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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 26, 1956

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN HUNGARY, ‘THE SITUATION IN THE HUNGARIAN CAPITAL FOLLOWING THE OUTBREAK OF THE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY REBELLION’

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Chinese Embassy in Budapest reports that the "counterrevolutionary rebellion in the Hungarian capital became increasingly serious after midnight last night"
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, ‘The Situation in the Hungarian capital following the Outbreak of the Counterrevolutionary Rebellion’," October 26, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-1041-01, 21-22. Obtained by Péter Vámos, translated by Péter Vámos and Gwenyth A. Jones. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119973
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To the Foreign Ministry and Party Central Committee:

(1) The counterrevolutionary rebellion in the Hungarian capital became increasingly serious after midnight last night; the wild rattle of gunfire did not cease the whole night. Insofar as the situation can be judged on the basis of our current knowledge, it is possible that certain sections of the Hungarian People’s Army can no longer be trusted. Since yesterday night, primarily the Soviet army and the Hungarian State Security units have been putting down the rebellion.

(2) Counterrevolutionary forces have fully exploited the retrograde crowds’ extremely narrow-minded national sentiments, and are at present actively inciting bourgeois restoration. The central paper of the Hungarian trade unions reported in its special edition that Nagy yesterday received Borsod county’s delegation, and expressed his full acceptance of the reactionary political demands submitted.[1] (Separate report.) A new government led by Nagy is being formed today at noon. In effect, it is possible that loyal communists will be removed from the government.

(3) This special issue published the Hungarian trade union central leadership’s[2] program-like set of demands. (Separate report.) The central leadership of the Hungarian youth association, like the writers, has made public their political demands and statements.[3] The demands of these programs in fact all support the bourgeois restoration coup.

(4) Since the incident, the relevant Hungarian authorities have not made any form of contact with our embassy, and have not provided any kind of information. Under the circumstances of the whole-day curfew,[4] and in the midst a forest of weapon fire and the rain of falling bombs, it is not feasible to maintain contact between fraternal countries’ embassies. This is why we rely primarily on Hungarian radio, and on accounts from our scholarship students, for information. We occasionally receive special editions of newspapers and leaflets. Land, sea and air contact with overseas has ceased, it is not even possible to telephone overseas. We could receive and transmit for a while yesterday evening, when our Embassy noticed that four telegrams had arrived. We still do not know whether we will have a connection today.

Embassy in Hungary

10:00, 26 October

Received: 27 October at 09:27; printed: 27 October at 17:25

[1] See “The Borsod workers’ demands will be the government program,” Népszava (Budapest) (26 October 1956): 1.

[2] The Presidium of the Trade Unions National Council.

[3] This presumably refers to the university students’ Revolutionary Committee statement “Proclamation of the university youth!,” Magyar Nemzet (Budapest) (26 October 1956): 1, and to the Hungarian writers and artists’ statement “The writers’ demands: Full amnesty, the ÁVH [State Security Authority] should lay down its arms!,” Népszava (26 October 1956): 1.

[4] At 9:18 a.m. on 24 October, Hungarian Radio stated that the Minister of the Interior had decreed a curfew until 2:00 p.m. The notice was repeated on 25 October at 10:47 a.m. and 12:07, but at 2:25 p.m. only said that the population could go out into the street only if absolutely necessary, and at 6:32 p.m. stated that a curfew was enforced from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.