The 1956 Hungarian Revolution

A History in Documents
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-48-0
cloth
$67.95 / €57.95 / £43.95
ISBN: 
978-963-9241-66-4
paperback
$40.00 / €35.00 / £30.00
With a foreword by Charles Gati and an Introductory Essay by Timothy Garton Ash
Publication date: 
2002
600 pages

If there had been all-news television channels in 1956, viewers around the world would have been glued to their sets between October 23 and November 4. This book tells the story of the Hungarian Revolution in 120 original documents, ranging from the minutes of the first meeting of Khrushchev with Hungarian bosses after Stalin's death in 1953 to Yeltsin's declaration made in 1992. Other documents include letters from Yuri Andropov, Soviet Ambassador in Budapest during and after the revolt. The great majority of the material appears in English for the first time, and almost all come from archives that were inaccessible until the 1990s.

Preface by Árpád Göncz 
Foreword by Charles Gati 
Introductory Essay:
Forty Years On by Timothy Garton Ash 
Editors’ Introduction and Acknowledgements 
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chronology of Events

PART ONE
HUNGARY BEFORE THE REVOLUTION

Introduction 

Document No. 1: Notes of Meeting between CPSU CC Presidium and HWP Political Committee Delegation in Moscow, June 13 and 16, 1953

Document No. 2: “Resolution of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Worker’s Party concerning the Mistakes Committed in the Policy and Practice of the Party, and the Tasks Necessary to Correct These Mistakes,” June 28, 1953

Document No. 3: NSC 174, “United States Policy toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe,” December 11, 1953

Document No. 4: Notes of Discussion between the CPSU CC Presidium and a HWP Leadership Delegation in Moscow, May 5, 1954

Document No. 5: Notes of Discussions between the CPSU CC Presidium and a HWP Leadership Delegation in Moscow, January 12, 1955

Document No. 6: Dispatch 1086, “Balloons to Hungary,” March 24, 1955

Document No. 7: National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 12-56, “Probable Developments in the European Satellites,” January 10, 1956

Document No. 8: Study Prepared for U.S. Army Intelligence, “Hungary: Resistance Activities and Potentials,” January 1956

Document No. 9: Soviet Foreign Ministry Notes on Current Issues in Soviet Global Policy, January 4, 1956

Document No. 10: British Foreign Office Minutes concerning Developments in Eastern Europe, June 5, 1956

Document No. 11: Memorandum from Kliment Voroshilov to the CPSU CC Presidium regarding His Meeting with Mátyás Rákosi, June 26, 1956

Document No. 12: NSC 5608, “U.S. Policy toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe” (Excerpts), July 6, 1956

Document No. 13: Minutes of 290th NSC Meeting, July 12, 1956

Document No. 14: Nikita Khrushchev’s Letter to Mátyás Rákosi and other Socialist Leaders, July 13, 1956

Document No. 15: Report from Anastas Mikoyan on the Situation in the Hungarian Workers’ Party, July 14, 1956

Document No. 16: Memorandum from J.G. Ward to the British Foreign Office, “British Policy towards the Satellites,” July 17, 1956

Document No. 17: National Security Council Report NSC 5608/1, “U.S. Policy toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe,” July 18, 1956

Document No. 18: Letter from Ernő Gerő to Josip Broz Tito, July 19, 1956

Document No. 19: Report from Ambassador Yurii Andropov on Deteriorating Conditions in Hungary, August 29, 1956

Document No. 20: North Atlantic Council Document C-M(56)110, “The Thaw in Eastern Europe,” September 24, 1956

Document No. 21: Record of Conversation between Yurii Andropov and Ernő Gerő, October 12, 1956

Document No. 22: Memorandum from the British Foreign Office to the British NATO Delegation, October 16, 1956

Document No. 23: Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium, October 20, 1956

Document No. 24: The “Sixteen Points” Prepared by Hungarian Students, October 22–23, 1956

PART TWO
FROM DEMONSTRATIONS TO REVOLUTION

Introduction 

Document No. 25: Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium, October 23, 1956

Document No. 26: Situation Report from Anastas Mikoyan and Mikhail Suslov in Budapest to the CPSU CC Presidium, October 24, 1956

Document No. 27: Jan Svoboda’s Notes on the CPSU CC Presidium Meeting with Satellite Leaders, October 24, 1956

