March 1953 to October 22, 1956


March 5: Death of Stalin. A major reorganization of the Soviet leadership follows.

March 7: The new Soviet leadership declares an amnesty, promises to give priority to improving living standards, and underlines the importance of collective leadership.

March 8: The Hungarian Parliament passes legislation perpetuating the undying memory of Stalin and orders a national period of mourning.

May 17: Parliamentary elections in Hungary follow the Stalinist pattern.

June 1: Disturbances break out in Czechoslovakia. Workers demonstrating in Plzeň occupy the city hall and display national and US flags. The movement is suppressed by the special police.

June 13 16: Hungary s party and state leaders are summoned to Moscow. Mátyás Rákosi s monopoly of power is ended. He is instructed to hand over as prime minister to Imre Nagy, but is allowed to remain as head of the communist party. The main lines of a new course of policy are drawn up by the Soviets. The fact that these talks took place remains a secret for 30 years.

June 15: The Soviet Union resumes diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia and with Israel.

June 17 18: A workers uprising takes place in East Berlin and other cities of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The military is called in to suppress the insurrection.

June 27 8: The Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers Party (HWP) convenes to implement Moscow s instructions on the New Course of political and economic reform.

July 4: Prime Minister Imre Nagy, in his programme speech to the new Parliament, outlines the New Course: a new economic policy and a new political line based on legality in government and administrative practice and enhanced sovereignty of the people.

July 9: Beria is arrested in Moscow, dismissed from all his positions and excluded from the party.

July 11: A meeting of Budapest HWP activists is held.

July 21: An interior minister s directive orders the establishment of a unified Ministry of the Interior. The ÁVH (security police) is reintegrated into the Interior Ministry structure.

July 25: A partial amnesty is declared in Hungary.

July 26: The Council of Ministers (government) passes a resolution ending the practices of internment and internal exile.

July 27: A ceasefire agreement is signed at Panmunjom, ending the Korean War <Korea>.

August 8: Soviet Prime Minister Georgy Malenkov announces that the first Soviet hydrogen bomb has been tested.

Autumn: Sharp cuts in the size of the Hungarian People s Army begin. By November 15, its strength has been reduced by 150,000 men.

September 6: The government resolves on wide-ranging price reductions.

September 9: Hungary and Yugoslavia resume diplomatic relations.

September 13: Nikita Khrushchev is elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee.

October 4: At a camp at Tiszalök, for prisoners of war allowed to return from the Soviet Union, members of Hungary s German minority hold a protest meeting, calling for their release, and try to break out of the camp the same evening.

October 23: A debate is held at the Writers Union, to discuss a report by a group of writers who have been touring villages in recent weeks.

November 17: Stalin s body is placed in the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow.

December 1: The US National Security Council re-examines its policy towards Eastern Europe.

December 23: Beria, along with Merkulov, Dekanozov, Goglidze and other senior officials of the Interior Ministry, is condemned to death in Moscow.


January 15: The military high court, chaired by Ferenc Ledényi, passes sentence after an appeal hearing on the prosecution of Gábor Péter, former head of the ÁVH, and 17 others. They were found guilty by a lower court on December 24, 1953.

April 26 July 21: The Geneva Conference on the Far East recognizes the status quo in Korea and the partition of Vietnam.

Early May: The Information Office of the Council of Ministers is formed with Zoltán Szántó as its head and Miklós Vásárhelyi as his deputy.

May 24 30: The Third Congress of the HWP is held amidst political uncertainty and deadlock.

June 2: The freeing of Gyula Oszkó is the first of many releases of communists imprisoned between 1949 and 1951, who had spent the war in hiding in Hungary or as exiles in the West rather than the Soviet Union.

July 7: ÁVH Lieutenant-General László Piros is appointed minister of the interior instead of Ernő Gerő. Gerő remains a deputy prime minister.

July 28: The Economic Policy Committee is formed, following a resolution by the HWP Political Committee.

August 24: The US Congress declares communist activity illegal.

September: The Soviet army and navy begin to equip with nuclear weapons.

October 14: The HWP Political Committee passes a resolution supporting the new Soviet policy towards Yugoslavia.

October 20: The central party daily, the Szabad Nép (Free People), carries an article by Imre Nagy entitled After the Meeting of the Central Committee . This makes it clear there is in-fighting in the HWP and offers the first analysis of the reasons.

October 22, 23 and 25: There is a stormy three-day staff meeting at the Szabad Nép.

October 23 4: The founding congress of the Patriotic People s Front (PPF) elects the writer Pál Szabó as president and the Reformed Church minister Ferenc Jánosi as general secretary. Imre Nagy s speech on national unity led later to charges of nationalism being made against him.

October 23: Full sovereignty is restored to Germany <East and West Germany> through the Federal Republic (FRG). A protocol admitting the FRG to Nato is signed.

November 8: The Soviet-Hungarian joint ventures are transferred to 100 per cent Hungarian ownership in a series of economic transactions.

November 14: Control of the daily Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) is transferred to the Patriotic People s Front, with Iván Boldizsár as editor.

November 21: An article by József Darvas, On Overbidding , appears in the Szabad Nép. Instigated by Mihály Farkas and Márton Horváth, the article initiates an attack on Imre Nagy s policy line and the reform movement among writers and journalists.

December 1: Rákosi reports to the HWP Political Committee on a message received from the Presidium of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee. This begins the process of ousting Imre Nagy from power.

December 15: The HWP Political Committee, continuing along the lines of its December meeting and in Imre Nagy s absence, passes a resolution on the right-wing danger and condemns Nagy s policy. There is a purge among the staff at the Szabad Nép: Péter Kende, Endre Kövesi, Pál Lőcsei and Lajos Szilvási have to leave the paper.

December 21: Parliament meets in Debrecen to mark the 10th anniversary of the convening of the Provisional National Assembly there.


January 8: Following an initiative from the Hungarian side, the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee in Moscow has discussions with the HWP leaders. The policy of Imre Nagy is strongly criticized, but in a break with communist tradition, Nagy does not exercise self-criticism (declare himself in the wrong).

January 25: The Supreme Soviet in Moscow issues a decree declaring the state of war between the Soviet Union and Germany <East and West Germany> to be over.

February 1: Imre Nagy falls ill (with high blood pressure, nervous exhaustion and coronary thrombosis). On February 5, the doctors treating him prescribe complete rest, which effectively cuts him off from the political scene.

February 23: Imre Nagy addresses a letter to the HWP Political Committee protesting against his isolation. He still refuses to exercise self-criticism.

March 2 4: Although the meeting of the HWP Central Committee does not annul the resolution of June 1953, it identifies the right-wing, anti-Marxist, anti-party, opportunist views represented by Imre Nagy as the main danger.

March 25: The Petőfi Circle is founded at the Kossuth Club, as an adjunct of the Union of Working Youth (Disz), with Gábor Tánczos as its secretary.

March 28: Imre Nagy tenders his resignation as prime minister, in a letter to István Dobi, the president of the Presidential Council (head of state). Dobi informs Rákosi of this, but no reply is made or action taken.

April 14: A resolution adopted at a meeting of the HWP Central Committee accuses Imre Nagy of anti-party activity and factionalism. Nagy, who still refuses to express remorse, is removed from the Political Committee and the Central Committee and deprived of all the functions he holds.

April 15: Rákosi informs Dobi in writing of the HWP Central Committee s proposal that Nagy be dismissed, arguing that he has not fulfilled satisfactorily the office of chairman of the Council of Ministers.

April 18: Dobi, as head of state, appoints András Hegedüs prime minister, as proposed by Rákosi.

April 29: Following a demand by the HWP Political Committee, Imre Nagy resigns his seats in Parliament and on Budapest City Council, his vice-chairmanship of the Patriotic People s Front, his membership of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and his post as professor at the University of Economics.

May 5: The HWP Political Committee bans Nagy s published works.

May 9: The Federal Republic of Germany <East and West Germany> is admitted to Nato, as the Paris treaties come into force.

May 11 15: At a conference of Soviet-bloc countries in Warsaw, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the GDR, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union sign a treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, in response to the military cooperation established in Western Europe. The Warsaw Pact countries are to follow an agreed foreign policy and form a military alliance. The seat of the military high command is to be in Moscow.

May 15: The signing of the Austrian State Treaty turns Austria into an independent, democratic, neutral country.

May 26 June 2: A delegation led by Khrushchev, Bulganin, Mikoyan and Shepilov visits Belgrade. Relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia are normalized.

July 17: Cardinal József Mindszenty, primate of the Catholic Church, is moved from prison to house arrest in Felsőpetény, Nógrád County.

July 18: An article in the Szabad Nép blames Gábor Péter and his gang for the deterioration in Yugoslav-Hungarian relations.

July 18 23: A summit meeting of the Soviet Union, the Unites States, Britain and France is held in Geneva.

September: The strength of the Hungarian People s Army is reduced by a further 20,000 men.

September 9 13: German-Soviet negotiations are held in Moscow, with Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer taking part.

October 14: József Grősz, archbishop of Kalocsa, is released from prison and placed under house arrest.

October 18: Communist writers and artists draft a memorandum addressed to the HWP Central Committee.

November 2 4: Zoltán Zelk presents the Writers Memorandum at a party meeting in the Writers Union. It is passed on to the HWP Central Committee, with the support of the vast majority of members.

November 11: The heads of the Interior Ministry meet to discuss a report by the ministry and the Chief Public Prosecutor s Department on the activity of the ÁVH, in which countless illegal acts are cited.

November 20 and 22: Two groups of about 1200 political prisoners return from the Soviet Union. Among them is Béla Kovács, former general secretary of the Smallholders Party (FKgP).

December 14: Sixteen new members are admitted to the United Nations, including Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania.

December 24: Reprisals are taken against the signatories of the Writers Memorandum, causing most of them to withdraw their signatures.


January 1: A big reduction is made in the strength of the ÁVH.

January 23: Nikolai Bulganin, the Soviet prime minister, proposes in a letter to US President Eisenhower, that their two countries conclude a friendship and mutual non-aggression treaty.

February 14 25: The 20th Congress of the CPSU marks a turning point in the policy and ideology of the Soviet party and of the international communist movement. The resolution breaks with the dogma that a third world war is inevitable and proclaims peaceful coexistence between the two world systems. Khrushchev denounces Stalin s crimes in a four-hour speech to a closed session.

March 8: The Hungarian government abolishes the restricted border zone and the technical equipment sealing the Hungarian-Yugoslav border.

March 12 13: Rákosi reports on the 20th Congress to the HWP Central Committee. He states that the HWP has already been working along such lines.

March 17: The Petőfi Circle holds its first major event: an informal meeting at the Kossuth Club of former leaders of Mefesz (the Hungarian Association of University and College Unions).

March 19 May 3: A disarmament conference of UN member-states is held in London.

March 27: Speaking at a meeting of party activists in Heves County, Rákosi admits that the 1949 treason trial of László Rajk was a show trial.

April 7: The Information Bureau of Communist and Workers Parties (Cominform) is disbanded.

April 10: Poland rehabilitates Wladyslaw Gomulka, former general secretary of the communist party, who was convicted in 1951.

April 18 27: Khrushchev, first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, and Prime Minister Bulganin visit London.

