A history of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, published as a special supplement of Anarchist Worker on the 20th anniversary in 1976
IT IS NOT out of love for nostalgia that we are commemorating the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Hungary '56 was a prime example of the working class itself reaching for power: doubly significant, it took place in one of the mythical 'workers' states'.
It showed for many, throughout the world, a new alternative to the capitalism vs Soviet communism - read state capitalism - polarisation and it galvanised movements towards genuine revolutionary politics.
When the Soviet Army swept into Eastern Europe towards the end of the Second World War, they did not, in fact, liberate the workers and peasants. The same system as before continued to exist, ' with Stalin giving backing to the reactionary governments. In Bulgaria, Colonel Georgiev, who now had the backing of the Communists, and who had in 1934 attacked strikers, killing some, and called striking workers 'fascists'.
Some striking coalminers were labelled 'anarchists' and 'fascists' and imprisoned. Earlier, the Russian military and their Bulgarian stooges dismantled the workers' militias that had been created, and the soldiers' councils that had emerged inside the army. Party members who objected were told by Molotov, "if certain Communists continue their present conduct, we will bring them to reason. Bulgaria will remain with her democratic government and her present order.... you must retain all valuable army officers from before the coup d'Ã‰tat. You should reinstate in the service all officers who have been dismissed for various reasons."