At the end of February 1957, one of the last surviving leaders of the anti-Soviet uprising in Hungary - Katalin Sticker, Jozsef Schöres and Jozsef Tot, was shot dead. Moreover, the first two fled to Austria in December 1956, but soon returned to Hungary under an amnesty declared by Budapest. And despite this, they were arrested and shot. According to some reports, Khrushchev personally insisted on their execution, although the new leader of the Hungarian communists, Janos Kadar, believed that such an insidious deception would discredit both Hungary itself and its leaders, who, as they said then, came to power on the armor of the Soviet tanks.
Nikita Khrushchev, Janos Kadar and ... Leonid Brezhnev
However, Nikita Sergeevich also showed himself in the Hungarian crisis as a completely consistent anti-Stalinist. It is clear that this only contributed to discrediting the very communist idea, the socialist system, which was too far from being built in Hungary. Whether he was aware of this or whether Khrushchev deliberately ignored it was a topic for a separate study.
Yes, the entry of Soviet troops into Hungary still officially is considered there as direct aggression by the USSR. And today it is difficult to find a province in this country where many victims of those events would not be honored. But it is characteristic that many Hungarian historians, already of the post-socialist period, now believe that there would surely be much more victims and chaos if the Soviet army had not entered the country at the end of October 1956.
The losses of the Soviet army during that operation, more precisely, even two, according to official data, made up 669 people killed, 51 missing and 1251 wounded. At the same time, from mid-October to the end of November, 1956 died and at least the 3000 of the Hungarian rebels disappeared without a trace. The number of dead and missing on the other side of the front - the Hungarian communists and their family members were also very large these days, surpassing 3200 people. At the same time, more than 500 civilians were killed, but the number of injured was determined absolutely exactly - 19226 people.
Former Hungarian ambassador to the USSR, Gyula Rapai, who held this post in 1970 and early 1980, noted that “demonstrations and other non-military actions against the communists during the spring and summer of 1956 were too quickly replaced by unbridled anti-communist terror. The rebels clearly felt support behind their backs. Terror and repression by the "right" were met with resistance, and the situation acquired all signs of a civil war, a much more bloody, though without a definite front line. Some contemporaries said: "The front line passed through every house, through every yard."
Hungary, by November 1956, plunged into bloody chaos, which was promptly terminated with the entry of Soviet troops into the country. Why Soviet propaganda preferred to keep silent about it — a separate question, but after all, all this could have been prevented. On one condition - if the top Soviet leadership did not lose control over the situation and contributed to a competent, and moreover, timely correction of the mistakes of the period of Stalin and Rakosi.
However, there was nothing of this, and the corresponding vacuum in the power quickly began to fill the forces, which at first gradually, and soon and quite openly, drew a line on the erosion of socialism in all spheres. Moreover, the emphasis was placed on overt anti-Sovietism and Russophobia, when the "elder brother" was immediately remembered of everything, up to the suppression of the Hungarian uprising of 1848-49.
Gyula Rapai, and he is not alone, stresses that the leadership of the USSR, which came to power after Stalin’s death, almost immediately lost control over the situation not only in Hungary, but also in Czechoslovakia and Poland. The diplomat in his memoirs makes an unequivocal conclusion that if “this was done, nevertheless, not intentionally, then this is the unique incompetence of the Soviet leaders and the analysts who worked on them”.
But is it possible to forget that the initial attacks of the opposition, still ideological, literally, were addressed to Stalin and the Stalinist objects in Hungary? Therefore, it is quite reasonable to assume that, in fact, the Hungarian oppositionists were “pulled off the brakes” because it was beneficial for Khrushchev and his comrades. They also could not wait to speed up the de-Stalinization in the USSR and free the mausoleum on Red Square from Stalin. No other way than for Nikita Sergeevich.
The sweeping denigration of Stalin and the Stalin period both in the USSR and Eastern Europe in those days was only gaining momentum, but the flywheel was already running. Is it any wonder that eight years later - in July 1964, Khrushchev chose Janos Kadar as a listener, when at a reception in Moscow in his honor he decided to actually confess to the violent elimination of the “leader of nations”.
