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The pre-1956 Hungarian Events Re-examined:

the Fascist Card.

v. Sandor Balogh, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus



To the superficial observer and historian it seems that the book on the 1956 Hungarian "Uprising," one of the many names used to identify the bloody rebellion against the Hungarian Communist regime that shook the Kremlin's iron rule over its satellite empire, is closed. According to traditional wisdom, “It was a popular uprising against an oppressive regime that, in desperation, had to call in the Russian troops to put down the rebellion staged by students and workers.”

But during the last fifteen years more and more has become known about the background maneuvering that actually provoked a people's ire and swept the Communist regime of Ernő Gerő from power, so the term "uprising" might not be that accurate.

Yet, now that the Communist Empire has collapsed, it seems like Monday morning quarterbacking, without any real benefit, to re-hash those events that happened almost a half century ago. But we must consider that, in addition to Russia, the dominant power of the former Soviet Empire, in several former satellite countries in East Central Europe Communists or former Communists are still in power, and even where they are out of power no real purges were made. Consequently, the government and the military is still full of Communists and former "political officers"[1] who once were the lackeys of the Soviet regime.

This author wrote his dissertation in the 80's about the Soviet-Hungarian relations from 1948 to 1956.  The main thesis of the dissertation was that the events of 1956, including the Polish Solidarity strike at Poznan and the events in Budapest, as well as the East German dissent in 1953 and the Prague Spring under Alexander Dubcek, were not nationalist uprisings. Those nations, having long affiliation with Western culture, rebelled against the more primitive, more Soviet despotic rule and the forced imposition of Byzantine culture. The thesis was proven by arguing that the more nationalist but Byzantine Orthodox Bulgarians, Serbs and Rumanians have never rebelled against the Soviet rule.

This topic is still very timely, since the West, including the US foreign policy establishment still does not realize the importance of political culture, especially the role that the Orthodox Byzantine culture plays in politics. The imperialistic expansionary tendencies of Russia are based on the Byzantine messianic zeal to conquer and convert more and more peoples. Since the completion of the Dissertation more information strengthening my argument has drawn closer to my attention on this issue, some of which I will include as attachments to this essay.

Concerning the Hungarian events themselves, I had proposed a secondary thesis that the popular version, i.e. that the events were a popular uprising initiated by the students and/or workers, depending on whose interpretation one accepts, is inaccurate. Based on the application of the “theory of revolutions,” and a careful analysis of the UN Report on Hungary this author had argued that the rebellion was prepared and provoked by the government and the Communist Party.

The most authentic evidence for this came from the mouth of Imre Nagy himself. On the morning of October 23, when it was announced, that the university students were planning a demonstration and they demanded the return of Imre Nagy to power, his friends, in a small private meeting, had urged Nagy to attend the demonstration, but Nagy refused. He reminded the group that ten days earlier he had received warning from Imre Mezö, the only member of the top Communist leadership who still had contact with Nagy. According to Mezö, “Gerő was planning a major provocation against Nagy. He let the situation deteriorate to the degree that it was in Poland, and used it as an excuse to eliminate the entire opposition within the Party.”[2] Therefore he had to be very careful, which explains his behavior during the first few days, until it became obvious, that Gerő had lost his game.

If this is true, of course the Hungarian people fell into the trap. But once provoked, they responded splendidly to the challenge and, in spite of the involvement of the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary, they had succeeded in ousting the much-hated Communist Party from power. The Soviets had to bring in new troops to put down the rebellion of that valiant small nation and restore the Communists to power.

There might seem to be some inconsistency between the two proposals, rebellion against the violent imposition of a foreign culture and the premeditated provocation. But there is a simple explanation. The Hungarian and the Soviet leadership expected the provocation to lead to a minor disturbance in Budapest to be easily cleaned up by the Soviet troops. But it turned into a major rebellion because of the cultural differences, and the Hungarian people’s deep seated desire to be masters of their own fate. Being used to the docile reaction of the Byzantine Orthodox Russian people, they did not expect what actually happened in Budapest, namely that the freedom loving Hungarians would not stop until they had defeated the hated regime. According to General Malasenko’s report, “the events have exceeded our imagination."

Since 1990 evidence has appeared that not only completely supports the thesis of the dissertation, but gives new insight into the methods used by the Kremlin.

There is also evidence that Eisenhower and Dulles had to reassure the Soviet leaders that the US would not interfere if they reasserted their rule over Hungary.[3]

 Thus, if we take into consideration the role the World Government concept might have played in the events, Ambassador Bohlen’s reference to the approval on  „legmagasabb szinten” (highest level)  might refer to the highest level of the „foreign policy establishment,” which was not necessarily President Eisenhower.

Further analysis shows that up to November 4, when the Soviets attacked the sleeping Budapest, the US did everything it could to protect the Soviet aggressor in the UN.  Gordon Gaskill, an American journalist, chronicles the US behavior at the UN in the Virginia Quarterly.[4] Henry Cabot Lodge, the American Ambassador to the UN did everything he could to delay, sidetrack, or hinder the efforts of the so called Cassandra Club, led by Cuban UN Ambassador, Dr. Emilio Nunez-Portuondo,[5] to take effective UN action to save Hungary from the Soviet intervention.[6]


In the following (Part I) first I shall reprint the Preface, Introduction and Chapter VI of my dissertation, which suggests that the events of 1956 were planned and provoked by ErnőGerő, the head of the Hungarian Communists. My thesis was based mainly on political theory and logic.


Based on new revelations it is also possible now to place the events of 1956 into the larger context of the Cold War. On the one hand, the Soviets needed to react to the creation of NATO and the keeping of a huge American contingent in Europe and, on the other hand, the American policymakers did not want to risk alienating the Soviet Union and jeopardizing their goal of creating a World Government, more recently code-named as New World Order, as outlined by Arthur Schlesinger in his book, Vital Center.[7] Schlesinger’s theme is that “the noble concept of World Government” will begin to make contact with reality, when the Soviet Union and the United States meet at the “center” : they will respect human rights more, and we will move toward socialism.


Therefore Schlesinger had cautioned the American foreign policy establishment not to scare the Soviets away from moving toward this center. He even mentioned the Hungarian tyrant, Matyas Rakosi and warned that, no matter how bad he was, the West should treat him with kid gloves, so that they might continue to move toward the “vital center.” It was this spirit that Eisenhower and Dulles supported and there was circumstantial evidence available in the 1980's to suggest it. To get concrete evidence, I even placed a request in the Hungarian newspapers published in the West, asking anyone who might have information about the invitation and planning of the Soviet intervention to contact me. Unfortunately, there was no such information forwarded to be included in my dissertation.

Since 1990 however, articles and memoirs providing factual information and personal interpretations have become available. In Part II., I shall review these articles and in the Conclusion I shall try to present a coherent picture of the pre-1956 planning and preparation, based on this new information. I shall attempt to organize the available information into consistent conceptual units and work out the conflicts, but still more research is needed, especially from still unavailable official secret documents, for the full and accurate understanding of those events. It seems that the so far released documents had been carefully screened, in order not to make public any damaging documents.


Part I. The Dissertation





Cultural and political patterns of Communism in Cen­tral Europe: A case study of the Soviet-Hungarian re­lationship, 1948-56.

Balogh, Sandor, Ph.D.

New York Uni­versity, 1987.


The dissertation seeks to compare and explain the two different patterns of development in Central and East­ern/Southern Europe: while in the Central European countries like in East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, Sovietization provoked major resistance, in the Eastern-Southern European countries like Russia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Soviet rule has been tolerated for four decades without any serious challenge.

The thesis of the paper is that the Central European nations, with strong west­ern traditions, have rejected Soviet style Communism, since it has the "birthmarks" of the Byzantine Russian Orthodox culture, while the Eastern and Southern Eu­ropean countries that have Orthodox cultures themselves, including the Russian people, do not find the Soviet system too alien to their own culture.

The dissertation is a case study proving that the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was more a desperate rejection of Russification than a nationalist uprising. As part of this study, the dissertation also analyzes the relationship between the Kremlin and the Hungarian "puppet" government.

·         Chapter One analyzes the Russian Mind, tracing it back to its Byzantine roots, through the Slavophile School, Russian Messianism and Panslavism, and Ortho­dox Authoritarianism.

·         Chapter Two reviews the relevant aspects of Hegel's and Marx's systems, arguing that their system is more compatible with the Russian than the Western Mind.

·         Chapter Three argues that the Soviet Union is not only a direct descendant of Orthodox Russia, but is "the political expression of Russian nationalism.”

·         Chapter Four reviews Hungary's thousand year old western orientation, up to World War Two.

·         Chapter Five details Russification in Hungary from 1948 to 1956.

·         Chapter Six shows how the cultural conflict had sharpened in Hungary to the point when Hungarians could not tolerate it anymore.

·         The Conclusion shows that Russification even today (as of the 1980’s) is a major burning issue in Hungary.

The author left Hungary in 1956.


Reprinted from


A Publication of University Microfilm International

Order Number 8801514




Cultural and Political Patterns of Communism in Cen­tral Europe: A Case Study of the Soviet-Hungarian Re­lationship, 1948-56.

Balogh, Sandor, Ph.D.

New York Uni­versity, October 1987.





It is  probably  in order  to give a brief summary of the  long history of  this  dissertation.    I completed my oral examinations  in 1969, and my Dissertation Committee directed me


“to shift the  focus of your Ph.D.  Dissertation plans  to a careful and detailed study of  the development of Communism in your native Hungary. The Committee believes  that your  special knowledge  in this area may well yield information of   considerable   and   lasting   value   to   the   academic community.   The  Committee  also  believes  that  your  ready familiarity  with  this material makes  it possible  for you to   think   of   completing   your   dissertation   within  a relatively short span.”[8]


Unfortunately,  the  “short  span” has  turned  into eighteen  long years.


The  story of  these years should be  told,  since  it has direct relevance  to my study.   Not wanting  to rely completely on memory and available  secondary  sources,  I  immediately  applied  for  a  visitor's visa at the Hungarian consulate through my travel agent.  The visa was rejected with no explanation.  The next summer I applied direct to the Consulate,  to  be  rejected again.   Since then I have applied  several times, have applied for a research visa under the IREX program even, but it was still refused  by  the  Hungarian authorities.   I  also  wrote  to  Janos  Kadar himself,  to no avail.   The text of the rejection was always the same:


"Under the current visa regulations your request cannot be processed."


I have  not    even  been  able  to  get an explanation in  eighteen  years.  I have visited the Hungarian Consulate in New York, the Embassy in Washington, and written several  letters,  to no avail.   The  last promise  I  received was  in August of  this year  that when one of  the employees  of  the  Consulate  returns  from  his  vacation  in  early September, he will explain what the law or regulation is.  Now it is October, and I still have no explanation.   I also wrote to the U. S. Embassy in Hungary, asking them to try to find an explanation.  They responded  on  July  7,  1987,  that  the  "Embassy  has  requested  the Hungarian authorities why your repeated visa applications have  been refused.   As soon as reply is received, I will inform you."  I have received no such information yet.


The Hungarian consul in New York city also suggested that I should re-submit my visa application stressing "humanitarian aspects" of  the  case,  like "visiting  a  sick  family  member."   But  this  completely  misses  the point.  At this point I just wanted to know what the "current visa regulations" were, and in particular, how did it apply to me.   I did not question their right to establish their regulations, but I believe that under the Helsinki Final Act's provisions,  they should at least make public the regulation.[9]  Was it something that they were ashamed to reveal publicly?


It was also suggested by the Hungarian Consulate in New York that I may appeal the decision by sending them the appeal fee.  But what can one appeal if one does not know the applicable rule?  If it is purely a personal decision, as it has been suggested by someone familiar with the system,  namely,  that a  party  functionary a  long  time ago has placed your name on a black list, and he is long dead and nobody cares to remove your name, why should it cost you money to have your name removed?  These  may  look  like  minor  or even moot  points,  but  it  is relevant  to  the  current  state  of  affairs  in Kadar' s  Hungary  that prides itself of being one of the most liberal satellite governments.[10]


This obstacle  prevented  me  from completing  the  dissertation within the  time  limit normally  allowed.   Growing family responsibilities have also played a role in further delay. Finally, in 1982,  I  was  granted Sabbatical leave that enabled me to re-start the entire project.  So, this paper is essentially the result of work done during the years after 1982.


I have to admit, however, that the delay has helped in maturing my thesis and I believe the end-product is much better, more seasoned and mature now than it would have been had it been completed ten years ago.  Also, the perspective is much better now.  I doubt that I could have gotten the same insight before 1980, when the Polish Solidarity movement was outlawed.


Before  1968 an  important perspective  to study  the  Hungarian Revolution was missing:   The so called Prague Spring was the first and only uprising that was defeated by Soviet troops.   Before  1980, one could only compare  the events of 1956 with the Czechoslovakian situation in 1968.  But after 1980 the final piece of the puzzle fell in place:  there were protests and uprisings  in all the Western oriented Communist countries, and there was none,  in the forty years since World War II ended,  in the countries with Byzantine culture.  The pattern was clear, and the thesis of the dissertation was a natural: the countries  that have Western cultural traditions have rejected the Soviet rule not because of nationalism, or  because  of  anti-socialism,  but  because  the  culture  that  the  Soviets imposed was foreign to these peoples.


I have to admit that at first I was hesitant.  So many people, including experts, Neo-Marxists, the media, even statesmen, accept the myth that the Soviet Union is a Marxist and Socialist country, and in spreading Soviet influence,  they spread Socialism.  My thesis clearly went  against  the  “main-stream”  of  the  relevant  literature  and  the experts.  Could I be the only one who sees that the "Emperor has no clothes?"  But as I did my research I have discovered that there is a solid body of evidence  to support my  thesis--it just has not been applied to the Satellite nations.


For the successful completion of the project I owe a great deal of gratitude to a large number of people. First, of course,  is my thesis advisor, who also worked with me on my M.A.  Thesis, and over  the years, has guided me through this much larger  project,  Professor  Mark  H.  Roelofs  of  the  Department  of Politics  at  NYU.  I am  also  grateful  to  the  Department  for re-admitting me to the program after such a long delay.  I should also thank the members of my Committee for their suggestions and insights, like suggesting that I review the literature on the Political Culture approach  and  the  recent  Theories  of  Revolution.   I  believe  both suggestions have improved my understanding of the problem and have enabled me to develop further both areas.


I also  owe  more  than just honorable  mention  to Radio Free Europe  in  Munich  and its Hungarian  section  for  their invaluable  help  during my  three weeks of  research  there after  the Hungarian authorities  refused my visa  for research in Hungary.   The excellent  library  resources  of  RFE  have  almost  made  up  for  my inability to do my research in Hungary.  Consultation with Dr. Aurel Bereznai,   Carlo  Kovacs,   Istvan  Polgar,   Laszlo  Rasko,  and  the assistance of Mrs. Szamosi was especially helpful.


Among the institutions that have helped,  I should include my own school, Hudson Valley Community College for the two semesters of Sabbatical  Leave,  for  the  encouragement  of  my  superiors,  and  the concrete  help  given by my colleagues,  Joe Marsh and Tony Walsh in proofreading several versions of my raw draft.  Special gratitude is earned by the  typing pool and those dedicated typists for patiently typing and re-typing, correcting, and printing the several versions of this dissertation.


Among my friends I should thank so many, but the following gave more  than friendly encouragement to deserve special mention:   Attila Csutkay, Denes Szegedi, and Botond Zahony have helped me from their libraries or other resources.


Last but not least, I should thank members of my family.  My wife,  Sara,  had  tremendous  patience  in  not  only  encouraging  me, sticking with me, but also in tolerating the piles and piles of books, manuscripts,  typed sheets,  in my den,  the porch,  living-room table, and  wherever  I  found  empty  space  for  my  material.   Exercising tremendous self-control, she did not throw out any of my papers.  All my kids were just as patient over the years when they asked me to do something  or  go  somewhere  and  I  excused  myself  to  work  on  my dissertation.   My  daughters,  Suzanne  and  Marianne,  were  especially helpful  in  checking  my  references  and  helping  to  prepare  the footnotes.


Thank you to all.   Without you,  I would be still working on this project.


Of course, as customary and proper, I will take the blame for all  the  mistakes  that  still  might  be  found.   I  only  hope  that  I succeeded in reducing them to the minimum.








Central  Europe  is  historically  one  of  the  most  important geopolitical  regions  of  the  Earth.   It  is  part of what  the  Scottish geographer,  Halford  J.  Mackinder,  refers  to  as  East  Europe  in summarizing his theory about world politics:


                who rules East Europe commands the Heartland

                Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island

Who rules the World-Island commands the World.[11]



One could find numerous examples in history to prove this principle. Unfortunately,   the  victorious  nations  of  W.W.I.   did  not   take Mackinder's  advice  and  fragmented Central  Eastern Europe  instead  of creating a power base which, allied with the Western democracies, or even alone,  would  be able  to  stand up  to either  German or Russian pressure.  Hitler, on the other hand, based on Karl Haushofer's work,[12] who himself was a follower of Mackinder, did recognize the importance of the region, and his first step to carry out his plans was to secure Central Europe.