April 27: The guidelines for Hungary s Second Five-Year Plan are put forward for public discussion.

May 9 and 22: The Petőfi Circle holds an economic debate entitled Current Questions of Marxist Political Economy and the Guidelines of the 2nd Five-Year Plan .

May 12: József Grősz, archbishop of Kalocsa, is released from house arrest.

May 18: Mátyás Rákosi makes what is to be his final public appearance, at a meeting of Budapest HWP activists in the Sports Hall.

May 28: The new leadership of the Petőfi Circle, which has been operating for two months, is formally convened. The secretary is Gábor Tánczos, with András B. Hegedűs, Balázs Nagy and Kálmán Pécsi as deputies.

May 30 June 1: The Petőfi Circle holds a historians debate entitled Current Questions in Marxist Historical Studies .

June 1: Vyacheslav Molotov, one of the main opponents of reconciliation with Yugoslavia, is dismissed as Soviet foreign minister and replaced by Shepilov.

June 6: A celebration is held at Imre Nagy s house in Orsó utca (2nd District), to mark his 60th birthday.

June 6 14: The Soviet politician Mikhail Suslov has talks in Budapest with members of the HWP leadership and with János Kádár and Imre Nagy.

June 9: The Petőfi Circle holds a reunion of students of people s colleges, to rehabilitate Nékosz (the National Association of People s Colleges).

June 14: The HWP Central Committee passes a resolution on policy towards the intelligentsia.

The Petőfi Circle holds a philosophers debate entitled Current Problems in Marxist Philosophy .

June 16: Communist propaganda receives criticism in the Irodalmi Újság (Literary Gazette) <Writers Union>, in an article by Tibor Tardos entitled Seawater Is Salty .

June 18: The Petőfi Circle holds an informal meeting of former wartime partisans and underground communist-party workers with young members of the Budapest intelligentsia, in the Central Officers Hall in downtown Váci utca.

June 20: A Petőfi Circle debate takes place on Exploiting This Country s Natural and Economic Endowments in Planning the People s Economy .

June 22 3: Leaders of the Soviet-bloc countries meet in Moscow to discuss the rapprochement with Yugoslavia.

June 27: There is a Petőfi Circle debate on aspects of the press and information, held at the Central Officers Hall.

June 28: In Poznań <Poznań workers uprising>, Poland, 100,000 workers take to the streets, calling for improvements in living and working conditions and free elections. The security forces use arms to break up the crowds. There are about 100 deaths and several hundred wounded. About 600 demonstrators are arrested.

June 30: The HWP Central Committee, in a resolution, condemns the anti-party manifestations apparent in the Petőfi Circle.

July 2: The Pál Vasvári Circle in Szombathely, with teacher Miklós Horn as secretary, holds a debate of intellectuals, patterned on the Petőfi Circle events in Budapest.

July 3: The June 30 resolution of the CPSU Central Committee, on the cult of personality, appears in the Szabad Nép (Free People).

July 10: Speakers at a party meeting in the Writers Union criticize the June 30 resolution of the HWP Central Committee.

July 12: The US National Security Council issues a document on American policy towards the Eastern European countries.

July 13: A Malév Hungarian Airlines flight from Budapest to Szombathely is diverted to West Germany <East and West Germany> by armed hijackers.

July 17: Soviet politician Anastas Mikoyan arrives unexpectedly in Budapest and announces that Mátyás Rákosi is to be dismissed.

July 18 21: Rákosi announces his resignation as first secretary of the HWP, to a meeting of the Central Committee, citing his state of health . His successor is Ernő Gerő. Rákosi leaves for exile in the Soviet Union, never to return. András Hegedüs remains as prime minister.

After July 21: The HWP Central Committee reports to the party membership on the rehabilitations. The vast majority of these have been completed, with 474 cases being reviewed.

July 30: The government is reshuffled.

August 1: The government resolves to cut the strength of the army by 15,000.

September: Residents displaced from the Hungarian-Yugoslav border zone are allowed to return to their homes.

September 1: The Presidential Council rehabilitates 50 previously convicted social democrats.

September 2: A resolution of the HWP Central Committee proposes that streets may no longer be renamed after living persons.

September 14: A secret Soviet decree grants an amnesty to political prisoners with non-Soviet citizenship.

September 17: The General Assembly of the Writers Union demonstrates in support of Imre Nagy.

September 19 27: Khrushchev pays a private visit to Yugoslavia, where he has talks with Tito on the Yugoslav island of Brioni.

September 19: The Petőfi Circle debates resume after a politically imposed break of two-and-a-half months. The first autumn event is entitled The Educational Experiences of the People s Colleges .

Removal of the technical equipment sealing the Hungarian-Austrian border is completed.

September 26: The Petőfi Circle holds a debate entitled Questions of Economic Leadership .

September 28: A resolution of the HWP Political Committee orders the reburial of László Rajk, György Pálffy, Tibor Szőnyi and András Szalai, in a ceremony on October 6 with full military honours.

September 28 and October 12:The Petőfi Circle holds a debate entitled Questions of Hungarian Educational Affairs .

September 30: Tito and Gerő meet in the Kremlin. Gerő reports on their discussions at the HWP Political Committee meeting on October 8.

October: Troop reductions in the Hungarian People s Army continue. The strength of the army at the outbreak of the revolution is 120,000 130,000 men.

Early October: A Petőfi Circle of local intellectuals is founded in Békéscsaba. In Veszprém, the Batsányi Circle is formed according to the same pattern, with Árpád Brusznyai, a grammar-school teacher, at its head.

October 1: The main speaker at a several-day mass assembly at the College of Dramatic and Cinematic Art in Budapest is the writer István Csurka.

October 2: The government transfers control over the prisons from the Interior Ministry to the Justice Ministry.

October 4: Imre Nagy, based on a compromise formula, makes an application by letter for his HWP membership to be restored.

The Soviet government complies with a request from the Hungarian government for a loan of 100 million roubles for 1957.

October 5: The Presidential Council calls a meeting of Parliament for October 22.

The Supreme Court discharges Bishop Lajos Ordass of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church, who was illegally convicted in 1948.

The ÁVH officers Vladimir Farkas, Ervin Faludi, György Szendi, György Szántó and Ferenc Toldi are arrested.

October 6: The reburial of László Rajk, György Pálffy, Tibor Szőnyi and András Szalai takes place at Budapest s Kerepesi út cemetery (8th District). The Szabad Nép carries on its front page a long article entitled Never Again , about the communists executed seven years before. A crowd of 100,000, carrying no political slogans, attends the funeral.

After the funeral, there is a demonstration mainly of arts undergraduates, most of them members of the Kolkhoz Circle, at the Stalin Statue, before the Yugoslav Embassy and before the ÁVH headquarters at Andrássy út 60 (6th District), carrying slogans against Stalinism and the ÁVH and in praise of Yugoslavia.

The HWP Political Committee resolves to arrest Mihály Farkas, formerly the defence minister.

Stricter military service is introduced at the Defence Ministry.

The Attila József Theatre in Budapest shows József Gáli s play Liberty Hill.

University students in Szeged call for an end to compulsory teaching of the Russian language.

October 8: Imre Nagy has his final discussion with Ernő Gerő about the former s return to the party.

The newspaper Hétfői Hírlap (Monday News) appears, with Iván Boldizsár as editor. This is the first example of a more relaxed style of newspaper to appear since the papers supporting the non-communist coalition parties were closed or taken over after 1948. (The daily papers do not appear on Mondays in this period.)

October 10: The Petőfi Circle holds a debate on Technical Development and the Problems of the Young Technical Intelligentsia .

October 11: A local Petőfi Circle is founded in Pécs.

October 12: Mihály Farkas is arrested on the orders of the Chief Public Prosecutor s Department.

October 13: The HWP Political Committee passes a resolution readmitting Imre Nagy into the party.

The Kossuth Circle holds its first debate in the Old County Hall in Debrecen.

October 15: A party and government delegation, consisting of Ernő Gerő, Antal Apró, András Hegedüs, János Kádár and István Kovács, leaves for a week s visit to Belgrade.

A literary and political debating society called the Bocskai Circle is founded in Hajdúnánás.

The United States suspends its deliveries of aid to Yugoslavia, due to the conspicuous improvement in Soviet-Yugoslav relations.

October 16: A meeting of about 1600 undergraduates in Szeged founds Mefesz (the Hungarian Association of University and College Unions), a students organization independent of Disz (the Union of Working Youth) and the HWP.

October 17: The Petőfi Circle holds a debate on Gábor Pap s article Garden Hungary .

October 18: The Presidential Council postpones until October 29 the session of Parliament scheduled for October 22.

A parliament of secondary-school students is held at the Party Instructors House.

October 19: A students assembly at the Budapest Technical University hostel in Hess András tér (1st District) sums up its demands in a 15-point resolution.

Soviet troops stationed in Hungary are placed on alert.

The Attila József Circle in Szeged arranges a debate on the position of the intelligentsia.

Gyula (Julius) Hay holds a writer s evening in Győr.

The 8th Plenary Session of the Polish United Workers Party Central Committee coopts Wladyslaw Gomulka. This prompts a visit to Warsaw by CPSU Central Committee members Khrushchev, Lazar Kaganovich, Molotov and Mikoyan, along with Defence Minister Georgy Zhukov and Marshal Konev, Warsaw Pact commander-in-chief. Soviet forces and some Polish units move towards the Polish capital on the pretext of holding military exercises.

October 20: The Petőfi Circle debates the problems of the applied arts.

The Hajnóczy Circle is founded at the law faculty of Budapest s Loránd Eötvös University and the Széchenyi Circle at the University of Economics. The universities also found the Vasvári Circle as a joint forum for debate.

A mass meeting is held at the Budapest Technical University on the current problems of the students and the technical intelligentsia.

The József Katona Theatre presents László Németh s play Galilei.

Mefesz holds a mass meeting at the Szeged University of Sciences, chaired by Professor József Perbíró.

The HWP branch at the Lajos Kossuth University of Sciences in Debrecen holds an open day.

Agreement on reforms is reached early in the morning in Warsaw. The Soviet leaders accept the personnel changes in the Polish United Workers Party and fly home. Anti-Soviet assemblies take place in almost every Polish town, culminating in demonstrations in some cases.

October 21: The Kossuth Circle is founded at the Eger teachers training college and affiliates to Mefesz.

Student delegations arrive in Budapest from Debrecen and Szeged for the national student parliament. The Szeged delegation also has talks with leaders of the Petőfi Circle.

In Warsaw, Wladyslaw Gomulka is elected first secretary of the Polish United Workers Party Central Committee.

October 22: Commanders of units of regiment size and higher, along with their political deputies, are summoned for a meeting at the Defence Ministry on October 24.

A meeting of the Disz (Union of Working Youth) Central Committee is called for the following day.

Also represented at an afternoon assembly at the Budapest Technical University are the Construction and Transport University, the Agricultural Engineering College, the Physical Education College, the College of Horticulture and Viticulture, the Military Engineering College, the Petőfi Academy, and the Máté Zalka Barracks. The meeting debates the demands put forward by the Mefesz delegates from Szeged.

There are meetings at several other Budapest institutes of higher education during the afternoon, concurrently with the assembly at the Technical University. They include the University of Economics, the Budapest Medical University, the Drama College, the College of Horticulture and Viticulture, and Gödöllő Agricultural University.

