Monday, October 23, 2006

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (IX)

O tal relatório, pags. 164-166:

D. Efforts for the co-ordination of revolutionary councils and committees

533. By the end of October, individual Councils felt the need to establish a central organization to co-ordinate the work of the numerous Revolutionary Councils and Committees. The second Soviet intervention prevented the establishment of such an organization, but certain attempts were made along those lines. Witnesses stated that thought was being given to the formation of a centralized National Revolutionary Council, on the lines of the Transdanubian National Council to which reference has been made above.(21) A similar Council would have been established for the region between the Rivers Danube and Tisza. Such a central organization of Revolutionary Councils would have been built from the bottom, and not from the top. It would have co-operated with the Government to prepare for the holding of free elections. A specific proposal for such a central organization was made by a delegation from the Workers’ Council of County Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, which called on Mr. Nagy and Mr. Tildy on 2 November. The proposed central organization would have been composed of democratically elected representatives of the Workers’ Councils in Budapest and the provinces.

534. The Peoples’ Patriotic Front (PPF)(22) set up on 28 October a Central National Committee (Országos Nemzeti Bizottság), with the task of uniting and coordinating the activities of locally elected revolutionary bodies. It was said that this Committee would keep the people informed by press and radio on the activities of such bodies and on the scope of their authority.

535. On 2 November, the Central National Committee joined the Revolutionary Committee of the Public Security Forces and the Revolutionary Committee of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in an appeal to the National Guard and citizens, calling on them to “safeguard the purity of our revolution”. The Committee appealed on 3 November to Committees and Councils in counties, districts, cities and villages and urged them to use their influence with the workers to resume work as soon as possible in all enterprises and factories. The Committee added in its appeal that the Government had “fulfiled the demands of the insurgents”.

536. The Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee (Magyar Nemzeti Forradalmi Bizottmány) was set up about 28 October by József Dudás, a former member of the National Peasant Party. This was not the projected National Revolutionary Council mentioned in para.

533 above. The Committee had a newspaper of its own from 30 October, the Magyar Függetlenség (Hungarian Independence). The first number of this newspaper published a twenty-five point resolution adopted on 28 October which the Committee had at that time submitted to the Government. The Committee declared that it would not recognize the Government of Mr. Nagy until the latter included in his Cabinet the “elected representatives” of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee and others. It called for repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty, for Hungarian neutrality and for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops. Mr. Dudás also issued a statement on 30 October inviting revolutionary organizations to send delegates on 1 November to a National Congress of Revolutionary Delegates. He asked that these delegates should be Hungarians with a clean conscience, who had never taken part in the policies of the old régime or that of the régime Rákosi and Gerő, but had always been “on the side of freedom and progress”. The next day, Magyar Függetlenség announced that this Congress had had to be postponed indefinitely, because Budapest was surrounded by Soviet forces which prevented delegates from the provinces from entering the city. On 2 November, the newspaper stated that all the twenty-five points which had been submitted to the Government on 28 October had been implemented, some of them “against the will of the Government, and as a result of the defeat of the Soviet forces by the sacrifices of our sons and daughters who have fallen”.

E. Contacts of Revolutionary Councils with the government

537. From 26 October on, Mr. Nagy and several of his associates, in particular Zoltán Tildy and Ferenc Erdei, received many delegations of Revolutionary Councils and National Committees from Budapest and the provinces. Practically all of these presented demands to the Government, as has been described in the specific instance of the Transdanubian National Council. On 30 October, Mr. Nagy had talks with representatives of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee, the Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian Army, the Revolutionary Insurgent Forces, the Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian Intellectuals and the Students’ Revolutionary Council, and was presented with proposals by József Dudás, in this case acting for all these groups. According to Magyar Függetlenség of 31 October, these proposals were to be transmitted to the Government by Mr. Nagy. After 1 November at least three further meetings were reportedly held between representatives of the Government and several of the above-mentioned revolutionary bodies to discuss the “political and economic situation of the national revolution”. They were joined by the provisional executive of the National Council of Free Trade Unions, the Writers’ Union, and the representatives of the Workers’ Councils of Budapest’s large industries.(23)

538. On various occasions, delegates met Zoltán Vas, Károly Janza, Ferenc Erdei, as well as János Kádár. At the meeting held on 2 November in the Headquarters of the Builders’ Trade Union, representatives of the Revolutionary Councils emphasized that Hungary wanted to live in peace with all countries, but insisted on the withdrawal of Soviet troops because, as they stated, “the country would not lay down arms while there was one Russian on Hungarian territory”. They added “that Hungarian neutrality was worth no more than the paper it was written on so long as armed Russian troops stayed on Hungarian soil”.

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