Hungarian Revolution of 1956 from the Polish perspective

“The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was for the Hungarians, what for Poles was the Warsaw Uprising of 1944,” says professor and political scientist Maciej Szymanowski. He highlighted Polish support for the cause and the lack of Western intervention on behalf of Hungary.

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“Hungarians, when they reached for their weapons, had hoped that the West, Western democracies, or at least the United Nations will arrive with help,” explains Szymanowski in an interview for Do Rzeczy. The Hungarians had waited for the so-called blue helmets and American military. They never came, despite assurances from Radio Free Europe.

The Revolution had started as a gesture of solidarity with Poland. “In Poland, national communist Władysław Gomułka came to power. Wanting the same thing, Hungary demanded that national communist Imre Nagy became PM,” Szymanowski says.

Hungarians, when they reached for their weapons, had hoped that the West, Western democracies, or at least the United Nations would arrive with help

Poland was the country which for the last months of 1956 sent aid to Hungary. This support was “fourteen planes with blood. One hundred railway wagons with medicine and food. Dozens of trucks and about two million American dollars,” he said.

The professor underlined, that although Poland was very poor, all that money came from the pockets of Poles. This money was freely and willingly given. The US and the Red Cross arrived with help much later.  

The first commemoration of Imre Nagy

Another gesture of solidarity happened on the 18th of June 1958 during a football match in Chorzów between Polish Ruch Chorzów and Hungarian Honved. To commemorate the memory of Imre Nagy, 15,000 football fans had risen and stood in a minute of silence. “This was the first commemoration of Nagy,” claims Szymanowski.


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