The committee of the Petőfi Circle meets in the evening.

An assembly of students from the medical and legal university and of students and teachers from the teachers training college begins at 3 p.m. at Pécs Central University.

The workers at the Dimávag engineering factory in Miskolc, led by Gyula Turbók and Károly Bogár, begin on October 15 to organize a party open day, to clarify the problems. By October 22 they have collected 2000 signatures in the factory for this.

The students of the Miskolc Technical University affiliate to Mefesz.

Students of the Forestry Engineering University and the Technical University for Heavy Industry hold a joint students parliament in Sopron.

A branch of Mefesz is formed at the Benczúr utca students hostel, Debrecen.

October 2327, 1956

Tuesday, October 23

A leading article in the Szabad Nép (Free People), entitled New, Spring Muster of Forces , welcomes the young people s demands.

The Hungarian party and government delegation returns from Yugoslavia in the early morning. An expanded meeting of the HWP Political Committee is held.

12.53 p.m.: Kossuth Radio reads out a statement by the interior ministry, banning the demonstration planned for later in the day. However, at 2.23 p.m., permission for the rally is granted after all.

3 p.m.: The student march leaves the Petőfi statue on the Pest embankment. The Pest students cross Margaret Bridge to the Bem statue, while the Buda students march to it along the Buda embankment.

About 5 p.m.: The first protestors arrive in Kossuth Lajos tér (5th District). An hour later the square is already filled with a crowd estimated at 200,000. At 9 p.m., Imre Nagy delivers a speech from a balcony of the Parliament building.

Demonstrators also appear about 5 p.m. before the Hungarian Radio building in Bródy Sándor utca (8th District), intending to read out the students 16 points. The force defending the building is strengthened, but some soldiers support the protesters. The siege of the Radio starts about 10 p.m. and lasts until dawn.

9.37 p.m.: Demonstrators in Dózsa György út (14th District) topple the giant statue of Stalin. There are attacks on telephone exchanges, printing presses and several arms factories in various parts of the city. Late that night, rebels also attack police stations and semi-military and military institutions. The offices of the Szabad Nép (Free People) are stormed as well.

About 8 p.m.: The HWP Central Committee begins an emergency session that continues until dawn the following day. Ernő Gerő requests Moscow to authorize the intervention of Soviet forces in Hungary. An order is given about 11 p.m. for the Soviet special corps stationed at Székesfehérvár to occupy Budapest.

Demonstrations take place in Székesfehérvár, Mosonmagyaróvár, Sopron and Veszprém. In Debrecen, ÁVH men open fire on the demonstrators. Three people lost their lives. Military government is introduced in Szeged to forestall the demonstrations.

Wednesday, October 24

The first Soviet armoured units enter the capital about 3 or 4 a.m. The Soviet special envoys Anastas Mikoyan and Mikhail Suslov arrive in Budapest during the day.

The rebels occupy the Radio. However, broadcasting is already going out from Parliament instead.

8.13 a.m.: The radio announces that the HWP Central Committee has confirmed Ernő Gerő in his post as first secretary. Imre Nagy is to be prime minister, with the incumbent András Hegedüs as his deputy.

8.45 a.m.: The radio announces a state of emergency. Production comes to a halt in Budapest and schools and colleges remain closed. The trains are still running. The water, electricity and gas supplies and telephone services operate more or less continuously during the coming weeks. The bakers ensure bread supplies.

Rebels occupy the Athenaeum Press about midday.

ÁVH men open fire on marchers in Roosevelt tér (5th District).

12.10 p.m.: Speaking on the radio, Nagy appeals for calm and an end to the fighting.

Fighting continues in the neighbourhood of the Radio. Fire breaks out in the natural history section of the National Museum during the afternoon, burning out part of it.

The first workers council in Budapest is formed at the United Incandescent Lamp Factory (Egyesült Izzó).

8.45 p.m.: János Kádár, speaking on the radio, terms the events a counter-revolution.

Groups of rebels form in Baross tér (7th and 8th districts), in the southern parts of the 8th and 9th districts, at the Corvin Cinema (8th District), and in Tompa utca (9th District) and Berzenczey utca (9th District).

Insurrectionists seize large quantities of arms from the Bem tér barracks (2nd District).

Soviet soldiers open fire on demonstrators outside Székesfehérvár Town Hall. Six lives are lost.

Extra Soviet troops are transferred to Hungary. Tass issues a statement in Moscow announcing the defeat of the counter-revolutionary uprising .

In Warsaw, it is announced at a mass meeting of several hundred thousand people that the Soviet troops deployed in Hungary will return to their barracks within 48 hours.

Thursday, October 25

Soviet and Hungarian units reoccupy the Radio in the early morning hours. The first revolutionary newspaper appears under the title Igazság (Truth).

Rebels occupy the main police station in the 9th District.

Some 8000 10,000 people arrive in Kossuth tér between 10 and 11 a.m., where Soviet troops guarding Parliament fraternize with the protesters. At about 11.15 a.m., Soviet tanks arrive in the square and open fire on the crowd. The volley of firing takes 60 or 80 lives and leaves 100 150 injured.

12.32 p.m.: A communiqué from the HWP Political Committee is read out on the radio. Ernő Gerő has been dismissed and János Kádár appointed first secretary. Colonel Pál Maléter, in command at the Kilián Barracks (8th District), reaches a ceasefire agreement with the Corvin köz rebels.

The Abaturov Division arrives from Romania to reinforce the Soviet intervention troops.

The University Revolutionary Students Committee is established at the Arts Faculty of the Loránd Eötvös University.

Workers councils are formed at the Csepel Iron and Metal Works (21st District).

There is serious fighting at the junction of the grand boulevard (Nagykörút) and Üllői út, in Corvin köz (8th District).

A group of rebels forms in Amerikai út (14th District).

A demonstration of people carrying bloody banners takes place in Budapest, to protest against the Soviet intervention and the bloodshed in front of Parliament.

Rebels fire a mortar at the radio transmitters at Lakihegy.

The Borsod County Workers Council forms in Miskolc.

There are protests in several towns, including Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros), Esztergom, Nagykanizsa, Ózd, Pécs, Szeged and Vác. Shots are fired on protesters in Győr. Soviet lorries are attacked while passing through Nyíregyháza and Várpalota.

Friday, October 26

Fighting occurs about noon in the Jutadomb area of the 20th (now 23rd) district. In the afternoon, rebels occupy the Csepel police headquarters (21st District).

4.13 p.m.: The radio broadcasts a statement by the HWP Central Committee promising a new, national government, Hungarian-Soviet negotiations to be conducted on a basis of equality, elections for factory workers councils, pay rises, and economic and political changes.

5.32 p.m.: An amnesty declaration by the Presidential Council is broadcast. It applies to all who lay down their arms by 10 p.m.

A consignment of blood and medicines sent from Warsaw arrives at Budapest Ferihegy Airport. This is the first aid to Hungary from abroad.

Rebel groups are formed in the Thököly út-Dózsa György út area (7th District) and at Széna tér (2nd District). Rebels occupy Móricz Zsigmond körtér (11th District), and the Danuvia Arms Factory.

Demonstrations begin in Kecskemét during the morning. A volley fired by soldiers claims three lives. By evening there is a battle being fought between the rebels and the military, which fires shots on the Gypsy quarter from two MIG 15 fighter planes.

A revolutionary committee is formed in Baja, and a national council in Győr. A curfew is imposed in Pécs after continued demonstrations. Fighting continues between the army and the rebels in Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros)

A workers council is established at the Komló Colliery Trust and a socialist revolutionary committee in Debrecen.

There are demonstrations in several provincial towns. They include Békéscsaba, Eger, Esztergom, Gyöngyös, Győr, Gyula, Kaposvár, Komárom, Komló, Miskolc, Mohács, Nyíregyháza, Oroszlány, Pápa, Siófok, Sopron, Szeged, Székesfehérvár, Szekszárd, Szentes, Szigetvár, Szolnok, Tatabánya and Veszprém.

Border guards at Mosonmagyaróvár fire on demonstrators, killing 52 and wounding 86. Soldiers fire on demonstrators from a tunnel just below the basilica in Esztergom, causing 15 deaths and at least 50 injuries. At Zalaegerszeg, police and party functionaries fire on the crowd. There are fatalities and injuries in Nagykanizsa when volleys are fired from the party headquarters.

Convicts at the Oroszlány and Tatabánya labour camps are freed. Insurrectionists attack the barracks at Tata at dawn. In the evening, demonstrators take over the county police headquarters in Tatabánya and the Hunyadi Artillery Officers School, disarming the occupants.

Several workers councils are established in Kaposvár.

The Szabolcs-Szatmár County Revolutionary Workers Council is set up in Nyíregyháza. Soviet troops erect a pontoon bridge over the Tisza at Záhony.

The United States, Britain and France jointly propose that the UN Security Council convene to discuss the Hungarian question.

The first appeal for blood donations is made on Polish Radio.

Pope Pius XII in Rome issues an encyclical on the uprising and prays for its victory.

Saturday, October 27

11.18 a.m.: The radio announces the composition of the new government.

Soviet troops marching through the 8th District of Budapest are attacked. The commanders of the Corvin köz group draw up nine points summarizing their demands.

The army occupies Liberty Bridge and Móricz Zsigmond körtér (11th District).

Rebels in Pesterzsébet (20th District), still hold the police station, local government and party headquarters, and market hall.

The army in Kecskemét carries out a large-scale mopping-up operation. Rebels in Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros) attack the military headquarters. There are demonstrations in Kaposvár, Komló, Paks, Salgótarján and Szombathely.

Demonstrators are fired on in Baj, Berzence, Kalocsa, Kecel, Kiskunhalas, Örkény and Várpalota. Fighter planes attack marchers in Tiszakécske, killing 17 and wounding 110.

Members of the public in Lőkösháza and Battonya on the border with Romania help to lift railway lines, to impede further Soviet troops entering the country.

Local revolutionary bodies form in Békéscsaba, Debrecen, Esztergom, Gyula, Sopron, Székesfehérvár, Szekszárd, Szolnok, Tatabánya, Zalaegerszeg and other provincial towns. Organization of the national guard begins in Mosonmagyaróvár.

Free Győr Radio begins broadcasting.

Rebels in Eger occupy the ÁVH building.

Almost 800 convicts are freed from Vác Prison.

A curfew and a ban on public meetings are imposed in Keszthely, where the main buildings are taken over by the military.

The UN ambassadors of the United States, Britain and France hold secret discussions on the Hungarian uprising, lasting until November 3.

The US secretary of state, addressing the World Political Council, remarks that he does not see Hungary as a potential military ally of the United States.

The first shipment from the International Red Cross arrives in Budapest.

October 28 November 4, 1956

Sunday, October 28

Soviet forces attack the Corvin köz group at dawn, but the rebels repel them.

2 p.m.: The new government is sworn in. It goes on to approve the government statement put forward by Prime Minister Imre Nagy.

The curfew is lifted. At a meeting of the HWP Political Committee, János Kádár introduces a new programme to resolve the political crisis this has been agreed with the Soviet delegates overnight. The events in the country are classified as a national movement (but not a revolution). The Interior Ministry security bodies are to be reorganized. The Soviet troops have to withdraw from Budapest. A special body, the Presidium, is established to head the party, with János Kádár in the chair and Antal Apró, Ferenc Münnich, Imre Nagy and Zoltán Szántó as members.

