Monday, October 23, 2006

October 23rd, 1956 ... And Today's 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

"On October 23rd, 1956, thousands of Hungarian students and workers stood up to the Stalinist regime and began a revolt in the pursuit of freedom. Although twelve days later Soviet troops suppressed the rebel armies, by November 4th millions of Hungarians had either joined the fight or supported it. In these twelve days, 2500 Hungarians were killed in action; and, in the months and years that followed hundreds of people were executed and thousands persecuted in their own country. After this uprising, over 200,000 Hungarian fled their homes into neighboring countries and many eventually came to United States. At the time many viewed this revolution as unsuccessful, but, as we remember our history, we take pride in knowing that this was the first in a series of events that triggered the decline of communism and led to the peaceful transition into democratic rule decades later in Central and Eastern Europe. The bloodshed fifty years ago bears powerful witness to the unwavering spirit of freedom that resounds in the hearts of the Magyar people."

The Embassy of Hungary in Washington, D.C., proudly invites you to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

1956 Photo Exhibition at the Katzen Center for the Arts, American University, Washington, D.C. September 6 - October 29, 2006


October 16, 23 and 30, 2006

The Hungarian Revolution in Film: Looking Back After 50 Years

Film Screenings at the Goethe Institut in cooperation with the Embassy of Hungary


On Truth, Lies, Politics, and Media – in Dialogue with Hannah Arendt [1906-1975]

Film and Workshop
November 27, 2006 - November 29, 2006

Goethe-Institut Washington, GoetheForum

No charge
+1 202 289 1200

November 27-29, 2006

Given the constant political pressures, demographic shifts, and technological changes, mass media are under increasing scrutiny. How do today's media portray events and shape public opinion?

Our two-day workshop On Truth, Lies, Politics, and Media uses the writings of Hannah Arendt [1906-1975, and almost exactly contemporary with world-renowned composer Dmitri Shostakovich] as a springboard to open discussions on politics and media today. The event is opened with the film A Face in the Crowd, depicting the transition of media from radio to television in 1950s America.

The Budapest Uprising of 1956

The Arrival of Soviet Tanks and the Suppression of the Uprising

Photo credits: Associated Press Archives via the BBC and With thanks.


"Police expelled several hundred protesters early Monday from a square outside parliament as Hungary commemorated the 50th anniversary of its anti-Soviet uprising.

Protests on Kossuth Square started on Sept. 17, when a recording was leaked revealing Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany admitting that the government lied about the economy before its re-election in April.

The protesters had vowed to stay until Gyurcsany was dismissed, but police pushed them off the square after they refused to submit to security checks. But authorities did not dismantle the dozens of tents set up by the protesters, and they were expected to allow the demonstrators to return after Monday's commemoration.

State news agency MTI reported that police beat some of the protesters - including women and elderly people - with rubber batons, and some had head injuries.

President Laszlo Solyom pleaded Sunday for national unity, trying to keep the bitter political divisions from spilling over into the celebrations.

'Oct. 23 could be a real national holiday if we wanted it to be, and if we took the steps leading back to the unity and uniqueness of 1956,' Solyom said at a gala event at the Hungarian State Opera that launched the official ceremonies." ...

Pablo Gorondi and Associated Press "Hungary Police Expel Protesters" via October 23, 2006


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