The Hungarian Revolution

During the occupation of Hungary by the Soviet Union, oppressive conditions sparked a desire amongst the youth of Budapest. One afternoon a student demonstration with thousands of people marched through streets to the Parliament building chanting “Radio Free Europe,” alongside a van with a loudspeaker attached to it. A student tried entering the building and was immediately detained. When the demonstrators demanded his release, State Security Police opened fire on the demonstrators from within the building.

On this day October 24th, in 1956, the Hungarian Revolution erupted. When the first shots were fired a panic stirred through the crowd, spreading violence and disorder throughout the streets of Budapest. Thousands of people organized into militias and fought State Police and Soviet troops. The new government eventually disbanded the State police and brought things to a state of normalcy until Soviet forces decided to invade and crush the revolutionaries.

Only a few months after the revolt a large wave of Soviet forces poured into Budapest and began suppressing the revolutionaries. Over 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees and over 2,500 Hungarians had been killed in the conflict, in addition to 700 Soviet troops.