It might be true that, with ICBMs and assorted space weapons, the military importance of Central Europe has declined, but it could change soon,  as  the  insanity of an all-out nuclear war becomes more obvious.   If  either nuclear disarmament  talks will be successful or the SDI program is deployed, the prospect of traditional warfare will increase.   Consequently,  Central  Europe's  military significance as a buffer zone will increase, making Mackinder's theories timely again.

From  the  American  side,  Spykman,  the  renowned  expert  on geopolitics  echoed  Mckinder's  warnings:  better  pay  attention  to Central  Europe.   During  World  War  II,  preparing  America  for  the following  peace  settlements,   Spykman pointed  out  that “The  greatest difficulty will be that of balancing Germany and Russia."[13]  Following Mackinder's suggestion that was disregarded by the victors after WW I, namely,  "a  tier of  independent states between Germany and Russia, "[14] whose  neutrality  would  be  protected  by  the  rest  of  the  world,[15] Spykman proposes  "a great Eastern federation from the Baltic  to the Mediterranean. "[16]


Although  American  policy  makers  and  our  media  have  not  yet realized the importance of Spykman’s and Mackinder's warnings, Western Europe  is  more  concerned  than ever.   As  recently as  November  1986, following the breaking of the Iran-Contra controversy in the U.S.,  a column  in Die  Zeit suggested  that the "silver lining" for Europe  in Reagan's  difficulties  could  be  that  Europe  now  might  be  free  to "embark on initiatives of its own in the pursuit of political progress for  the  West.”[17]    The  three  Western  interests,  according  to  the article,  include "keener attention to Ostpolitik while Washington is lying low.”[18]


In the same issue of Die Zeit, former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt talked  about  possible  progress   toward  making  some  accommodation regarding  what  he  refers  to  as  Eastern  Europe.[19]   These  statements follow  a  series  of  pronouncements  by  European  statesmen  concerning Ostpolitik,  which  is  the  code name  for Western politics  toward  the rest of Europe including Central Europe.[20]


Cohn S.  Gray, a contemporary student of Mackinder and Spykman is  even more emphatic  in his  study.[21]   Gray repeats  the  importance  of  the Central  European region  in  terms of contemporary power relations: “Geopolitical  relations  in Central Europe are a matter of  major  interest  to  this  study,  because--unlike  the clashes of  East-West interest elsewhere  (save with respect to   the   Middle   East,   and   the   Persian   Gulf   in particular)--the   achievement   by   the   Soviet   Union  of hegemony over this region would, in and of itself, mean a decisive  and  immediate  shift  in  the  global  balance  of power.   Even Soviet success in the Persian Gulf area would largely  have  meaning  in  terms  of  its  effects  upon  the policies of European countries (and Japan).[22]


Based  on  the  importance  of  this  region,  Gray  issued following warning to the U.S. policy makers:


        ”… looking at the world of  the late  1970's,  the  theories of Mackinder  and  Spykman  yield  a  common  logic               for  policy. The   United  States  cannot  afford  to  tolerate  the effective control  of  Eurasia-Africa  by  the  Soviet  Union.   It  must serve,   in  its  own  vital  interests,  as  the  functional successor  to Great Britain as an active balancer of power on,  and  bearing  upon,  the  Rimlands  of  Eurasia.   Such a geopolitical  task  is  as  essential  as  it  should--given steadiness   of   purpose   and   an   appropriate   popular understanding of that purpose--be successful.” [23]


The question that Central Europeans are wondering, and perhaps would like to have some say about,  is this: might Spykman's suggestion be realized with a neutral Central European Federation,  or might Central Europe be annexed by Western Europe,  as opposed to now being annexed by the Soviet Union.


One can only hope  that after the world has paid a heavy price, because   the   statesmen   twice   failed   to   consider   geopolitical considerations  in  Central  Europe,  this  time  the  world  leaders  will heed the advice of the experts and the leaders of Western Europe.


But Central Europe has another important rote:  it is there that Eastern style Communism clashes most directly with Western culture and crucial Western interests.




The  significance  of  understanding  the people and culture of a country,  especially as  important as  the Soviet Union and  the Central European nations  including Poland should be obvious.   During W.W.  II, US marines and other troops were provided with detailed information on the native  cultures  in  the South Pacific.   This material,  collected from the Human Relations Area File,  "is said (to have) prevented many costly  mistakes  and  saved  many  lives.”[24]   Yet,  influential  policy makers  and  opinion molders  seem not  to  take  into  consideration  the basic  cultural  feature  of  the  Soviet  Union,  namely  that  it  is  an Orthodox,  Byzantine  empire  with a  non-Western mindset,  and  that the people  in Central  Europe  have  an  old,  established Western culture. Their failure  to realize  this has  led to many costly mistakes,  like the Yalta agreement,  to name only the most significant.   The average GI participating in W.W.  II knew more about the culture of a small tribe  in  the  South  Pacific  than  Churchill,  or  U.S.  Presidents, including Roosevelt, Eisenhower or Reagan know about the USSR, Poland, or Hungary.


It  is  not  only  that  the world  leaders  are  ignorant  of  the cultures of peoples whose fate they hold in their hands, but they are not even interested.   Cultural conditions are completely neglected in favor of military and/or economic considerations.   Yet, genuine peace cannot come about until more interest is directed to peoples' minds, their values, ways of life, traditions, etc.


As a result of the  total disregard for cultural and historic factors, after World War I., the  victorious  Allied  Powers  accepted  a  peace  plan  that resulted in a number of national and millions of individual and family tragedies, greatly contributed to the development of the Cold War and helped to destabilize an already fragile continent.


The difference between Eastern and Western culture is so vast that only the blind cannot see it.  Stjepan Buc, having had experience in the pre-communist Croatia in Communist Yugoslavia, and now living in South America, sees the difference as follows:


Striving  for power  is  generally characteristic of human beings.   But if two do the same, it is yet not the same.  As the eastern individual is quite different in his nature   and   character, so   will   he   act   and   react differently.  .  .   The  historians,  e.g.  have  proved  that the  term  "democracy"  in  Byzantium meant  something quite different from what it means to us.  "Democracy" means for them what "anarchy" means for the Westerners.  What in the West is generally termed "democracy",  that is dictatorship in the East; what is "peace" for them, that is "a peace of cemetery";  their  "coexistence   translated  for  us  means that  burglary  is  to  be  voluntarily  acknowledged  by  the legitimate  owner  as  a  just  action  of   the  burglar. Different logic,  different  moral  conceptions;  hence,  a different philosophy and different ethics.[25]




During the last three decades the role of cultural factors in politics has  been  re-discovered,  reinforcing  the  unique  cultural position  of  Central  Europe.  It is  outside  the  scope  of  this dissertation to discuss the political culture movement in detail, but a brief analysis is in order.


The first major step was to use the political culture concept to understand, analyze,[26] and compare[27] political systems on a basis other than  the  state  institutions.   Next, Brown and  Gray used  political culture as the basic concept to study change in the Communist states,[28] creating,  as  it were,  an almost  separate  branch  of  the  political culture approach.


While  Brown and Gray used a  country by  country approach  to analyze the Communist states, White, Gardner, and Schopflin published a  volume,  based  on  a  conceptual analysis  of  the  same  Communist systems,[29] from a political culture perspective.   Following these and other studies of  the different Communist states, a second volume by Brown analyzed the studies of political culture and Communism.[30]


The progress in these three decades has been tremendous.  While at first there was little agreement even concerning the definition of political culture,[31] and the concept was used mainly as a descriptive tool, by 1979 political culture studies became more developmental.


In 1979 White presented a study of Soviet politics emphasizing “important   elements    of   continuity   between    the   pre-   and post-revolutionary systems."[32]  But White's study failed to go back to analyze the roots of the pre-revolutionary Tsarist system.


While White's approach was a step in the right direction for the political culture school, it was not that new.  As White himself admits, "there are brief accounts of Soviet political culture in two recent  texts, referring  to Barghoorn's[33]  Politics  in the USSR4 and Reshetar's  The  Soviet  Polity.[34]   Actually,  there  are  several  other works doing the same thing.[35]


Further,  White's  approach  is  quite  inadequate.   While  he correctly anchored the Soviet system in Tsarist Russia, he failed to similarly  anchor  the Russian political  culture  in something  solid. Mary McAuley took White  to  task for his  undocumented and seemingly unfounded  though  quite  correct  assertions  about  Tsarist  Russia.[36] McAuley expects political culturalists to provide the entire chain of explanations, from the present to as far back as necessary, to explain contemporary political culture.


”(I)f today's political culture has its origins in yesterday's political  culture,  we would expect our authors  to seek the source  of  the  traditional  political  culture--not  in  the yesterday's politics and society--but in the belief system of an even earlier stage of that society.”[37]


But White missed  the  point in his  response.   Instead  of  following McAuley’s suggestion, White backtracked into what he considers a more tenable  position.        Instead  of  boldly  answering  the  challenge  and tracing  the  Russian  character  back  to  its  Byzantine  origins[38] White responded by limiting the scope of political culture:


”(I)t should be pointed out, that a political culture approach does  not  provide--and  as  far  as  I  know  has  never  been presented  as  providing--a  satisfactory  explanation  for  all aspects of the politics of a nation or a social group.”[39]


But  McAuley  had,  of  course,  just  issued  that  challenge  to White, and White failed  to respond to it.   In his conclusion, White reasserts a limited concept of the political culture approach:


         ”(T)he task of  the political culturalist, as I understand it, is  a  relatively  modest  one.   In  the  case  of  a          Communist state,    ...first   identify   the   main   features   of   the pre-revolutionary political culture....   The  second to  identify  the main features of  the contemporary political culture... These  two  tasks, as I see  them, are largely,  if not entirely descriptive in character...


The   third  and  more  difficult  task  is   to  compare   the pre-revolutionary  and  contemporary  political  cultures  to see to what extent,  if at all,  the former appears to have made a continuing contribution to the later...   The fourth to  examine  the  extent  to  which  the  political likely  to  influence  future patterns  of political development and change.”[40]


It is beyond the scope of this Introduction to argue the merits or  demerits  of  White's  understanding/definition  of   the  political culture approach, yet,  in order to argue for an open-ended time frame for  the  study  of  political  culture,  an  inconsistency  in  White's approach must be discussed.


In his  explanation of  the  first three tasks  of the  political  culture approach,  White seems  to take  the Russian Revolution of  1917 as the central event,  and analyzes  the relationship between the immediately preceding  and  the  contemporary  political  systems.   First,  in  doing this, he skips several decades of development, the entire Stalin era, seeming  to suggest that nothing  important happened during  those decades.


But  even more  important,  how  is  the  "central  event"  around which   the  analysis   is   focused,   determined?    While   the  Russian Revolution  is  obviously  the  great  event  in  the  life  of  the  Soviet Union,   there   are   other   important   events,   and   some   political culturalists might focus  their study on the pre- and post 1953 era, making Stalin's death the central event.   Or World War II.   If this line is followed, the political culture approach will deteriorate into a study of social and political change![41]


The  only  adequate way  to  explain  the  political  culture  of  a given nation is to forget about central events, and go back as far as necessary in the past of the nation to explain the present.  Do what McAuley suggested![42]


It  is helpful at  this point to illustrate  the  inadequacy of White's approach with two relevant cases.


George Schopflin's essay, "Hungary: An Uneasy Stability,"[43] applies   the   political   culture   approach   to  Hungary.    Schopflin explicitly limits his  inquiry to the post 1867  (the "Compromise") period in his very first sentence: "the modern history of Hungary can be said to have  begun  with  the  Ausgleich  (“compromise” -  [sic])  between  the Hungarian  gentry  and  Vienna,  whereby  the  Hungarians  were  granted complete self-government."[44]


Aside from the fact that the statement is erroneous, since even after  the  compromise  of  1867,  "Ties  to  Austria  remained,  not  only through a common monarch, but also through joint ministers of foreign policy,  defense,  and  finance  and  a  commercial  and  customs  union renewable   every   ten   years,"[45]   hardly   a   case   of   "complete self-government", picking 1876 as the beginning of "modern Hungary" is arbitrary.   Any  single  date  is  quite  arbitrary,  but  if  one  is desirable,  the  liberation  of  Hungary  from  the  Turkish  occupation during the last decade of  the  17th Century, or the revolutionary era of 1848, or Trianon at the end of World War One, when Hungary lost 2/3 of  her  territory,  but  regained  national  independence,  are all more appropriate starting points.


But  even  more  important,  selecting  any  starting  point  is arbitrary.  There are many features of the Hungarian political culture that go back far beyond 1867.  But even setting 1867 as the beginning is  completely  superfluous  for  Schopflin,  since  in his analysis he restricts himself  to the comparison of the Horthy regime (1920-1945) and  the  Kadar  regime  (1956  to  the  present).   Curiously,  Schopflin skips the 1945-1956 period.  Thus, the unmentioned "central event" in this study seems to be the 11 year period, dominated by the Stalinist rule of Matyas Rakosi.   In his eagerness to find a contrast between the  Kadar  and  the  Horthy  regimes,  relying  almost  exclusively  on reports  published  in  Hungary  after  1956,  Schopflin emphasizes  two aspects of Hungarian political culture before 1945: strong nationalism and "insecurity, fear of extinction."[46]  These two features seem to be important  for  Schopflin because he  thinks  that  they were  used  as excuses  for  the  leaders  of  Hungary before  1945  to overlook and/or violate Hungary's democratic traditions (he never explains where those traditions  came  from as McAuley would demand).   Using (or abusing?) the political culture approach Schopflin succeeds in producing one of the most one-sided and inadequate descriptions of the twenty year period between the two World Wars,  leaving his readers worse than ignorant about that period of Hungarian history.


The  second  relevant  case  to  illustrate  the  inadequacy  of White's approach concerns Central Europe, and just by coincidence, is based on a work that White coauthored.


In Communist Political Systems  the authors discuss "Democracy and Human Rights"[47]  in  the Communist countries.   The chapter begins with a distinction between "Western liberal democracy" and Marxist and other  theories  of Democracy.   Next,  they point out  that  the human rights record of the several Communist states is quite diverse: some do better than others.[48]  So far so good.  But because their approach focuses on individual countries and is limited to the immediate past before the Communist  takeover,  they fail  to see  the deeper pattern that should be obvious.


Concerning the demand for human rights, they contrast Bulgaria, where "there appears  to be very little demand for the extension of individual  rights,"  with  Poland,  where  such  demand  is  high  and constant.[49]  The liberal idea of "the independence of the courts from the political system" is demanded in Czechoslovakia, Poland, the GDR, Hungary,  and even in Romania."[50] As far as the press is concerned, "(l)n Hungary there is at the present no formal censorship," just like in Poland and Czechoslovakia.  But in Romania and Albania, it seems, there is no need for censorship since the press  there has a purely propagandistic role.[51] Also, there is extensive "samizdat" activity in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and in Romania by the Hungarian minority and the Fundamentalists (but not by the Orthodox Romanians). But  "in  Bulgaria...there  has  been  little  evidence  so  far  of significant (samizdat) activity."[52]


Further, the rights to free association and assembly have been claimed and used again in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and little Croatia.  The official ritual of mass demonstrations on May 1 has been abandoned with the onset of de-Stalinization, "except in Albania and Romania."[53]  Concerning religious freedom, "religion is formally banned and individuals are punished for religious observance" in Albania.  In Poland,  Czechoslovakia,  and Hungary  the churches  struggle for  their independence.   "In Eastern Orthodox  societies  such as  Bulgaria  the churches have never claimed  the same degree of autonomy and by and large they have been integrated into the framework of the state."[54]


It is quite obvious that on every issue the line up is the same: Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland on the side of Western liberal ideas, while the ethnic Romanians, Bulgaria, and Albania always on the side of "Marxist or other" theories of Democracy.  Is this pattern a coincidence or is there an explanation?   It is impossible to explain this without going to the roots of political culture, much deeper than White et al. are willing to go.  McAuley has every right to be puzzled about the political culture approach when even "Gray himself suggests that  Hungary  and  Poland  show  (today)  the  same  commitment  to democratic values as does Czechoslovakia and that there is nothing in their past political culture to suggest that they should."[55]  To find the democratic traditions in Hungary and Poland it is necessary to go back much farther than White of Schopflin do.


Therefore  this  dissertation proposes  to go back sufficiently not only to find the roots of democratic traditions in Central Europe, but  hopefully,  find  what  is  the  common  denominator,  the  common cultural heritage of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.




The thesis of this dissertation is that Central Europe belongs to the Western civilization,  while Russia has an Eastern,  Byzantine civilization.  It is in order at this point to explain and clarify the difference between the two cultures,  the two minds:  the Eastern and the Western.


Vice President Bush, upon completing his  trip through Rumania and Hungary, addressed this issue in a speech he gave in Vienna.[56]  He described how, on an earlier occasion, he stood before the Iron Curtain, "a high concrete wall topped with densely packed barbed wire."  Then, he added: "As I looked out to the East, I had the momentary impression that I was standing in a lonely outpost on the edge of Western civilization...  Historically, of course, it could not have been more false."


Then the Vice President went on to talk about "Mitteleuropa-Central Europe," quoting Czeslaw Milosz, dissident Polish intellectual. Milosz  wrote  about his  fellow  intellectuals  in  Central  Europe and their "extinguishment"  seeing  their countries,  which "are rightfully part of an ancient civilization, one that is derived from Rome rather than Byzantium 'surrender to a hegemony of nation',"[57] which has such a different, a Byzantine, civilization.