Document No. 28: Memorandum of Conversation between John Foster Dulles and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Henry Cabot Lodge, October 24, 1956

Document No. 29: Minutes of Czechoslovak (CPCz) Politburo Meeting, October 24, 1956

Document No. 30: Notes on the 38th Meeting of the Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems, Washington, October 25, 1956

Document No. 31: Memorandum from Thomas Brimelow to the British Foreign Office News Department, October 25, 1956

Document No. 32: Situation Report from Anastas Mikoyan to CPSU CC Presidium, October 26, 1956

Document No. 33: Report from Anastas Mikoyan and Mikhail Suslov to the CPSU CC Presidium on Talks with HWP Leaders, October 26, 1956

Document No. 34: Memorandum of Discussion at the 301st Meeting of the National Security Council, October 26, 1956, 9–10:42 a.m.

Document No. 35: Memoranda of Conversation between President Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles, October 26, 1956

Document No. 36: Minutes of the 55th Meeting of the Romanian Workers’ Party Political Committee, October 26, 1956

Document No. 37: French Foreign Ministry Instructions to United Nations Representative M. Cornut-Gentille, October 27, 1956

Document No. 38: Report from Anastas Mikoyan and Mikhail Suslov in Budapest to the CPSU CC, October 27, 1956

Document No. 39: HWP CC Political Committee Meeting, October 28, 1956

Document No. 40: Working Notes from the CPSU CC Presidium Session, October 28, 1956

Document No. 41: Soviet Foreign Ministry and CPSU CC Presidium Instructions to Yurii Andropov and Arkadii Sobolev, October 28, 1956

Document No. 42: Report from Yuri Andropov Transmitting a Back-Dated Request for Soviet Intervention from András Hegedüs to the CPSU CC Presidium, October 28, 1956

Document No. 43: Minutes of the First Meeting of the Hungarian National Government, October 28, 1956

Document No. 44: Radio Message from Imre Nagy Announcing the Formation of a New Government, October 28, 1956, 5:25 p.m.

Document No. 45: Transcripts of Radio Free Europe Programs, Advising on Military Tactics to Use Against a Superior Enemy, October 28, 1956

Document No. 46: Proclamation by Imre Nagy on the Creation of a Multi-Party System, October 30, 1956

Document No. 47: Situation Report from Anastas Mikoyan and Mikhail Suslov in Budapest, October 30, 1956

Document No. 48: Cable from Italian Communist Party Leader Palmiro Togliatti to CPSU CC Presidium, October 30, 1956

Document No. 49: Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on October 30, 1956 (Re: Point 1 of Protocol No. 49)

Document No. 50: “Declaration by the Government of the USSR on the Principles of Development and Further Strengthening of Friendship and Cooperation between the Soviet Union and other Socialist States,” October 30, 1956

Document No. 51: Minutes of the 58th Meeting of the Romanian Politburo, October 30, 1956

Document No. 52: Information Report from Bulgarian State Security on the Activities of “Hostile Elements,” October 30, 1956

Document No. 53: Working Notes and Attached Extract from the Minutes of the CPSU CC Presidium Meeting, October 31, 1956

Document No. 54: Draft telegram to Italian Communist Leader Palmiro Togliatti on the Situation in Hungary (CPSU CC Protocol 49), October 31, 1956

Document No. 55: Instructions from Koča Popović, Yugoslav Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to Ambassador Dalibor Soldatić, October 31, 1956 (Excerpt)

Document No. 56: Record of Conversation between Yugoslav Ambassador Dalibor Soldatić and János Kádár, October 31, 1956 (Excerpt)

Document No. 57: Minutes of the Nagy Government’s Second Cabinet Meeting, October 31, 1956

Document No. 58: Telegram from Imre Nagy to Kliment Voroshilov Proposing Negotiations on the Withdrawal of Soviet Troops, October 31, 1956

Document No. 59: Draft Minute by British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd to Prime Minister Anthony Eden, October 31, 1956

Document No. 60: Minutes of the 59th Romanian Politburo Meeting, October 31, 1956

Document No. 61: Minutes of the Nagy Government’s Third Cabinet Meeting, November 1, 1956

Document No. 62: Memorandum of Discussion at the 302d Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, November 1, 1956, 9–10:55 a.m.

