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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1956

TELEGRAM FROM SOVIET POLITBURO MEMBERS MIKOYAN AND SUSLOV REPORTING ON THE SITUATION IN HUNGARY

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    Mikoyan-Suslov Report on the situation in Hungary, appointments to the Hungarian government, and discussions with the Hungarian leaders.
    "Telegram from Soviet Politburo members Mikoyan and Suslov reporting on the situation in Hungary" October 27, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, F. 89, Per. 45, Dok. 9 http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111968
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Today we participated for more than three hours in a Politburo meeting, where we discussed government appointments and the present situation. [Antal] Apro was chosen to be the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers and, in actuality, he will be the first chairman because all the rest of the deputies are "non-party people" and less strong. Apro was a member of the Directory, a member of the Military Commission, and has behaved himself very well these past few days.

The candidacy of [Iosef] Siladi for the post of Minister of Internal Affairs was turned down, because politically he was not very reliable, and Munnich was chosen instead. For the post of Minister of Defense the former deputy minister of rear units Janza Karoi was chosen. He is a communist, reliable, and a worker.

The candidacy of Laszlo Kardas for the post of Minister of Culture was also turned down. Chosen instead was [Gyorgy] Lukacs, who is a famous philosopher, and although he makes a lot of mistakes in philosophy, is very reliable politically and authoritative among the intelligentsia.

In order to strengthen the government from anti-party elements, Zoltan Tildy was chosen to be Minister without Portfolio. Zoltan is a famous public leader. Comrade Imre Nagy suggested that Zoltan Tildy not be selected because he doesn't get along well with Bela Kovacs. However, that was not acceptable.

Characteristically, at night there appeared proclamations in the city, in which Nagy was declared the chairman and Bela Kovacs was recommended as Premier. There was a summon to hold a demonstration in their honor.

As instructed by the Central Committee, Nagy called Bela Kovacs who lives outside the city, and asked him: would he join the government? Kovacs accepted, and said that he was invited to the meeting, but if he attended, he would speak out against the demonstrators for the government.

The Minister of State Farms is the non-party specialist Ryabinskii.

Characteristically all of these candidates were voted on unanimously and Nagy did not object to the replacement of individual candidates.

The Hungarian comrades in conversations with us declared, that they consider the new government appropriate and politically capable of working. Imre Nagy especially emphasized this.

The formation of this government was announced on local radio at 12 noon Hungarian time.

We had the impression that as a whole the new government is reliable and in the social sense more authoritative.

Comrade [Antal] Apro gave a paper about the military situation in assured tones. He in-formed everyone, by the way, that in the hospital are about three thousand injured Hungarians, and of those 250 people died. The figure of others killed or wounded is unknown.

In connection to the unpeaceful situation in the provinces, comrade Kadar asked the question: can we increase the number of Soviet troops?

We declared that we had reserves, and however many troops were needed, we would provide them. The Hungarian comrades were very glad to hear this.

Apro suggested taking a number of actions in order to organize the further struggle and for bringing the city back to order. Apro informed us, that a significant "surrender" of weapons had begun; "700 rifles have been accepted." Apro also informed us that on the periphery, the situation was already stabilizing, but Kadar and Hegedus looked skeptical.
The Hungarian comrades started to arm the party core [aktiv]. It was decided to draw the armed party members into the staff of the city police. It was also decided to assign the military censors to the radios and newspapers. It was suggested to the ministers that they ensure that the ministries and enterprises function smoothly.

Comrade Kadar informed us that the new candidate to the Politburo [Geza] Losonczy and the new secretary to the Central Committee, [Ferenc] Donath, who spoke yesterday in a capitulationist manner at the Politburo meeting, announced his disagreement with the Central Committee's policies and announced his resignation. Several members of the Central Committee [CC] called Donath a traitor of the working class.

Imre Nagy was not at this meeting, because he was busy with negotiations with the assigned ministers, and also because of "acute overexertion" he had a heart attack. Nagy was in a faint state in his office, and the Hungarian doctor didn't know what to do, so Suslov gave him medicine ["validol"] which brought Nagy back to normal. Nagy thanked him.

Considering that Losonczy and Donath were closely associated with Nagy, and since Nagy was not at the meeting, the Politburo decided to post-pone making a final decision, and for the time being move on to work outside of the CC.

We invited Kadar and Nagy to have a heart-to-heart talk with us this evening in an unofficial capacity.

(Signed) Mikoyan and Suslov
Oct. 27, 1956