"It has often been remarked – continued the Vice President - that of the three great events--the Renaissance,  the Reformation, the Enlightenment--Russia took part in none.  But Mitteleuropa...took part in all."  Thus, it is these three

events  that  are  the  touchstones,  the  identifying  marks  of  Western culture.   

While  one  may  elaborate  the  significance  of  these  events somewhat, culture, even the more limited aspect, political culture, is a  very  complex  phenomena,  and  it  requires  a  great  deal  of oversimplification to fit it into just two categories: East and West. These two categories, of necessity, will be quite broad, will require a high level of abstraction, and may, at times overlap.


Also, a fourth  great  historical  fact  may  be  added to the Vice President’s list  that distinguishes the East and West: in the West there was a long struggle between the Church and the State,  that ended with the separation of the two.  This did not happen in Russia. In the West there existed a struggle between the Church and State, from the time  Christianity became  the state  religion in Rome.   The relationship between the two entities posed a great dilemma:


”Should  the  Church,  already  a  developed  social  institution, continue in the Hebrew tradition and become a ghetto church? Or  should  Christians  return  to  the  concept  of  Seneca  and conceive of the Church as the "greater commonwealth"?

The   dilemma   became   so   great   that  even  many  bishops disagreed...”[58]


It  took many centuries  for  the West to come up with its solution: complete  separation  of  the  two.   The  East  had  its  own  solution: subservience to the temporal authority.  The outcome in the West set the stage not only for the Reformation (only in a secular society can more  than one  religion  flourish),  but created  two authorities,  two sources of truth,  in fact, two truths for the West (e.g. creation as the religious truth and evolution the secular truth).


Reformation implied the acceptance of two truths: a subjective (religious)  and  an  objective  (secular)  truth,  in  effect,  creating religiously a pluralist society.  Renaissance marked the end of  the Middle Ages and the beginning of modernity.  While it did go back to the secular classical ideas and philosophies, the major result of the Renaissance was  the  introduction of industrialization,  urbanization, the  scientific  concepts  and  the  positivist  method.   Finally,  the Enlightenment meant a  complete  break with religion and  revelation, enthroning reason as the only source of truth.


  As the result of all these changes,  the individual emerged as the measure of all things. Russia has missed all this.  She has never experienced separation of Church  and  State,  religious  (or  other)  pluralism,  industrial  and scientific revolution, and rationalism.  And in Russia, the individual was never allowed to challenge the authority.


The consequences of Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment in the West were devastating for its  traditional Christian culture. The discussion of the differences  between  the  current Eastern and Western cultures would not be adequate without reviewing some aspects of this development.


First, as part of the scientific revolution, Deism challenged some  religious  notions  and  explanations  concerning nature.   Thomas Paine, in his classic statement on Deism, professes:


“ I believe  in one God, and no more: and I hope for happiness beyond this Life...

”I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by  the  Roman  church,  by  the  Greek  church,  by  the  Turkish church,  by  the  Protestant  church,  nor  by  any  other church that I know of.  My own mind is my own church...

”The   existence   of   an   Almighty   power   is   sufficiently demonstrated  to  us,  though  we  cannot  conceive,  as  it  is impossible   we   should,   the   nature  and   manner   of   its existence...

”Deism  then  teaches  us,  without  the  possibility  of  being deceived, all that is necessary or proper to be known.  The creation is the Bible of the Deist.”[59]


Paine still finds science and belief  in God consistent,  through the "demonstrable  fact"  of  Creation.   SCIENCE carved  out an  independent niche  for  itself  in  the  intellectual  sphere.   A  milestone  in  this development was the “Humanist Manifesto,” a document signed in 1933 by some  thirty four  intellectuals,  including  John  Dewey.[60]   While  this Manifesto  obviously  follows  the  Deist  tradition  in  its  negative attitude  towards  organized  religion,  in many aspects  it goes beyond Paine's position.


First,  the Manifesto, instead of fighting religion, proposes to create  a  new  revolution  of  secular  Humanists,   re-defining  the traditional concept of  religion:   "Religion must formulate its hopes and  plans  in  the  light of  the scientific  spirit and method,"[61] and "Religion consists of  those actions,  purposes and experiences which are humanly significant.”[62]  Second,  the signers of  the Manifesto do not  believe  in  Creation.   Its  very  first  point  states  clearly:


"Religious  humanists  regard  the  universe  as  self-existing and  not created .”[63]


It seems, indeed, that Supreme Court has given secular Humanism the advantages (without the burdens) of religion, at least as far as tax exemption and conscientious objector status is concerned.[64]


The first Manifesto was followed forty years later by "Humanist Manifesto II," signed by almost two hundred intellectuals from countries as diverse as the United States, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.


This  Manifesto  continues  the  attack  on religion announcing that we  affirm a  set of  principles  that can serve as  the basis for united action--positive principles relevant to the present human  condition.   They  are  a  design  for a  secular society on a planetary scale.[65]


The document includes a section on ethics like how the "preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value," on the "Democratic Society," on the "World Community," and on "Humanity as a Whole."


There  are  many  indications  that not  only  the Supreme  Court but Congress, along with the news media and the educational establishment is influenced by this secularist trend.  It has become so influential that  the  Associated  Press  story,  "Neo-paganism  seen  entrenched  in West" made page one of the religion section of the daily paper.[66]


The  critic,  the  Rev.  Carl  F.  H.  Henry,  a  Baptist  scholar, lecturer and author,  reminding one of Solzhenitsyn's charges, claims that “the West has  lost its moral compass, and sinks in neo-pagan naturalism that says  nature alone is real, that man is essentially a complex animal, that distinctions of truth and good are temporary and changing."[67]


While  it  took  several  centuries  for  the West  to  become  an officially secular society,  in the USSR it came suddenly,  with one blow in the Great October Revolution.   In any case,  however,  while secular Humanists  in  the West and Communists  in  the  East disagree about human rights,  they have a common denominator in anti-religious naturalism which leads to an anti-Church attitude in both cultures.[68]


Thus,  many  Humanists  in  the West may have divided  loyalties when it comes to the Christian heritage of the West: since they do not believe in it,  should  they defend it against a potential attack by fellow atheists or naturalists?  Some find it difficult to take sides, while others find it not difficult at all to support the Soviet side. One factor that makes  this choice easier is the professed belief in Science  (as opposed to Faith) by both the secular Humanists and the Communists.  Thus, Science serves as another common denominator.

But  there  is  even  more  common  ground  between  the  secular Humanists and  the Communists, who prefer  to call  the Soviet system "Socialism,"  rather  than  Russian  Imperialism.   The  first  Humanist Manifesto not only condemns the Capitalist system but states that a "socialized and cooperative economic order must be established."[69]  The Manifesto II backtracks a little, and states only that "the door is open to alternative economic systems,"[70] yet leaves the door open to Socialism.   Also,  Manifesto  II  lumps  various  kinds  of  Humanism together:


"The varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include ‘scientific,’    'ethical,'    'democratic,'    'religious,'   and 'Marxist'   humanism.    Free   thought,   atheism,   agnosticism, skepticism,   deism,   rationalism,   the   humanist   traditions. Humanism  traces  its  roots  from  ancient  China,  classical Greece   and   Rome,   through   the   Renaissance   and   the Enlightenment,  to  the  scientific  revolution  of  the  modern world.” [71]


So, without themselves being Communist, many in the West see in the Soviet Union more a potential ally ("if only...") rather than an enemy, let alone enemy #1.  For many, including some in the "liberal" (i.e. "mainstream”) religion, the Papacy is much more dangerous than the Soviet  Union.   Arthur M.  Schlesinger  Jr.,  for example,  proposes  to treat the Soviet Union as a potential ally.  He recommends  that we should move toward Socialism, the Soviets should move toward us a little in the area of human rights,  so that the two shall meet at The Vital Center, as the title suggests.[72]  Schlesinger's conclusion may frighten some:   "When  Russia  loosens  the  totalitarian  grip,  then  the  noble dream  of  world  government  will  begin  to  make  some  contact  with reality.”[73]  It  is  hardly necessary  to point out  that such optimism completely  disregards  the  hard  facts  of  political  culture  that  is based on hundreds of years of tradition in the West, and an even older tradition  in  the  East.   Schlesinger  wants  the  Russians  and  the Americans live under one World Government!   It will happen only when the lion and the sheep sleep together.


Before leaving this  topic, it should be pointed out that this secularization  process  was  somewhat  slower  in  Central  Europe,  (in fact,  it  is  practically  non-existent  in  Poland),  creating  another dilemma for some  in the West:  should they support,  in the name of human  rights,  pre-modern,  Christian  societies  in  Central  Europe against the Soviet "liberators," who have views much more in harmony with the Humanists in the West?  Thus, the more-or-less Christian Central Europe  is,  in a  sense,  caught between the Neo-Pagan West,  and  the atheist East.


But this is not all the difference between the two cultures. In the West, the practice of pluralism and the use of reason led to the introduction  of  a  new  yardstick.   Instead  of:  "Is  it  true?",  the question became:   "Does  it work?".   If a theory or solution does not work,  try another.   Thus,  a willingness  to experiment,  along with a toleration of other people's ideas became the basic characteristic of the Western mind.  This difference is perhaps best summarized again by Milosz: to be sure, "in the West also one experiences the pressure to conform--to conform,  that is, with a system which is the opposite of the one I have escaped from.  The difference is that in the West one may resist such pressure without being held guilty of mortal sin."[74]




But this is only the attitude toward "ideas"  ("truth" in the East!).  To better appreciate the relationship between the Eastern and the Western mind,  it is  important to examine the  ideas, or  "truth" itself, as perceived in the two worlds.   The political ideas  in  the West can be grouped into three basic categories that are referred to by various names.  One set of terminology is suggested in this author's study of "Saint Augustine and Modern Democratic Ideals"[75]: Christian, Liberal, and Social Democracies.


Christian Democracy, as defined there, [76] is based on the assumption that there is a universal human nature and man is, by nature, a social being.  The isolated individual is insufficient, and could not successfully find out through trial and error the norms necessary for survival.  Successful norms are learned from revelation, or from social experience: the successful patterns of behavior become the  norms.    These  norms,   once  found,  are   transmitted   through tradition.  Therefore, the secular contemporary term for this approach is "Traditionalism."[77] This approach includes  individuals as diverse as  Aristotle,  Thomas  Aquinas,  Thomas  Burke,  William  Buckley,  or President Reagan.


The Liberal Democrat believes in the complete independence of the  individual.[78]   This  idea  first  appeared  in  Calvin's  writings: no  humans,  no  society  can  save  man,  except  God's  mercy.   From  this religious  beginning,  through  secular  writers  like  Hobbes,  Thomas Paine, or Ayn Rand and the "Libertarian" school,  the secular concept evolved in a reversal of the Calvinist notion, that man is so perfect, he can do anything he wishes.  If it can be done, the individual has the right to do it.


The  third  approach,  emphasizing  equality  of  all,  is  Social Democracy.[79] From  its  Rousseauian  beginnings  (Rousseau  wanted  a society  "strong enough  to  prevent anarchy,  yet,  at  the same  time, safeguard liberty"[80]) it has  deteriorated through Hegel, Marx, T. H. Green,  Franklin D.  Roosevelt and others  into a  form of  "Statism." Because  of  these  three  different approaches,  the Western political culture  is  characterized  by a  "polarity":   a struggle,  between the state,  society,  and  the  individual. The Russian culture does not have  this  characteristic  of  "polarity":  a  struggle,  between  the state,  society,  and  the  individual.[81] The Russian culture does not have  this  polarity:  there  the  concept  of  "authority"  includes  the obligation to follow.


These  three  traditions  in Western culture can be  illustrated with a  triangle,[82] where the representatives of the three approaches, Libertarianism,  Statism, and Traditionalism, are at one of the three corners, with their followers.  The non-ideological masses are in the center constituting the "swing-vote," deciding which ideology is going to rule in a democratic fashion, since none of the three approaches is based on "truth."  Eventually, as each approach in its turn will lead to a crisis, the public will turn to the next one,  thus producing a sort of a rotation of ideologies.


This  can  be   illustrated  with  the  current  situation  in the United States.   It seems that for the past two decades or so the crisis  of  the  statist approach has been felt,  and  since  the  1968 presidential election in each case the more  traditionalist candidate won.  Yet, the public is still ambivalent, and keeps returning statist (i.e.   Liberal  and  Democrat)  candidates  to  Congress,  creating  a deadlock  of  a  sort,  like  the  current  three  ring  circus,   the Iran-Contra Congressional hearing in which liberal Democrats are out to get the traditionalist Republican president,[83] in a re-play of the Watergate affair some fifteen years ago.  This deadlock will be broken only when the public makes up its collective mind, and elects followers of the same ideology to both the Congress and the White House.
















































































































In contrast, Russia never had such a rotation of ideologies in power.  Since the founding of Russia, it has never diverged from its despotic form of government, where  the secular ruler also exercised supremacy over religion, therefore, truth.


As students of political culture might point out, due to the rotation of ideologies in power in the West, it seems that different western nations  have  different dominant ideologies.   Unquestionably, the   Anglo-Saxon   peoples   seem   to   gravitate   more   toward   an individualistic  ideology.   The  peoples  of  Central  Europe,  often subjects  of  foreign  domination,  have  realized  the  futility  of individual efforts to stand up against the foreigners, and never fully trusting the state, often run by foreigners,  tend to be more relying on social efforts of  the nation,  and  follow a more  traditionalist approach.  But, in true Western style,[84] none of the other ideologies are excluded.


In contrast,  in  the Eastern,  (like  the Russian) culture the statist approach enjoys a monopoly, with dissidents considered "guilty of mortal sin," according to Milosz.[85]






There is one more issue that has to be clarified to understand the East-West differences of political culture.  There is a degree of overlap:  many western Statists are quite  sympathetic  to the Soviet system.  Do they belong to the East or the West?  For example, are Rousseau,  Hegel, Marx,  Franklin D. Roosevelt, George McGovern or Ted Kennedy Eastern or Western figures?  What is  the difference between Stalin and President Roosevelt?  Roosevelt never stood his opponents up against  the firing squad.   Nor did  Hegel advocate  hanging  his  critics. Even Marx  did not  advocate  shooting  Proudhon,  and  Senator Kennedy never charged that his opponents "are guilty of mortal sin".


This is so because it is not the views but the attitude or, rather, the context of the ideologies, that makes the difference between Eastern  and  Western  political  cultures.   Marx,  in  the  hand  of  a Western interpreter becomes a Western writer, belonging to the Western intellectual  tradition,  but give him to a Russian,  like a Lenin, a Stalin,  or  even  a  Khrushchev,  and  he  will  look  like  an  Eastern thinker, supporting Despotism.


In all fairness, however, as it will be pointed out in Chapter II,  Marx  was  pretty  impatient  with  opposing  views,  and  it  is considered  "revisionism"  to  westernize  Marx,  as  Eduard  Bernstein attempted to do.[86]  What Bernstein did on the Continent, the Fabianists (the Western answer to Marx) did in England.[87]


Thus, following McAuley's suggestion, the dissertation will not only  outline  but also document and  trace  to  its  origins  both  the Russian and the Hungarian cultures using the above distinctions.[88]


But,  before leaving  the  topic of political culture,  there is one more issue that, although not covered in the dissertation, should be brought to the attention of students of Soviet affairs, in fact, to all political scientists, because of the potential of great ramifications.  It shall be briefly identified on the following pages.

































































White points out that there is an extreme position in some of the writings of Soviet emigrés.


”Vladimir  Naximov,  for  instance,  has  argued  that  to  see  a direct  connection  between  the  Soviet  and  pre-revolutionary periods is to imply that the Russian people are in some sense 'born to be slaves, or, at any rate, born without the guts to oppose  repression.'   The  view  that autocracy and  repression are  'good  enough  for  the  Russians  because  they  know  no better'  is,  he  quite  rightly points  out,  'historically and intellectually  untenable.'   A  large  section  of  the  Soviet population,  admittedly,  lacks any  experience  of  democracy--a matter  of  education and  historical background,  not of  any inborn imperfection.'   At the same time, he points out,  the Russian people  'have protest in their blood--protest at the injustices of human institutions and  the inadequacies of  the human  condition.   Men  like  Solzhenitsyn,  Sakharov,  Bukovsky and all  the  other known and  unknown representatives  of  the feelings of our people could not have arisen had it not been for the tensions generated by the Russian people's innate and perennial protest.”[89]


White,  however,  fails  to point  out  some  obvious  problems  in Naximov' s  argument. For  example,  there  is  no  empirical  evidence offered by White to support the view that the "Russians know no better" argument is "untenable.”   Also,  the  tone  of  Maximov's  argument,  very much  like Solzhenitsyn's,  seemingly  blames  others  for  the  creation  of  the Soviet  regime  in  Russia.   Just  who  is  responsible,  if  not  the Russians?   Maximov's  claim  that the Russian people "have protest in their blood" is not only undocumented but seems to fly in the face of Russian history.  It is either wishful thinking or is based on a very small sample.   Furthermore,  there seems to be a conflict in arguing that while  protest  is  in  the  Russian blood,  submissiveness  "is not  the result  of  any  inborn  imperfection"  but  is  the  result  of  "lack  of experience with democracy."   Is biology relevant to political culture or not?