The Revolutionary Committee of the Hungarian Intelligentsia, the Buda University Revolutionary Committee and the Revolutionary Party of Hungarian Youth are established.

Late in the afternoon, Imre Nagy reads out on the radio a statement agreed with the HWP Presidium and the National Government. The events of the previous days are referred to as a national democratic movement aimed at national independence and the democratization of political life. Nagy states that the Soviet troops will withdraw from Budapest immediately and talks will begin on a full withdrawal of Soviet forces from the country. He also announces that the ÁVH will be dissolved, there will be a general amnesty, the Kossuth Hungarian coat of arms of 1849 will be reintroduced, and March 15 (the outbreak of the 1848 revolution) will be a national holiday. Other promises include a settlement of wages and work norms and an end to forcible collectivization of agriculture. Nagy repeats that concurrently with the establishment of the new security force, the government is ordering a ceasefire.

The free Róka (Fox) Radio is established at the 20th District party headquarters.

Planes fire again on the Gypsy quarter of Kecskemét, which is then combed by the army. Several rebels and soldiers lose their lives in the fighting.

There are demonstrations in Békéscsaba, Eger, Kaposvár, Orosháza, Szarvas and Szombathely.

Further local revolutionary organizations form in provincial towns. They include Battonya, Békéscsaba, Eger, Kaposvár, Mohács, Nagykanizsa, Orosháza, Paks, Székesfehérvár, Szombathely and Zalaegerszeg. Workers councils are established in Dombrád, Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros), Szeged, Tapolca and Tatabánya. National-guard units form in Debrecen, Nyíregyháza and Ráckeve.

Funerals are held for the victims of the firing at Győr and Mosonmagyaróvár. The members of the HWP committee in Sopron are arrested.

Guards at Sopronkőhida and the Komló labour camp prevent break-outs by prisoners.

The Hegyeshalom frontier crossing into Austria is closed.

A curfew is imposed in Gyöngyös.

Some 200 250 people demonstrate outside the Almássy Mansion in Felsőpetény, where Cardinal József Mindszenty is being detained.

Rebels attack barracks in Kalocsa and Vác, an arsenal in Fót and a district police station in Békés.

Pravda reports on the Hungarian revolution, under the headline Collapse of the Anti-People Adventure .

Khrushchev reports on the situation in Hungary to the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, which decides to reinforce the troops stationed in Hungary.

The UN Security Council places the Hungarian situation on its agenda.

Hungary is offered aid by the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, the GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, the United States, Austria and other countries, and by agencies of the International Red Cross.

Monday, October 29

The communist leaders who have been most severely compromised Ernő Gerő, András Hegedüs, István Bata, László Piros, Erzsébet Andics, Andor Berei and István Kovács flee overnight to Moscow aboard Soviet planes.

Talks with representatives of rebel groups on laying down their arms are held at the Ministry of Defence.

A 2nd District national committee <revolutionary councils and committees> is formed. The Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee moves into the premises of the Szabad Nép.

About 8 p.m.: Ceasefire talks begin in Corvin köz, and later at the Budapest Police Headquarters, between the police and military and representatives of the insurrectionists.

The radio announces that the Soviet forces will begin to withdraw from Budapest next day. Hungarian troops begin to replace the Soviet guards on public buildings.

Further clashes between Soviet troops and insurrectionists occur in the 8th and 9th districts. The 7th District party headquarters is occupied by rebels. The leaders of the Corvin köz rebels begin combining the groups in the area, so that the number of organized rebels reaches 1000 1200.

The rebels in Tűzoltó utca (9th District) organize as a separate group.

A workers council forms at the Beloiannisz Telecommunications Engineering Factory (BHG) and national committees <revolutionary councils and committees> in the 17th District and Csepel (21st District).

Clashes continue in Kecskemét, although they become less frequent. Soldiers fire into a crowd of demonstrators at Szabadszállás.

There are lynchings at Ózd.

Control of the Hegyeshalom border post into Austria is taken over by a revolutionary committee.

Revolutionary committees are established in Esztergom, Komló, Orosháza, Tapolca, Tata and Veszprém. The work of organizing the national guard begins in Békéscsaba, Pécs, Sárvár and Szeged. Workers councils form in Győr, Kaposvár, Miskolc, Nagykanizsa and Szentgotthárd.

The workers council at the Siófok Oil Pipeline Enterprise (SKV) halts deliveries to the refineries.

At Záhony, the main border crossing between Hungary and the Soviet Union, the entrance to the broad-gauge station is blown up, to impede the arrival of Soviet trains. Several locomotives are incapacitated.

Israel launches an attack on Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula. The war over Suez breaks out.

Tuesday, October 30

The government recognizes the local self-governing bodies created during the revolution.

7.20 a.m.: The Defence Ministry announces on the radio that the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Budapest will continue.

Firing breaks out between rebels and guards at the headquarters of the HWP Budapest Committee in Köztársaság tér (8th District). The rebels storm the building. Many rebels lose their lives in the fighting. The defenders do not even spare medical staff tending the wounded. Twenty-three defenders die in the siege or are lynched by the crowd after the building is taken.

2.30 p.m.: Imre Nagy announces on the radio the end of the one-party system and the formation of a coalition government. Minister of State Zoltán Tildy of the Smallholders Party announces that the compulsory-delivery system for farm produce has been abolished and preparations are being made for free elections.

The Széna tér rebels occupy the ÁVH barracks in Maros utca (12th District).

A national committee <revolutionary councils and committees> is established in Újpest (4th District). A national guard is formed in the 8th District.

The Revolutionary Youth Association (Fisz) is established.

A workers council is established at the Kőbánya Pharmaceutical Factory (10th District).

The Smallholders (FKgP), Social Democratic (SZDP) and National Peasants (NPP) parties are re-established.

Several political prisoners are freed from the National Prison in Budapest.

The International Red Cross begins relief flights of aid to Budapest. The air bridge operates until the Soviet occupation.

Revolutionary committees are elected in Baja, Komló, Nagyatád and Szarvas. The Nógrád County Revolutionary National Committee is established in Salgótarján. Organization of the national guard begins in Debrecen and Jászberény. The free Vörösmarty Radio starts broadcasting in Székesfehérvár. The Transdanubian National Council forms in Győr. A communist officials brigade is set up in Salgótarján.

The Újpest National Committee sends out armed men to release Cardinal Mindszenty from house arrest in Felsőpetény. His ÁVH guards have dispersed by the time the party arrives. He is accompanied to the army officers barracks in nearby Rétság.

Hard-liners in Moscow are pushed into the background at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The prospects for a peaceful settlement of the Hungarian crisis are at their strongest at this point.

The UN Security Council convenes to debate the Suez crisis.

There are demonstrations and rallies throughout Poland in support of the Hungarian revolution.

A rally of about 2500 university students at Timişoara (Temesvár) Technical University is dispersed by the Romanian Securitate (secret police). Protests continue next day and almost 3000 students are arrested over the two-day period. The Timişoara disturbances cause the authorities in Bucharest to set up a Central Command.

Austria seals its borders. Only relief supplies and journalists may pass into Hungary.

Wednesday, October 31

The Revolutionary National Defence Commission (FHB) is formed at the Defence Ministry.

General Béla Király is appointed commander-in-chief of the national guard and military commander of Budapest, Colonel Pál Maléter the first deputy to the defence minister, and Major-General István Kovács the chief of staff. The Revolutionary Armed Forces Committee (FKB) is established at the Kilián Barracks (9th District).

A large national-guard unit is formed at Ferenc tér (9th District).

About 12 noon: Withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Budapest is completed.

The Presidium of the Hungarian Workers Party <HWP> declares the party dissolved. A new party, the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party (HSWP), is founded next day.

The National Peasants or Petőfi Party (NPP), Christian Democratic People s Party and Hungarian Peasants Association are re-established. (The previous day s inauguration of the NPP is declared to be annulled.)

A delegation of the Transdanubian National Council negotiates with Imre Nagy and Zoltán Tildy.

A delegate of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee proposes in the Transdanubian National Council that an alternative government should be formed. The Council rejects the proposal.

The free Csokonai Radio and Free Debrecen Radio start broadcasting.

Victims of the firing at Baj on October 27 are buried with full military honours in Tatabánya.

A detachment from the Újpest National Guard arrives at Rétság at dawn. At 6 a.m., the procession escorting Cardinal Mindszenty starts off, led by Major Antal Pálinkás (Pallavicini). It arrives at Buda Castle at 9 a.m.

District revolutionary committees are formed at Kisvárda and Nagykálló, with delegates from several dozen smaller communities taking part.

National-guard units are established in Keszthely, Nagykanizsa and Zalaegerszeg.

Further Soviet troops enter Hungary at night.

In Moscow, Khrushchev proposes to the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee that the Hungarian revolution should be crushed by military force. The Presidium decides on military intervention.

In Washington DC, President Eisenhower, speaking on radio and television, expresses his admiration for the Hungarian people. At the same time, he assures the Soviet Union that the United States administration does not view either the new Polish or the new Hungarian leadership as a potential ally.

Student demonstrations supporting the Hungarian revolution take place in the Romanian cities of Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Oradea (Nagyvárad) and Tîrgu Mureş (Marosvásárhely).

Thursday, November 1

7.30 a.m.: Soviet troops surround Budapest Ferihegy Airport. Nearly all airfields in Hungary are surrounded and occupied by the Soviet army during the day.

The government protests to Soviet Ambassador Yuri Andropov at the arrival of further Soviet troops and the encircling of Budapest. The Budapest Armed Forces Command instructs Colonel János Mecséri to design a defence system for the city. Béla Király informs Imre Nagy that the Budaörs airfield is in government hands and that two planes are at his disposal if need be. The prime minister dismisses the idea of fleeing.

The Capital City National Committee, the Democratic People s Party, the Christian Hungarian Party, the Christian Front, the National Association of Former Political Prisoners (Pofosz) and the Hungarian Scouts Association are established.

In view of the grave situation, the government announces Hungary s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, declares the country s neutrality, and appeals to the United Nations for help. It calls on the four great powers for help in defending the country s neutrality.

7.50 p.m.: Nagy announces Hungary s neutrality on the radio. The government forbids Hungarian units to resist the Soviet troops.

8.24 p.m.: Cardinal József Mindszenty speaks on the radio.

About 10 p.m.: The radio broadcasts a speech by János Kádár, in which he pledges himself to the uprising. However, by the time it is broadcast, Kádár is no longer in the country. He and Ferenc Münnich have secretly gone over to the Soviets.

At night, Soviet troops surrounding Budapest begin to reconnoitre the city.

The rebels of Baross tér (7th District) form a national-guard unit. The Corvin köz unit elects Gergely Pongrátz as its commander-in-chief.

A county national guard is established in Győr.

Soldiers change sides during a demonstration in Kaposvár and six officers are arrested.

A start is made on building defences for the city of Szolnok.

Khrushchev tells a Polish delegation, at a meeting in Brest, that Soviet intervention in Hungary is imminent. The Poles take note of the Soviet decision.

