The echo of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution in the Dutch press (part two): “The Hungarian Uprising”

October and November 1956 were one of the deepest holes that the history of humanity has ever stepped. In the second half of October, diplomatic manoeuvres in the bipolar world drew the attention of the world public to two regions of the world. The international law agreements enshrined in the UN Charter were shattered into nothingness when both hemispheres of the bipolar world chose the path of military intervention. The conflicts that erupted around the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution and the nationalization of the Suez Canal stirred up people’s everyday lives and showed the contemporary value of international conventions. In addition to the arms race caused by the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s forced heavy industrialization and requisition program completely gutted the occupied states of Central and Eastern Europe. The 1950s were about deficits in the lives of all Soviet satellite republics under the Warsaw Pact. The low standard of living has led to a number of riots, demonstrations and political upheavals. The events in Potsdam, Poland provided the introduction to what happened in autumn in Hungary.
The echo of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution in the Dutch press (part two): “The Hungarian Uprising”

The echo of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution (part two):

“The Hungarian Uprising”

 

The Pest Guys fight the Soviet Red Army. The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight - The Hungarian Uprising - Cold War in Budapest, Hungary - Life behind the Iron Curtain

 

October and November 1956 were one of the deepest holes that the history of humanity has ever stepped. In the second half of October, diplomatic manoeuvres in the bipolar world drew the attention of the world public to two regions of the world. The international law agreements enshrined in the UN Charter were shattered into nothingness when both hemispheres of the bipolar world chose the path of military intervention. The conflicts that erupted around the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution and the nationalization of the Suez Canal stirred up people’s everyday lives and showed the contemporary value of international conventions. In addition to the arms race caused by the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s forced heavy industrialization and requisition program completely gutted the occupied states of Central and Eastern Europe. The 1950s were about deficits in the lives of all Soviet satellite republics under the Warsaw Pact. The low standard of living has led to a number of riots, demonstrations and political upheavals. The events in Potsdam, Poland provided the introduction to what happened in autumn in Hungary. In my previous article, I presented the direct response of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution in the Dutch media through content published in Dutch-language newspapers.

 The second part, read below, is entitled “The Hungarian Uprising” because, as the contents of the Dutch dailies illustrated below, the vast majority of them used the term “opstand” (“revolt, uprising”). From the Dutch journalism of the events at the end of October, I present interesting additions that can bring everyone closer not only to the importance of commemorating the historical event, but also to the level of the contemporary circumstances of the flow of information. At the same time, the article below provides an insight into the reaction of contemporary Dutch society as well as the reaction of the world.

 

Briefly about contemporary Dutch newspapers

 

 I based the research material mainly on primary sources that I built upon the necessary Dutch and Hungarian topic specific literature. Based on these, I summarize in the table below the Dutch-language dailies to be considered as the primary sources for the whole research.

 

Publication name

Period of publication

Place of publication

Nieuwe Amsterdamsche Courant. Algemeen Handelsblad

1828-1970

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

The Telegraaf

1893-

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

Het Vrije Volk

1900-1991

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

De Waarheid

1940-1990

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

Amigoe di Curaçao

1884-

Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles)

De Tijd

1845-1974

‘s-Hertogenbosch (North-Brabant, the Netherlands)

Nieuwsblad van het Noorden

1888-2002

Groningen (Groningen, the Netherlands)

Leeuwarder Courant

1752-

Leeuwarden (Friesland, the Netherlands)

De Volkskrant

1919-

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

Het Parool

1941-

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

Java Bode

1852-1957

Batavia (Java, Indonesia)

Algemeen Indisch Dagblad – De Preangerbode

1896-1957

Bandung (Indonesia)

Trouw

1943-

Amsterdam (North-Holland, the Netherlands)

Limburgsch Dagblad

1918-1972

Venlo (Limburg, the Netherlands)

Friese Koerier

1918-1972

Heerenveen (Friesland, the Netherlands)

 

