November 10, 1956: Hungarian Revolt Crushed

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I stand for God, for the Church and for Hungary. This responsibility has been imposed upon me by the fate of the nation which stands alone, an orphan in the whole world. Compared with the sufferings of my people, my own fate is of no importance.

József  Cardinal Mindszenty, Primate of Hungary, 1948



The Hungarian Revolt of 1956 was an extremely important turning point in the Cold War.  It demonstrated to the world that Eastern Europe was not, and never would be, Communist but rather merely territory held down by the force of the Red Army.  This spirit of resistance lived on in each of the countries in the Warsaw Pact from the first imposition of Communist governments at the end of the World War II to the fall of the Communist states at the end of the eighties.  It was a magnificent struggle that is too little celebrated in the West.

The heart and soul of the struggle in Hungary was one of the great men of the 20th Century:  József  Cardinal Mindszenty, primate of Hungary.  Imprisoned by the pro-Nazi government in Hungary during World War II, he was imprisoned, tortured and condemned in a show trial by the puppet Communist regime after World War II.  Freed by Hungarian patriots during the Hungarian revolt, he quickly joined the revolt.  After it was crushed he took refuge in the American embassy in Budapest where he stayed for 15 years, a symbol of the unconquerable spirit of his beloved Hungary.  Shamefully, in my view, the Vatican compromised with the Communist regime, annulling the excommunication imposed by Pius XII on all involved with the trial of Mindszenty, and calling him “a victim of history” rather than “a victim of Communism”.  Mindszenty  traveled to Vienna rather than Rome, upset at the suggestion of the Vatican that he should retire and live in Rome.  He was stripped of his titles by Pope Paul VI in 1973, although the Pope did not fill the primacy until after the Cardinal died in 1975.  The Church in Hungary has launched a strong effort to have the Cardinal proclaimed a saint, and I pray that it is soon crowned with deserved success.

Below is the public domain movie Guilty of Treason 1949, which tells the story of the trial of  Mindszenty  by the Communists.  There was also the 1956 movie The Prisoner starring Alec Guinness, a heavily fictionalized account of his trial, which the Cardinal intensely disliked.



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  1. The struggles of Central Europe to free itself from the grip of Soviet communism has largely been forgotten or ignored by the West, which as decided to elect quasi-Communist politicians since Ronald Reagan left the White House.

    The people of this part of Europe were long subject to foreign rule, be it German, Austrian, Russian or Ottoman, going back centuries. Only since 1989 have the people of Poland, Hungary, the Czech republic, Slovakia and Romania have been able to rule themselves. Some years ago, the Czech president called Al Gore an idiot. They seem to have the sense we have lost.

  2. PF, I suspect that the struggles of Central Europe to free itself from communism
    isn’t so much forgotten or ignored by this administration as it is regretted.

    In the spring of 2012, the Polish freedom fighter Jan Karski was to be posthumously
    awarded our Medal of Freedom. The Polish government requested that Lech Walesa
    be permitted to travel here to accept the medal on Karski’s behalf. President Obama
    denied the Polish government’s request, stating that Walesa was “too political”.

    It’s interesting that at the same award ceremony Delores Huerta, an honorary
    chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, was also awarded a Medal of Freedom.
    It takes little imagination to understand why this administration would find the
    founder of Solidarity/Nobel Peace Prize winner/anti-communist Walesa “too
    political” to attend, but award our highest civilian honor to a Socialist activist at
    that same ceremony…

    I think this administration would prefer it if heroes like Cardinal Mindszenty and
    Lech Walesa never existed.

  3. The struggles of Central Europe to free itself from the grip of Soviet communism has largely been forgotten or ignored by the West, which as decided to elect quasi-Communist politicians since Ronald Reagan left the White House.

    I can think of a number of adjectives to describe the Bushes, father and son, to describe Bilge Clinton, and to describe the current incumbent. “Quasi-communist” would not be one.

  4. Jan Karski, a Pole who escaped from Nazi occupied Poland during WWII to bring news of the Nazi Death Camps to the West. “Story of a Secret State”:This is the first that I have heard that the embarrassment in the White House refused a Visa for Lech Walesa, a world wide labor hero.

    When history is written the mal-administration, wrong-doings, illegal and unconstitutional acts of the socialist Obama and his administration will require more buildings than the histories of the assassination of President Jack Kennedy.

  5. Mr. Deco,

    The Bushes are statists. Cinton wasn’t a Commie symp but he took Chinese money to get reelected. His wife – yes she is. Obumbler is. Western Europe has elected quasi-Communists. Shoeboy Zapatero in Spain qualifies, as does the current French president.

  6. Art.

    “…..and to describe the current incumbent. “Quasi-communist” would not be one. ”

    That’s not the way I see it from where I am watching, Art. Your current president, with his solid communist/socialist upbringing, and confirmed by his actions, fits that description exactly. He is “fundamentally changing” the USA into the USSA – the United Socialist States of America.

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