During the summer and autumn of 1956, a campaign of outright mockery was launched in Hungary over the monuments to Stalin, and at the same time with them - over a number of memorials to the memory of Soviet soldiers. There was practically no reaction from Moscow. It was with Hungary that the campaign of renaming streets and squares began, which spread to other countries and the USSR only at the beginning of the 60s.
In the meantime, Molotov, Kaganovich, Bulganin and Shepilov, already in 1955, when the process had not yet passed the hot stage, more than once called for Khrushchev to carry out operational changes in the Hungarian leadership. Future members of the anti-Party group, of which only George Malenkov kept silence, tried to preempt the anti-Soviet actions.
L.M. Kaganovich, G.M. Malenkov and V.M. Molotov-already at the tomb of Stalin, they stood together
However, in response, everything was done exactly the opposite: in July 1956, personally, Khrushchev was dismissed from his post by the head of the Hungarian party of workers, Matthias Rakosi, a staunch Marxist and sincere, however official it sounds, a friend of the Soviet Union. He was the leader of the Hungarian Communists since 1947, having managed to actually keep the country in the sphere of Soviet influence. But being in Moscow in the spring of 1956 at the notorious XX Congress of the CPSU, Rakoshi, was one of the first to sharply condemn the anti-Stalinist report of Khrushchev.
And this is exactly what he was not forgiven in the Kremlin. After all, Matthias Rakoshi, in fact, not without reason believed that “Khrushchev’s lie about Stalin was modernly planted by Moscow from the West. And this was done to, among other things, facilitate the infiltration of Western agents into the governing structures of the countries of the socialist camp. And from top to bottom. And everything should have ended with the collapse of the socialist community and the Soviet Union. ”
Khrushchev and his associates could not help but be annoyed by the fact that Rakoshi, together with Mao Zedong, soon after the 20th Congress of the CPSU, called for the creation of a bloc of communist parties "In Defense of Socialism." This was soon, in the very same 1956 year, approved by the communists of Albania, Romania and North Korea, as well as by the twenty Communist parties of the postcolonial and capitalist countries. There is no surprise that for such assessments and actions of Rakoshi in September 1956, they sent Stalinist first to the Kyrgyz town of Tokmok, and then to Gorky, where he died in 1971.
At the same time, soon after Stalin's death, the head of the Hungarian Council of Ministers in exchange for Rakosi was the notorious Imre Nagy. Now he is unequivocally recognized in Hungary as a hero who, in fact, has a quite nice monument in Budapest near the parliament building.
Budapest. Monument to Imre Nadi - the rebellious premiere of 1956 of the year. He still looks at parliament
Imre Nagy was then very timely headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, having received an excellent opportunity to freely consult with colleagues from the West. He was rescued from a lengthy arrest in Budapest, he was considered the “man” of Josip Broz Tito in the Hungarian leadership, and later became the de facto head of the Hungarian anti-Soviet uprising.
However, the "accession" of Nadia happened already at the final stage of the uprising. Before that, there were students' speeches, mass demonstrations and the entry of Soviet troops - in fact, repeated, carried out after several requests from the official leadership of Hungary. But even earlier, in mid-April, 1955 of Nadia managed to be dismissed, but it was him who was returned to the post of prime minister on the most terrible days when the uprising reached its climax: from October 24 to November 4 1956. Hardly anyone will doubt that it was a coincidence ...
Until Soviet tanks entered Budapest, soon supported by several regiments of the Hungarian army, few members of the Hungarian state security were unable to counter the uprising. Many tried to hide at all, many were arrested right on the streets of Budapest.