Rosenbaum raises a related  issue  from the perspective of  the collective.   He  discusses  the  "national  character,”  a concept  that assumes that the patterned conditions of life within a society create certain distinctive personality types, or social characters."[90]


At first, this theory seems absurd: if personality is shaped by the social milieu,  it is not hereditary.   If it is hereditary,  it cannot  be  shaped  by  the  environment.   But  some  recent  scientific findings seem to support the concept of national character shaped, over several generations, by social factors.


While it  is  primarily a  matter  for  the natural  sciences, biology and population genetics, to decide, it has serious consequences for  political  culturalists--indeed  for all  political  scientists--so the question cannot be so cavalierly dismissed as White does.


The issue is not new.  Adorno et al. studied the Authoritarian Personality during the l940’s, and there were strong suggestions, even at  that  time,  that  personality  traits  are  influenced  by  genetic factors.[91]


More recently a research team at the University of Minnesota, in a  still  to  be  published  study,  found  that  several  politically significant personality traits seem to be biologically determined.[92] In an eight year  study  of  more  than  350  twins  including 44 pairs of identical   twins,   they  found   that  "among   traits  most  strongly determined    by   heredity   were    leadership,    and    surprisingly, traditionalism and obedience to authority."


The study used, in addition to six days of clinical testing, a multidimensional personality questionnaire developed by Auke Tellegen, a psychologist at the university.  The purpose was to establish the relative importance of nature and nurture, of genetics and culture in personality  structure.   A  100  percent  score  would  mean  complete domination  of  biology,  and a  zero  score  would  mean no  biological influence whatsoever.   In other words, a score of one hundred would exclude all cultural influence, and a zero score would mean complete cultural determination of a personality trait.  As it was, as shown in Table I, all eleven traits studied fell into the middle third,, neither the genes
nor culture has accounted for less than one third or more than two thirds of any of the personality traits studied..

























































If  this  is  true,  and personalities are inherited,  what does this imply about Maximov's personalities that have "protest in their blood"  versus  those  who  have   submissiveness   in  their  blood,  or individuals who are "born" libertarians and  those "born" socialists? Are politically relevant attitudes possibly inherited?  This is a very important question that must be studied and answered by appropriate experts in genetics, before writers or political scientists, or even worse, practicing politicians get into the debate.


 Biologists have been studying this issue among non-humans for quite a  long time.   The Hardy-Weinberg law,  developed in the early 1900’s,  starts  out with  the assumption  that at a  given  time  the different genes are randomly distributed over the entire population, and  in the same proportion.   According to  the H-W law,  this proportion will remain the same if four conditions are met, one being that "no natural  selection”  occurs.[93]  Natural selection does not have to be planned.  It can be quite spontaneous.   For example, assume that a given population starts out with 10% of  the individuals having blond hair.  If at a certain time it will  become  illegal  to  have  blond  hair,  and  the  blonds  will emigrate or will be exiled to Siberia where they will have little chance to reproduce, or their reproductive capacity will be limited in other ways, e.g. no member of the opposite sex will date and mate with them, in  several  generations  there  will  be  few  blonds  left  in  that population.  This process of change in the genetic pool is a form of micro  evolution,  often  referred  to  as  "genetic  drift"  or  "random drift."  [94]  To be sure, the importance of genetic drift is  a  subject  of  controversy  among  population  geneticists,  yet  it should  not  be  dismissed  by  political  scientists  as  completely irrelevant until it is studied and valid conclusions can be drawn.


The  potential  significance  of  the  genetic  drift  can  be illustrated  with  some  statistical  calculation.   First,  assume  an initial distribution of  10% disfavored  (e.g. blond, or individualist personality),  and  80% neutral  trait  in a  given population.   Next, assume that the reproduction chances of  the two groups will change, according  to  the  Malthusian  principle  of  geometric  progression  in either direction,  10% per generation.  After 10 generations  (cca 300 years),  the  favored  group's  proportion  will  increase  to  26%,  the disfavored will decrease to 3.487%, and the neutral group would have the remaining 70.5%.  If the same trend continues for 20 generations, the respective figures will be 67.72%, 1.2%, and 31.1%.  Even if these figures  are  exaggerated,  as  they  probably  ate,  during  the  30+ generations  under  oppressive  rule,  the distribution of politically  significant  genetic  pool  could  be  quite  skewed.   The existence of such a genetic drift has been demonstrated in the animal kingdom by H.B.D.  Kettlewell,  in the peppered moth population.   He found that the light moth has all but disappeared in industrial areas, where the birds can easily recognize and devour them, while the black moth is absent in rural areas, where they are immediately eaten up by the preying birds.  [95]


If politically relevant attitudes are  influenced by genetics, then comes the next question: have certain attitudes been "bred out" from  a  given  population? Or,  conversely,  are  certain  attitudes over-represented  in a given population,  through a sort of "selective breeding" ?


The Minnesota study does not provide data on the frequency of the  different  traits  in  the  population  at  large,  which  would  be necessary  in order  to make meaningful comparisons between different societies,  nor  does  it  establish  which  particular  genes  or  gene combinations  are  responsible  for certain personality  traits.   While the study seems to be consistent with earlier studies that have failed to  find  serious  correlation  between  parent-child  personalities,  it raises the possibility that through natural selection a given society's gene  pool  might be  altered  leading  to  genetic  drift  over  several generations, possibly producing a kind of "national character."


Thus, it  is  quite  possible,  that  certain  populations  will  have different  political  attitudes  because  of  selective  breeding.   The Anglo-Saxon  culture  might,  for  example,  make  it  easier  for  the enterprising young capitalist with a personality that is willing to take risks to reproduce more freely  than  to the young revolutionary socialist, producing a genetic drift in a libertarian direction, while in Russia, under the thousand year old authoritarian rule, a genetic drift  in  the  direction  of  a  socialist,  submissive  personality,  is quite a possibility. 


In the case of the United States, immigration can also have an effect on the genetic pool. For the most part the ambitious, hard-working people leave their country behind and come to the U. S., the land of opportunity. So while this gene-drain has a negative effect on the countries of origin, it has a positive effect in the receptor country, the US.


 In this sense, it is quite possible to talk about “national character."  Also,  if the assumption about genetic drift is valid,  the loss of a huge number of Hungarian émigrés after WW II, and  the over 200,000 refugees in 1956, with the continuing flow of defectors, the imprisoned dissidents in their prime reproducing years, and the economic disadvantage many dissidents are subjected to, could produce a tremendous genetic change in Hungary over the next several generations,  possibly  changing  the  national  character  of  Hungary forever.


It should  be noted, however,  that   this dissertation  is  not based on the assumption of genetic drift and/or  the existence of a  national character, either in Russia and the Soviet Union,  or in  Central Europe,  and  the existence or non-existence of a biological base  of the national  character.[96] At  the  same  time, should the existence of the  genetic  drift be           proven,  it would not weaken the thesis.




Owing  to  these  cultural  differences  (and  possibly  different national characters), and considering the presence of the Soviet Army in the countries of Central Europe, including Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, Western-style Democracy cannot be practiced at the present time.   Yet,  Eastern  style Dictatorship cannot  take hold either,  in spite of the presence of  the Soviet Army.  The existence of Western style, liberal political and religious traditions, including a measure of freedom that has developed and survived in these Central European societies,  even  under  the  traditional,  aristocratic  rule,  seems  to preclude any compromise with the despotic Soviet rule.


In none of these countries did Communism come to power by winning in a free election or by popular revolution.  Rather, it was imposed by the military might of the Soviet Union.  The peoples of these countries, in the absence of Western support, and, in fact, in the face of Allied- Soviet cooperation, had no chance to prevent these Communist takeovers.


For the Soviets, Central Europe is more than just a buffer zone: it is a laboratory.  If they can make Communism work there, they have hope of exporting it to the rest of the civilized world, without having to resort to war.  On the other hand, if the West is to defeat, or at east tame, violent Communism, it has to do it in Central Europe.  In this sense, Central Europe is a very important experiment.  According to McKinder’s view, for the future of mankind and the survival of democracy, the events in Central Europe (that constitutes the Heartland) are much more important than in the peripheral areas like Cuba, Afghanistan, Korea, or even China.[97]


On the other hand,  if a synthesis between the Byzantine Eastern culture and  the Roman Western culture is to be made,  the best chance for such a synthesis is to let the people of Central Europe,  free of pressure from both sides,  take the best of both and put it together. They have had a thousand year experience with Western ideas and values, and have been living  the past 40 years  under Eastern rule,  so  they have the perfect background for such a synthesis.




The  term  Central  Europe  has  been  used  so  frequently  by politicians,  journalists,  geographers,  and  just about everybody else, that  it  might  surprise  some   that  it  has  no  clear  definition. Therefore,  it  is  essential  to  define  it  in  the  context  of  this dissertation.


Geographically,   the   center  of   Europe   is   the  Carpathian Mountains  that  lie between Czechoslovakia,  Hungary,  and  Poland.   The Carpathians are about half way between the two extremities of Europe: Portugal to the West and the Ural Mountains to the East.


But Central Europe as  a  concept has more  to do with culture than with geography.   In  this dissertation Central Europe refers  to the peoples in Europe who had been under the influence of the Western, Roman Christianity,  but since World War II have been subjected to the rule of  the Eastern,  Byzantine culture  of  the  Soviet Union.   Thus, Central Europe is where the East and the West overlap.


All  together  there  are  six  nationalities  in  this  situation. But of  the six,  East Germans present a special case.   Not only did East Germany have a different history under Soviet occupation, but in any  future  realignment  in  Europe,  East  Germany  is  likely  to  be reunited with West Germany and  thus  take her rightful place in  the family of Western Europe. Because East Germany had been part of  the Third Reich, and as such was held responsible for the German role in WW II, the reparation payments to the Soviet Union played a more significant role there than in any other country.[98]  Also, because Germany was divided, disaffected Germans from the East had the opportunity to flee to the Western zone. More recently,  the prospect of unification also makes  East Germany a special case among the Central European Soviet satellites.


As  the result,  Sovietization started later in East Germany and at a slower pace--yet as  the  screws were tightened during the early 50's,  the East Germans were  the first ones  to rebel on June  16-17, 1953,  following  Stalin's  death.   The  rebellion  caused  the  Soviet troops  and  tanks  to  interfere  which  led  to  numerous  deaths  and casualties but resulted in no major changes in policy or leadership. Following the events of 1953, the East German policy was characterized by "short term fluctuations in which short term 'liberalization' has alternated with stages of 'toughness"',[99] instead of the more "secular" trends  that have characterized the other countries under discussion. While  in  Poland,  Hungary  and  Czechoslovakia,  the  Communists  could afford  to let the  tensions rise until the system nearly exploded, in East Germany they were forced to let the steam out at short intervals, so that the regime never was as oppressive, nor was it ever as liberal as the regimes of the other three countries discussed were--on occasion. Consequently,  there never were as dramatic changes in East Germany as in the countries of Central Europe.


The problem of defining Central Europe is  further complicated by the fact that Croatia, another nation with strong ties to the West, is now part of another, albeit smaller, Eastern Communist empire.  This tiny nation has been incorporated in the federal state of Yugoslavia which is under the rule of the Byzantine Serbs.   Stjepan Buc,  former Member of the Yugoslavian Parliament and now a political scientist in Argentina, argues that Croatia definitely is a Central European nation:


”Because of  her origin,  development,  culture,  and entire nature   Croatia   belongs   to   the   Central   European  area. Conversely,  Croatia  does not belong  to  the East nor  to  the Balkans.   Separated  from the Western world by treachery and violence,  and  thank  to  the  fabricated  "Slavic  Union"  that never really existed, Croatia was handed over to a traditionally aggressive  Eastern foreign rule.   May we,  at the same time,  refer  to the Hungarian example,  because our situation is best illustrated by it.  The Croats and the Hungarians are peoples   of  Western  culture;   their  struggle  against  the Eastern  aggression   is  reflected   in  the  honorary   titles conferred  on  them  by  the  Popes:  "Fortissima  propugnacula fidei et antemurale christianitatis."[100]


Professor Buc rejects the notion that the East is inferior, yet he also emphatically rejects being ruled by the East:


”It would not be correct, however, to classify the Eastern man and his world as something generally inferior.  That world is simply  different  from  ours.   Because  of  these  essential differences  we  simply do not wish  to be  under  the  rule  of that world.  We just cannot endure its domination.  We prefer to enjoy our right of self-determination and we wish to live freely in our own state.”[101]


Thus, Croatia shares with the rest of Central Europe not only a long and fruitful association with the West, but a desperate rejection of  the Byzantine rule of  the East.   So,  conceptually, Croatia should, by all means be included in our definition of Central Europe although she has not staged her revolution yet.


Of  the  remaining  four nationalities,  two are  included  in one federal state:  the Czechs and the Slovaks make up Czechoslovakia, with a  significant number  of  other minorities,  including Hungarians.   The Hungarians make up the population of Hungary, with a very insignificant minority.    But  there  are  between  2-3  million  Hungarians  in  the Transylvanian  part  of  Rumania,  and  a  significant  number  in  the formerly Hungarian territories now belonging to Yugoslavia.  The Poles make up Poland,  of  course, with many Poles residing  in the Eastern part of Poland that was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II.




While my  thesis  certainly  applies  to  the above  two nations, i.e. East Germany and Croatia, it is based on the experience of only three  countries.   Czechoslovakia,  Hungary,  and  Poland.   While  the timing and the details may vary in the different countries, depending on local circumstances and available leadership material,  the general pattern  that is  highlighted  in the dissertation is  the same in all three.  In fact, it was the discovery of this pattern that led to the thesis   that  the  cultural  conflict  goes  much  deeper  than  any nationalistic, anti-Slav or anti-Russian attitude.


The  common  pattern  found  in  these  three  countries  can  be illustrated with an analogy.  In light of the East-West conflict it is not  easy  for  a  Central  European  government  to  maintain  political stability.  The position of the regimes in these countries is like a tripod: It has to stand firmly on all three legs - knock any one leg out and the tripod falls.  The three legs can be identified as  (a) ideology,  that curious combination of Orthodoxy and Marxism-Leninism, as interpreted by the Kremlin; (b) the political and national security interest  of  the  Soviet  Union  (including  both  defense  and  foreign policy issues); and (c) satisfaction of the basic economic and cultural needs (including national pride and traditions) of the population.


Violating  this  rule  of  stability,  each  of  these  Communist regimes went through three stages after they came to power.   In the first stage of their rule they disregarded the leg representing popular satisfaction: they not only ruined the economic system of the respective countries, lowered the standard of living below the lowest level during the war,  but,  they attacked the cultural heritage and violated all human rights  that  they could violate.   As a result,  each of  these regimes was thrown out by an angry populace.  The new regimes of the second  stage  over-reacted  - at  least  in  the  eyes  of  the  Kremlin leaders - by rejecting the Byzantinized version of Marxism-Leninism, imposed  by  the  Kremlin,  and also endangered  Soviet foreign policy objectives,  thus  provoking  Soviet  pressure or even direct military intervention.  In each of these countries, following the intervention, the Kremlin installed  third stage regimes which attempts  to balance the three legs by downplaying the role of ideology, hiding the Soviet troops, and making some concessions, real or token.   It is almost as if the Soviets were experimenting in three different laboratories each with a different mix of Eastern oppression and Western Democracy.


In Czechoslovakia,  the initial Stalinist regimes from Gottwald through Zapotocky and Antonin Novotny all disregarded the domestic leg of  the tripod.   In  1968,  following popular demand, Alexander Dubcek liberalized the system, but he neglected the ideological allegiance to Moscow and was deposed by the Warsaw Pact Armies, which were mobilized by the Soviet Union.  The Soviets have subsequently installed Gustav Hussak who is running the country in a somewhat bureaucratic but still Communist fashion.


In Hungary,  Matyas Rakosi ruled with an iron fist,  in  true Stalinist fashion, knocking out in the process the democratic leg of the  tripod.   Although Imre Nagy first became Premier  in  1953,  his ascendancy at that time was more from the grace of the Kremlin than the result of any popular demand.  But after the Kremlin had reversed itself in 1955 (following the ouster of Malenkov) conditions continued to  deteriorate.   The  Hungarian people,  who  once  again  tasted some measure of  freedom under Nagy's first premiership, demanded in 1956 the return of  Nagy,  who was  deposed  in  1955 as Premier,  and was stripped of his Party post.


The inept leadership of Gerő, failing to recognize the danger of  the  enormous  frustration  of  the  people  in  the  Fall  of  1956, provoked  the most serious  insubordination of a satellite within the Soviet system and as the result a full scale confrontation took place between the Hungarian youth,  supported by the working class and  the military,  and  the  regime,  putting Nagy back into power.   Seemingly overtaken  by  the events,  Nagy abrogated  the Warsaw  Pact,  announced Hungary's neutrality, and asked the U.N.  to protect it.  He was also pushed   into   promising   multi-party   elections,   endangering  party monopoly.   Thus,  he  had weakened at once  two  legs  of  the  tripod:  Soviet  ideological  supremacy  and  Soviet  defense  interests.   The Soviets   retaliated   by  sending   in  tanks,   destroying   the  Nagy government,  and  installing Kadar as  Premier and Party  Leader under whose  leadership  Russification has  slowed down considerably,  or at least became less visible, thus avoiding another open rebellion.


