The beginning of the De-Stalinization period in Hungary favoured the development of an opposition movement, particularly among students and intellectuals. Imre Nagy who was called in as Prime Minister had obtained the demand of Soviet troops being withdrawn. He became submerged by the spread of the insurrectional movement in Budapest and the provinces. Abolishing the ‘unique’ party system on the 13th October 1956 he demanded Hungary’s withdrawal of the Warsaw Pact and neutrality. (+)
On 23rd October 1956, what began as a mass rally in Budapest quickly evolved into the Hungarian Revolution. Within days, millions of Hungarians were supporting the revolt. It lasted until 4 November, when it was crushed by the Hungarian Security Police and Soviet tanks and artillery. Thousands of Hungarian revolutionaries and Soviets were killed and injured, and nearly a quater of a million people fled the country as refugees.
Erich Lessing was the first photographer to arrive in Hungary, and he documented the short-lived uprising and its aftermath in a series of photographs. These world-famous images bring to life once more the hope and euphoria of the first days of the revolt, so soon to be followed by pain and punishment of its brutal suppression. (+)
Find more pictures here.
“Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.” ― Jean Cocteau
Robert Capa, Two women walking down a road, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1947.