Polish Leaders and the Hungarian Revolution
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.
KeywordsParty Leadership Polish Leader Polish Party Warsaw Pact Politburo Member
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