Emergency measures are introduced throughout Romania. Foreigners are banned from Timişoara (Temesvár), Arad and other towns with large Hungarian communities. Students demonstrating at Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) University demand democratic rights and full freedom of study.

The Yugoslav army is placed on full alert and begins to advance towards the Hungarian border.

Friday, November 2

9 a.m.: The government cabinet meets. A government delegation is appointed to negotiate with the Soviet Union. The Hungarian delegation to the UN General Assembly is also agreed.

The defence of Pécs is organized.

The North and East Hungarian National Council <revolutionary councils and committees> is formed in Miskolc.

Soviet forces block the road from Győr towards the Western frontier.

A workers council is established at the Dorog Colliery Trust.

A town revolutionary committee forms in Salgótarján.

Soviet troops occupy the barracks of the air-force regiment at Kiskunlacháza.

The Soviet forces establish their Hungarian headquarters in Szolnok. Marshal Ivan Konev, commander-in-chief of the Warsaw Pact forces, arrives from Moscow and gives the order for an attack on November 4.

János Kádár arrives in Moscow. He, Ferenc Münnich and István Bata attend an expanded meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee.

Khrushchev and Malenkov, preparing for the Soviet military intervention in Hungary, meet Romanian, Czechoslovak and Bulgarian leaders in Bucharest.

7 p.m.: Khrushchev and Malenkov begin talks with Tito on the Yugoslav island of Brioni, informing the Yugoslavs about the impending intervention in Hungary. Tito does not oppose the Soviet military moves against Hungary. Indeed he offers to help by taking Imre Nagy out of circulation at the appropriate moment. (This occurs. The fact that Nagy and his associates accept the offer of asylum in the Yugoslav Embassy on November 4 effectively precludes any possibility of Nagy leading the armed resistance to the Soviets.)

Saturday, November 3

The National Government in Hungary is reshuffled.

Cardinal József Mindszenty calls at a press conference for political and economic aid from the Western nations, especially the great powers.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces Committee holds a meeting at Budapest police headquarters, with several rebel commanders taking part.

12 noon: Hungarian-Soviet negotiations on details of the troop withdrawals begin in Parliament. The Soviets give an undertaking to halt the occupation. Further Hungarian units occupy defensive positions round Budapest Jutadomb (20th District), Nagykőrösi út (18th and 19th districts) and Határ út (19th District),the edge of Soroksár (20th, now 23rd District), Jászberényi út, Zalka Máté tér (Liget tér, 10th District), Kőbányai út (8th District), Éles sarok (10th District) and Csajkovszkij park (10th District).

The Petőfi Circle is revived.

In the evening, Zoltán Tildy and Géza Losonczy hold an international press conference in Parliament.

8 p.m.: Cardinal József Mindszenty, head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, gives a speech on the radio emphasizing the consistency of his policy.

10 p.m.: Members of the KGB arrest the Hungarian government delegation, headed by Pál Maléter, negotiating at Tököl with the High Command of the Soviet Armed Forces in Hungary on the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

Military and national-guard units are formed in Pécs to defend the city.

Arms and ammunition are taken from Kalocsa to the national guard at Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros).

Soviet forces surround Debrecen and Győr, occupy Záhony railway station on the Soviet border, and close the frontier with Austria. Rebels in Zalaegerszeg and Nagykanizsa decide to defend their towns by force of arms.

A counter-government, headed by János Kádár and Ferenc Münnich, is formed in Moscow, at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. An appeal is addressed to the Hungarian people.

Henry Cabot Lodge, the US ambassador to the United Nations, introduces a resolution in the Security Council calling on the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from Hungary.

November 4 December 12, 1956

Sunday, November 4

Soviet troops cross the Hungarian border from Romania at dawn. The intervention is led by Colonel-General Lelyushenko. The proclamation by the Soviet-sponsored Hungarian Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government <Kádár government> is broadcast by Uzhgorod (Uzhkhorod, Ungvár) Radio.

4.15 a.m.: The Soviet troops launch a general attack. Guards Major-General K. Grebennik attacks Budapest with five divisions. Imre Nagy does not issue an order to resist.

5.20 a.m.: A short statement appealing for assistance, by Imre Nagy, is broadcast for the first time. It is repeated several times, in English, French, German, Russian, Czech and Polish as well.

6 8 a.m.: Members of the Nagy government take refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy. Mindszenty is given asylum in the US Embassy. István Bibó is the only member of the Hungarian government remaining in the Parliament building. The Soviets occupy the Defence and Interior ministries and surround Parliament.

7 8 a.m.: National-guard units in the Jutadomb area (20th District) force the Soviet convoy carrying the captured Hungarian negotiators to turn back. Eventually, Maléter and his associates have to be taken from Tököl to Mátyásföld (16th District) by helicopter.

7.57 a.m.: The appeal by the Writers Union for assistance is broadcast in Hungarian, English, German and Russian.

The national guard puts up resistance to the attack in Széna tér (2nd District), at the Royal Hotel (6th District), in Blaha Lujza tér (8th District), Garai utca (7th District), Thököly út (14th District), Budaörsi út (11th District), Kispest (19th District), Pestlőrinc (Pestszentlőrinc, 18th District), Soroksár and Pesterzsébet (20th District), Tűzoltó utca (9th District) and Nagyvárad tér (8th and 9th districts), at the Southern Railway Station (1st District) and in Csepel (21st District). The Corvin köz group fight heavy battles in Üllői út, Práter utca and Kisfaludy utca (8th District). The Soviets and the national guard suffer heavy casualties. Several hundred Hungarian citizens are deported to the Soviet Union.

The Soviets occupy Békéscsaba, Debrecen, Győr, Kecskemét, Miskolc, Pécs, Székesfehérvár, Szolnok and Szombathely, after meeting varying degrees of resistance. They surround Dorog, Esztergom, Oroszlány and Tatabánya.

János Kádár and Ferenc Münnich are flown from Moscow to Szolnok by military plane.

In New York, a meeting of the UN Security Council is called in response to the news of the Soviet intervention.

Monday, November 5

The Soviets occupy the Radio building. Resistance continues in Thököly út (14th District), Zalka Máté tér (Liget tér, 10th District), around Lehel út (13th District), and in the 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 13th and 21st districts. A Soviet attack on Corvin köz begins at 1 p.m.

There is fighting in Komló, Pécs and Veszprém. The Rákóczi free radio station begins broadcasting from Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros). The Soviets enter Tatabánya.

The puppet Hungarian Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government <Kádár government> in Szolnok appeals for help from the other socialist countries. The Soviet Union sends a message offering help.

Several thousand people in Cracow protest against the Soviet intervention.

Tuesday, November 6

The Soviets break the resistance in Széna tér (2nd District), Gellérthegy (1st and 11th districts) and Óbuda (3rd District). Almost 300 members of the Corvin köz group set out towards the Austrian border. The strength of the Hungarian resistance decreases sharply, but the rebels in Móricz Zsigmond körtér (11th District), Thököly út (14th District) and Corvin köz defend their positions. Several hundred resisters in the Buda Castle district, armed with heavy weapons, also fight on. A Soviet plane is shot down over Csepel (21st District). The Soviets, at negotiations held at the Kossuth Academy, demand unconditional surrender, which the national guards refuse to accept.

Soviet troops in the Mecsek Hills attack the rearguard of the national guards retreating to Vágot-puszta.

The Soviet convoy carrying Kádár leaves from Szolnok for Budapest in the late evening.

Wednesday, November 7

The Soviet armoured cars carrying Kádár and several members of his government arrive at Parliament. The Kádár government takes the oath of office in the afternoon (However, the lawful Nagy government has not resigned.) The Kádár government restores the state administration applying before October 23. The operation of the revolutionary soldiers councils is banned and the revolutionary committees are deprived of their right to act. November 7 is declared a working day, although it is the anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The requirement to teach Russian in schools is lifted. The ÁVH is disbanded.

Some 300 national guards in the Buda Castle district retreat into the National Archives building. The Soviets attack them with tanks and heavy artillery.

Communists among the rebels of Tűzoltó utca (9th District) hang out the Hungarian and Red flags for November 7. The Soviets attack with increased force. Resistance continues in Pesthidegkút (2nd District), Baross tér (7th and 8th districts), the 20th District and Csepel (21st District).

Some 300 350 insurrectionists in the Mecsek Hills establish the Vágot-puszta Camp. A strike committee forms at the Sopianae Engineering Works in Pécs.

An attack on Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros) is launched after a 25 30-minute bombardment. The Soviets use heavy artillery against the Hungarian anti-aircraft batteries. The defences collapse in the late afternoon and the Soviets take the town.

Thursday, November 8

Resistance ceases at the Schmidt Mansion in Óbuda (3rd District), in Kőbánya (10th District) and in Thököly út (14th District). Soviet tanks enter Csepel (21st District).

The Soviets occupy the uranium mines at Kővágószőllős, outside Pécs.

Soviet and Hungarian soldiers engage the rebels defending the customs house at Hegyeshalom. After a short exchange of fire, the outnumbered rebels retreat into Austria.

In New York, the 2nd Special Session of the UN General Assembly continues its debate on the Hungarian question.

Friday, November 9

The Presidential Council declares the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government <Kádár government> to be the highest body of state administration. It also legalizes the Kossuth coat of arms (the Hungarian coat of arms without a crown, introduced in 1849), which had reappeared during the revolution.

Organization of the National Defence Force begins. An Officer s Declaration is published, requiring unconditional support for the Kádár government. Officers refusing to sign it are dismissed.

Sporadic fighting continues in Széna tér (2nd District) and Vajdahunyad utca (8th District). The Soviets launch a general offensive to recapture Csepel (21st District), with fighter planes and heavy artillery keeping up a steady bombardment.

Rebels from Budapest and Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, Dunaújváros) march through Baja, heading for Yugoslavia.

Soviet artillery bombards the headquarters of the rebels in the Mecsek Hills.

Soviet armoured troops at Tarján fire on a convoy of rebels fleeing from Budapest towards Austria. The Soviets enter Oroszlány. Béla Király and remnants of the national guard prepare to defend themselves at Nagykovácsi.

The Soviets inform Kádár that Imre Nagy and his associates, who have taken refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy, may not leave for Yugoslavia.

The 2nd Special Session of the UN General Assembly passes a further resolution on the situation in Hungary.

Saturday, November 10

The Kádár government announces pay rises of 8 15 per cent and abolishes the tax on childless adults. The First Special Forces Officers Regiment began operating.

Imre Nagy informs Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Ranković in a letter that he is not willing to resign as Hungarian prime minister.

There is sporadic fighting in Budapest.

A government commissioner is appointed to head the Hungarian Red Cross. The International Red Cross resumes aid shipments.

Polish journalists posted in Budapest are expelled.

The Soviet attack forces the Mecsek rebels to fall back to Kisújbánya in the Eastern Mecsek Hills.

Members of the Békés County Revolutionary Council are arrested, which provokes a strike in the Békéscsaba factories. The national guard in Sátoraljaújhely lays down its arms. Soviet forces enter Dorog and Esztergom. The Soviets attack the national-guard units commanded by Béla Király at Nagykovácsi. After resisting for a short time, the rebels retreat westward.

The Kádár government accepts UN aid. A Swiss initiative calls for a conference of the four great powers and India.

The Yugoslav government confirms the right of Imre Nagy and his associates to asylum.