Document No. 63: Cryptogram from the Polish Ambassador in Budapest, Adam Willman, to Warsaw, November 1, 1956

Document No. 64: Minutes of the Nagy Government’s Fourth Cabinet Meeting, November 1, 1956

Document No. 65: Report from Yuri Andropov in Budapest to the CPSU CC Presidium, November 1, 1956

Document No. 66: Telegram from Imre Nagy to Diplomatic Missions Declaring Hungary’s Neutrality, November 1, 1956

Document No. 67: Telegram from Imre Nagy to U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, November 1, 1956

Document No. 68: Imre Nagy’s Declaration of Hungarian Neutrality (Radio Broadcast), 1 November 1956

Document No. 69: Minutes of the PZPR Politburo Meeting Reacting to the Soviet Decision to Use Military Force in Hungary, November 1, 1956

Document No. 70: Working Notes from the CPSU CC Presidium Session with the Participation of János Kádár and Ferenc Münnich, November 2, 1956

Document No. 71: Minutes of the Nagy Government’s Fifth Cabinet Meeting, November 2, 1956

Document No. 72: Hungarian Government Protest, November 2, 1956

Document No. 73: Imre Nagy’s Note Verbale to the Chiefs of Diplomatic Mission in Budapest Informing of Soviet Military Movements and Hungarian Intentions to Negotiate, November 2, 1956

Document No. 74: Telegram from Imre Nagy to U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, November 2, 1956

Document No. 75: Resolution of the CPCz CC Politburo Supporting Planned Soviet Measures, November 2, 1956

Document No. 76: Notes of Yugoslav Ambassador to Moscow Veljko Mićunović on Negotiations between Yugoslav and Soviet Leaders at Brioni, November 3, 1956

Document No. 77: Nikita Khrushchev’s Recollections of Discussions between the CPSU CC Presidium and Hungarian Leaders János Kádár and Ferenc Münnich in Moscow, November 3, 1956 (Excerpt)

Document No. 78: Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium, with the Participation of János Kádár, Ferenc Münnich, and Imre Horváth, November 3, 1956

Document No. 79: Working Notes of Imre Horváth from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium, November 3, 1956

Document No. 80: Hungarian Government Instructions to Acting U.N. Representative János Szabó, November 3, 1956

Document No. 81: Telegram from Jean Laloy, Head of the European Department of the French Foreign Ministry, to the French Delegation in New York, November 3, 1956

PART THREE
HUNGARY IN THE AFTERMATH

Introduction

Document No. 82: Radio Statement by Imre Nagy Announcing an Attack by Soviet Forces on the Hungarian Government, November 4, 1956

Document No. 83: Report from Georgii Zhukov to the CPSU CC, November 4, 1956, 12 a.m.

Document No. 84: Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium, Protocol No. 51, November 4, 1956

Document No. 85: Instructions to Soviet Ambassador Nikolai Firyubin to Inform the Yugoslavs of the Soviet Position concerning Imre Nagy, November 4, 1956

Document No. 86: Action Taken as a Result of White House Decision, November 4, 1956

Document No. 87: RFE Press Review on U.N. Action against the Soviet Union, November 4, 1956

Document No. 88: Yugoslav Foreign Ministry Instructions to Dalibor Soldatić, November 4, 1956

Document No. 89: Notes from the CPSU CC Presidium Meeting Reflecting a CPSU Leadership Split, November 6, 1956

Document No. 90: Letter from Nikita Khrushchev to Josip Tito, November 7, 1956

Document No. 91: Josip Tito Letter to Nikita Khrushchev, November 8, 1956

Document No. 92: Memorandum of Discussion of the 303rd Meeting of the NSC, November 8, 1956 (Excerpts)

Document No. 93: Message from Andrei Gromyko to János Kádár, November 9, 1956

Document No. 94: Memoranda of Telephone Conversations between President Eisenhower and Henry Cabot Lodge, and between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, November 9, 1956

Document No. 95: Minutes of the HSWP Provisional Central Committee Meeting, November 11, 1956 (Excerpts)

Document No. 96: Speech by Josip Tito at Pula, November 11, 1956

Document No. 97: Report by Soviet Deputy Interior Minister M. N. Holodkov to Interior Minister N. P. Dudorov, November 15, 1956

Document No. 98: Report by Georgii Malenkov, Mikhail Suslov, and Averki Aristov on Hungarian-Yugoslav Negotiations, November 17, 1956

Document No. 99: National Security Council Report NSC 5616/2, “Interim U.S. Policy on Developments in Poland and Hungary,” November 19, 1956 (Excerpts)

