#OTD20 | October 23, 1956

The 1956 Hungarian Uprising: A Quest for Freedom in the Heart of Europe

October 23, 1956: A wave of protests and demonstrations sweeps through Hungary, marking the start of the Hungarian Uprising against Soviet oppression.

In a valiant display of resistance against the Soviet Union's control, Hungarians across the nation rise up to demand political freedoms and an end to oppressive Soviet rule.

Spurred by a student-led demonstration in Budapest, the uprising quickly spreads, drawing support from a wide range of Hungarians.

The rebellion, although brief, sees widespread fighting in Budapest and other parts of Hungary. Citizens take up arms, establish barricades, and face off against Soviet tanks and troops.

Although eventually crushed by the Soviet Red Army, the Hungarian Uprising remains a powerful symbol of the broader Eastern European resistance against Soviet control and the indomitable spirit of the Hungarian people.

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The Hungarian Uprising and other freedom movements in the Soviet bloc are chronicled in "Cracks in the Curtain," one chapter in our epic video survey, COLD WAR.

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Additional Resources

Access more information from Media Rich Learning and curated off-site sources.

National Security Archive

Read "The 1956 Hungarian Uprising: A History in Documents" at the website of the National Security Archive.

Wilson Center

Explore "Polish and Hungarian Crises" at the website of the Wilson Center Digital Archive.

Radio Free Europe

Explore "Remembering the 1956 Hungarian Uprising" at the website of Radio Free Europe.

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