Sunday, November 11

The Provisional Executive Committee of the HSWP hears a report from Kádár on his activity during the revolution. On the same day, he delivers his first radio address since November 4.

The Mecsek rebels consolidate at Kisújbánya. Delegates of the factories and mines in Baranya County endorse a statement condemning the Kádár government and demanding the withdrawal of the Soviet forces.

Tito, in a speech in Pula, describes the events in Hungary as counter-revolutionary and justifies the Soviet intervention by pointing to a danger that socialism would fall. On the other hand, he explains the Yugoslav leadership s endorsement of the intervention by the force of circumstances.

Monday, November 12

The Kádár government describes the UN resolutions on Hungary as interference in the country s internal affairs. The official gazette publishes a decree by the Presidential Council dismissing the Nagy government and recognizing the composition of the Kádár government. The presiding committee of the Writers Union addresses an appeal to the nation. The Újpest Revolutionary Workers Council calls for the establishment of a central workers council. Representatives of the Budapest factories are summoned to a meeting on the following day. The national committee of the students federation Mefesz begins to operate in the headquarters of Szot, the trade-union movement, in Dózsa György út (6th District).

The rebels hiding in the Mecsek Hills are attacked by the Soviets. Their numbers have dwindled to about 200. There are sporadic skirmishes in the Sátoraljaújhely district. The workers councils in Miskolc and Győr and the iron-industry workers council in Mosonmagyaróvár call for a Soviet withdrawal, free and secret elections, and recognition of the Nagy government and the workers councils.

The 11th UN General Assembly places the Hungarian question on its agenda. (The debate begins on January 9, 1957.)

Tuesday, November 13

The Kádár government issues an order in which it permits the workers councils to operate. The underground Hungarian Democratic Independence Movement (MDFM) is established. Soviet troops in Budapest prevent the formation of central workers council.

The Soviets capture several rebels in the Mecsek Hills. The strike in Békés County continues after several members of the county revolutionary committee are arrested. Workers councils form in the Oroszlány and Tatabánya collieries. Rebels blow up the railway line between Dorog and Leányvár.

Wednesday, November 14

The Greater Budapest Central Workers Council (KMT) is established at a rally at the United Incandescent Lamp Factory (Egyesült Izzó). A KMT delegation negotiates with leaders of the Kádár government in Parliament on the same evening.

The workers council at the Ózd waggon works is re-elected. The workers councils at the Dorog and Tatabánya Colliery Trust affiliate to the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council>. The Soviets occupy Salgótarján.

US President Eisenhower also refers briefly to the Hungarian question at a press conference, saying the US would do nothing that would encourage the Hungarians to fight on.

Thursday, November 15

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> elects Sándor Rácz as its chairman. Further talks between the KMT and the Kádár government take place in Parliament overnight. The Hungarian Democratic Independence Movement issues its Ten Commandments for Hungarian Rebirth and launches an illegal paper, Október Huszonharmadika (October 23). The Csepel workers council calls for a return to work.

The Mecsek rebels return to Vágot-puszta. Security-force detachments are sent to the nearby villages of Máza, Szászvár and Magyaregregy. Soviet troops are ordered to Pécsvárad. Further arrests are made in Győr. A mass meeting called in Salgótarján decides on a partial return to work. The oil-industry workers councils decide to resume production.

A Polish party and government delegation travels to Moscow. The Soviets make important concessions to the Polish demands for greater freedom from Moscow s tutelage. The two sides issue a joint declaration of support for the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government.

Friday, November 16

Kádár, at a secret meeting at Leányfalu, agrees to the Soviet request that the Imre Nagy group should be deported to Romania. A Czechoslovak delegation negotiating in Budapest promises to deliver to Hungary goods worth 90 million Czechoslovak crowns. István Angyal, leader of the Tűzoltó utca rebels, is arrested. A strike of journalists begins in Budapest. The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> issues an appeal for a return to work, while reserving the right to strike. Meanwhile the KMT delegation has further negotiations with Kádár.

The Mecsek rebels start out westward, managing to break through the Soviet encirclement unobserved. Workers -council delegates in Pécs vote to go back to work. For the second time, the Soviets occupy Salgótarján, so that the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government <Kádár government> can take power. The factories in Karcag hold a two-day strike to protest against the deportations.

The UN secretary-general appoints a Committee of Three to investigate the Hungarian situation.

Saturday, November 17

Kádár calls on the Yugoslavs to hand over Imre Nagy and his associates to the new government. The central HSWP daily Népszabadság (People s Freedom) appears despite the journalists strike. Establishment of the Kádárite Workers Militia begins.

An assembly of workers at the Salgótarján steel plant decides to stay out on strike.

Sunday, November 18

The Yugoslav leadership insists on the guarantee given to Nagy and his group, but has no objection to them leaving for Romania. The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> delegation negotiates with K. Grebennik, the Soviet commander of Budapest. The Kádár government issues a statement denying that there are mass arrests and deportations. According to an article in the Népszabadság, all the demands of the popular uprising on October 23 will be met.

A workers council is elected at the Nógrád Colliery Trust.

The Kádár government reaches agreement with the International Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross about the distribution of aid consignments.

The leaders of the students union at the Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Romania, are arrested.

Monday, November 19

Imre Nagy and his associates announce that they do not want to leave the country. The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> issues a call for the establishment of a national workers council. Work resumes at most factories.

The Writers Union receives a visit from a Soviet delegation.

Organizations still loyal to the revolution the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council>, Peasants Association, National Union of Hungarian Journalists (Muosz), Revolutionary Committee of the Hungarian Intelligentsia, Hungarian Union of Fine and Applied Artists, Hungarian Musicians Union and Writers Union address a letter to the Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. They call on him to intervene on Hungary s behalf. János Szabó, commander of the Széna tér rebels, is arrested. The KGB seizes the films that have recorded the events of the revolution and sends them to Moscow.

A new workers council is elected at the Alföld Cannery in Kecskemét. Workers councils in Baja and Pécs decide to remain on strike.

Some of those deported to the Soviet Union are handed over to the Hungarian authorities.

Pravda, the central daily paper of the CPSU, commenting on Tito s speech in Pula, accuses the Yugoslav president of intervening in Hungary s internal affairs.

The UN General Assembly again debates the Hungarian question on November 19 and 20.

Tuesday, November 20

Officers who have not signed the Officer s Declaration (about a quarter of them) are discharged. An East German delegation has talks in Budapest about providing assistance to the country.

A miners delegation from Pécs has talks in Tatabánya and Oroszlány with the coal-miners workers council and then travels to Budapest for talks with the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> and the government. The Tatabánya workers council, after consultations with the Pécs, Komló and Central Transdanubian workers councils, draws up demands to present to the Kádár government. The armed resistance in the Mecsek Hills ends.

Wednesday, November 21

The Kádár government gives a written guarantee to Yugoslavia that Imre Nagy and his associates will not be prosecuted.

Delegations from the Borsod, Dorog, Pécs and Tatabánya miners have talks in Parliament. There is an unsuccessful attempt to form a national workers council: the National Sports Hall, where the rally was to be held, is surrounded by Soviet armoured tanks. The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> calls a 48-hour protest strike. In the afternoon, the KMT negotiates with the government. Major-General Grebennik, talking to Western journalists, describes the deportations as abuses committed by certain officers. The Revolutionary Council of the Hungarian Intelligentsia is established.

The workers at the Baja factories go back to work. The founding meeting of the Nógrád County Workers Council begins in Salgótarján. Work resumes in the Transdanubian oil enterprises.

After a three-day debate, the UN General Assembly passes several resolutions on the Hungarian question. Three minutes silence is observed in Switzerland to commemorate the Hungarian independence struggle.

Thursday, November 22

Imre Nagy and his associates leave the Yugoslav Embassy in a Soviet military bus, after receiving assurances of safe conduct from the Yugoslavs. However, the undertakings are immediately broken when they are taken to the KGB headquarters in Mátyásföld (16th District). They are flown to Romania the next day.

Nehru sends a message to Kádár suggesting that Hungary should receive the UN secretary-general and a group of UN observers. The KMT delegation has talks with Kádár at night. Electricity consumption has to be restricted in Pécs due to the shortage of coal.

The survivors of the Mecsek rebel force cross the Hungarian-Yugoslav border near Barcs at dawn. The Yugoslavs disarm them and send them to the Koprivnica (Kapronca) refugee camp. The workers councils in Gyula decide to continue striking.

Friday, November 23

The Yugoslavs make a diplomatic protest against the abduction of the Imre Nagy group.

The Kádár government recognizes the KMT as a negotiating partner. The KMT calls for a return to work. After an appeal by the Revolutionary Council of the Hungarian Intelligentsia and the KMT to commemorate the revolution, traffic in Budapest stops between 2 and 3 p.m. and the city is plunged into silence.

A delegation from the communist-led World Federation of Trade Unions has talks in Budapest.

Delegates of the Komló, Mohács, Pécs and Szigetvár workers councils, meeting at Pécsbányatelep, establish the Baranya County Central Workers Council.

Imre Nagy, his associates and their families are taken from Bucharest Airport to Snagov.

Saturday, November 24

An official Hungarian communiqué is issued on the departure of Imre Nagy and his group. The staff of the party daily Népszabadság goes on strike. Government commissioners are appointed for the larger factories.

The strike continues in Komárom and Nógrád counties.

Poland sends Hungary aid worth 100 million zlotys.

The Yugoslav press gives prominence to the Nagy group s deportation.

Sunday, November 25

Talks between the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> leaders and government members in Parliament break off after a violent altercation. J.N. Koshla, the Indian ambassador in Prague, arrives in Budapest. He remains in Hungary until December 7.

Local trade-union elections are held under the supervision of the Győr-Sopron County workers councils.

Monday, November 26

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> passes a resolution demanding that the Kádár government make a statement on the fate of Imre Nagy and his associates, and issue a permit for the publication of the KMT newspaper. János Kádár deals at length with the question of Imre Nagy in a radio address. (After that, no further information is given on the matter until June 17, 1958.) Ambassador Koshla has talks with Kádár on bringing in UN observers. The workers council in Tatabánya calls for the introduction of two-shift working.

Monday, November 27

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> issues a protest against Kádár s radio address the previous evening. In the evening, a KMT delegation led by Sándor Rácz has talks with Kádár in Parliament. The Kádár government appeals to the peasantry, trying to win them over with promises. The Writers Union sends a letter to the diplomatic missions in Budapest protesting against the deportation of Georg Lukács. Recruitment of a battalion of security-force officers begins in Debrecen. The workers councils of the Transdanubian Oil-Industry Enterprises, meeting in Nagykanizsa, call upon the branches on the Great Plain and in Budapest to establish workers councils. They also appoint a permanent delegate to the KMT.

Tuesday, November 28

Sándor Rácz reports on the negotiations with the government at a combined meeting of the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> and the Budapest district workers councils. The Revolutionary Council of the Hungarian Intelligentsia passes a resolution supporting the revolution s objectives.

Ferenc Münnich, in a statement, promises a review of the activity of the ÁVH. (No general inquiry is ever held.)

An appeal launching a movement called Budapest Beautiful Again is issued by the HSWP-controlled Revolutionary Young Workers Association (Fisz).

The strike continues at the Tatabánya and Dorog collieries.

