Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Hungarian Uprising 50 years on

Spiked seems to be getting its commemoration in early: the uprising began on 23 October 1956. But the site has two good articles on the subject.

First, Dave Hallsworth remembers a meeting of the Liverpool District Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain. There he called for the Soviet troops to get out of Hungary, and demanded that those present pledge their full support for the Hungarian workers and students in their attempt to replace Stalinism:
As I walked back from the podium to my seat in the audience, screams of ‘Trotskyist!’ hit me from all sides. Communist Party comrades who had been my friends hurled abuse at me, their faces screwed up with hatred. By the time I got back to my seat I was shouting back, telling them that, like the AVO (Hungarian secret policemen) who were then swinging on lamp posts as a result of people’s anger, their time on the end of a rope was nearing. I would not recommend this as a way to win political arguments.
Second, Frank Furedi recalls his experiences as a child refugee after the Soviet tanks rolled in (his father had been a member of the populist Smallholders Party):
My sister was certain that she would become a surgeon. My mother looked forward to a life where she did not have to worry about someone knocking on our door in the middle of the night. My dad talked ceaselessly about all the books he was going to read. And I was preparing to meet my first cowboy.

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