The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was not only a turning point in the ultimate downfall of communism and the disintegration of the USSR but also the start of Hungary’s independence. From its beginning as a student demonstration to its end less than two weeks later, it is a moment in history which signaled the people in Hungary has had enough of the Soviet occupation of Hungary and lack of political freedom.
Hungarian students were getting tired of all the changes occurring at the schools in regard to their curriculum. On October 16, 1956, in Szeged (in the Southeast part of Hungary), they formed an independent student union. Students at The Budapest Technical University were also frustrated with the situation and joined the other students in demanding a change in Hungary. They no longer wanted reforms but instead demanded a drastic change. Among their 16 demands were the following: 1.
Soviet troop withdrawal in Hungary
Dissolution of the AVH (Hungarian Secret Police 1946-1956) 4.
The formation of a multi-party system
The removal of Stalin’s statue in Budapest
Hungary’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact
They voiced their concerns to no avail and then wanted to take to the streets of Budapest, the capital of Hungary, to hold a peaceful march to bring attention to their demands. At first the government prohibited the march but later the same day changed their minds and allowed the march to occur, but only under strict instructions not to use any force.
On October 23rd, the students from Szeged came to Budapest to start the march on the east side of the Danube River (the west side is Buda and the east side is Pest) at a statue of Sandor Petofi, a hero-poet from the 1948 revolution. The students marched across the Margit Bridge (which honors another 1948 hero Josef Bem) where they met up with the students from the university. Along their way to the Hungarian Parliament building they were joined by workers who were just...
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