Polish Leaders and the Hungarian Revolution

  • János Tischler
Part of the International Council for Central and East European Studies book series


In autumn 1956, not the first or last time in history, the fates of Hungary and Poland became closely intertwined. Although their uprisings took very different turns, they influenced one another. Mutual solidarity was first seen in the 23 October demonstration in Budapest, which started as a march in support of the changes in Poland. It was reaffirmed the next day at the mass meeting of hundreds of thousands in Warsaw to assure the newly-elected party leadership of their support. Some Polish university groups drew up under Hungarian flags and were given an enthusiastic reception by the crowd.1 Gomulka’s address included the statement that Khrushchev had just promised him that the Soviet armed forces, which had halted their march towards Warsaw, would return to barracks within forty-eight hours. It was clear that after so public an announcement, the Soviet Union could not easily revoke this undertaking, however reluctantly given.


Party Leadership Polish Leader Polish Party Warsaw Pact Politburo Member 
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    See V. Sereda and J.M. Rainer (eds), Döntés a Kremlben, 1956. A szovjetpártelnökség vitái Magyarországról (Decision in the Kremlin, 1956: The discussions of the Soviet Party Presidium concerning Hungary) (Budapest, 1996), pp. 22–4 (hereafter Decision in the Kremlin, 1956).Google Scholar
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    The representatives of fraternal parties were called to Moscow on 24 October 1956 to hear Khrushchev’s account of his earlier negotiations in Warsaw, but the agenda had already been changed by the emerging crisis in Hungary: see Tibor Hajdu, ‘Az 1956. október 24-i moszkvai értekezlet’ (The 24 October 1956 Moscow Conference), Évkönyv I. (Annals, Vol. 1) (Budapest, 1992), pp. 149–56.Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • János Tischler

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