In  Poland   the  "nationalist”  Communist,  Gomulka,  was  first replaced as  Party Secretary in 1948 by the Stalinist Beirut.   Upon Beirut's  death  in early  1956  Edward  Ochab  became  the  new  leader. Following  Beirut's  policies,  he  continued  to neglect  the  "domestic leg" of the tripod and in six months he was forced to resign in a crisis that saw Gomulka's return to the helm for a second time.  While he  instituted  some  reforms  to  satisfy popular demands for national honor and human rights, in his economic policy Gomulka was almost as rigid as his predecessors were.   Following a series of uprisings by the disappointed  Poles,  Gomulka  in  turn was  forced  to resign once more, and was replaced at this time by Edward Gierek.


Poland's economic problems remained unsolved even under Gierek and a series of strikes and uprisings were staged in 1980.  He was forced   to  resign  also.    Within  a  month  of  his  resignation, "Solidarity,"  the first free labor union in a Communist country was born.   "Solidarity"  endangered stability by provoking  the  threat of Soviet intervention when the workers refused to accept the superiority of the Kremlin-dictated, bankrupt economic policy that is part of the ideological  leg  of  the  tripod.   Also,  the  possibility of economic reforms  "spilling  over"  into  the  political  field  complicated  the situation.


Eventually, to prevent open military invasion by the Soviet Army, General Jaruzelski declared martial law to disperse the union.  After several  years  of  terror,  the  spirit  of  “Solidarity"  is  still  not destroyed.


In  spite  of  the  obvious  differences  among  the  Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the "Prague Spring" of 1968, and the "Solidarity" movement  of  the  1980's,  these  three  events  complement each other. They prove, once and for all, that the East-West conflict is so strong in these countries that the mere use of force is insufficient to reconcile the two political cultures, one (the Western) based on freedom and human  rights  and  the  other  (the  Eastern)  based  on oppression and denial of individual rights and favoring the community.  Each of the three  events  viewed  separately  could  be  explained  as  historical accident.   But,  viewed  together,  they will create a strong pattern with a new message.


As  can  be  seen,  only  in  these  three  countries  within  the Communist Empire did popular pressure ever lead to meaningful changes in party and/or government leadership - and in all three cases the Soviets intervened to stall meaningful reform.


Hungarians were often accused by critics after their ill fated rebellion of going  too far.   They were  told  that if  they had only refrained from using force, or from declaring neutrality, they might have gotten away with major economic and social reforms.   Then came 1968.  The Czechoslovak Communists under Dubcek's leadership, tried to stay within  the Warsaw Pact,  did not use force,  assured Moscow of their  loyalty,  and  yet  the  Soviet  troops deposed Alexander Dubcek. The  critics  then  suggested  that Dubcek's  error was  in  instituting "political"  reforms--he  should  have  left  the  Party's  political prerogatives  alone.   Next came "Solidarity".   Learning from  the  two earlier examples,  the Poles scrupulously refrained from any political demands.   Nonetheless,   they  were  not  allowed  to  challenge  the inefficient policies and the Byzantine politics that the "legitimate" government (legitimated by the Kremlin, of course) prescribed.  Thus one may conclude that, in the given political atmosphere, the Hungarian or the Czech reforms did not have a chance, no matter how moderate they would have been because of the irreconcilable conflict:  the people in these countries wanted the Western style political,  social, and economic rights  that  they were accustomed  to,  (or at least knew about and desired) while  the Soviet Union,  an Eastern power,  would not allow such rights.




It should be noted again, for contrast,  that in no Communist country outside Central Europe was there such a demand for reforms. In Rumania, for example, the tripod theory does not apply.  President Nicolai Ceausescu parades around in the capitals of the Western world, as the head of a ”liberal" Communist country and he indeed follows a foreign policy line that is more independent of the Kremlin direction than any  other  satellite.   But domestic  conditions  in Rumania are worse than in any other country behind the Iron Curtain, yet there is no threat of rebellion.


According to an essay in Forbes there is a general shortage of all foodstuffs.   "Ordinary Rumanians can go weeks and  - even months without  any  meat,  much  less  a  decent  cut."   Clothes,  household appliances, everything is in short supply.  The conditions are worse than in Poland before Solidarity was formed.  "Ordinary citizens are forbidden  to  speak  with  foreigners.   Travel  abroad  is  tightly regulated  and  permitted  only  if  close  family members  stay behind. Amnesty  International  reports  it  has  a  'substantial'  number  of 'prisoner of conscience  cases. "[102] The situation is much worse than it was in Czechoslovakia before 1968 or in Hungary before 1956.


"Now, as the economy declines, Ceausescu is coming to resemble more a traditional Balkan despot than the leader of a modern state."[103]Why don't the Rumanian people rebel?  The article gives two reasons that are related:


“First,  Ceausescu’s "securitate" secret police are omnipresent and  trigger-happy  (and)  .     .   Ceausescu,  unlike Poland's leaders  so  far,  would  not  shrink  from  brutal  repression. Second,  Poland  has  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  which  is  by tradition  independent  of  the  state  .  .  .  The  Rumanian Orthodox Church - to which 80% of the population belongs - is subservient to the state, which appoints its bishops just as appoints,  say  a  new  labor  minister.   The  result,  says  a Rumanian  intellectual,   is   that  people  feel  "frustrated, mentally bound and gagged  .  . . .   There is nothing anyone can or wants to do."[104]


Rumanians and Russians are brothers in Byzantine mentality.




Before presenting  the thesis,  it is  important to look at the problem from the Soviets’ point of view.   If  they want to create a "Soviet" world  order  that  they could rule,  they have  to create  the necessary  conditions.   Before  W.  W.  II  they  had  a  federal  system including all the nationalities within the Soviet Union.  After W. W. II their immediate aim was to add a string of countries in a quasi confederate arrangement, later perhaps to be upgraded into a federation. They  hoped  to  continue  adding  new  countries  to  the  confederate arrangement  as  a  way  station  toward  an  eventual  world  federation dominated by the Russian Byzantine, "Orthodox" political leadership.


Being realists they must have recognized that for their goals to be realized they needed to create more unity among those nations that they had obtained after the war, than existed at the time.  The basic principle  of  federalism  is  that it is justified only when there is enough diversity AND at the same time there is enough unity to justify and make possible common government on the federal level.  As long as the  unity  is  lacking,  the  best  they  could  hope  for  is  a  forced confederation of nations.  If they ever achieve sufficient unity, then they can think about doing away even with the federal system in favor of a new unitary form of world government.


From the Soviet point of view,  their long range plans called for  a  process  of  “sovietization"  or  rather "Russification"  and "Byzantinization" of the world. Thus, there is tension between the Western oriented countries under Soviet rule, determined to retain their thousand year old  Western  culture,  religion,  traditions,  and  the  Soviet  Union determined  to  impose  a  foreign,  Byzantine  political  culture  and Russian political practices.


The  history  of  international  Communism  definitely  indicates that  the  true  aim  of  the  Kremlin  leadership  is  world  dominance.[105] Lenin  created  the  Cominform  in  1917  to  tightly  coordinate  the Communist movement throughout the world.  It was dissolved in 1943 "to placate the Western Allies by showing the Soviet Union was no longer bent on world revolution."[106]  In 1947 Stalin organized the Communist Information Bureau  (COMINFORM).  One of the assumptions of Cominform was that "Soviet Communist Party that made its revolution first had the historical right to  'guide' the other parties in the building of socialism and that the Soviet 'model' was to be followed elsewhere."[107]


This aim of COMINFORM had been frustrated in several countries. Some  local  Communist  parties  either  followed  an  independent  line, especially  in  Western  Europe,  others  have  allied  themselves  with China,  like little Albania, or have become fully independent--at the price of being excommunicated from Cominform--like Tito's Yugoslavia. [108]  But in Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, with the help of an effective Muscovite   leadership   and   the   presence   of   the   Soviet   Army, Russification  progressed  at full  speed, little  disturbed  by popular opposition until 1956.





The  theme  of  this  dissertation  is  the basic conflict between the  two  political  cultures,  the  Central  European/Hungarian and  the Russian/Soviet, and to show how the reform/protest movement led up to and reinforced  the events of October 1956.   A political analysis  of the Revolution of  1956 as  "revolution”  is outside  the scope of  the dissertation. Yet,  since  the currently popular "relative deprivation"  theory of   revolution,   if  applied  carelessly,  could  lead   to  a  false interpretation of 1956, a brief comment is necessary.


The popular movement to restore Hungarian political,  cultural, and  economic  independence  was  much  greater  than  the  so  called "Revolution of  1956"  that lasted  from October 23 to  the end of  the armed opposition sometime in November.  This movement had no intention of an armed rebellion, was not organized, and was based on prayer and hope, rather than frustration.


It should be noted that the pattern was the same in Poland both in 1956 when the masses won by getting Gomulka into power, and in 1980 with  the  formation  and  legalization  of  Solidarity,  and  also  in Czechoslovakia in 1968 when Alexander Dubcek came to power.   In all these cases the masses were united, and some of the Party leaders, if not organizing, at least were taking the reform demands to the Party leadership, and  facilitated  some  of  the  demanded  changes,  but  the people did not want, and did not initiate violence.


Yet,  Hungary  is  unique  in  that only  there did  the conflict deteriorate  into  large  scale  armed  fighting.   Thus,  it  is  quite important to find an explanation.  It has been suggested[109] that it can be explained in terms of the currently popular "relative deprivation" theory of revolution. But the first problem with this approach is to find an adequate definition of what revolution is.   A search of recent literature on the relative deprivation approach failed to provide one. Gurr,  in one  instance,  writes about "several  forms of civil strife,"[110] presumably  revolution  being  one  of  them.   In another paper he  uses  a stronger but narrower  term “civil violence as a ‘genus’,”[111] explaining that revolutions are "the most significant" yet only "one of an extraordinarily numerous variety of interrelated forms of strife."[112] Gurr also suggests in a footnote, using the French and the American Revolutions as examples, that a revolution may consist of an entire series of events.[113]  Finally, in Why Men Rebel by Gurr, the index under "Revolution"  Gurr refers  the  reader  to "Internal War;" [114] which is one of  three  forms of political violence:  turmoil, conspiracy, and internal war. Internal war, in turn, is defined by Gurr as


“ Highly organized political violence with widespread  popular  participation,  designed   to  overthrow  the regime  or  dissolve  the  state  and  accompanied  by  extensive violence,  including large  scale  terrorism and guerilla wars, civil wars, and revolutions.”[115]

While Gurr spends a great deal of time to define the term, James C. Davies, in his essay, "Toward a Theory of Revolution," seems  to assume  that his  readers do not need a definition of revolution. [116]


Thus, in  order  to  decide  if  the  events  of  October  1956  in Hungary constituted a revolution or not, one must compose a definition from  the  elements  supplied  by  Gurr.   Accordingly,  revolution  is  a violent  form  of  domestic  strife,  a  form  of  internal  war  (to distinguish it from turmoil and conspiracy),  that is open (as opposed to terrorism and conspiracy), and is between the people and the regime (to distinguish it from civil war).  Finally, since it is "designed to overthrow the regime or dissolve the state" it must be assumed that revolution is organized and initiated from below, by the enemies of the regime, rather than by the regime or its supporters.


But  if  this  explanation  of  revolution  is  accepted,  the Hungarian events do not qualify to be called a revolution: it was not organized and the violence was not initiated by the people.  There was a peaceful "civil strife" going on, to be sure, but its object was not to "overthrow  the state or  the regime."  The demonstrators demanded only certain changes that were well within the power of the regime to grant.   The evidence shows  that violence was started by the secret police at the Radio Station, firing at the unarmed masses.


What about  the  theory of "relative deprivation"?  The  theory suggests that "it is the dissatisfied state of mind •..which produces the revolution.”[117] According to Gurr, civil violence "occurs primarily as a result of frustration."[118]  But as of October 23, 1956, the people in Hungary were in a satisfied, hopeful, almost happy state of mind. There was no sign of public frustration on the morning of the 23rd. During the summer the people succeeded in rehabilitating Laszlo Rajk (a victim of Rakosi's  terror), ousted Rakosi himself,  opened up the press and the writers had written in tones not heard for years, and most of all,  Hungarians  learned  that in Poland  the liberal Gomulka became Prime Minister.  If anyone was in a dissatisfied frame of mind and frustrated,  it was  Party Chief Gerő and his  radical comrades. Therefore,  either  the relative deprivation theory  is wrong,  or the "Revolution"  of  1956 was  not a  revolution  in  the  ordinary  sense, because the violence was  initiated  from above,  and  its  goal  was  to  preserve, rather than to overthrow the regime.


The key to explaining those events is suggested by a concept used by Morrison  discussing  social  movements  and  the  “perception  of blockage."[119]   Morrison  suggests  a  correlation  between  a  feeling  of relative  deprivation  and  the  perceived  probability  of  blockage  of one's justifiable expectation: One does not feel deprived as long as one expects satisfaction; one will feel deprived only if one expects or experiences blockage.


While  Morrison  does  not  solve  the  entire  problem,  he  takes Gurr's  analysis  one  step  farther.   Gurr  treats  aggression  as  the dependent  variable,  and  frustration  as  the  independent  variable.[120] Morrison  in  turn  takes  frustration as  his  dependent variable,  and suggests  blockage  as  the  independent  variable.   Gurr  treats  frustration,  and Morrison treats blockage  as an impersonal,  inevitable natural or social/political occurrence, a truly independent variable.


But  blockage  is  usually  the  result  of  resistance  by  the authorities, directed against the popular movement demanding change. The process of "civil strife," the "genus" that includes revolution, has to have two parties.  Just as "It takes two to tango," one party alone cannot have a "strife."[121]


Thus, to understand the events of 1956, it is necessary to use a  "unified  theory of  civil strife"  that considers  the role of  the regime  as  well  as  of  the  opposition.   According  to  this  approach "blockage"  could  be  considered as  dependent  on  frustration  by  the authorities, just as revolution is dependent on the frustration of the people.   Both kinds of  frustrations,  in  turn,  are dependent on the expectations for change.  The more likely or the stronger the demand for change is, the more frustrated the authorities are likely to be, and the less likely the change, the more frustrated the people will be.


But the concept of "blockage" alone is still not sufficient to explain the events of 1956.  Blockage is a passive concept, somewhat on the level of "turmoil."  Modern revolutionary theory fails even to consider that the authorities can initiate violence in self defense. In desperation the government may order the troops to open fire to quell the turmoil.[122]  In some cases they may succeed, in others they may fail.   In extreme desperation the government may even provoke a rebellion,  as it seems  to have happened in Hungary in 1956.   Party Secretary  Gerő,  frightened  by  the developments  in both Hungary and Poland, might have wanted to settle the score with the reform movement once and for all, and after making arrangements for the Soviet troops to be on hand, provoked a turmoil on the 23rd, and ordered his troops to fire on the crowd.   Thus, he might have initiated the violence, expecting  to  retain control  in his hand, while getting rid of his opponents in and outside the Party.  But this gambit misfired on him, it seems, probably because the events in Poland pushed up his timing.[123]


This "unified theory of civil strife" applies not only to the Soviet backed counter-revolutionary activities of the Czechoslovakian, Hungarian and Polish governments, but it could also help to understand better other classical or even current so called “revolutions." For  example,  most  historians  accept  the  theory,  that  the American  Revolution  started  in  1776,  with  the  Declaration  of Independence.   Yet,  the  truth  is  that  England  had  designated  the resistance  of  the  colonies as  rebellion much earlier:  as  early as February 1774, "The ministry, in overruling the lingering scruples of Dartmouth and Lord North, decided that there existed a rebellion which required coercion."[124]  On August 23,  1775,  the King himself declared that the colonies were in a state of rebellion and refused to receive the "Olive  Branch Petition"  in which  the colonies "solemnly assure your Majesty" of their desire that "a concord be established between them (the Colonies and England) upon so firm a basis, as to perpetuate its  blessings  uninterrupted by any future dissensions  to succeeding generations in both countries."[125]


England was no less frustrated with the turmoil in the colonies than the colonies were with England’s stubbornness, but ultimately it was  the authorities  that declared  rebellion.   So,  was  the American "Revolution" really a revolution?  Probably no more than the Hungarian Uprising  of  1956.[126]   Yet,  to avoid  confusion,  in  the  rest  of  the dissertation,  following common usage,  the  term "Revolution" will be used in referring to the events of 1956.




Finally,  before  presenting  the  thesis about  the "Patterns of Communism  in  Central  Europe,"  a  general  "theory  of  stress,"  when different cultures clash, is suggested.  When a culture is forced upon a people who has another culture, stress results.  The stress is proportionate  to  the  degree of  difference between  the  two  cultures,  the speed that the invading culture is expected to replace  the original culture, and the degree of violence used in imposing the culture.


There have been cases in world history when an occupying army was content to leave the culture of the subjugated people undisturbed, and the occupation is accepted much more easily, even if there is economic exploitation or violence applied against the people.  From Hungarian history, one might recall the 150 year-old Turkish occupation, when the Turks had left Hungary's culture unchallenged.