The Hungarian events that took place between 23rd and 27th October 1956 played a central role in the front pages of Dutch dailies. Without exception, all press outlets focused on Hungary and the international military, political, social and economic aspect of the events. It can be stated that the Dutch press did not work exclusively from takeovers, thus, not only were news from major Western media agencies processed and translated into Dutch, but primary sources were lined up to support their claims. At the same time, exaggerations, misunderstandings and misconceptions also appeared in the columns of the Dutch press. That is why in this article I try to present the Dutch-language condensation of the news value of the Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight in 1956. During this period in addition to the official radio broadcast in Budapest, the Dutch journalists also considered the radio broadcasts in Pécs, Miskolc and Prague to be the primary source. In addition to radio broadcast, events from Western news agencies and governments, as well as world political organizations were also broadcast. The Hungarian struggles were often emphasized together with the Suez Crisis sometimes instead of it. The echo of the Revolution of 23rd October 1956 intensified in the following days. The newspapers of 24th October were full of articles about Hungary. Most events returned to the front pages of Dutch newspapers in a single day. How accurate, in which tone and judgement? You can also find answers to this and similar questions by reading my article below.

 

“The 24th October in the Dutch dailies:”

 

 All Dutch dailies covered the events of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution on the front together with the events in North Africa and Poland. The Dutch newspapers on the 25th October were full of Gerő’s resignation. A significant number of newspapers also published two articles about the events in Budapest. Gerő’s rapid fall everywhere deserved a separate article.
However even the titles of the articles are controversial, not that of the contents. The Algemeen Handelsblad posted on its front page: “The violent revolt was curbed. Still street fighting this morning”. The author named the official radio broadcast as primary source of his work that was clearly explained throughout the text. Although the chain of events have been mixed, it seems like the radio broadcast could confuse the author. The daily command of the minister of defence was explained. Referring to this, the author stated that heavy street struggling resulted in high number of dead victims and captives. He recorded that the “insurgents” – “opstandelingen” was in use rather instead of “revolutionair” – tried to occupy the magnesium mines in Salgótarján and Tatabánya. In this case, the author of the newspaper article first pointed out that a significant proportion of the insurgents are from the young working class. He reported (not so precisely) on the events occurred around the building of the Radio in Budapest that the police only begin with the usage of tear gas after the talks had completely failed due to the crackdown and arson in the crowd and no agreement was reached. He wasn’t sure if the building of Budapest Radio had finally been occupied but he found it interesting why Budapest Radio used the emergency channel for broadcasting. The official radio government reports about the events and the way how they occurred, was described by the author. He presented the scenes of the fighting in Budapest and the removal of the Stalin statue. He emphasized that there were very serious and long clashes in Angyalföld. But why is it interesting? I mean, why is it good to know about the quality of information flow? The title clearly characterized the reliability of contemporary news and often, as can be read below, also illustrates the credibility of the channels.

 

Image 1:
De Telegraaf 25 October 1956 The Hungarian Uprising
The front page of De Telegraaf, 25 October 1956

 

