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Head of a toppled Stalin statue in Budapest, 1956

1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises

The uprising began in Hungary as a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, while in Poland similar political uprisings began in October 1956. The documents, most of which are working notes, are from 1956 and come from Russian and Bulgarian archives. See also, the Nikita Khrushchev Collection, and the Warsaw Pact.

Head of a toppled Stalin statue in Budapest, 1956

Popular Documents

October 24, 1956

Account of a Meeting at the CPSU CC, on the Situation in Poland and Hungary

The CPSU CC Politburo meets to discuss the burgeoning crises in Poland and Hungary. Also participating was the leader of Czechoslovakia, Antonin Novotny. Khrushchev described for the Soviet leadership his discussions with Gomulka on the Polish situation. Khrushchev urges patience in dealing with Poland. On the situation in Hungary, Khrushchev tells the Soviet leaders that actions were taken at the request of the Hungarian leadership.

November 4, 1956

Stenographic record of a 4 November 1956 meeting of Party activists

Khrushchev describes the events of the counterrevolution in Hungary and the crisis in Poland. He recounts the CPSU's consultations with other communist parties in the socialist camp to determine their attitude toward Soviet intervention, particularly in Hungary. Leaders from China, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia agreed with the Soviet position, but Polish leaders opposed the presence of Soviet troops in Hungary. Khrushchev reports that following these meetings, the CPSU CC Presidium decided to prepare for an attack on the counterrevolutionary forces in Hungary. He then reads aloud an open letter which declares the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Government. He gives details about the suppression of the counterrevolution by Soviet armed forces and the positive reaction of the socialist countries. He states that the lessons of the counterrevolution are to improve relations with the fraternal parties and the socialist countries and to treat them with respect; to improve political work among students and the masses so that they are not mislead by counterrevolutionaries; and to strengthen the Soviet Army.

November 1, 1956

Andropov Report, 1 November 1956

Andropov reports that Imre Nagy has threatened a scandal and the resignation of the government if the Soviet Union continues to send troops into Hungary. In his meeting with Nagy, Andropov is told that Hungary is withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact and will further request a UN guarantee of Hungarian neutrality if Soviet troop movements into Hungary do not stop. The report notes that after the meeting the Hungarian government informed the Embassy of its decision to leave the Warsaw Pact.

October 24, 1956

Mikoyan-Suslov Report

Mikoyan-Suslov Report on the situation in Budapest in October 1956 and talks with Nagy and Gero about the Hungarian party leadership

October 31, 1956

Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 31 October 1956

Khrushchev and members of the CPSU CC Presidium decide to not withdraw Soviet troops from Hungary. Negotiations with Tito and the situation in Yugoslavia are also mentioned.