Thursday, November 29

The All-University Revolutionary Committee and the Central Workers Council of the Csepel Iron and Metal Works are established. More than 300 miners at Pécsbányatelep go on strike. The factories in Lábatlan call for the establishment of a workers council covering all the factories in the Danube-side area. KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> delegates negotiate with the county workers council in Salgótarján.

Polish daily papers publish the diaries of their Budapest correspondents in several parts. West Germany <East and West Germany> sends Hungary food and medical aid worth 10 million marks.

Friday, November 30

The Soviets call upon Kádár to begin reprisals, naming six or eight revolutionaries whom they consider should be executed immediately.

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> issues a call for readers to boycott the HSWP newspapers until the KMT receives a press permit. The public-supplies commissioner lifts the ban on alcohol sales.

The revolutionary committee in Oroszlány dissolves. Kádár has talks with representatives of the workers council in Tatabánya and makes the resumption of work a condition for further talks. The county workers council in Salgótarján wants to send a delegation to Kádár, but the meeting is broken up by members of the security forces.

Leaflets and fly-posters appear at the Lomonosov University in Moscow, demanding accurate information on the events in Hungary.

Saturday, December 1

The first issue of the emigré newspaper Nemzetőr (National Guard) appears in Vienna. Kádár, briefing the Yugoslav government, describes the case of Imre Nagy as an internal affair of Hungary s. The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> issues a call against the strikes. A decree is published granting a general pardon to all those who have emigrated illegally since October 23. A security-force regiment of 2000 is formed under the Ministry of the Interior.

The town council and workers council of Baja hold a joint meeting. The strike by the miners of Pécsbányatelep ends without result. The striking miners in Tatabánya demand that the security forces be disarmed. Only one of two delegations from Salgótarján is admitted into the Parliament building. Its members repeat their demands of November 30 and say that the strike will continue. The workers councils of the factories in Balassagyarmat try to halt production at the bakery, but they are prevented from doing so by members of the security forces.

Sunday, December 2

A three-day meeting of the Provisional Executive Committee of the HSWP begins. The events of October are described there as a counter-revolution. The Indian ambassador in Moscow spends December 2 7 in Budapest. He has talks with Kádár, who rejects his proposals for progress. A battalion of the Interior Ministry security-force regiment is sent to the Western border.

The county workers council in Salgótarján decides to continue striking. It calls upon the Soviets to take over the public administration in Nógrád County, rather than the vengeful security forces.

Monday, December 3

In Moscow, 150 students of the Lomonosov University are expelled. Students from the Baltic republics are sent home and lectures and events to do with Marxist-Leninist philosophy are suspended until the end of the year.

The Romanian foreign minister announces to the UN General Assembly that Imre Nagy and his group are receiving political asylum in Romania.

Tuesday, December 4

Several thousand women march to Hősök tere (Heroes Square, 14th District), where they place flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and display the flag of the revolution. There is also a demonstration in Szabadság tér (5th District), outside the US Embassy.

A district central workers council is formed in Orosháza and subscribes to the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> demands. The Danube-Side Central Workers Council is established in Dorog. The workers councils at factories in Esztergom, Lábatlan, Nyergesújfalu and Tokod affiliate. The workers council and the management of the Nógrád Colliery Trust reach agreement on a resumption of work.

Wednesday, December 5

A government order dissolving the revolutionary committees is published.

About 12 noon: Several hundred women march towards Március 15. tér (5th District) to lay flowers on the statue of poet Sándor Petőfi, who died fighting against Russian intervention forces in the 1848 9 war of independence. The demonstration ends when the Soviets intervene. Demonstrators at several university hostels prevent students from being deported. The security forces disperse another demonstration in the afternoon in Szabadság tér (5th District). About 200 members of the intelligentsia and of workers councils are arrested in the evening. The first volume of the White Book (The Counter-revolutionary Forces in the October events in Hungary) appears.

The workers council of Nógrád County calls on the miners to return to work.

The UN General Assembly passes a resolution on sending UN observers to Hungary.

The Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party announces that proceedings have started in 674 cases linked with the events in Hungary.

Thursday, December 6

A KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> memorandum states that its negotiations with the government have ended unsuccessfully because of the government s inflexibility. The KMT protests against the successive arrests of leaders of the workers councils. It calls a national meeting for December 9 to establish a national workers council. (In the event this is held on December 8.)

The government organizes communist rallies in several places in Budapest. Workers returning from work attack communists carrying red flags in Népköztársaság útja (Andrássy út, 6th District) and along the Nagykörút (grand boulevard). Crowds hurling stones at the demonstrators are dispersed by security forces and the Soviets. Gunfire is exchanged near November 7. tér (Oktogon, 6th District), and security men fire into a crowd of workers by the Western Railway Station. A crowd of counter-demonstrators that gathers in the afternoon in Baross tér (7th and 8th districts) is also dispersed by security men and the Soviets.

There are demonstrations in Békéscsaba, Gyula, Sarkad and Tatabánya. A strike breaks out in Békéscsaba the next day to protest against the arrests. The collieries in Nógrád County go on strike after workers leaders in the county are arrested. The Danube-Side Central Workers Council meets in Esztergom.

The 9th Session of Unesco adopts a resolution on assisting with the repair of schools in Hungary.

Friday, December 7

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> holds a meeting. A letter is sent to the Soviet prime minister proposing direct relations between the KMT and the Soviet government. Kádár receives Yugoslav Ambassador Dalibor Soldatić and holds out prospects of settling the affair of Imre Nagy and his associates peacefully. The security forces disperse a demonstration in Baross tér (7th and 8th districts), near the Eastern Railway Station.

The authorities prevent the establishment of a central workers council in Baja. Demonstrations take place in Pécs, Esztergom and Berettyóújfalu, and at Orosháza, Dévaványa, Battonya, Mezőkovácsháza, Gyulavári, Doboz and Sarkad, all in Békés County. A communist demonstration is advertised for the next day in Salgótarján.

The 14th Summer Olympics in Melbourne close. Many of the Hungarian contestants remain abroad.

Saturday, December 8

A Bács-Kiskun County workers council is established in Kecskemét. The Soviets disperse another demonstration in Battonya. The strike and protests in Tatabánya continue due to the arrests. An armed guard is set up on one housing estate in the town to obstruct the raids by the security forces.

A delegation from the Nógrád County Workers Council sets out for Budapest to attend a KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> meeting. In Salgótarján, the Soviets and the security forces open fire on a crowd of demonstrators. The massacre, which lasts for 8 10 minutes, leaves 52 dead and about 150 wounded. On hearing news of the shooting, the KMT calls a 48-hour strike. The railway bridge over the Zagyva river at Pásztó is blown up to obstruct the deportations.

Sunday, December 9

The government outlaws the workers councils, including the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council>. The workers -council delegates assembled at the headquarters of the building trades union in Budapest are arrested. KMT representatives personally deliver the call for a strike to the major centres in the provinces.

György Marosán delivers a speech before 1200 1500 communists in Pécs, after which there is a pro-government demonstration in Széchenyi tér, the city s main square. Protests take place at Dévaványa, Szeghalom and Vésztő in Békés County, and in Miskolc. A meeting in Oroszlány votes to return to work. Arrests continue in Salgótarján. Two leaders of the national guard at the steel works there are brutally murdered by security men. The Nógrád County Provisional Executive Committee of the HSWP holds a meeting of almost 120 county activists.

Monday, December 10

The Soviets open fire during a demonstration in Miskolc. The Szinva Bridge collapses under the fleeing crowd and several people are killed. The workers council at the Lenin Foundry in Miskolc bans organization by the HSWP at the works. The strike continues in Győr. A 48-hour strike is called in Eger. Demonstrations and wreath-laying ceremonies are held in several places. The security forces, with Soviet assistance, attack the miners quarter in Tatabánya late in the evening. The local guard ceases its resistance after several hours. Three people die in the fighting.

Monday, December 11

The 48-hour strike called by the KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> begins, halting production, rail traffic and public transport throughout the country. In response, the Kádár government declares a state of emergency and orders the disarming of factory guards.

The KMT <Greater Budapest Central Workers Council> leaders, Sándor Bali and Sándor Rácz, are arrested at the Parliament building, where they have arrived for negotiations. The Central Workers Council of the Csepel Iron and Metal Works comes out against the strike again, but all the factories stop work nonetheless. A start is made to reinstalling the Iron Curtain along the Western border. The government commissioner for public supplies reintroduces the ban on alcohol sales.

The Hungarian UN delegation walks out of the General Assembly because of attacks made on the Kádár government. The president of the International League of Red Cross Societies pays a visit to Budapest.

Most factories in Baja, Debrecen and Kecskemét join the strike. Arrests begin in Baja. There are further demonstrations in Eger and Zalaegerszeg.

Tuesday, December 12

The internment camps are reopened. The security forces disperse a demonstration in Bosnyák tér (14th District). Demonstrations are held in Gyoma and Kecskemét. Security men in Eger fire on demonstrators, killing eight and wounding 27.

The UN General Assembly passes a further resolution condemning the Soviet intervention in Hungary.

December 13, 1956 to March 21, 1957


December 13: The national guards in Sztálinváros (Dunaújváros) and Dorog are disarmed.

December 14: The CPSU passes a resolution on sending Soviet advisers to Hungary.

December 15: József Soltész is executed in Miskolc, as the first to receive the death penalty in a trial related to the 1956 revolution.

December 17: March 15, the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1848 revolution, is declared a public holiday.

December 22: The security forces capture an armed group in the Bakony Hills.

December 24: The Christmas issue of the central party daily Népszabadság (People s Freedom) tries to court public opinion by publishing some articles on religious subjects. The curfew is lifted to allow worshippers to attend midnight mass.

December 28: A members meeting of the Writers Union accepts Áron Tamási s piece Care and Faith as a statement of principle.

December 30: A decree of the Presidential Council transfers the duties of the ÁVH to the police.

December 31: The curfew is maintained on New Year s Eve. The first part is completed of Hungaricus , an illegally distributed study of Soviet-type communism, written under a pseudonym.


January 1 4: Soviet, Bulgarian, Czechoslovak, Romanian and Hungarian leaders meet in Budapest.

January 4 7: The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations has talks in Budapest on the UN aid to be given to Hungary.

January 5 7: The emigré Hungarian Revolutionary Council holds it founding meeting in Strasbourg.

January 5: The first issue of the Kádárite paper Magyar Ifjúság (Hungarian Youth) appears.

January 6: The Kádár government publishes its programme, Statement of the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government on the Main Tasks .

January 7 11: Chinese Prime Minister Zhou En-lai calls for strong reprisals for the Hungarian uprising.

January 7: Security men break a strike that begins at Pécsbányatelep.

January 11: A government commissioner is appointed to run the Csepel Iron and Metal Works. Workers demonstrating against the appointee clash with security men. One worker is killed by a shot.

January 12: An order is issued introducing accelerated criminal proceedings. The state of emergency is extended to factories employing more than 100.

January 16: Chinese Prime Minister Zhou En-lai arrives on a two-day visit to Budapest.

January 17: The interior minister suspends the activities of the Writers Union.

January 19: József Dudás and János Szabó are executed.

January 20: The interior minister appoints a government commissioner to head Muosz, the journalists union.

January 21: All the arts associations are placed under Interior Ministry supervision.

