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Polish Leaders and the Hungarian Revolution

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Party Leadership Polish Leader Polish Party Warsaw Pact Politburo Member 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    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
  2. 3.
    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
  3. 9.
    For a detailed account of 1956 see G. Litván (ed.), The Hungarian Revolution of 1956: Reform, Revolt and Repression, 1953–1963, edited and translated by J.M. Bak and L.H. Legters (London and New York, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Decision in the Kremlin, 1956, pp. 62–5, and É. Gál, A.B. Hegedűs, G. Litván and J.M. Rainer (eds), A ‘Jelcin-dosszié’. Szovjet dokumentumok 1956-ról (The Yeltsin File: Soviet Documents on 1956) (Budapest, 1993), pp. 70–73 (Doc. No. II/12) (hereafter The Yeltsin File).Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    W. Namiotkiewicz, Działalność Władysława Gomułki. Fakty, wspomnienia, opinie (Warsaw, 1985), pp. 319–38.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    This and others of the most important archival documents referring to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution were published in János Tischler (ed.), Rewolucja Węgierska 1956 w polskich dokumentach (The 1956 Hungarian Revolution in Polish Documents) (Warsaw, 1995) (hereafter Rewolucja Węgierska 1956).Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    M. Kula, Paryż, Londyn i Waszyngton patrzą na Październik 1956 r. w Polsce (Warsaw, 1992), p. 140.Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    Interview with Artur Starewicz in J. Tischler, ‘Lengyel szemmel 1956-ról (On 1956 Through Polish Eyes)’, Múltunk (Our Past), Vol. 2–3 (1992), pp. 277–8 (hereafter Through Polish Eyes’).Google Scholar
  9. 33.
    J. Tischler, ‘Csou En-laj kínai miniszterelnök 1957. januái láogatása Varsóban. A Gomułka-Csou En-laj tárgyalásokró51 készített feljegyzés, 1957. január 11–16 (The visit of Chinese Prime Minister Chou-Enlai to Warsaw. Record of the negotiations between Gomułka and Chou-Enlai, 11–16 January 1957)’, Múltunk, 1994, No. 3, p. 157.Google Scholar
  10. 50.
    Andrzej Werblan, ‘Czy los Imre Nagy’a przeraził Gomułke.?”, Prawo i Życie, 1991, No. 43.Google Scholar
  11. 56.
    K.N. Vágyi and L. Sipos (eds), A Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt ideiglenes vezető testületeinek jegyzőkönyvei (Minutes of the Provisional Leading Bodies of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party), Vol. 1, 11 November 1956–14 January 1957, (Budapest, 1993), p. 64 (hereafter Az MSZMP).Google Scholar
  12. 58.
    M. Baráth and Z. Ripp (eds), Az MSZMP, Vol. 4, 21 May 1957–24 June 1957 (Budapest, 1994), p. 260.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • János Tischler

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