The cover of De Telegraaf and the release of 25th October aimed to focus on the East-Central-European events. In addition to the announcement of Gomulka and the subsequent street protests and riots in Warsaw, the events of Budapest was widely reported. „Nagy premier – Rode leger te hulp geroepen – Tanks in actie – Maar…” i.e. “Nagy prime minister – Red Army called to the rescue – Tanks in action – But …” The journalist drew a snapshot after 21 hours of fighting. Budapest was on fire. The Hungarian government acknowledged that fighting had taken place in the capital and that the social event had evolved from a peaceful demonstration on the 23rd into street struggling. Surprisingly, he commented that Imre Nagy had been very popular in the past, however his lightning appointment proved unsuccessful and calling on the Russian army for help did not bring any breakthrough. According to Moscow, there was a fascist counter-revolution in Hungary. The author described the parts of the city where armed clashes had taken place and highlighted that on the 24th October serious heavy fighting occurred around the Károly Róbert Baracks with a number of fatal victims. He paid special attention to the radio: “Luisterspel” (“Listening game”). The article began with the announcement of the Hungarian Interior Ministry, which refused to pardon the resistance. The author of the article reported that some captive teenage insurgents had been interviewed on radio. The speech of Imre Nagy was cited and he also mentioned the desperate statement of Árpád Szakasits. The article had also included information about the Roman Catholic Church. He then stressed that the value of the value of radio broadcasting was highly doubtful, because for example, it was once declared that the fighting was over and then it turned out that it was not at all. Another article on the front page dealt entirely with Budapest Radio: “Tweestemmig “concert” van Radio Boedapest”- “Two-Voicing “concert” by Radio Budapest”. The title well reflected the situation of Budapest Radio as two signals from Budapest could be received at the same time and they did not know exactly what had happened. One of the channels mostly broadcasted classical music and the author concluded that the rebel youths also made their own radio. The journalist also had difficulties determining the size of the crowd and blamed the radio broadcasts for possible mistakes. According to the author, the accession of Zrínyi cadets to the protesters worsened the situation because it proved that communism was unattractive to young people and the biggest dissatisfied stratum came out of their ranks, which means that the system has no social background. He also described some serious incidents, such as the case where some of the cadets tried to get Soviet soldiers by their side, unsuccessfully and a tank waded one of the young people to death. The Hungarian soldiers did not come into contact with the insurgents, they even helped them with ammunition and weapons. The Hungarian soldiers were sought separately by the Russians in the crowd. The author referred to eyewitnesses who saw the deaths of hundreds of people in just few minutes.

 

Image 2:
The cover page of De Tijd - 25 October 1956 - The Hungarian Revolution - The Hungarian Uprising @Lajaecom
The cover page of De Tijd, 25 October 1956.

 

De Tijd and the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden both emphasized that Imre Nagy had lost the sympathy of the crowd. The Groningen daily considered the Prague radio broadcast to be credible because the Hungarian broadcasting is confusing. In contrast, the focus of De Tijd’s articles was on the government announced – that time only believed to become unsuccessful – reconciliation program of the Hungarian society. All newspapers were full of the fall of Gerő. It was only the daily newspaper of the Dutch communist party, De Waarheid, that pushed the series of events in Budapest into the background. The 25th October issue of De Waarheid contained only one short announcement about Budapest. The editorial of the newspaper seemingly avoided any foreign events because although the situation in Hungary, Poland and Egypt was mentioned in seemingly brief articles the newspaper dealt with sports, houses and a dozen other minor issues instead of the releasing information about North-Africa or the reaction of the Soviet government. Referring to Radio Budapest, the author stated: „De contra-revolutionairen hebben belangrijke bezittingen van het volk verwoest. Zij hebben het Nationale Museum vier maal in brand gestoken. Het museum brandde vanochtend log. Volgen Radio-Boedapest zijn waarschijnlijk vele onvervangbare kunstschatten van het museum verloren gegaan.” So the author highlighted that the counter-revolutionaries caused enormous damage to the people and for example, the building of the National Museum was set on fire four times. Incidentally, the article did not address the fact of shooting into the crowd which involved many innocent deaths. The article continued on the fifth page in a similar tone and scope. However, the author also made a prominent mistake: “Geroe vervangen door Kardas. Vanmiddag maakte Radio-Boedapest bekend, dat Janos Kardas aangewezen is als eerste secretaris van de Hongaarse Werkerspartij in de plaats van Ernoe Geroe.” So the author seemingly misunderstood the announcer, because Kádár was renamed Kardas while announcing that Gerő was forced to hand over his position as the leader of the Hungarian Workers’ Party. They were reluctant to take a position on the matter or commented only briefly on the inconvenient event for them. The overthrow of Stalin’s statue in Budapest did not appear in the columns of “The Truth”. However, it was read everywhere else, for example, the 25th October release of De Telegraaf published a full article about the event in the middle of the publication’s third page. “Met tienduizenden overstroomden opstandige Hongaren Boedapest. Standbeeld van Stalin met snijbranders vernield” – „In the tens of thousands, rebellious Hungarians overran Budapest. Statue of Stalin destroyed with cutting torches”. In this article, the young workers and cadets were compared to the revolutionaries of the nineteenth century. However, the determinations of insurgents and insurrection continued to characterize the revolutionaries during the article. The Nieuwsblad van het Noorden called the opponents “counter-revolutionaries” as a result of the radio broadcasts in Prague and then the articles followed the official statements of Czechoslovakia.