Also, there is likely to be less stress in the relationship of the two nations, occupied versus occupying, if the cultural difference is minor or non-existent, as it is between the Russo/Soviet and the Rumanian or the Bulgarian cultures, therefore they had accepted the Soviet dictatorship without rebellion. On the other hand, the stress was so great in the case of the Central European nations, that it led to the Revolution of 1956 in Hungary, the "Prague Spring of  1968" in Czechoslovakia, and the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980’s.


This dissertation on the  1956 Hungarian Revolution, as  it is commonly called, is a case study to prove this general theory.




Ferenc Vali proposed in 1961; that the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a nationalistic uprising.[127]  Following a number of descriptive and analytical works  published within  the  first five years  of  the event, Vali is one of the first political scientists to interpret the events of 1956.


Reviewing  the  conditions  in  the  countries  of  Central  and Southern Europe under Soviet rule, Vali notices signs of discontent in every one of  them.   This  leads him to conclude  that the Hungarian Revolution was an example of nationalist resentment against the Soviet Russian nationalism.[128]  Vali illustrates his thesis with a chart[129] and this explanation:


”Resentments  in  the satellite area are caused in somewhat the manner illustrated in Chart I.   As shown by the arrows, both  the  Soviet  Russian  nationalism  and  Marxist-Leninist Communist internationalism act upon local nationalism.   They also act upon local aspirations for individual freedom.  They act,  too,  upon  the  feelings  of  people  who  want Communism without  foreign  control,  that  is  national  Communism;  the resentment   of   these   people   is   caused  mainly   by   the impingement of Soviet Russian nationalism, but,  to the extent that   doctrinal   differences   occur,   by   Marxist-Leninist internationalism as well.


”The   intensity  of   the  anti-Russian  and  anti-Communist resentments  thus created in the satellite countries,  and the strength of  the resulting aggressiveness, are determined by a large  bundle  of  conditions  and  circumstances,  among  which are:  (1)  the  nature  of  national  consciousness  and national temperament:  (2)  historic  precedents  strengthening a  desire for independence;  (3) liberal sentiment and inclinations; (4) strength and traditions of local Communism;  (5) pro-Slav and pro-Russian affinities  or,  contrariwise,  anti-Slav and anti- Russian  bias;  (6)  national  phobias  other  than anti-Russian (e.g.,  anti-German);  (7)  religious  sentiment  and  religious affiliations;  (8)  intensity  and  nature  of  local  terrorism, oppression, or economic exploitation.”[130]


While more  than  25 years ago, Vali's  thesis  seemed plausible, today there is a more complete pattern of satellite behavior to help interpret   the  events   of   1956  in  a  somewhat  different  light. Nationalism is certainly a very important factor, but it alone is not sufficient to explain what had happened in East Germany in 1953, in Poland and Hungary in 1956,  in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and in Poland again in the 1980's.


But an equally  important part of the pattern is what DID NOT happen in Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania, or within the Soviet Union.   In spite of strong nationalism, none of these countries have produced an uprising as it happened in Hungary in 1956, or a serious reform movement like Alexander Dubcek's in Czechoslovakia in 1968, or the Polish Solidarity movement in the 1980's.


Still,  Vali was on the right track.   In the above summary, he lists 8 factors that influence the intensity of the anti-Russian and anti-Communist feeling  in a given country.   Among  the conditions he includes  "nature  of  the  national  consciousness,”   “liberal  sentiment and inclinations," and "religious sentiment and affiliation,"[131] all cultural factors.


These  factors  have  to  do  with  social,  economic,  and  most important,  political  culture and  thinking.   It  is proposed in this thesis  that cultural factors  like  these provide the real key to an understanding of the Soviet-Satellite relationship in Central Europe.


Thus, the thesis of this paper is that the conflict is deeper than Russian versus local nationalism.  It goes back to the division between the Roman and the Byzantine Empires and the differences between the  two cultures.   Considering  the West-East, Roman-Byzantine split, the facts are that (a) some satellite nations (and even some nations annexed by the Soviet Union, i.e. the Baltic nations) have Western or Roman culture,  and other nations belong  to the Byzantine,  Orthodox culture; and (b) only the satellites with the Western culture rebelled against the Soviet Union, and the satellites having Byzantine culture did not rebel.  Although the Rumanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Albanian peoples are  just as,  if not more,  nationalistic  than the Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, or Hungarians, they did submit peacefully to the  Soviet domination  in  the  Byzantine  tradition  of  the Orthodox Church.


In this dissertation it is proposed that, in the case of Hungary, it was the Western orientation, traditions and values that created the civil strife in 1956, directed not against socialism (not even Marxist version of it) but against violent imposition of the Byzantine culture by the Soviet oppressor.  Russians were perceived as dangerous because they have attempted to proselytize the Hungarian people, replacing the Western Christian values  and  Hungarian  heroes  with  those  of  the  Orthodox Byzantine Russians.


Although  this  project  shall not  deal  with  it,  it would be interesting  to  study  how  the  basic  values  of  the  East and  South European  Byzantine-Orthodox  peoples  have  NOT  been  replaced  by  the Soviet oppressor.   It will be shown, however, in Chapter Three, that the people at large of the Soviet Union, with the possible exception of  the Asian parts,  where  the population is Muslim,  do accept the Soviet dictatorship and no revolution is likely in the Soviet Union.


In order to fully appreciate the conflict that came to a head in Hungary  in  1956,  the origins  of  both  the Russian mind and  the Hungarian mentality shall be developed in some detail.


Thus, although the focal point is the 1956 Revolution, a major portion of the dissertation will be devoted to the Russian culture and intellectual development.  As the professed source, but in any case a major influence and justification of Soviet ideology, Marxism shall also be examined,  interpreted,  and  in some cases re-interpreted  to show how it was assimilated and/or used (and to some extent falsified) by the Russians in the Soviet Union.


To keep the dissertation manageable and to keep a single focus it shall not be argued that the Revolution of 1956 was or was not a rejection of Socialism or Marxism.   The argument that 1956 meant a rejection of Russification certainly implies  that  Hungarians  did reject Soviet style Communism, but it is not necessarily the same as Marxist  Communism.   In  Soviet  style  Communism,  or Bolshevism,  the Byzantine-Orthodox  mentality,  values  and methods  far overshadow  the socialist or Marxist influence.


It would  be  an  interesting  study,  however,  to  find  out  if Hungarians in 1956 did or did not reject Socialism and/or Marxism.  On the face of it, looking at the list of demands tabulated by Radio Free Europe[132] there is little evidence that they did so.




At this point it should be pointed out that this thesis is at a variance  with Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s interpretation    of Soviet-Russian reality.[133]


While  fully  supporting  his  characterization  of  the  West, concerning its "spiritual impotence” and its "total incomprehension of the malevolent and unyielding nature of Communism,” the evidence seems to contradict Solzhenitsyn's analysis of the Russian attitude toward this very same Communism.


Solzhenitsyn makes  it appear that the Russians are unwilling victims, blaming the West for their own enslavement and waiting for some unspecified liberation by the West.  This might be the feeling and the expectation of a small group of elite Russian intellectuals, including Maximov, but it does not seem to be the position of the Russian masses.


 If  Russians  really  feel  oppressed,  they have had  ample  time and opportunity to liberate themselves.   Yet,  there is not the slightest evidence of any attempt to do so.  In fact, the neo-Russophile authors included  in  Solzhenitsyn's  volume  of  samizdat  writings,[134]  while bemoaning  the  anti-religious  crusade  of  the  atheist  Soviet  state, counsel submission even to the godless Communist authorities.


Solzhenitsyn attempts to manufacture a case of willful Russian resistance during the early stages of World War II,[135] but it would seem that the routing of  the Soviet army and the unprecedented number of POW's were more due to unpreparedness and poor logistics, training and discipline than any large scale political defection.  If the Russians truly wanted to defeat the regime, the defections could have continued after the U.S. land-lease aid had arrived in the Soviet Union.


Also,  he  is only half right in rejecting the diagnosis  that Communism  is  "a  hereditary  Russian  disorder."[136]   Communism  is  not hereditary,  but it is a mutation of  the Russian political culture, created  by  Lenin's  injection  of  Marxism  into  the  Russian  Mind. Communism in its present form could have taken place and lasted so long unchallenged only in a Byzantine culture.   In any non-Byzantine country Marxism would have taken different form, or the Soviet form would not have lasted as long as it has in Russia, without the people rebelling against it, as this thesis suggests.


Solzhenitsyn  writes   that  "Communism  stops  only  when  it encounters a wall, even if it is only a wall of resolve."[137]  He blames the West for not putting up such a wall, while the boat people of Viet Nam and earlier of China resolved to escape, or the people of Poland, the Hungarian freedom fighters, or East Germany put up such a wall[138], according to him.  But when did the Russians put up such a wall?


Solzhenitsyn might be right that an “unbridgeable abyss  and hatred separate the Chinese people and the Chinese regime."  Certainly there was such an abyss and hatred in Hungary, Poland, East Germany and Czechoslovakia between the regime and the people.   But where is the abyss and hatred between the Russians and the Soviet regime?


The internal stability and the general acceptance of the Soviet regime by the Russian people was amply demonstrated in a twelve part PBS series, "Comrades," aired in the summer of 1986.  In spite of the economic  difficulties  and  social  problems,  the  masses,  even  the so-called dissidents have adjusted to, and accept the regime.


Solzhenitsyn is also wrong in claiming that "the idea of an empire is repulsive" to the Russian people.[139]  Gray suggests that


“Territorial expansion was "the Russian way," just as it has been "the Soviet way."  Richard Pipes reminds us that it is  estimated,  for  example,  that between  the  middle  of  the 16th  century  and  the  end  of  the  17th,  "Russia  conquered territory  the  size  of  the modern Netherlands every year for 150  years  running."   Furthermore,  unlike  the  case  of  most other  imperial powers,  conquest by Russia became a permanent and  nonnegotiable  political  fact  (save  under  conditions  of extreme duress,  as with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918).   The  territorial growth  of  a  state  over  a  500-year period  cannot  neatly  and  simply  be  ascribed  to  a  single impulse.” [140]


Gray also points out,  using cold logic,  that the only possible difference  between  the  Russian way and  the  Soviet  way  is  that  the Soviet Union uses a  new excuse  for conquest:  its  own security needs.   The Soviet Union wants  to be secure so that it can keep  the result of earlier conquests.  But in doing this, it can effectively play on the naiveté of the West which either sympathizes with the Soviets and gives in, or decides that the Soviet leadership is paranoid and dangerous, so the West better give in. But in any case,  Gray concludes  that "a quest for absolute security must lead a country on the path of world conquest."[141]  Whether born out of an insatiable appetite for territory,  or of paranoia,  until  the Soviet conquers everything in sight, there is no stopping it except by "putting up a wall", as Solzhenitsyn correctly suggests.


An example of such naiveté is the assurance given by Eberhard Diepgen, mayor of West Berlin, to the Soviet concerning West Germany’s Ostpolitic:


”Any politician in the Federal Republic of Germany, including Berlin  (West),  would  be  well  advised  never  to  attempt  a policy  towards  the  East  without  due  consideration  for  the Soviet Union.  There is one thing that must not be forgotten: There are historically deep-rooted apprehensions  in the West about   excessively   close   German-German   ties;   but   these apprehensions exist in the Soviet Union as well and are very much  stronger  there.   This  superpower still  lacks  sufficient self-assurance and confidence  towards  the  other Warsaw  Pact states.   German policy must therefore constantly be explained anew in Moscow.   In doing so,  our task is  to make  it clear that  it  is  not  the  intension  of  our  Berlin  policy  and Deutschlandpolitik to call the GDR's loyalty to its alliance into question.[142]


But how would the Russians, used to conquering without much opposition throughout their history, react to  the wall?   If there is any "manifest destiny" in Soviet behavior,[143] it was inherited from Great Russia, and it is rooted in her Orthodox faith.  but in any case, if a wall is to be put up, as this writer believes  that it must,  it has  to be a non-threatening wall, located in Central Europe.


In fact,  there  is nothing in Marxist revolutionary theory to justify  "the  forcible  imposition  of  communist  revolution  upon  a country  from  outside."[144]   Nor  would   the  "satellization  of   the regimes. . .be necessarily inherent in  this pattern of revolution."[145] Non  Russian  Marxists  find  it  impossible  to  understand  the  Soviet expansionist  policy.   One  of  the  consequences  of  the  Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a tremendous loss of membership in the French and Italian Communist Parties.  Some of the most famous Socialists of the West protested  the Soviet intervention in 1956.[146]   Thus,  Soviet expansionism can come only from one source: Russian history.


If Solzhenitsyn were a Pole or a Hungarian complaining about the destruction of the national spirit,  in fact,  the very "national entity"[147]  of  his  nation,  he  would  be  right on  the mark.   This  is exactly the way those people feel about Communism and the West.  It was imposed upon them by an outside force; they have never condoned or accepted it, and never cooperated with it, although they must live under it.  Communism is not, it cannot be, a mutation of the Polish, Hungarian, or German Mind.  Only a Byzantine Mind can produce or at least  acquiesce  in  such  a  proven  monstrosity,  as  Solzhenitsyn correctly describes Communism.


This does not mean that the West should be against the Russian people--Western people should feel great sympathy and sorrow for the peoples  of  the Soviet Union,  including Russians.   After a  thousand year oppression they deserve more.  But Solzhenitsyn is wrong, dangerously wrong in his diagnosis, and also in his attempt to impose a guilt  trip  on  the  West  for  Communism,  while  he  completely  and understandably tries to exonerate his mother country, Russia.


His  diagnosis  is  dangerous  because  it might  lead (indeed  it has already led) to an unrealistic policy on the part of the West toward the  Soviet regime.   By  reading  too much  Solzhenitsyn  it might be expected  that  Radio  Liberty  can  influence  the  Russian  people  to rebel, or to push the regime at least toward major domestic reforms. There  is  nothing  further  from  the  truth.   Also,  the  much  hailed Helsinki  Accord  means  absolutely  nothing  to  the  Russian  masses. Plastic  bags,  gin and  tonic,  Playboy  magazine,  and  other consumer items representing America are much more valued by the average Russian than our ideas of democracy, free press, free elections, open debate, and individual liberties, according to Shipler.[148]


After  the  loss  of  faith in Marxism as a viable system,  the Russian people, even the dissident intellectuals, are looking back to Orthodoxy, not to the future or to a western style "free" society.


The  loss  of  faith leaves a hollow mood  in Russia.   A hunger gnaws.   A yearning stirs.   A search begins  but the striving is not forward into a truer Marxist vision of  the future. The yearning is not a lurch forward but a reaching back, back into the suffering and glory of World War II to nourish national   honor   and   heroism,   back   into   the   tight authoritarianism  of  Stalinist  times,  back  into  the  ethnic purity  and  nobility  of  what was  "Russian,"  back  into  the simplicity  and  mythical  honesty  of  Russia's  village  life, back into the Church.[149]


Thus,  while  chasing  rainbows  in  attempting  to  appeal  to  the innate need  for  freedom  of  the  Russians,[150]  more  important  and  more meaningful  opportunities  to  force  the  Soviet  regime  to  undertake practical  social  and economic  reforms,  and  to allow a  return "back into the Russian past," or to slow down the arms race and bring an end to international aggression, what the rest of the world wants, are being  ignored and missed.   Chasing Solzhenitsyn's rainbow contributes to  our  failure  to  take  practical,  geopolitically  justified  and strategically  necessary,  steps  toward  liberating  those  nations  of Central-Europe,  like  Germany,  Poland,  Hungary,  and  Czechoslovakia, that  really  want  to  be  liberated.   Instead,  it  is  hoped  that  the Russians would liberate themselves with help from the West.





The  interpretation used  in  this  dissertation regarding Soviet Communism is also at  variance with much of the Western Marxist views about Communism.


The volume, edited by Taraq Ali, The Stalinist Legacy,[151]  proves the point.  The problem for Ali  is to explain away a series of working-class rebellions from East Germany in 1953 to Poland in the 1980’s.[152] The Czechoslovakian events of 1968 are especially troubling to him, as well as to many of his fellow Marxists in the West.  He quotes this "eloquent”  passage  from  Jean-Paul  Sartre's  “Czechoslovakia:   the Socialism That Came In from the Cold:"


”Czechoslovakia  could  have  been  the  first  power  to accomplish   a   successful   transition   from   an   advanced capitalist  economy  to  a  socialist  economy,  offering  the proletariat  of   the  West,   if  not  a  model,   at  least an  embodiment  of  its  own  revolutionary  future.   It  lacked nothing,  neither  the  means  nor  the men;  if  genuine workers’ control   was   possible   anywhere,   it  was   in   Prague  and Bratislava.


”To  its  misfortune,  the  manipulators  in  Moscow,  manipulated by their own manipulations,  could not even understand the  idea  of  such  a  socialism.   They  imposed  their  system instead.   This  imported,  disadapted  model,  with  no  real foundations in the country, was sustained from the outside by the solicitude of  the  'elder brother'.   It was  installed as an idol - that is to say, a fixed sort of unconditional demands, indisputable, undisputed, inexplicable, unexplained...


