Monday, October 23, 2006

Poland - Hungary 1956


If you don’t know the connection then see here. photo: Budapest October 1956


Poznan June 1956

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Hungarian Revolution and the events preceding it in Poznan are often not adequately remembered. And there continues to be some silence and distortion of this history. Looking at today’s Radio Free Europe (RFE) Website, there was nothing resembling a remorseful apology for their actions in 1956. What I am referring to is the broadcasts, sent out in Hungarian suggesting direct western assistance, all along knowing it wasn’t going to be the case. Also the constantly reducing death tolls for these events, a new form of revisionist history.

But in keeping with the spirit of events! Lets out some communists.

There are communists in Polish Embassy in Washington DC http://www.polandembassy.org/

Ok, they’re only on the Website as best as I can tell. The site has a section called useful links

Outstanding Books on Poland. Well let’s look at one of the items.

“Enigma: How the Poles Broke the Nazi Code

Enigma: How the Poles Broke the Nazi Code is a story about Poles who helped to decipher the Enigma code…………………………………………This book is written by the late Wladyslaw Kozaczuk who was Polish historian and publisher, and Jerzy Straszak who was a Polish naval intelligence officer in Britain during World War II.”

An examination of the authors indicates that Wladyslaw Kozaczuk was not exactly Poland’s most outstanding citizen. Here is a part of his bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

“Born in a village near Sokólka, Kozaczuk joined the army during World War II at Bialystok in 1944. In 1945 he became a second lieutenant in the Polish Army, and spent the first 5 years of his service commanding operational units of the Internal Security Corps, fighting the Polish underground and then the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In 1950 he was transferred to the Internal Security Corps Staff in Warsaw.”

Is the phrase commie murderer starting to resonate here?

There is no need to get too excited by the Kaczynski’s, cleaning up society by removing communists and other criminals still lurking in the background. This is nonsense put forward to win a few votes.

beatroot said...

The Radio Free Europe (and Voice of America, too) promising help was on its way is interesting.

But you know what screwed that up? Apart from the fact that this was not a battle the US thought worth fighting, the Suez Crisis blew up at the same. And the US put a stop to it. That even was not a conflict Washington wanted either. And the Brits got sent home with their colonial tails between their legs.

So Budapest got downsized.

jannovak57 said...

I heard of this, the radio station later said the presenter acted without they’re knowledge or authority with respect to the content of the transmissions. So to understand this correctly the CIA let the announcer say whatever he or she pleased, I think not.

Not for one minute was there ever any intention of giving serious aid to the Hungarians, the only thing that crossed the Austrian / Hungarian border was a few truck loads of armed Hungarians returning from the west to have it out with the reds.

The British and US governments understood full well what they agreed to at Yalta. A confrontation with a nuclear-armed USSR over Hungary was not going to happen.

But both the Polish and Hungarian actions were successful as they eventually resulted in a slightly more moderate application of the system.

Redwinesblog said...

"The Radio Free Europe (and Voice of America, too) promising help was on its way is interesting." - it was catastrophic at least.

"So Budapest got downsized." - several aspects, again. One would be that nobody wanted Imre Nagy; the idea of a Communist or even Socialist Prime Minister (that he promised land reform, free elections etc, mattered very little) was rejected abroad. With or without Suez, it was a lost case on the short run.

"But both the Polish and Hungarian actions were successful as they eventually resulted in a slightly more moderate application of the system." - I agree.

Romerican said...

Thanks a bunch for a quality link. There was loads of information I wasn't aware of, plus the presentation was downright beautiful. Good stuff.

Top Cat said...

I agree, Beatroot. It was a very good link. I agree with jonnovak. No one would cross the iron curtain in those days for anyone...from the start of world war II to the fall of the berlin wall...no one ever crossed it.

Strange goings on in Budapest...its like a reenactment of the demonstrations as they commemorate.

beatroot said...

Yeah, the 1956.pl site is a good one. There is a similar one about the history of Solidarity, which I cannot find the ulr for. Damn! But Poles are very good at design.

Top Cat. I think many people are drawing the same conclusion as you about what is happening now in Budapest and 1956. I advise caution! The present protest in Hungary now (though completely understandable) are mainly by far right demonstrators against an ex-communist government. They are the ones who are drawing the same parallels.

But, of course, things are not the same. Soviet Union, and its tanks, have gone. The Hungarian government can (and will) be got rid of in the next election, probably. Hungary has changed,…for the better.

Renegade Eye said...

The US calling the Eastern Europe revolts for capitalist restoration, instead of fights for democratic rights, fell into Stalin's hands. Both sides were describing the revolts the same way.

Anonymous said...

Ond of the enduring myths of the Cold War is that Radio Free Europe's broadcasting to Hungary "suggesting direct western assistance, all along knowing it wasn't going to be the case." Thís myth originated with the post-Revolutionary Hungarian government's White Paper and endures today. The one program, out of 300 hours of broadcasting, that even remotely suggested this was on 4 November, when a RFE broadcaster withou authority added a commentary to the newspaper Observer article that should not have been broadcast. Don't forget that the spontaneous Revolution was already over ten day's running. Hungary 1956 was a massive US intelligence failure. The CIA did not even have a Hungarian speaking agent in Budapest at the time the Revolution broke out. Charles Gati's new book gives full details on the intelligence failure. RFE rebroadcast un-edited programs from the various local radio stations and in these broadcasts there were appeals to the West and the United Nations, in the heat of the revolutionary activities and the perception of the listeners, these were RFE programs. The listeners heard what they wanted to hear and believed, including that help was on the way. For that RFE can be faulted for not editing or not commenting on these programs--a sin of omission.

Anonymous said...

To follow up my comments from yesterday, copies of highly censored CIA documents on that agency's intelligence failures

Document 1: CIA Clandestine Services History, The Hungarian Revolution and Planning for the Future, 23 October - 4 November 1956, Volume I of II, January 1958

Document 2: CIA Historical Staff, The Clandestine Service Historical Series, Hungary, Volume I, [Deleted], May 1972

Document 3: CIA Historical Staff, The Clandestine Service Historical Series, Hungary, Volume II, External Operations, 1946 - 1965, May 1972


can be found at

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB206/index.htm#docs