 

Image 3 & 4:
The images of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution - Budapest, Hungary - Hungarian insurgents ride on Russian tank with a Hungarian flag - 25 October 1956 - Algemeen Handelsblad cover The images of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution - Budapest, Hungary - Hungarian demonstrators take off the Soviet Red Star from a state official building - 25 October 1956 - Algemeen Handelsblad cover
The appearance of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in the contemporary newspaper: Image 3. Hungarian insurgents ride on a Russian tank with Hungarian flag & Image 4. Hungarian demonstrators remove the Soviet Red Star from Hungarian governmental building

 

The 26th October issue of Algemeen Handelsblad is also worth a closer look because it provides a great opportunity to show how the staff of one of the key players in contemporary Dutch print media reacted to the revolutionary events. “According to the latest news: a general strike in Hungary” – wrote one of the articles on the cover. The article referred to information from Austrian railway workers returning from Hegyeshalom. Based on these, a general strike took place at 4 o’clock in the morning. The cessation of work of railway workers spread to the factories and the work also stopped at 10 o’clock in the morning. He described the domestic political conditions of Hungary with reference to Austrian news sources. He informed the readers in detail about the meeting of the working delegation and Prime Minister Imre Nagy and its results. He emphasized that the Prime Minister had also accepted the demand that Soviet troops should leave the territory of Hungary by 1st January. Anti-Soviet demonstrations took place in Vienna and Albania. According to the author, the whole uprising began with the shooting of unarmed protesters. He stressed out that many peaceful participants of the unarmed demonstration got killed during the clashes of the night. He described the events took place in front of the building of the Hungarian Parliament in Pest: mentioning the event that had been published numerous occasions when a Russian tank opened fire on unarmed citizens waving the Hungarian flag, killing or fatally wounding most of them. He covered the initial phase of the fighting which continued with the shots of the internal security units after Russian fire. The whole event was a bit misleadingly described but the aggression was started by the soviet occupational forces. The whole incident occurred just after when a delegation of the protesters wanted to hand over their demands to the First Secretary which lead to the renewal of strife throughout the whole Hungarian capital. The author had repeatedly reiterated that the Russian and Hungarian communist secret police units started shooting at the unarmed peaceful demonstration. He noted that the official Hungarian army and police forces did not participate of the mass shootings. He described the locations of the street fighting and also detailed the damages. One article dealt with Gerő’s entire activity and one with the Soviet foreign minister. In one of the articles entitled “The Sepilov judgement”, the newspaper’s foreign policy specialist described the attitude of the Soviet Foreign Ministry. He did this by quoting: “Because of the living standards problems of the population, the people wanted democratization, but there are forces present that saw these demonstrations as an opportunity to carry out hostile action that caused unrest, and as the country seemed to fall apart, the government appealed for the Soviet troops.” The structure of the article also shows well that the Dutch press did not have much respect for the communist process, as in this case, for example, it first showed that it was actually the peaceful demonstrations which was attacked by the communists and then reported that the soviet foreign ministry officially announced the opposite. That is why the author could call the statements of the Foreign Minister “oordeel” (“judgement”). “The Polish people can handle the situation.” – said Sepilov.

The author also provided a subjective assessment in the “Commentaren” section of the article, which is a good opportunity for us to examine the reception of the revolution. The author summarized the events described and showed that Soviet propaganda proved effective. East Germans and Czechoslovak labour sided with the soviets. The Italian communists expressed regret that the Hungarian communists were not able to handle the situation properly. According to the US president, the presence of Russian troops in Hungary in not a Hungarian interest.

