Hungarian Crisis Of 1956 Essay

2308 words - 9 pages

Hungary's withdrawal from the Warsaw pact, proclaimed neutrality in the Cold War, command for the removal of Soviet troops and the demand for the creation of a non-communist political party resulted in the killings of over 30 000 Hungarian citizens and saw over 200 000 flee to the west of the now strongly established iron curtain. The death of Stalin in 1953 did not weaken the grip Moscow had on the people of Eastern Europe and Hungary, rather ruled over with a rod of iron by communist Russia and anybody who challenged the rule of Stalin and Russia paid the price. Khruschev's desalinization process has served to destabilize the soviet bloc satellites and as a result he struggled to maintain control. Hungary in 1956 seemed to sum up all that the cold war stood for and in essence represented the power and influence the Soviet war possessed in regards to post-war Europe. It also showed the extent the Soviets were willing to go in order to make the communist system of government dominant in Europe and essentially the rest of the World.From 1945 onwards the Hungarians were put under the control of the Soviet Union where the Soviet military occupied Hungary and gradually replaced the freely elected government with the Hungarian communist party. All wealth of whatever nature was taken from Hungary by the Russians. The Hungarian leader, Rakosi, was put in power by Stalin of Russia. Radical nationalization of the economy based on the Soviet model produced economic stagnation, lower standards of living and developed a deep anti-soviet feeling. The Rakosi government thoroughly politicized Hungary's educational system in order to supplant the educated classes with a "toiling intelligentsia". Russian language study and Communist political instruction were made compulsory in schools and universities nationwide. Religious schools were nationalized and church leaders were replaced by those loyal to the government. When Stalin died on the 5 March 1953 the people of Eastern Europe were given the hope that Hungary would be free from Soviet rule and intervention.Economic hardship and political repression were characteristic of the years of Matyas Rakosi's leadership. When he was forced to resign in 1953 a more liberal new course was advanced by the Prime Minister of the Hungarian government, Imre Nagy. On May 14, 1955, the Soviet Union created the Warsaw pact, binding Hungary to the Soviet Union and its satellite states Central and Eastern Europe. Among the principles of this alliance were the "respect for the independence and sovereignty of states" and "noninterference in their internal affairs". In 1955, the Austrian State treaty and ensuing declaration of neutrality established Austria as a demilitarized and neutral country. This raised Hungarian hopes of also becoming neutral.On the afternoon of October the 23rd 1956, in retaliation to the hardships currently faced by most Hungarians, students and workers took to the streets of Budapest (the capital of Hungary)...

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