions were also made in this regard by the Governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the hearings various witnesses also proposed the names of persons whose testimony might be taken to confirm or supplement evidence already given.. More than 200 Hungarians wrote letters on their own initiative, asking to be heard.

The witnesses were selected "under the authority of the Chairman and the Rapporteur." The primary consideration on which selections were made was the witnesses' capacity to bring before the Committee evidence based on direct and personal knowledge of the events in Hungary. Attention was paid to ensuring that the witnesses were drawn from all segments of Hungarian life, and from all parts of the country.

Among them, the largest number were skilled and unskilled workers. Many had participated in the revolt as ordinary "freedom fighters," but several had been leaders in various spheres during the uprising. They included members of the Revolutionary Councils in Budapest and the provinces, leading members of the Workers' Councils, engineers, technicians, managers in state enterprises (including the uranium mines in Pecs), and communist and noncommunist intellectuals. There were writers and journalists, an actress, an artist, an architect, professors of law, medicine, philosophy, history, science, technology, economy and agriculture, and several lawyers, including an assistant public prosecutor. Hearings were given to high school and university students of both sexes, including members of students' councils, to officers and soldiers of the Hungarian Army and Air Force, members of the National Guard and ordinary police. Leaders of the revolutionary forces who testified included the Commander and Deputy Commander of the National Guard at Csepel; the Commander of the Corvin Block; the Commander of the revolutionary forces of southern Budapest; and the leader of the "freedom fighters" and guerrilla forces in southwestern Hungary. Doctors and nurses who had cared for the wounded and carried out Red Cross duties also testified. Other witnesses were these: railroad and communications workers, who gave evidence regarding troop movements; government officials, a number of whom had high rank or who were closely associated with Hungarian politicians or cabinet ministers of various parties; and former members of Parliament or leaders of political parties. One man had been a stenographer for the security police.

None of the witnesses had left Hungary before the October revolution. Some had escaped only a few weeks before being heard by the Committee.

Conduct of Hearings

At the beginning of his testimony, each witness would usually give his personal data and background, and would then make an introductory statement regarding events of which he had special knowledge. The witnesses were instructed to give evidence based on first-hand experience. Following the introductory statement, the witnesses were subjected to cross-examination by the Committee members. Some witnesses submitted documents, and some prepared memoranda to support or elaborate their testimony.

"Throughout its work," the report states, "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 reliability of their evidence. The Committee has on many points been in a position to check the testimony of one witness with the testimony of others and with the documentation available. . . . As the hearings progressed, it became possible to put to witnesses questions of a more and more precise nature."

The Committee requested at an early stage, through the Secretary-General, that the Hungarian Government extend assistance or facilities for its work, but permission to enter the country was denied. Later, while in Europe, the Committee renewed its request, with a similar refusal from the Hungarian Government. The Committee requested that it be permitted to interview Imre Nagy, in Romania, an appeal which the Romanian Government rejected.

In concluding comments of the first chapter of the report, the Committee declared:

"The Committee has sought throughout its work to apply to the evidence the tests of authenticity and coherence which provide the essential criteria of the objectivity of any such investigation. While therefore bearing in mind the resolutions df 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 emotional evaluation of the facts. It has endeavored to depict in restrained language the situation as revealed by the evidence received."

1. Reprinted from the United Nations Review, August 1957, Volume 4, Number 2.

2. See list of these demands at the end of this report.


Writers' Demands
Proclamation of the Hungarian Writers' Union
(23 October 1956)

WE HAVE ARRIVED at a historic turning point. We 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 program. The people responsible for this are those who, instead of expanding socialist democracy, are obstinately organizing themselves with the aim of restoring Stalin's and Rakosi's regime of terror in Hungary. 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, peasants and intellectuals 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, and social security conditions 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 cooperatives 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 people, 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 counterrevolutionary attempts and aspirations.

7. The evolution of the situation demands that the People's Patriotic Front 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 spoken.


The Hungary Question in the United Nations

EVENTS in the United Nations leading up to the appointment of the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary were these:

October 28: The Security Council met in an urgently-convened session to consider Hungarian developments. The decision to take up the question was made despite a protest from the Hungarian Government, and over the Soviet Union's negative vote.

November 1: A cable from Premier Imre Nagy asked that the question of Hungary's proclaimed neutrality be put on the agenda of the forthcoming General Assembly session. The cable declared Hungary had denounced the Warsaw Treaty.

November 2: The Security Council met again at the request of the United States, Britain and France. A new communication from Premier Nagy stated that large Soviet military units had moved into Hungary and were marching towards Budapest.

November 3: The Council was informed by the Hungarian representative that negotiations had started in Budapest for the withdrawal of Soviet troops, and the Council adjourned further consideration so as not to impede negotiations.

November 4: In the Security Council, a resolution which would have called on the Soviet Union to end its intervention was vetoed by the Soviet Union. A United States proposal to refer the question to an emergency session of the General Assembly was approved.

The General Assembly, by a vote of 50 in favor, 8 against and 15 abstentions, called on the USSR to end its Hungarian intervention.

November 5: The Secretary-General made public a cable from the new Kadar Government stating that the requests to the United Nations from Mr. Nagy had no legal force.

November 9: By this date the Assembly had passed three more resolutions calling on the USSR to withdraw its forces without delay, asking for free elections in Hungary as soon as possible, requesting the Secretary-General to undertake an investigation of Hungarian conditions, calling on the Soviet Union to halt its activities against the Hungarian people, and giving consideration to relief measures for the Hungarian population.

November 10: The special session resolved to transfer the Hungarian question to the Assembly's regular session.

November 12: The Kadar Government notified the Secretary-General that Hungary would accept relief supplies but not observers.

November 13: The Secretary-General announced he was prepared to go to Hungary himself. In a cable to Budapest be had asked the new Hungarian Government to reconsider its position in regard to United Nations observers.

November 21: The Assembly adopted a resolution sponsored by Ceylon, India and Indonesia which called on Hungary "without prejudice to its sovereignty" to permit United Nations observers to enter. A second resolution sponsored by Cuba urged the Soviet Union and Hungarian authorities to end the deportation of Hungarian citizens.

December 3: The Hungarian Government told the Secretary-General it could not for the time being conduct talks with him in Budapest.

December 5: The Assembly passed another resolution asking the Hungarian and Soviet Governments to advise the Secretary-General by December 7 of their acceptance of observers.

December 7: The Secretary-General told the Assembly he had not yet received a reply.

December 11: The new Hungarian Foreign Minister protested that his Government had been "rudely and disgracefully offended" and that his delegation would not participate further in the work of the eleventh session.

December 12: The Assembly adopted a resolution declaring that the USSR was violating Hungary's political independence. It called on the USSR to desist from any form of intervention in Hungary's internal affairs, to withdraw its armed forces at once, and to permit re-establishment of Hungary's political independence.

January 7: The Secretary-General recommended that a new investigative committee be set up to replace a three-man group he had appointed earlier, which had found it impossible to carry out its work under existing conditions.

January 8: Twenty-four nations jointly sponsored a resolution for establishment of a five member ad hoc committee. The resolution was passed 59 to 8, with 10 abstentions, and the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary came into being.


<< Glossary || TOC