In further articles, Algemeen Handelsblad wrote specifically on the military situation as well as on radio interference. The papers published on 25th and 26th October, presented condemnations from international organizations and measures taken by the Red Cross to organize aid. “Strategic study of the uprisings in Hungary and Poland”, the paper’s military expert presented the events in Hungary as a series of uprisings. According to the author, it all started with the events in East Germany in 1953 from which dissatisfaction and resistance spread. The resistance is the result of Russian expansion, the weakness of which was symbolized by the Berlin uprising. The NATO says: further European troop movements are needed, which could lead to logistical difficulties. He presented the Russian military industry and the location of the Air Force in the territory of the satellite states. He elaborated on  the reasons for the atomic bomb developments, which stemmed precisely from the expanding intentions of the Russians. The author believed that resistance movements emerged because the communist system was incompatible with the national identity of the population of the affected areas. Recognition of the weakness of their system led to Russian nuclear programs. The Russians are incapable of reliably controlling the satellite states. The NATO should reinterpret the military policy situation and the Dutch army needs to be developed. “The European Assemblée supports the Hungarian insurgents.” The article detailed the standard of living in Hungary and the extent of the deficit. He called the legitimacy of the Great Government in doubt. Russian troops intervened in a tyrannical manner. Overall, according to the author, the events in Hungary stemmed from the mistakes of communism.

Mass arrests, deployment of tanks against the unarmed civilian population. The Dutch press received the events of the first few days of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight with interest and sympathy. With the exception of the communist party’s paper, pressed articles published in Dutch condemned and sharply criticized the military intervention of soviet troops.

 

Image 5:
The resignation of Ernő Gerő in the Dutch news - Leewarder Courant - 26 October 1956
The resignation of Ernő Gerő in the Dutch news - Leewarder Courant - 26 October 1956

 

Saturday, 27th October 1956 was the day that gave a direct summary of the first week of the struggles. This was day when the news of the first week culminated. The articles only published official announcements from the government, but the news was mostly about the experiences of the first eye-witnesses returned home, for example a business man who returned home, the news of Vienna that included many reports with eye-witnesses and correspondents who came into contact with the first Hungarian refugees or the armed revolutionary groups.

Did You know? The Dutch-language press appeared not only in the Netherlands, but also in the contemporary Dutch colonies, so for example, we can get information about the news of Indonesia, Java or Curaçao which is rarely known in Europe. How was the reception of the 1956 Hungarian October Revolution in these far-away regions of the globe? One interesting example is that it seems like one of the articles released in Indonesia was one of the first that used the termination of “revolution” to describe the Hungarian events. „Ook Russen bij de opstandelingen? Revolutie breidt zich over geheel Hongarije uit. In Oost Duitsland en Albanië begint het ook te gisten” – „Also Russians with the insurgents? Revolution spreads all over Hungary. It is also starting to ferment in East Germany and Albania” The staff of the daily newspaper in the Dutch Indians see a close connection in the process in the territory of the soviet satellite states. Referring to the Vienna news, the readers were informed about the only partial success of the disarmament of the rebel groups that was announced by Imre Nagy prime minister. The author pointed out Western-Hungary had come under the control of the armed insurgents up to the Austrian border. The reader could have been informed about the intentions of the Nagy-government to negotiate the withdrawal of soviet troops and the formation of the revolutionary government in southern Hungary, established by insurgents settled south from Eastern Hungary.

 

„Radio Pecs in het zuiden, dat zich nog in handen bevindt van de regering, deelde mede, dat „een revolutieraad van de provincie Baranja een georganiseerde campagne leidt tegen de regeringstroepen.”

Translation: “Radio Pecs in the south, which is still in government hands, reported that “a revolutionary council of the province of Baranja is leading an organized campaign against the government forces.”

(Algemeen Indisch Dagblad – De Preangerbode cover page, 27th October 1956)

 

The paper summarized the readership both about the formation of the revolutionary councils and their demands as well as about their government reception. He determined the number of people killed in armed struggles to be more than ten thousand. It was mentioned that it could be expected that the return of Imre Nagy would produce a similar result as the return of Gomulka in Poland. Mátyás Rákosi was named as responsible for the anger risen amongst Hungarians.