Document No. 100: Notes of the Meeting between Dobrivoje Vidić and the Nagy Group, November 19, 1956

Document No. 101: Hungarian Minutes of the Negotiations between János Kádár and Dobrivoje Vidić, November 20, 1956

Document No. 102: Situation Report from Georgii Malenkov, Mikahil Suslov, and Averki Aristov, November 22, 1956

Document No. 103: Extracts from Josip Tito’s Letter to Nikita Khrushchev on the Tensions between Belgrade and Moscow Caused by the Hungarian Revolution, December 3, 1956

Document No. 104: Resolution of the Provisional Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, December 5, 1956 (Excerpts)

Document No. 105: “Policy Review of Voice for Free Hungary Programming, October 23–November 23, 1956,” December 5, 1956

Document No. 106: Vladimir Baikov’s Telegram to the CPSU CC Suggesting a Multilateral Meeting on the “Imre Nagy Group,” December 28, 1956

Document No. 107: Memorandum from Boris Ponomarev to the CPSU CC on the Hungarian Government’s Draft Declaration concerning “Major Tasks,” December 29, 1956

Document No. 108: Romanian and Czech Minutes on the Meeting of Five East European States’ Leaders in Budapest (with Attached Final Communiqué), January 1-4, 1957

Document No. 109: Minutes of a Meeting between the Hungarian and Chinese Delegations in Budapest, January 16, 1957

Document No. 110: National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) 12-57, “Stability of the Soviet Satellite Structure,” February 19, 1957

Document No. 111: HSWP Provisional Central Committee Resolution concerning the Evaluation of the Nagy Group’s Role, February 26, 1957 (Excerpts)

Document No. 112: Kádár’s Report before the HSWP Provisional Executive Committee on the Soviet–Hungarian Negotiations in Moscow, April 2, 1957

Document No. 113: Notes of Talks between the Party–State PPR Delegation and the Party–State USSR Delegation, Moscow, May 24-25, 1957

Document No. 114: CPSU CC Plenum Transcript from June 24, 1957 (Excerpt from Evening Session)

Document No. 115: Minutes of the HWSP Central Committee Meeting, December 21, 1957 (Excerpts)

Document No. 116: Letter from Yuri Andropov to the CPSU CC regarding the Trial of Imre Nagy, August 26, 1957

Document No. 117: Memorandum from Yuri Andropov to the CPSU CC, August 29, 1957

Document No. 118: National Security Council Report 5811, “Policy toward the Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe,” May 9, 1958

DOCUMENTARY EPILOGUE

Document No. 119: Extraordinary Meeting of the HSWP Political Committee Discussing Imre Pozsgay’s Declaration on 1956 (Excerpt), January 31, 1989 1618

Document No. 120: Remarks on the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, December 6, 1991, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, November 11, 1992 1619

Main Actors 
Organizations
Bibliography 
Index 

Contemporary Austrian Studies

"With the use and inclusion of hitherto unknown material recovered from Russian archives, the book will be a gold mine for any future interpretive work... an unsurpassed, thoroughly up to date collection of documents that is likely to stimulate further research and interpretation by future generations of scholars."

H-Net Book Review

"...scholars and general readers alike will find The 1956 Hungarian Revolution extremely handy in collecting these and many more documents under one cover ... an indispensable research tool."

István Deák, Columbia University

"There is no publication, in any language, that would even approach the thoroughness, reliability, and novelty of this monumental work. Unlike all the other documentary collections, The 1956 Hungarian Revolution is based mainly on recently opened original sources in the Hungarian, Soviet and US archives."

Slavic Review

"One cannot stop reading. It is a sad story of hopeless struggle, of reckless Soviet actions, of the passivity of the west, and of the death of thousands of Hungarians. Nevertheless, it is also the tale of a heroic struggle that fatally wounded the Soviet empire and undermined the communist regimes, leading to victory in the long run."

The New York Times

"The Hungarian revolution began with mass demonstrations in Budapest in October that shocked the Russians and encouraged American officials hoping for a crack in the Soviet empire...Today, Hungary is in NATO and the Soviet Union is no more. But the experience faced by American officials, as they tried to balance two crises and watched events spin out of their control, is illuminated in "The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents," a new book of archival material published by the Central European University Press in cooperation with the National Security Archive in Washington."

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