”Let there be no misunderstanding:  the men of 1945 were convinced  revolutionaries  and  most  of  them remained  so,  but the system forbade  them  the experience of  building socialism themselves.   In  order  to  change  them,  the  experience  would have to take  them as they were;  the system took them as they were  not.   Instead  of  presenting  itself  as  an  open  set  of problems calling for both a rational  transformation of structures and a constant modification of  ideas  (in other words a reciprocal   and   dialectical   interaction   of   practice  and theory),  it  posed  with  incredible  complacency as  a gracious gift of providence, a socialism without tears-in other words, without  revolution or any contestation whatever.   The  tasks were already defined;  it only remained to execute them.  All knowledge was already complete; it only remained to memorize it.”[153]


This  and  the  other  events  in  Central  Europe  are  clearly troubling Ali, but he plays it down by presenting it as mere "bureaucratization"[154] instead of as a major ailment,  requiring surgery.   He also justifies  it  with  arguments  like:  it  was  necessary  as  a  "defense" against the Marshall Plan,[155] although it is hard to see how American aid  to  Western  Europe  justifies  "Stalinization"  of  Central  Europe. But Ali  is  honest  enough  to admit  that  the  Soviet  conquerors  have destroyed, along with capitalism, "any hope of socialist democracy"[156] in Central Europe.  Yet, Ali does not seem honest (or brave) enough to critically examine the explanations, some quite popular among Western Marxist intellectuals that are presented by his contributors.


In addition to making the absurd seem routine by calling it "bureaucracy," some of the authors in the volume seem to subscribe to the  "great  man"  theory  of  history[157] and  blame  all  the  problems  on Stalin himself.  This theory might have been plausible up to 1956, or perhaps, to stretch the argument, to 1968, but over 30 years after the Dictator's death  the same “bureaucratic," anti-Socialist measures are still dominating the Soviet system, [158] so the “bureaucracy” or the “blame Stalin” explanations should have lost their appeal to honest Marxist socialists.   They should  look for another theory, instead of being apologists for  the Soviet Union,  and still blaming Stalin for a regime that  has destroyed "any hope of socialist democracy," in the name of socialism.


Liebman 's  essay,  "Was  Lenin  a  Stalinist?",  illustrates  this hypocrisy.   He chronicles  the conflict between the "defenders of the Soviet  regime"  and  the  anti-Soviet  "moderate  socialists."[159]   Yet, Liebman is satisfied with analyzing Lenin instead of condemning him.


Ali   mentions   three   other   theories   to   explain   Soviet bureaucracy, and seems  to favor the one by Trotsky:  Stalinism stems from the discrepancy between the coexistence of  the Soviet model of production and the capitalist model of distribution.[160]  But again, this explanation  might  have  been  plausible  during  the  1930's.   The oppression of  the  Czechoslovakian workers  in  1968 or of  the  Polish workers in the 1980's requires a more ingenious excuse.  Even some of the  events  of  the  1930's,  like  the  purges  or  the  Ukrainian  famine cannot be explained with this theory.


Ali, feeling the weakness of Trotsky's argument perhaps, points out that Ernest Mandel "further developed" this view.[161] But Mandel's essay  included  in  the  volume,  "What  is  Bureaucracy,"[162]  not  only continues  to  understate  the  nature  of  the  problem  by  calling  it "bureaucracy," but his argument does not give adequate explanation of the known facts, even of the 1930's.


Mandel treats the Soviet Union as a "transitional society,"[163] and his  answer  to  the  question  of  the  "the  origin  of  bureaucratic degeneration in the workers states"[164] is  the fact that the "socialist accumulation" and  the "primitive accumulation" took place at the same time.[165]


But this is not all.  The Soviet leadership also committed "a whole  series  of  political and  institutional  errors.[166]  Mandel  lists three  errors:  "the  ban  on  factions  inside  their  party,"  "the introduction  of  the  single-party  practice,"  and  "perhaps  the most serious," what Mandel calls  the "principle of  one-man management"[167] were errors that the theory of the "primitive sociologist accumulation"[168] does not explain.  What is the "origin" of these errors? Is it possible that these all originate from the Byzantine culture that does not tolerate pluralism, competition or democracy?


It never occurs to Ali, despite the rather frequent suggestions in the literature about the Soviet Union (as is presented in Chapter III of the Dissertation)) to seek an explanation in the Byzantine character of the Soviet regime or to admit that the Soviet Union is not a socialist country.


Of all the writers in the volume  Deutscher comes closest by admitting that “Bolshevism … was absorbing the Russian ‘way of life’ and the somber heritage of the Tsarist past. In that heritage the Greek Orthodoxy was the dominant element.”[169] But then even Deutscher dismisses the importance of this fact. First, degrading the mass basis of a political culture following Plekhanov’s theory of history, he limits Orthodoxy’s impact to Stalin, by continuing: “Stalin had imbibed it in his youth.”[170]


Next, he minimizes this even in Stalin’s case: “but even these political formulae, correct in themselves, have not touched the innermost psychological springs of Stalinism.”[171] Deutscher sees more relevance in the “nomad shepherds and semi-nomads of the Asiatic provinces.”[172] From these nomads and from the tribal way of life in Stalin’s native Georgia with its ‘totems and taboos’,”[173] Deutscher concludes that this “primitive magic,”[174] coupled with scientific Marxism was responsible for Stalin’s abuses and consequently, for the Soviet-style Communism in Russia. Deutscher dismisses the obvious for the obscure (perhaps to make an “original” discovery?) when he concludes that Stalinism “was produced by the impact of a Marxist revolution upon a semi-Asiatic society and by the impact of that society upon Marxist revolution.”[175]


None of the other authors comes as close to acknowledging the Byzantine influence as Deutscher does. The very title of Liebman’s essay, “Was Lenin a Stalinist?” begs the question: isn’t ruthless violence inherent in Bolshevism, and is Stalin’s Georgian past at all relevant?


Liebman rejects as “banal”[176] the Western explanation of Lenin’s behavior as basically “Machiavellian.” Liebman’s tortured logic works like this: Lenin was so terroristic against the Mensheviks only because they had condemned Lenin’s use of terror, “when only ruthless struggle against reaction could save the regime.”[177] But if Lenin were a democrat replacing the violent Tsarist regime and not a ruthless dictator himself to begin with, on the one hand, the people might have supported Lenin instead of  ”reacting” to him, and his regime might have survived without violence, and on the other, the Meshevisks could not have objected to and condemned his violence if Lenin was a peaceful democrat.


Liebman’s answer boils down to this: Lenin was “unable to allow the existence alongside his own party of an opposition group that might have checked or prevented the growth of monolithism.”[178]  First, excusing this shows the influence of Plekhanov’s theory of history: since Lenin behaved this way, and Lenin was a great man, it had to be the correct way. Second, why single out and excuse Lenin and Stalin, as Liebman does , when the Tsars behaved the same way toward an opposition group! Third, and most important, how was it that the masses, including Lenin’s comrades, except the Mensheviks whom Lenin liquidated, accepted Lenin’s aberrant behavior as the norm? It seems aberrant behavior is the norm in Russia.


Even the poet Yevgeni Yevtushenko overlooks the obvious. In his “Epilogue—The Heirs of Stalin” he blames everything on Stalin. He phrases the question thus: “but Stalin out of Stalin’s heirs how we take?”[179] Pointing out the hypocrisy of removing Stalin’s remains from the Mausoleum, he dejectedly concludes: “As long as Stalin’s heirs on this earth exist, it will seem to me that Stalin is still in the Mausoleum.”[180] But again, the real question is, how do you take the Tsar out of his heirs, out of Lenin, Stalin, and even Gorbachev?[181] The answer is, you can’t, as long as they are Byzantine.


It is ironic indeed that Western Marxists fail to apply to the Soviet Union Marx’s own dictum: “What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from a capitalist society, which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges”[182]


Instead of using contorted logic, these Marxist writers should have examined the birthmark of the Soviet regime. They would have found that that it bears the Byzantine-Russian birthmark all over itself. According to Ali, Deutscher calls Stalinism a “mongrel offspring of Marxism and primitive magic.”[183] But according to Engels, there is no legitimate way to have a successful revolution in Russia without Western Europe going through it first,[184] and of course, it did not happen in the West first. Therefore it would be a more appropriate metaphor to call the Soviet Union “a bastard born of the shotgun marriage of a western tradition, Marxism, and of the eastern culture of Byzantine Russia, thus having the birthmarks of both”.


It is interesting to contrast what is commonly referred to as “Communism” in the Soviet Union with the “generic” communist society without any birthmark as envisioned by Marx and described by the Marxist professor Ollman.[185] In fact, even Marx’s view bears the birthmark of the Paris commune.[186]


While Ollman refuses to call Marxism “utopia,” since nowadays practically anything is possible,[187] it is still an abstract model that real life can only more or less approximate. Ollman never suggests, of course, that it can ever be realized without any birthmarks. It would go completely against Marx’s dictum.


It is interesting how both Solzhenitsyn, in his eagerness to exonerate Russia for the abuses of the Soviet Union,  and Western Marxists, for their own reasons, probably to protect Marx, completely disregard the Russo/Byzantine heritage of the Soviet Union.




A brief overview if the thesis is presented in Figure III tracing the roots of the Soviet ideology to both the European Socialist tradition, including the writings of Hegel and Marx and the Russian culture, especially through the Slavophiles, Lenin, and Stalin that had left its “birthmark” on Marxism. It also lists the nations of Central Europe and Eastern Europe/Balkans on opposite sides of the Roman-Byzantine cultural divide. Figure III. also indicates that the nations of the two regions responded differently to the Soviet oppression. Based on that overview, Figure V. gives a brief outline of the dissertation.


Churchill is supposed to have said that “there are no experts on Russia, just varying degrees of ignorance.”[188] Chapter I attempts to reduce some of the ignorance by covering an aspect of Russia that is so little understood in the West, namely, the Byzantine influence on Russian culture and show how the peculiar Russian environment, interacting with Orthodox theology, produced the Russian Mind and soul.


Chapter Four  did for Hungary what Chapter One did for Russia, but in reverse. It documented Hungary’s thousand year-old  Western orientation to respond to the not uncommon  reaction   to   this   thesis  "It  is   OK   that Czechoslovakia had a western culture, even Poland, but Hungary?”


When in  1944 Churchill set  out  for Moscow  to  '”settle  the  Balkan issue," he included Hungary on the agenda, (a decision that has been most tragic for Hungary).  By this, Churchill proved his own "degree of tremendous ignorance," concerning Hungary.  Even a great statesman, who should know better, did not appreciate Hungary's Western orientation and the cultural and religious differences between Hungary and her South-Eastern neighbors in the Balkans.


This chapter presents a detailed account of Hungary's Western orientation ever since the nation was founded over a thousand years ago. It will also show that a brief flirting with the Byzantines ended in even stronger ties to the West, if possible.  It will also show the depth of the Western influence, and how it penetrates all aspects of life.


The  Dissertation  culminates  in  Chapter  Five,  detailing  the conflict between the two cultures, Hungary's thousand year old Western oriented culture and the Russian culture, based on thousand years of Byzantine  influence.   The Communist Party,  imposed on the nation by the advancing  Soviet  Army,  began  immediately  to  undertake  its  own Russification, within the very ranks of the Communists, even before the entire country was "liberated" from the German troops.


The  elections  of  1945  and  1947  were  the  high  points  of Hungary's  total  commitment  to  the West.   In  spite  of  the  Soviet presence and wholesale cheating the Communists were soundly beaten. Even  the  New  York  Times  recognized  this achievement and  paid  its respect in an editorial.

From 1947 on, however, it was all downhill.   By  1950 Hungarian politics  had  returned  to  the dark Middle  Ages.   Yet,  after being momentarily  stunned  by  such  a  turn  of  events,  and  tremendously frustrated  by  the  Western  indifference,  in contrast  to  the docile attitude  of  the  Byzantine  bred  Russian  and  other  Eastern-European nations, Hungarians started to demand changes.


It  was  this  tug-of-war,  this  political  strife,  between  the Party and the population that led up to the Revolution of 1956.


In this chapter special attention is paid to Imre Nagy, who, in spite  of  his  naive,  at  times  confused  and  confusing  leadership, clearly believed in, and represented without reservation, the Western tradition  in  Hungary  in contrast to  Matyas  Rakosi,  Nagy’s  Soviet  backed counterpart,  who was pushing  the Soviet policy of Russification in Hungary.   Nagy did  this,  in spite of the fact that in 1953 he was handpicked by the Kremlin to become the Prime Minister of Hungary.


An  important  aspect  of  the  Soviet-Satellite  relationship  is revealed  in Chapter  Six as  it shows  the Byzantine machinations  to cover up the true nature of the relationship between Hungary and the Soviet Union.   Hungary's sovereignty is a fiction at best, yet the appearance must be maintained.   This relationship is so complex,  it extends  to  so  many aspects  of  life  that  the  traditional  colonial relationship  between  the  colony  and  the  mother  country  pales  in comparison.  No colonizer before the Soviet Empire made the subjugated nation follow so slavishly the colonizing master's every whim as the Soviet Union does.  Not only is Communism a totalitarian system, but the Soviet-Satellite relationship is fully totalitarian too.  Nothing escapes  the attention of  the  proselytizing  Soviet despot,  from the army  uniform  to  grades  in  elementary  schools,  academic  degrees, everything.


Permeating   all   this   was   an  attitude   of   arrogant  and contemptuous  superiority  by  the  representatives  of  the  colonizing Master Race, or at least Master Culture.  The situation was reminiscent of the supercilious attitude of the Simian creatures in the "Planet of the Apes."


It is important to add to this attitude the level of violence and the most cruel methods applied by the dictator, including torture and psychological annihilation of the victims, not stopping short of actual murders.


The chapter goes into some detail in explaining the depth and the graveness of the conflict and the degree of desperation that a once proud and civilized Hungarian people felt by 1956.  But it was the  same desperation felt in Czechoslovakia  in  1967-68, and almost continuously in Poland,  leading to the creation of  the now outlawed Solidarity movement.


The  nations  of  Central  Europe,  bred  on  Western  values  and civilization,  just could not take the tremendous oppression that the Soviet Union exercises on them.


The Epilogue shows that the same cultural conflict still exists in Hungary (in 1987), and the Western neglect still continues into the 1980's, even under the Reagan administration, threatening the very survival of Western culture in Hungary.






(Chapter VI from the dissertation)


To fully appreciate the events of the summer and fall of 1956 in Hungary we must backtrack briefly and review Soviet leadership changes and other events from Stalin's death to October 1956.

The first leader of the "collective leadership" was Malenkov. In addition to his advocacy of collective leadership, he favored light industry over heavy industry, and the production of consumer goods over capital goods.   The fateful meeting between the Soviet and the Hungarian leadership that placed Imre Nagy in the premiership, with a platform resembling in many respects the Malenkov program, took place under Malenkov's rule, and the results showed Malenkov's influence. Unfortunately, however, and perhaps reflecting the caution of the Kremlin leaders in not burning any bridges, following the Soviet pattern, Rakosi was allowed to retain the Party Secretary position.

The next year and a half saw many of the Nagy programs put into practice, with Rakosi's more-or-less open hostility.    As Meray describes it:

“(D)uring the  summer  of  1954,  Gerő  and  Rakosi  had prepared a new economic plan with a view to torpedoing the "policy of June" by reducing the standard of living of the workers and by increasing the taxes on the peasants; and a wave   of   so-called  "rationalization"   had  already  been instigated  in  the  various  official  departments  with  the result  that  thousands  of  employees  and  intellectuals  had lost their jobs.   "The country's standard of living is too high," said Gerő and Rakosi,  "and rigorous economies must be imposed."

The Hungarian Central Committee had debated the Rakosi-Gerő program.   Nagy had vigorously attacked it. "Whose standard of living is too high?"   He asked.  

"The workers?    The peasants?    The   intellectuals?    Neither their incomes, nor their diet, their clothes, or their lodgings indicate this to be so...    How can we support a socialism that does not assure the workers bread?   What enthusiasm can we expect for a socialism that is not capable of providing meat, milk, and butter for the workers?   The old economic policy gave no consideration either to the people or to society, and through it the concept of socialism became a narrow one conceived only in the idea of maximum industrialization.  This is not socialism!" [189]

This  time Nagy was able to repel Rakosi's attack.   The Central Committee  fully  supported  him,  disagreeing  with  Rakosi  that  the Hungarian standard  of  living  was  too  high.   "This  was  in  October, 1954, Nagy's star was at its apogee".[190]

But Rakosi did not take the defeat gracefully; he had left the country and,  ostensibly,  he had spent two months at a health resort in  the  Soviet  Union.   Yet,  he  had  more  than  health  in  mind.   He canvassed one  Soviet  leader after  the other in his quest to obtain the  ouster  of  Nagy.   "This  was  not  his  first  effort  in  this direction,  but  it  was  the  first  time  he  had  struck  a  sympathetic response."[191]  Thus,  this might be one of a possible handful of cases where  a  satellite  leader  actually  had  influence  on  the  Kremlin in-fighting and resulting policy change.   The information that Rakosi fed Khruschev through Kaganovics, whether true or not, fitted in well with Khruschev's plans to undermine Malenkov.