 

Image 6:
Imre Nagy, the titoist ex-prime minister of Hungary - 25 October 1956 - Friese Koerier
Imre Nagy, the titoist ex-prime minister of Hungary - 25 October 1956 - Friese Koerier

 

De Tijd, Limburgsch Dagblad and Het Vrije Volk spoke of the outbreak of a “civil war”. The total resistance was dubbed by all three presses. The first paper emphasized more the reformation of Nagy’s government, the protestation of Francisco Franco in front of the UN in the favour of Hungary and the opinion and announcements of the archbishop of Kalocsa and the Hungarian catholic church were presented. The Limburg daily also mentioned the aforementioned happenings but had the peak of its articles about only the way of the reformation of Nagy government, the struggles and the release of Cardinal Mindszenty from custody. The readers of both De Tijd and Limburgsch Dagblad could get information about the opponents of the street fighting in Budapest. The government of Imre Nagy was not on the top of the happenings, so the Russian troops together with the armed forces of the Hungarian Secret Police (ÁVH) were still trying to crush the Pest Guys but after fruitless attempts, Nagy had to accept the demands of the insurgents. One article reported on 26th October about the volleys that took place in front of the Parliament and was explained above. A correspondent from Budapest reported to Vienna an eye-witness: Endre Márton informed Vienna by telephone at 10 o’clock in the morning about two thousand people were demonstrating in front of the US embassy which was nearby the Hungarian Parliament. The demonstrators took the American flag: “Waarom helpt u ons niet?” – “Why don’t you help us?” The eye-witness report stated that three delegate went to the Parliament to negotiate with the government about the release of the captured insurgents. The Russian soldiers firstly tried to stop the demonstrators peacefully. The report also states that the Russian troops had mobilized infantry, tanks and artillery to protect the building of the Parliament. Endre Márton was unable to determine the exact number of victims fallen by the volleys but after fleeing and later returning, he made up an estimation of more than two hundreds of dead people that he had only estimated only a few first.

„Massa-executies” – „Mass executions”

The staff of the Limburg newspaper brought down a report by a Swiss traveller that originally appeared in the news of Vienna. They brought down some very interesting information that could be used for Cold War propaganda purposes also.

 

„Ik heb met mijn eigen ogen gezien dat men twintig opstandelingenleiders aan vlaggenmasten en lantaarnpalen op de promenade langs de Donau heeft opgehangen.

Translation: “I have seen with my own eyes that twenty insurgent leaders have been hanged from flagpoles and lampposts on the promenade along the Danube.”

(Limburgsch Dagblad cover page, 27th October 1956)

 

On the cover of Het Vrije Volk can be read about the liberation of Western Hungary. In addition to the usual rumours presented above, he reported extensively on Hungarian refugees and Hungary’s international situation. An extra, already uncertain, but even more sensational news flew by. Het Vrije Volk was one of the first to report on the death of Ferenc Puskás.

 

„PUSKAS GEDOOD IN BOEDAPEST?

Volgens in Oostenrijk opgevangen radioberichten van een in handen van de Hongaarse opstandelingen zijnde zender zou de bekende voetballer Ferenc Puskás, die de rang van majoor in het Hongaarse leger bekleedt, het leven hebben verloren bij de straatgevechten te Boedapest. Het bericht is niet officieel bevestigd.”

Translation: “PUSKAS DIED IN BUDAPEST?

According to radio reports received in Austria from a radio station owned by the Hungarian insurgents, the well-known football player Ferenc Puskás, who holds the rank of major in the Hungarian army, was killed in the street fighting in Budapest. The message has not been officially confirmed.”

(Het Vrije Volk cover page, 27th October 1956)

 

Ferenc Puskás died? The fake news of the death of the legendary footballer player - 27 October 1956
Ferenc Puskás died? The fake news of the death of the legendary footballer player - 27 October 1956

 

The Leeuwarder Courant continued to mention the uprising and also stressed that in Western Hungary, the soviet troops had been replaced by the insurgents. The paper also reported of changes among the Nagy-government during Friday night and the setting up of a labour guard. According to the author’s information, the soviet troops invaded Hungary from Ukraine too which is the reason why he believed the military capabilities of the insurgents are very limited.

Puskas gevallen?” – “Puskas fallen?” The article differed from the Limburg article only in that, it cited the same report. However, a very interesting article also appeared in the paper.

