Our father, having been called to serve in the Hungarian army on the 6th October 1944, was given the task to find accommodation for a battalion heading for Germany. At the time, the USSR was laying siege to Budapest and it was only a matter of time before the city was to fall. He took the opportunity to also arrange transport for his wife, two children, his father, his sister and her family to the same destination in Austria. My father’s book describes in detail the journey to Germany.Retreat to Germany-B Török
The USSR took control of this defeated nation as per the Yalta Agreement with the Allies. Following the usual war trials, the new government continued to savagely persecute the Hungarian middle class. The puppet communist government was led by dual citizens (Hungarian and Russian) who had fled Hungary 27 years prior. The revenge was savage and the desire to eliminate all opposition relentless. The government, to create a classless society, engaged in political purges and used the security apparatus to suppress all opposition, including non-communist parties, Christian religious institutions, and independent organizations. My father’s book describes why they finally decided that, despite his deep lifelong love of his country, he would seek refuge elsewhere. Our mother’s family were already refugees from an area now in Slovakia after the dismemberment of Hungary by the Allies in 1918 Refugees – B Török
Hungary then endured a further decade of terror. The church, which was a unifying force for all the people, had to go. The Communist Party sought to reshape cultural norms and values in line with socialist ideals. This included changes in literature, art, and cultural expression to support the regime’s narrative.Russian Occupation-B Török
The Primate of Hungary Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty was imprisoned in 1948 just as when he was gaoled by the short-term communist government in 1918. He endured torture, solitary confinement, a one-sided prosecution while under mind-altering drugs. He was released by the freedom fighters of the 1956 uprising and was given refuge in the American Embassy. In 1971, a deal was struck by the Pope and the communist regime, and against Cardinal Mindszenty’s wishes, he was sent to Vienna from his confinement in the Embassy. In 1974 Pope Paul VI stripped him of his title as Primate of Hungary. Cardinal Joszef Mindszenty wrote his story called Memoir, in which he wrote that Justice must wait for the next world. Mindszenty – B Török
“The Hungarian Revolution of 1956” was a spontaneous uprising against the Russian Soviet-backed communist government. In “The History of the Russian Revolution”, Leon Trotsky wrote a chapter on the art of insurrection. In it he defined it “Historians and politicians usually give the name of spontaneous insurrection to a movement of the masses united by a common hostility against the old regime, but not having a clear aim, deliberated methods of struggle, or a leadership consciously showing the way to victory”. This was an insurrection, truly a movement of the masses bound by the common hatred of the communist regime.
The grievances of the people were many. Some were the suppression of political dissent, prison and deportation of many, censorship, stifled creative expression and intellectual freedom, persecution of religion, forced collectivization of agriculture, shortage of consumer goods and the undermining of national sovereignty. These factors were fanned by Radio Free Europe, a CIA USA-funded radio station. When the protestors demanded Hungary’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, the USSR responded with military intervention sending in troops to suppress the revolt. Thousands of people were killed and wounded.1956 Uprising.