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Hungarian Revolution of 1956: When the Soviet Brutally Crushed the Revolt Against Soviet-Backed Regime in November, 1956

In October 1956, a countrywide massive protest against the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet-imposed policies broke out. The protest lasted for a month and thousands of Hungarians were killed and wounded and thousands of Hungarians fled the country. This event is also known as Hungarian Uprising and it was started by young intellectuals.

Police opened fire on protestors

The nationwide revolt started after the students protested against the government. Thousands of people participated in this protest and they marched towards the Hungarian parliament, calling out on the streets using a van with loudspeakers. A group of students also tried to invade the national radio building to try to broadcast their demands. They were arrested by the police and when the protesters outside the building demanded their release, the police opened fire on the protesters from the building. Many students died at the spot and were wrapped in the flag held above the crowd. This incident fueled countrywide unrest and erupted in violent riots.

The Collapse of Soviet-backed Hungarian Government

The revolt spread quickly and the Hungarian government collapsed. In the fight against the State Security Police and the Soviet army, thousands organized themselves into militias. There were barbaric incidents during the uprising. Many local leaders and members of the state security police were lynched and arrested, while former political detainees were released and armed. Radical impromptu workers wrested control of the city from the Hungarian Working People’s Party and demanded a political change. The new government of Imre Nagy formally dissolved the state security police, announced its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact, and promised to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, protests and fighting had almost stopped. Although, some workers continued fighting in opposition to both the Stalinist regime and the appearances of “bourgeois” parties in its wake.

Soviet invasion and Imre Nagy’s execution

When the revolt was at its peak, the government and Soviet forces agreed to the negotiation. However, as the strength and intensity began to weak, the communist party changed their mind and moved to crush the revolution with an intense force. The Soviet forces invaded Budapest and other parts of the country on November 4. The battle between the rebellions and Soviet Forces began and it continued until November 10. Over 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict and 200. The forces also arrested thousands of people and rebellion leaders. By January 1957, the new Soviet-supported government had suppressed all public opposition. Nagy sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest. He was captured shortly thereafter and executed two years later. These Soviet actions alienated many Western Marxists, leading to splits and considerable losses of membership for Communist parties in capitalist states. However, the US government did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight.

Here below are some historic photos that show what the Hungarian revolution of 1950 looked like.

#1 In Koztarsasag square gunmen fighting for the conquest of the headquarters of the Communist Party during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

In Koztarsasag square gunmen fighting for the conquest of the headquarters of the Communist Party during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

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#2 Insurgents watcing the deceased body of a colonel of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) dead during the clashes. Budapest, November 1956

Insurgents watcing the deceased body  of a colonel of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) dead during the clashes. Budapest, November 1956

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#3 After the occupation of the headquarters of the Communist Party, on the balcony appeared the Hungarian national flag. Budapest, November 1956.

After the occupation of the headquarters of the Communist Party, on the balcony appeared the Hungarian national flag. Budapest, November 1956.

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#4 Tank of the Hungarian insurgents.

Tank of the Hungarian insurgents.

One of the tanks of the Hungarian insurgents that protected the path of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty from the place where he was detained to the archbishop's palace during the revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

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#5 A young insurgent during the revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

A young insurgent  during the revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

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#6 An Hungarian insurgent wounded in the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party is carried on a stretcher during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

An Hungarian insurgent wounded in the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party is carried on a stretcher during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

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#7 Men lying in wait at a street corner during the revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

Men lying in wait at a street corner during the revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

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#8 Member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) surrounded by the enraged crowd during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956.

Member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) surrounded by the enraged crowd during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956.

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#9 A young rebel with two cartridge belts loaded with bullets taking part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

A young rebel with two cartridge belts loaded with bullets taking part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

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#10 A member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) is surrounded by the enraged crowd. Budapest, November 1956

A member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) is surrounded by the enraged crowd. Budapest, November 1956

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#11 Member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) surrounded by the enraged crowd during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

Member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) surrounded by the enraged crowd during the revolt.  Budapest, November 1956

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#12 People gathered around a deceased body in Budapest, 1956

People gathered around a deceased body in Budapest, 1956

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#13 Two Hungarian freedom fighters stand armed by a truck in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Two Hungarian freedom fighters stand armed by a truck in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

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#14 Some insurgents leafing through the documents found on the body of an agent of the Hungarian secret police (AVH). Budapest, November 1956

Some insurgents leafing through the documents found on the body of an agent of the Hungarian secret police (AVH). Budapest, November 1956

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#15 After the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party, on the ground remain the bodies of Hungarian secret police agents (AVH).

After the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party, on the ground remain the bodies of Hungarian secret police agents (AVH).