„Nederlander uit Hongarije op Schiphol. Russische tanks schoten op massa demonstraten.” – “Dutchman from Hungary at Schiphol. Russian tanks fired on demonstrating crowd.” The article refers to a businessman from Amsterdam who had been in Budapest during the whole first week of the struggles. He said he needed to organize a convoy of six cars to escape from Budapest. The convoy feared that they would not ask for Budapest either, but to some surprise they were stopped only once by a unit of six Hungarian insurgents until Hegyeshalom. He was staying in a hotel near Buda when the armed clashes began. He confirmed that in front of the Hungarian Parliament building the Russian army shot at the unarmed Hungarian demonstrators. He also mentioned that a Russian tank unit switched sides. In another article, people could read about the European Assemblée drew the attention of all European governments to the need to bring the events in Poland and Hungary to the UN.

 

Image 8:
A Dutch car leaves Hungary for Austria - 27 October 1956 - De Tijd
A Dutch car leaves Hungary for Austria - 27 October 1956 - De Tijd

 

The staff of Friese Koerier like those of De Preangerbode, used the term “revolution” for the events but they did so not on the front page but significantly backwards. Imre Nagy, who has described everywhere as a titoist Muscovite communist leader everywhere, here alone won the title of “patriotic communist leader.” It is also written here that the efforts of the new Nagy-government are not enough to stop the armed revolution, because the crowd had already gone beyond Nagy’s previous government program and sympathizes with the ideas of the nineteenth-century war of independence, marked by the name of Sándor Petőfi.

The Java Bode reported on revolutionary government, hangings and the unequal struggle of armed citizens and soviet soldiers. The author brushed up the planned UN action against Russia as well as the anti-soviet protests that were also taking place in Albania. Using Belgrade radio broadcasts, he reported on a general strike and the deaths of tens of thousands.

Interestingly, De Waarheid published an article entitled “De vrijheidsstrijders…” (“The freedom fighters…”). The staff member of the communist newspaper likened (so in the title only mockingly called freedom fighters) the insurgents to the fascists of Francisco Franco’s Spanish regime. The author stated the insurgents had died for democracy while distributing pamphlets envisaging the establishment of a military dictatorship. The insurgents also demanded freedom for Hungary and considered leaving the Warsaw Pact. The author spread that among the insurgents leaders were sympathizers of Adenauer and Hitler and the insurgents sang the vocals “Deutschland Deutschland über alles”. According to the author, the conflict erupted not simply because of the Hungarians but the Americans and their allies that supported the author presented so-called “better socialism” of Hitler and Mussolini. So the paper’s staff emphasized the rhetoric of Soviet-Russian Pravda in composing their own writings.

 

Sources and literature:

The sources of contemporary Dutch press publications:

The publications of 25th October 1956: Algemeen Handelsblad, Amigoe di Curaçao, De Telegraaf, De Tijd, De Waarheid, Limburgsch Dagblad, Nieuwsblad van het Noorden.

The publications of 26th October 1956: Algemeen Handelsblad, Amigoe di Curaçao, De Waarheid, Friese Koerier, Leeuwarder Courant, Limburgsch Dagblad.

The publications of 27th October 1956: Algemeen Indisch Dagblad – De Preangerbode, De Tijd, De Waarheid, Friese Koerier, Het Vrije Volk, Java Bode, Leeuwarder Courant, Limburgsch Dagblad, Nieuwsblad van het Noorden.

 

Literature:

Rainer M. János: Az 1956-os magyar forradalom. (János Rainer M.): The 1956 Hungarian Revolution) – Osiris, Budapest, 2016.

Tischler János (szerk.): Budapestről jelentjük… - Az 1956-os forradalom az egykori nemzetközi sajtóban. (János Tischler (ed,): We report from Budapest… - The 1956 revolution in the contemporary international press) – 1956-os Intézet (1956 Institute), Budapest, 2007.

Jan van de Plasse: Kroniek van de Nederlandse dagblad en opiniepers/samengesteld. Otto Cramwinckel Uitgever, Amsterdam, 2005. (J. van de Plasse: Chronicle of the Dutch daily newspaper and opinion press/compiled. Otto Cramwinckel Publisher, Amsterdam, 2005.

 

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