Hungarian Revolt (1956): A Critic Analysis on Given Accounts
The essay aims at evaluating document 1 titled “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970”, which is a text from Soviet textbook that is used to educate school children on events of Hungary 1956.This is in relation to its trustworthy and truthfulness. In doing this it will refer to the specific parts of the document or the whole document. In addition, the paper will compare document 1 with other documents by showing awareness of the time aspect, tendency/bias and dependency. Similarly, in reference to the other documents the script will identify the most and the least reliable documents by justifying the respective claims. In 1956, the Hungarian government witnessed spontaneous uprising among its citizens, in a bid to remove the said government from power the popularly known as the Hungarian revolution. There are different reasons put forward to explain the revolt but there seems to be some controversy about the same hence the writing.
In “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970”, Gusev and Naumov are in a bid to describe the role of foreign politics as regards the Hungarian Revolt, which occurred in 1956. In this case, the text revisits some of the key events that facilitated the uprising. On the contrary, as they give these accounts we observe the other sixteen documents concentrate on the happenings of 1956. For instance, it acknowledges some sections of the West blocked international links and initiated several insulting actions against the socialistic states and other countries that agitated for independence. Probably, this is to enable the students understand what facilitated the Hungarian Revolt it being a teaching and learning reference material.
Gusev and Naumov mention issues one can link them directly to the events of 1956 that the other documents are touching on. They refer to the end of 1956 where there was internal forces in Hungary that were against the revolution recognizing the support they got from international imperialists.For instance Gusev and Naumov (1976) write,
“They did this with the strength of arms and their goal was to reestablish the rule of the capitalists and land magnates.” Despite the objections the Soviet Union did not give up it went on to assist the Hungarian working force who were for the revolution. Although “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970” revisit the matters of concern as a whole, the other documents refer to specific aspects. It is this factor that makes them either validate or disapprove what Gusev and Naumov write, and if compared to the same their accounts can be true or false.
When one goes through the other documents one finds there are some that acknowledge it is the Hungarian people that called for help from the Soviet Union. On the other hand, some show the forces that were against the Soviet Union. Looking at the other documents critically we also determine which of these recorded propaganda or had its aspects right as stipulated in the first document. For example, in document 3 by MacCormac dated 27 October 1956 potrays how Parliament’s ground was littered with dead bodies with others dying. At the same time qoutes that some people were at the United States embassy calling for help.The aim here is to depict that Soviet Union was responsible and that Hungarians expected help from the West including the United States. We note a similar case in the document titled “HELP US!” by Schreiber dated 7 December 1956 that writes,
"We are ready to battle to the last cartridge . . . It's up to you Westerners to help us!" This is contrary to Gusev and Naumov argument, because the Soviet Union was to assist the Hungarians from the Western exploitation.
The enemies of the Soviet Union ideologies were peddling false information to discredit its efforts to contain the Hungarian situation.Moreover, these foes were in a bid to associate themselves with the unrest by workers not for the people’s interest but theirs(enemies). For instance, in the document 9 titled ”Radio Broadcast by Kartsev dated 2 December 1956” it stipulates,
“Various dark forces which do not at all represent the interests of the people have hastened to associate themselves with the just discontent expressed by healthy elements of the Hungarian people”
It is clear from the above examples the documents that showed Soviet Union to be an enemy of the Hungarians was in a mission to fulfill the imperialists’ interests. They did not actually have the interests of Hungary in consideration as they claimed. Otherwise, they were in an effort to counter the influence of the Soviet Union hence propelling the propaganda. For example, from document 12“a radio broadcast on Free Radio Rakoczi, unknown day, 1956” it discredits the media that publicized lies regarding the revolt. This broadcast quashes the reliability of the articles and other broadcasts that contradicted the “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970” information.
Lastly, document 5 title“From an article in Pravda (Moscow), 4 November 1956” recognizes that the Soviet people had a friendly relationship with the Hungarians before thus any challenge experienced by the Hungary was a concern of the Soviet people. In fact, it underscores the reactionary forces experienced in Budapest were by the imperialists’ forces. It continues to elaborate the movement of the Soviet troops to Hungary was after the invitation by the Hungarian government. This acknowledgement is in agreement with the text by Gusev and Naumov. Therefore, the documents that are in agreement with “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970” we can term them reliable. This is because they clarify the events that took place in Hungarian Revolution. Apart from the previously mentioned, document 13 on “U.S. POLICY TOWARD SOVIET SATELLITES IN EASTERN EUROPE” is reliable also since it stipulates how the United States handled its relations with the Soviet Union. Lastly, is document 17 that is on “Clandestine Services History, The Hungarian Revolution and Planning for the Future, 23 October - 4 November 1956” which accounts for what transpired in the uprising and recognizes one fact that the informants lacked reliable information on what actually happened in Budapest.
In conclusion, we observe document one titled “Sovjetunionens historia 1938 – 1970” accounts for what led to the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. It revisits some of the crucial issues that the other sixteen documents do not touch. This is probably to give substantial justification on the reasons behind the revolt especially being a learning and teaching reference. In addition, this makes the document more trustworth and reliable as it identifies the most significant events in history towards the uprising. Nevertheless, the other sixteen documents specifically give the details of the 1956 revolt and discuss very little or not at all anything before 1956. This makes them agree with the arguements in document one or not hence have it reliable or not. Similarly, we identify the most reliable documents such as five and twelve while documents by MacCormac and on “HELP US!” . Contain some propaganda hence are least reliable.
4 November 1956. Pravda(Moscow). November 2005.
Free Radio Rakoczi. 1956. November 2010.
Gosev, K. & Naumov, V. "The Foreign Politics During the 1950's." 1976. Sovjetunionens historia 1938-1970.
Kartsev, V. Radio Moscow. 2 November 1956. November 2010.
MacCormac, J. 27 October 1956. The New Yolk Times. November 2010.
Schreiber, T. "HELP US!" 7 December 1956. Le Monde Paris. November 2010.
"The Hungarian Revolution and Planning for the Future 23 Oct-4 Nov 1956 Vol I of II Jan 1958." January 1956. Classified American CIA Report . November 2005.
U.S. "U.S Policy Toward the Soviet Satelites in Eastern Europe." 18 July 1956. National Security Council. November 2010.