Next to them, some Marxist books that the crowd had thrown from the windows. Budapest, November 1956

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#16 Revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

Revolt of the Hungarian people against the Soviet tyranny. Budapest, November 1956

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#17 A patriot, wounded during the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party, is transported on a stretcher to the improvised aid stations. Budapest, November 1956

A patriot, wounded during the battle for the headquarters of the Communist Party, is transported on a stretcher to the improvised aid stations. Budapest, November 1956

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#18 A wounded man is led to safety during the revolt. Budapest, November 1956

A wounded man is led to safety during the revolt.  Budapest, November 1956

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#19 Hungarian soldiers off duty two years after the end of the revolution.

Hungarian soldiers off duty two years after the end of the revolution.

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#20 A female Hungarian resistance fighter during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

A female Hungarian resistance fighter during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Photojournalists witness death, starvation, and desolation as Russian forces suppress the anti-communist revolution in Budapest.

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#21 Crowds surround a captured Russian tank during the anti-Communist revolution in Hungary.

Crowds surround a captured Russian tank during the anti-Communist revolution in Hungary.

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#22 Hungarians arrest a member of the secret police during the revolution of 1956

Hungarians arrest a member of the secret police during the revolution of 1956

The secret police were much hated because of their treatment of political prisoners and many of them were lynched in the widespread revenge attacks that took place in 1956.

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#23 Revolutionaries breaking up a Statue of Stalin.

Revolutionaries breaking up a Statue of Stalin.

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#24 A worker keeps guard outside a striking factory during the 1956 anti communist revolution in Hungary.

A worker keeps guard outside a striking factory during the 1956 anti communist revolution in Hungary.

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#25 Hungarian Revolutionaries burning Russian Flag, 1956.

Hungarian Revolutionaries burning Russian Flag, 1956.

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#26 Russian tanks in front of the Kilian Barracks after the invasion of Hungary by Russian troops to suppress the anti-Communist revolution.

Russian tanks in front of the Kilian Barracks after the invasion of Hungary by Russian troops to suppress the anti-Communist revolution.

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#27 Giant statue of Stalin is chopped to pieces – near the National Theatre Budapest, 1956.

Giant statue of Stalin is chopped to pieces - near the National Theatre Budapest, 1956.

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#28 Two Hungarian soldiers walk past the deceased bodies of Soviet secret police during the anti-Communist revolution.

Two Hungarian soldiers walk past the deceased bodies of Soviet secret police during the anti-Communist revolution.

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#29 A woman patriot keeps back the crowds from the war zone.

A woman patriot keeps back the crowds from the war zone.

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#30 Soviet tanks surround the Parliament Building in Budapest during the repression of the anti-Communist revolution.

Soviet tanks surround the Parliament Building in Budapest during the repression of the anti-Communist revolution.

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#31 Hungarians stare at the remains of a man from the secret police, the A.V.H. during the 1956 revolution.

Hungarians stare at the remains of a man from the secret police, the A.V.H. during the 1956 revolution.

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#32 Hungarian refugees talking at the relocation during the Hungarian Revolution, Hungary, 1956.

Hungarian refugees talking at the relocation during the Hungarian Revolution, Hungary, 1956.

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#33 Students writing on the ground some solidarity messages to the rebels in Hunary after the repression by Soviet Tanks, 1956.

Students writing on the ground some solidarity messages to the rebels in Hunary after the repression by Soviet Tanks, 1956.

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#34 Some revolutionaries controlling the border between Austria and Hungary during the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet regime.

Some revolutionaries controlling the border between Austria and Hungary during the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet regime.

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#35 Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet backed communist government.

Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet backed communist government.

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#36 Hungarian patriot grimacing during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hungarian patriot grimacing during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#37 Hopeful Hungarian rebel demonstrators during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hopeful Hungarian rebel demonstrators during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#38 Hungarian women during the revolution.

Hungarian women during the revolution.

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#39 Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#40 Budapest rebel demonstrators, during revolution against Soviet-backed Hungarian regime.

Budapest rebel demonstrators, during revolution against Soviet-backed Hungarian regime.

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#41 Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#42 Hungarian man singing patriotic song as Soviet tanks move into Budapest during Hungarian revolution.

Hungarian man singing patriotic song as Soviet tanks move into Budapest during Hungarian revolution.

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#43 Russian tanks in Budapest following an attempted revolution by Hungarians against Soviet-backed regime.

Russian tanks in Budapest following an attempted revolution by Hungarians against Soviet-backed regime.

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#44 Women in Budapest march in honor of the Hungarian men who died in revolution fighting Soviet-backed communist regime.