Hanged upside down mutilated corpse of a state security officer. Photos from paolomorellostudio.com
And it was on these days that the Hungarian communists and their families, who were trying to hide from the terror, with rare exceptions, could not get asylum even in the Soviet embassy. At the same time, it was provided by the embassies of the PRC, the DPRK, Albania, Romania and North Korea. These facts were subsequently brought to wide publicity by Beijing and Tirana, mentioned in the media of Yugoslavia, Romania, North Korea. But afterwards, when the uprising was crushed, many of its activists “left” for the West through Yugoslavia, and Marshal Tito did not react to Khrushchev's regular protests on this matter.
As for the "transformations" with Imre Nagy, they clearly could not be carried out without the knowledge of Moscow. The appointment of Yuri Andropov as Hungarian ambassador in the middle of 1954 can also be called indicative. The future all-powerful head of the KGB and the Soviet leader stayed in Budapest until the spring of 1957. Andropov was not just in constant close contact with the Hungarian prime minister. It was he, according to data released in recent years, that Nadia was informed about the “recommendation” to pre-empt the uprising.
Yuri Andropov and Janos Kadar - old colleagues
How? Simply enough - to attract its potential participants to the destruction of the 10-meter monument of Stalin, installed in the center of Budapest. What was done in early October of 1956: the monument was solemnly overthrown, and the orgy was accompanied by a massive sprinkling and physical need for all parts of the fallen monument. Imre Nagy himself did, probably, everything he could to avoid a lot of blood, but that did not help him.
Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, the heads of Albania, Romania and the DPRK - Enver Hoxha, Georgi Gheorghiu-Dej and Kim Il Sung immediately suggested that Khrushchev remove Nadya and return Rakoshi to the Hungarian leadership. And also to prevent the anti-Stalinist excesses in Hungary. But in vain.
But it was Imre Nagy who officially announced the withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Pact, and after a few days the regular Soviet troops entered Hungary. The second time, since the first entry of troops was unsuccessful, that even Marshal G.K.Zhukov acknowledged.
Report of Marshal Zhukov on the situation in Hungary
After a false report that the rebels surrender weapon, the Hungarian army refused to storm the center of the capital, and the Soviet troops in two days - October 29-30 left Budapest. It seemed the uprising won. The city almost immediately began a real hunt for the Communists and their supporters. Dozens of people fell victim to mob justice, organized by angry mobs, which were joined by criminals and war criminals released by the government of Nagy. These "revolutionaries" captured the Metropolitan Military Committee of the HVT, and hung over 20 communists. Their photographs with traces of torture and people disfigured by acid, went around the world.
Budapest, October 30 1956 of the year. The dead defenders of the city committee of the Hungarian Party of Labor. Photos from the magazine "Around the World" № 11-2006, page 54
In the Kremlin, despite Andropov’s blatant telegrams, they were in no hurry to interfere. However, the Suez crisis and the Franco-British invasion of Egypt that flared up in the last days of October were perceived by official Moscow as a kind of carte blanche for actions in Hungary. It is very significant that the leaders of all the allied states of Hungary, including Poland, Yugoslavia, and China, who at first welcomed the uprising, agreed that the socialist system in the country can be saved only by military intervention.
Soviet tanks entered Budapest again. And if during the first invasion they tried to act as in a peaceful city, now nothing could stop the tankers. On the suppression of the uprising, the operation "Whirlwind", took less than a week. Prime Minister Imre Nagy was arrested and taken to Romania, and in June 1958 was shot, just as quickly as was done under Stalin. It is clear that an open trial of Nagy and his "colleagues" would be a public verdict against the Khrushchev double-dealing. Therefore, a closed court, after sentencing Imre Nagy and a number of like-minded people to be shot, was fleeting and ruthless.
Let us allow ourselves something like a version, on the basis of which the Hungarian “Maidan” could have been skillfully provoked not only and not so much by the West, interested in splitting the communist bloc. The possible split did not embarrass the Kremlin leadership, which frankly missed the “Hungarian sacrifice,” but decided to take advantage of the situation in order to further discredit Stalin. And this inevitably led to the erosion of socialism and the discreditation of the communist parties themselves, and not only in Eastern Europe.