January 31: A weekly paper in Paris gives news of the Hungaricus study of Soviet-type communism. A few weeks later, several Western papers and radio stations describe and report details from the study.

February: The Pioneers Association, the communist-run children s organization, is reorganized. The Federation of Hungarian Freedom Fighters is founded in Genoa, Italy.

February 2: Kádár, speaking in Salgótarján, accuses Imre Nagy of fomenting the counter-revolutionary uprising and calls him a traitor. The secure border zone along the Yugoslav frontier is restored.

February 8 12: Talks take place in Prague on Czechoslovak assistance to Hungary.

February 18: A legal decree is issued establishing the Kádárite Workers Militia. The trial of Ilona Tóth and others begins in the Budapest Court.

February 26: Kádár announces at a meeting of the Provisional Executive Committee of the HSWP that an investigation is being launched into the actions of Imre Nagy and his associates.

February 27: A Foreign Ministry spokesman tells Western journalists that the government does not intend to put Imre Nagy on trial.

February 28: The first brigade of the Kádárite Workers Militia is established in Kőbánya (10th District).

March and April: Imre Nagy s selected writings of 1955 6 (On Communism: In Defence of the New Course) appear in Western countries.

March 5 6: Arrests are made at the Budapest Technical University.

March 10 15: The government fears a new uprising as the March 15 national holiday approaches. The security forces conduct mass arrests and actions throughout the country.

March 12: Workers Militia units are established in Csepel (21st District), Ózd and Mosonmagyaróvár.

March 15: The security forces take conspicuous control over Budapest and other larger cities. In Romania, more than 20 prisoners are executed and several hundred arrests are made in connection with the Hungarian revolution. The first issue of the Irodalmi Újság (Literary Gazette) <Writers Union> appears in London.

March 17: In the provinces, 38 brigades and 70 companies of the Workers Militia begin operating.

March 21: The Communist Youth League (Kisz) is established.

March 21 8: A Hungarian delegation headed by János Kádár visits Moscow. This is the first official visit abroad by the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government <Kádár government>.

March 25: Kossuth, the HSWP publishing company, brings out a volume on foreign assessments of the counter-revolution .

March 29: There are communist rallies in Budapest with several tens of thousands taking part.

March 30: The Workers Militia stages a display of strength in Budapest.

April: The Hungarian Association of Freedom Fighters is established in Germany <East and West Germany>. A British branch of the Hungarian Revolutionary Youth Association is formed.

April 5: Kádár writes to the Yugoslav government requesting that the right of asylum accorded to Imre Nagy and his associates be formally annulled.

April 13: The curfew in force in Budapest for the last six months is lifted.

April 15: The members of the Imre Nagy group who have been arrested are brought back to Budapest from Romania.

April 21: The interior minister dissolves the Writers Union. Writer Tibor Déry is arrested.

End of April: The Hungarian Writers Union Abroad protests in the world press at Déry s arrest.

May 1: Work starts on installing the first landmine barrier along the Hungarian-Austrian border.

May 7: A hunger strike breaks out in the Hungarian refugee camp in Austria after emigration to the United States is halted. Some 100 120 Hungarian students demonstrate in front of the US Embassy in Vienna, calling for the emigration to be permitted again.

May 9: Parliament meets for the first time since August 3, 1956. The Kossuth coat of arms is replaced by a design for the People s Republic, known as the Kádár coat of arms.

May 23: István Bibó and Zoltán Tildy, both members of the Nagy government, are arrested.

May 27: An agreement normalizing the legal position of the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary is signed in Budapest.

May 28: The interior minister orders a political purge of the police force. Some 25 30 per cent of the force are dismissed.

May 30: The Kádár government calls on the International Committee of the Red Cross to cease its activities in Hungary by June 30.

June 5 11: A Bulgarian government delegation visits Hungary. A rally held in the Sports Hall is addressed by Kádár and the Bulgarian party leader, Todor Zhivkov.

June 20: The UN Committee of Five submits its report on Hungary.

June 22: The Kádár government describes the report by the UN Committee of Five as interference in Hungary s internal affairs.

June 27 9: The HSWP holds a national meeting.

June 28: Ilona Tóth is executed in Budapest.

August: The Patriotic People s Front organizes meetings around the country debating the report of the UN Committee of Five. The report becomes a bestseller in the United States.

August 12: Attila Szigethy, chairman of the Transdanubian National Council, commits suicide in a military hospital in Győr.

September 9: The trial begins of Leningrad University students sympathetic to the Hungarian revolution.

September 10 14: The UN General Assembly accepts the report by the Committee of Five.

October 15 onwards: As the anniversary of the revolution approaches, leaflets and graffiti begin to appear all over the country.

October 22: The Hungarian Freedom Association, Hungarian Writers Union Abroad, Social Democratic Party, Free Hungarian Trade Unions, and British Association of Hungarian University Students hold a ceremony on the eve of the first anniversary of the revolution.

October 23: The Hungarian public commemorates and pays respects in various ways on the first anniversary of the revolution, but no large-scale incident occurs. Detachments of the army, police and Workers Militia patrol the streets in Budapest and other cities. Several hundred people are arrested. Commemorations are held in Bern, Bonn, Copenhagen, the Hague, Hanover, Madrid, Mainz, Montevideo, Munich, New York, Oslo, Paris, Reykjavik, Rome, Saigon, Santiago de Chile, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Sydney, Vienna, Washington, West Berlin and Zurich. The first issue of the emigré Népszava (Voice of the People) appears in London.

October 30: A rally is held in Köztársaság tér (8th District), marking the first anniversary of the siege of the Budapest party headquarters.

November 3: The system of summary justice is abolished.

November 12 16: A conference of world communist parties is held in Moscow.

November 13: The Council of the People s Tribunal of the Supreme Court passes sentence in the great writers trial.

November 17: The workers councils in work places are abolished.

December 10: A resolution of the HSWP Central Committee calls for class criteria to be applied and priority to be given to proceedings against those accused of participating in the revolution.

December 21: Géza Losonczy dies in prison.

December 30: László Iván Kovács, the first commander of the Corvin köz group, is executed.


January 3 7: The UN high commissioner for refugees visits Hungary.

January 9: Árpád Brusznyai, leader of the revolution in Veszprém, is executed.

January 16 17: A party of American journalists visits Hungary.

February 5 6: The secret trial of Imre Nagy and his associates begins.

February 20 28: A Hungarian party and government delegation visits Romania.

March: Emigré organizations in New York start to publish a periodical entitled Október 23, in Hungarian and later in English.

March 14 17: The 1st World Congress of Hungarian Freedom Fighters takes place in Paris.

March 24: A delegation of the Communist Party of Great Britain has talks in Budapest.

March 27 8: Hungarian and Yugoslav delegations led by Kádár and Tito have talks in Karađorđevo.

April: The Soviet Union introduces economic sanctions against Yugoslavia.

April 2 10: A Soviet delegation led by Khrushchev visits Hungary.

April 24: József Szilágyi is executed.

May 9 12: A Polish party and government delegation visits Hungary after 18 months of postponements.

May 24: Khrushchev receives Kádár. Sizeable cuts are made in the Soviet forces stationed in the occupied countries. Kádár opposes this. (The Soviet forces are withdrawn from Romania permanently.)

June 9 15: The Council of the People s Tribunal of the Supreme Court, chaired by Ferenc Vida, continues the secret trial of Imre Nagy and associates. Nagy, Miklós Gimes and Pál Maléter are sentenced to death, Sándor Kopácsi to life imprisonment, Ferenc Donáth to 12 , Ferenc Jánosi to eight, Zoltán Tildy to six and Miklós Vásárhelyi to five years imprisonment.

June 16: Nagy, Gimes and Maléter, along with the Újpest national-guard member Péter Gábor, are executed at the Budapest National Prison. The bodies are unceremoniously buried in the earth of the prison courtyard. Their remains are only transferred to a cemetery in 1961.

June 17: The verdicts in the Nagy trial are published. News of the executions provokes protest meetings in several Western countries.

June 21: The UN Committee of Five issues a statement condemning the execution of Imre Nagy and his associates.

July 31: The Institute of Party History publishes a book entitled Counter-revolution in Hungary, 1956.

August: The fifth volume of the White Book (The Counter-revolutionary Conspiracy of Imre Nagy and His Accomplices) is published.

September: The members of the Imre Nagy group who were not arrested return with their families from Romania.

October 23: Commemorations of the Hungarian revolution are held worldwide, for instance in Amsterdam, Austria, Paris, Madrid, Munich, New York, Oslo and the Vatican.

November 16: The first parliamentary elections since the revolution are held.

December 1: István Angyal, commander of the Tűzoltó utca group of armed rebels, is executed.

December 11: The UN General Assembly again places the Hungarian question on its agenda.


March 21: Péter Mansfeld is executed 11 days after his 18th birthday.

April 4: A partial amnesty <1959 amnesty> is declared for those serving sentences of less than two years.

April 17: A Déry Committee is formed in Paris to campaign for the release of the writer Tibor Déry.

July 9: The International PEN Club applies to Kádár for an amnesty for writers.

October 23: There are demonstrations marking the anniversary of the revolution in many Western cities, including Basel, Bonn, Buenos Aires, Graz, Hanover, Johannesburg, Konstanz, London, Los Angeles, Lucerne, Montevideo, Montreal, New York, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and Zurich.

October 27: The strength of the Workers Militia reaches 5000.

December 8 10: The Hungarian question again features on the agenda at the UN General Assembly.


April 1: A partial amnesty <1960 amnesty> is declared.

April 7: The restrictions attached to the amnesty provoke a hunger strike at the Vác National Prison.

May 9: The writer Gyula Illyés makes a statement to the press for the first time since 1956.

September: Khrushchev and Kádár visit New York for the UN General Assembly.

October 23: The governors of New York, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas declare October 23 to be Hungarian Freedom Fighters Day. Demonstrations are held and monuments unveiled in big cities around the world to mark the Hungarian revolution.

December 16 18: Kisz holds its first congress.


February 6 7: Mass house searches take place in Budapest. Several priests are arrested on charges of conspiring against the state.

March 15: The Catholic Bench of Bishops issues a statement condemning the crimes of those who have been arrested.

August 26: The Baross tér rebels are the last people to be executed for acts committed during the 1956 revolution.

October 23: The revolution is commemorated in several of the world s great cities, including Buenos Aires, Graz, New York, Paris and Rome.


August 16: The HSWP Central Committee passes a resolution on settlement of the unlawful trials , concerned with the show trials held in the early 1950s. Mátyás Rákosi and Ernő Gerő, who are living in exile in the Soviet Union, are excluded from the party.

October 11 12: György Marosán is relieved of all his positions.

October 20: It is agreed at secret Hungarian-US talks to drop the Hungarian question from the UN agenda in return for a general amnesty.

December 18: The United States proposes at the UN General Assembly that the Hungarian question be dropped from the agenda. (This is accepted on December 20.)


February 24: At elections for Parliament and local councils, 98.9 per cent of the voters endorse the official Patriotic People s Front candidates.

March 21: Kádár, addressing the opening session of the new Parliament, announces a general amnesty <1963 amnesty>.

Early April: Most of those convicted in connection with the 1956 revolution are released, but many remain in prison until the early 1970s.