Women in Budapest march in honor of the Hungarian men who died in revolution fighting Soviet-backed communist regime.

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#45 Hungarian Freedom Fighters gathered in the streets during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hungarian Freedom Fighters gathered in the streets during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#46 Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

Hungarian Freedom Fighters during revolution against Soviet-backed regime.

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#47 Hungarian refugee children in a camp in Austria, 1956.

Hungarian refugee children in a camp in Austria, 1956.

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#48 Hungarian refugees in a refugee camp, 1956.

Hungarian refugees in a refugee camp, 1956.

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#49 Trucks with aid supplies are waiting for the tripp to Hungary, 1956.

Trucks with aid supplies are waiting for the tripp to Hungary, 1956.

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#50 Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

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#51 Hungarian town of Gyor, mass rally in front of the town hall in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956

Hungarian town of Gyor, mass rally in front of the town hall in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956

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#52 Thousands of refugees flee toward the Austrian border, Red Cross in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956.

Thousands of refugees flee toward the Austrian border, Red Cross in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956.

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#53 Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hungary to demand an end to Soviet rule in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hungary to demand an end to Soviet rule in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956.

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#54 People looking at the deceased body, 1956.

People looking at the deceased body, 1956.

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#55 Protestors putting Hungarian flag in what remained of Stalin’s boots, and the head fell to the ground in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956

Protestors putting Hungarian flag in what remained of Stalin's boots, and the head fell to the ground in Gyor, Hungary on October 23, 1956

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#56 A student demonstration in Budapest got out of control, 1956.

A student demonstration in Budapest got out of control, 1956.

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#57 A beaten Hungarian colonel in the AVO, the secret police of the communist regime, is dragged along the ground by ropes attached to his ankles by angry protesters.

A beaten Hungarian colonel in the AVO, the secret police of the communist regime, is dragged along the ground by ropes attached to his ankles by angry protesters.

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#58 A member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) has been captured by the enraged crowd during the revolt. Budapest, October 30, 1956

A member of the Hungarian secret police (AVH) has been captured by the enraged crowd during the revolt. Budapest, October 30, 1956

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#59 Injured officer of the Hungarian political police being caught by the rebels. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

Injured officer of the Hungarian political police being caught by the rebels. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

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#60 Rebels setting fire to Marxist books. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

Rebels setting fire to Marxist books. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

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#61 Injured officer of the Hungarian political police being caught by the rebels. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

Injured officer of the Hungarian political police being caught by the rebels. Budapest, October 30, 1956.

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#62 Three photographers on a van taking photos of the uprising. Budapest, 30th October 1956

Three photographers on a van taking photos of the uprising. Budapest, 30th October 1956

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#63 Rebels and mortars on the street during the riots. Budapest, October 29, 1956.

Rebels and mortars on the street during the riots. Budapest, October 29, 1956.

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#64 Two young revolutionaries in the streets of the city during the uprising against the Soviet regime.

Two young revolutionaries in the streets of the city during the uprising against the Soviet regime.

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#65 Rebels and citizens in the streets of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

Rebels and citizens in the streets of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

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#66 Destroyed vehicles and ruins near the Kilian barracks. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

Destroyed vehicles and ruins near the Kilian barracks. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

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#67 The crowd looking at the ruins after the uprising that took place in the streets of the city.

The crowd looking at the ruins after the uprising that took place in the streets of the city.

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#68 Tank on the street during the riots. Budapest, October 29, 1956.

Tank on the street during the riots. Budapest, October 29, 1956.

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#69 Two people carrying their things across the ruins of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

Two people carrying their things across the ruins of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956.

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#70 The crowd peeks inside the car of the journalist Massimo Mauri and the photographer Mario De Biasi just arrived in the Hungarian city to document the uprising against Soviet regime.

The crowd peeks inside the car of the journalist Massimo Mauri and the photographer Mario De Biasi just arrived in the Hungarian city to document the uprising against Soviet regime.

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#71 The journalist Massimo Mauri meeting some rebels when arriving in the capital.

The journalist Massimo Mauri meeting some rebels when arriving in the capital.

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#72 Rebels and citizens in the streets of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956

Rebels and citizens in the streets of the city. Budapest, 29th October 1956

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#73 A panzer standing in a street of the capital destroyed by the fights.

A panzer standing in a street of the capital destroyed by the fights.

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#74 Hungarian refugee children in a camp. 1956.

Hungarian refugee children in a camp. 1956.

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#75 Hungarian refugees leaving toward Austria. November 1956

Hungarian refugees leaving toward Austria. November 1956

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Written by Benjamin Grayson

Former Bouquet seller now making a go with blogging and graphic designing. I love creating & composing history articles and lists.

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