The first open break between Malenkov and Khruschev came when, on December 21st,  1954,  the 75th anniversary of Stalin's birth,  the Soviet newspaper  readers  were  treated  to a  rare  public  display of Kremlin in-fighting.

Pravda,  speaking  for  Khruschev's  Secretariat,  came out strongly in favor of continuing  the  Stalinist policy of   giving   preference   to   the   development   of   heavy industry,  which  was  termed  the  "very  foundation  of  a socialist  economy  and  a  firm  basis  for  the  further development   of    the   national    economy."     Izvestia, representing   Malenkov's   position,   declared   that   the "principal   task ... is   the  maximum  satisfaction  of   the constantly increasing  material  and  cultural  needs of all members   of   society."   Malenkov's  policy  of  increased production   of   consumers'   goods,   first  announced   in August,  1953,  and  supported  at  that  time  by  Khruschev, was now under heavy attack.[192]

This  in-fighting  probably  was  settled  by  the  7th of January, 1955, when the Hungarian leaders were summoned to Moscow again.   But at  this  time  it  was  Nagy's policy  that  was  criticized  in  no  uncertain terms--by  his  old  mentor,  Malenkov  himself. Meray  notices  in  his account  of  this  meeting  that  it was an "old Bolshevik tradition  to have  the one nearest to the victim deliver the coup de grace,"[193] just as  Kadar  was  assigned  the  task  of  liquidating  Rajk. Nagy  was surprised and shocked, but not awed. His   bitterness,   his   anger,   and   his   resentment reached  a  peak  when  he  was  told  by  the  Soviet  leaders that he  had  not kept before  his  eyes  "the magnificent example of the Soviet Kolkhozy."  He burst out: "You  made not a  few mistakes  of  your  own  when you formed your Kolkhozy."

Now  it  was  the  turn  of  the  Soviet  leaders  to  be startled.   These  men  had  never  known  a  Communist  from another  country  to  dare  to  criticize  the  Soviet  Union. It  is  possible  that this  remark did Nagy more harm than all the intrigues of Rakosi.[194]

Yet,  he  was  not  dismissed.  "He  would  have  to  recognize  his past errors and be the first to correct them."[195]  But Nagy did no such thing.   Defying the Kremlin leaders, "he ran the country's affairs as though nothing had happened."[196]  But his health could not take it.  At the end  of January, he suffered a heart attack which forced him to  reduce  his  activities,  and  emboldened  his  opponents  within  the Party.   In  the  meantime,  the  January 25th,  1955,  plenary session of the     Soviet    Central     Committee    supported     the    Khruschev "Leninist-Stalinist  line."[197]   As  a  consequence,  on  February  8th,   Malenkov 's  resignation  was  read  by  a  clerk  to  the  Supreme  Soviet. Khruschev  in  his  attack  even  referred  to  the  Malenkov  Line  as  a "Bukharin-Rykov   type   deviation."    Malenkov,   unlike   Nagy,   meekly admitted  his  guilt  and  "recognized  the  correctness  of  the  heavy industry line."[198]

Thus,  the expert Kremlinologists shouldn't have been surprised that  the  March  Central  Committee  meeting  of  the  Hungarian  Party followed suit and denounced  the Nagy position, and in April they had him  removed  from all  governmental  and  party  posts. Nagy,  however, was  not  a  Kremlinologist nor  had  a  Byzantine mind. He  had  never compromised and  practiced  self criticism.   On  the contrary,  he had expressed surprise at his removal,  blamed  it on Rakosi,  and unlike Malenkov,  prepared  to defend his case before the Moscow Comrades.  In fact, his  work,  On  Communism,  was  written  in  self  defense for the Moscow Comrades,  and  was published with the subtitle: "In Defense of the New Course."[199]


On  May  14,  1955,  a  historic  event  took  place:  Hungary  was among  the  signatories  of  the  Warsaw  Pact.   William  Solyom-Fekete points out in a study for the Library of Congress Law Library, that:

“It  is  significant  that  the  Pact  was  signed  on May 14,   1955,  one  day  before  the  Austrian  State  Treaty entered  into force.   This Pact's military provisions made it  possible  for  Hungary  to agree with the government of the  Soviet  Union  to  keep  Soviet  forces  in  the  country, but  there  is  no  published  proof  of  such  an  agreement. Whether  such  an  agreement  between  the  two  governments was,  indeed,  made  before  October  23,  1956,  cannot  be corroborated  from  official  Hungarian  sources.   Such  an agreement was never ratified and promulgated as it can be ascertained  from  official  publications  available  to  the public.”[200]

This  is significant,  because without such an agreement,  under the terms of the Peace Treaty that Hungary signed, the Russian troops stationed  in Hungary  had  to  be pulled out once the Austrian  treaty went  into  effect.    But  even  with  the  pact  the  October  '56 invitation, allegedly  issued  by  Gerő  and  signed  by  Hegedus,  may  have  been illegal and certainly was treacherous.

In October  1955  the entire Presidium of the Hungarian Writers Association resigned,  the writers demanded an end  to censorship, and wanted  greater  freedom  of  expression.[201]   In  December  1955  Nagy  was expelled  even  from  the  Party, and  the  Party condemns and criticized the writers.

In 1956 things started to happen at a rapid rate.  In February, Khruschev delivered his "secret" speech about Stalin's crimes.  At the same  time,  in  Hungary  Bela  Kun,  Foreign  Commissar  during  the  1919 Commune and  purged  in  the  Soviet Union  in  1939,  was  rehabilitated. Not surprisingly,  as  the Kremlin's wheels  turn,--so do  the Hungarian wheels.   In March 1956 Rakosi was forced to declare Rajk innocent.  The first public call  for Rakosi's  resignation was made by  the Writers' Association.   While  many  of  the  Communist  political  prisoners  were released,  and  the  Petofi  Circle,  a  university student club,  debated the political issues of the day, Rakosi hung on.  In June there was  a demand  to bring Rajk's murderers  to justice. Another demand was  to change  the  Party  leadership  and  bring  back Nagy. News  of  Polish demonstrations in Poznan provoked strikes and disturbances in Hungary.

In July  1956, Rakosi finally resigned and was replaced by Gerő as Party Secretary.  At the September Writers Association Congress the writers threw out the party slate and elected  non-Communist writers into  the  leadership.   A new  wave  of  critical and  rebellious articles appeared  in  papers  and  journals.   On  October  6,  at  the  ceremonial reburial of Rajk there were 200.000 people on the streets of Budapest, demonstrating against Rakosi and the regime.  On October 14, Nagy was readmitted  into  the Party,  without any  leadership position.   October 15:  Gerő  and  Kadar  led  a  party and  government delegation  to  meet Tito.   October 21:  reports arrived in Hungary  that in Poland Gomulka had became the new Secretary of the Party, promising reforms.  On October 22, mass student meetings were held in Budapest to outline demands and plan  a   demonstration   in   support  of  Polish  reforms.    Nagy  was vacationing in the Lake Balaton region.

Lomax's  summary  chronology  is  followed  by more  interpretative accounts.   According  to the publisher of the Hungarian translation of his book,  Lomax  is "an Englishman with leftist,  Marxist leanings."[202] Thus it is not surprising that he gives credit for the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution  to  the working  class,  not  the  writers  and  the intellectuals,  or  even "deviant" or "revisionist"  Communists who, at best  might  have  fueled  the  "constant  discontent"[203]  leading up to  the Revolution.    According  to  Lomax,   the  writers  and  students  were followers rather than the leaders of the movement.

But  regardless  of  who  led  and  who  followed,  Lomax  makes  a strong  case  that  the mass-opposition  that gathered steam all summer long, became  unstoppable after  the Rajk funeral.   The official Party organ,  the SZABAD NEP, reported on the preparations for the reburial under  the  headline:  "This  Must  Never  Happen  Again."[204]   The  masses roared  as  the  speakers  at  the  burial  proclaimed  "We  shall not forget." [205]

In the following days  the leadership of the movement of  opposition,   which   had   so far   passed   from   the journalists  to  the  writers  and  on  to  the organizers  of the  Petofi Circle,  was  to fall  firmly into the hands  of the  students.   Already at  the end of  September,  a panel of  Central  Committee  members  had  come  to  the  university to  find  themselves  showered  with  questions  about  the Sovietization of  Hungarian  culture,  the  Soviet troops  in Hungary,   the  norm- system  in  the  factories,  and  the privileges of the party elite.[206]

While  the  students were  pushing  full steam ahead,  the  Petofi Circle  of  young  Communist  intellectuals,  though  supporting  "orderly reforms," was advocating caution,  fearful  that the events might lead to a  catastrophe.[207]   Nobody  was  talking  armed  rebellion.   The  students called  a  national  student  conference  for  October  27  to  launch  a national  debate  around  their  demands.[208]   Nagy  was  on vacation near Lake Balaton and his friends and collaborators were "disconsolate and disunited."[209]


On  the face of  it, it looks from all available evidence that the  armed  rebellion  was  totally  unplanned;  it  grew  gradually  as events escalated from discussion to demands. Reacting to the Gerő speech that had followed a vacillating government policy concerning the student demonstrations, the demands had escalated to disobedience  to the Secret Police,  to sporadic armed conflict and finally, to full scale rebellion.

Against   this   theory,   namely,   that   the   Revolution  was  a spontaneous,  unplanned  event,  three  possible  alternatives  should  be mentioned:

Did  the  opposition  leaders  plan  the  revolution?   All evidence  indicates  that  they  did  not.   In fact,  they had nothing  to gain  and  everything  to  lose.   An  armed  insurrection  would  have given  an opportunity to the Soviet military to intervene, and, perhaps even to annex the country as another constituent Republic of the Soviet Union, as  they  had  annexed  the  Baltic  countries  during  the  1940's.   The opposition did not need an armed rebellion,  the  tide was going their way. [210]

What  about a foreign,  i.e. Western instigated rebellion?[211] First, there is no evidence that the West had instigated it.   On the contrary,   the  timid,   in  fact, the  negative reaction once  the rebellion did start,  indicates that the West feared nothing more than an armed  revolution that would put them on the  spot as  far as  the Yalta issue was concerned, which they were not ready to reopen.  Also, the  problem  of  Suez  kept  the  West  preoccupied  already and  any diversion at that time was undesirable for them. 

One factor that seems to favor a theory of Western complicity is the question of arms.   In Hungary there had always been strict "gun control."  Where did  the rebels get their arms,  if  not from the West?

Although  there  were suggestions  that "imperialist espionage  services" had secret arms depots in Hungary[212]  these were pure speculative claims on  the order  of  "there  must have been...,"  to answer a  question  to which there is no easy answer. But there is an answer that seems unpleasant to  the Hungarian Communists  yet they had  to admit it.   Meray quotes sources within the Kadar  regime  that admit  that many members  of  the police and of  the "Home  Defense  Forces",  officers  and  cadets  of  the  Petofi  Military Academy, members of  the Association of Freedom Fighters of  the Csepel Ironworks,  and  even  "a  truck  loaded  with  soldiers" distributed weapons  to  the crowd[213] in sufficient  quantity to start the rebellion.


This answer  leaves  open  the  door  to  the  final  theory:  was a rebellion  in  Gerő's or the Soviet's  interest?   Did  Gerő  provoke  the  rebellion  to create an opportunity to settle his account once and for all with the Nagy  group?   Reading  Lomax's  account  of  the movement before October 1956, one gets  the distinct impression that the assailed Gerő regime must fight back--yet seemingly it went about its business as usual.[214] Was Gerő setting a trap for his opponents?  There did not seem to be any  evidence.    Seemingly,  he  was  as  unprepared  as  anybody  else.

Worse, Gerő seemed to be completely out of touch with the mood of the people, as his speech that "he had apparently written on the train en route  (from  Belgrad)  to  Budapest  when  the  news  of  the  afternoon demonstrations reached him would indicate."[215]

This  speech  is  generally  regarded  as  the  fuse  that set  off  the  explosion.   Gerő's  words,  demonstrating  the speaker's   harsh   inhumanity,   his   servility   toward--and respect  for--the  Soviet Union,  his  lack of comprehension, and  his  aggressiveness  would  have  exasperated  the  most patient  listeners.   And  the  demonstrators  before  Radio Budapest  were  not  very  patient.   His  obvious  hatred  of the  people  and  his  obstinate  rejection  of  the  overtures from the young demonstrators revolted them.  Said Gerő:

"We  condemn  those  who  seek  to  instill  in our  youth the  poison  of  chauvinism  and  to  take  advantage  of  the democratic  liberties  that  our  state  guarantees  to  the workers  to  organize  a  nationalist  demonstration."   This was  the  sole  lesson  that  the  Party  First  Secretary  had drawn  from  the  events,  and  he  emphasized  it  with  such reproachful   formulas  as:   "attempts   to  make   trouble," "hostile elements," "provocation," "nationalist subversion,"  etc. This was  how Gerő saw a  demonstration that was destined to change the entire country.[216]

Yet,  it  is  difficult  to believe  that Gerő had been so naive. Imre Nagy might have  committed such an elementary political mistake. But not Gerő.

In   fact,   Vali   unearths   some   evidence   in   the   Columbia University   Research   Project   on   Hungary   (CURPH),   consisting   of interviews  with  1956  refugees  that  support his (Vali's) thesis about "Gerő's Master Plan."[217]  According  to Vali's  theory,  Gerő had  to convince  the Kremlin that his opposition (the Nagy group) consists of "counter revolutionaries," and he needed Soviet help  in crushing  them.   Yet,  even thus, Gerő had failed to realize  the  true  extent  of  the  dissatisfaction, and  the  waves of the rebellion that he had unleashed had swept him under too.

One possible explanation for Gerő's failure is  that he did not include  the  Polish  events  in  his  plan.   He  expected  to  stage  his provocation  sometime  after  his  Belgrade  trip,[218]  but  not  immediately. His  hand however,  was forced by  the events of  the  23rd of October.[219] After due consultation, according  to Vali,  Gerő must have decided  to let events  take  their  course,  and with a  little  provocation in his speech,  he might have his "intended showdown."[220]  Thus,  the inadequate preparations would explain the failure of Gerő's plan.   To the extent that it ultimately succeeded in destroying Nagy also, Gerő wasn't around to benefit.

Vali had little direct evidence,  though,  that Gerő did in fact have  such  a  plan,[since the completion of this Dissertation, however, several pieces of information have surfaced documenting the existence of the plan, as will be shown in the next chapter]  and  Vali's  theory  sounds  much  like  brilliant speculation.   Yet,  there is evidence that Gerő was  taking no chances, and  probably  he  did  plan  to  provoke  an  attack  on  the  State.   The missing  piece  of  the  puzzle  is  the answer  to another question:  who called  in the Soviet troops and when?   Vali quotes Meray that it was during the night of the 23rd that the Hungarian Politburo decided to ask for Soviet help--once the fighting already started.  The person of the  actual  caller  is  unidentified.   "The  choice  is  among  Gerő,  the First Secretary, Hegedus,  the Prime Minister, and Marosan, a Politburo member who boasted  later  that he  called  for  Soviet military  help. "[221] There  was  even an effort  to blame Nagy  for  the Soviet intervention, and  Nagy  found  it  necessary  at  one  point  to  publicly  deny  it.[222] Actually, there existed a document with Nagy's name  typed on it, but without  his  signature.[223]   Kadar  in  a  November  1  interview  with  an Italian journalist stated:  "I can  tell  you  that Gerő perhaps knew of it and gave his agreement to it, but it is Andras Hegedus who called in the Russians."[224]

But if it is true that Gerö and the Soviets were planning the provocation, it is irrelevant who called in the Soviet troops. And it seems certain Gerö did plan something. After his return from Lake Balaton, in the morning of October 23 Nagy met a small group of supporters in Budapest, who urged him to participate in the demonstrations. According to Alice Gimes, the widow of the executed Miklós Gimes, her husband told her that Nagy refused, “and reminded us of Imre Mezö’s warning, that Gerö is preparing a major confrontation. He will allow things to escalate to a Poznan like rebellion, and then he can destroy the entire opposition within the Party.”[225]

The U.N. Report   on   Hungary   contains   some   interesting observations and conclusions  that help  to complete the puzzle. After describing  the  Soviet movements during  the night of  October  23,  the report notes: "Thus the movement of Soviet forces gives the impression of a military movement planned in advance."[226]  The report further notes that:

While  the  outbreak  of  fighting  has  forced  attention on  the  actual  entry  of  Soviet  forces  into  Budapest,  the Committee  has good  reason  to  believe  that steps  had been quietly taken during the  two preceding days with a view to the use of  Soviet forces for the repression of discontent in  Hungary.   It  has  been credibly reported  that on  21-22 October,   in  the  neighboring  areas  in  Romania,  Soviet officers  on  leave  and  reserve  officers  speaking  Hungarian or German were recalled.

On  20-21 October,  floating bridges were assembled at Zahony  on  the  frontier  between  the  USSR and  Hungary;  it was  over  these  pontoon  bridges  that  Soviet  troops  from the  USSR crossed  on  the  morning  of  24  October.   It  has also been credibly  reported  to  the Committee  that Soviet forces  were  seen  on  the  march  between  Szombathely  and Szekesfehervar  as  early  as  22  October,  moving  from  the west   towards   Budapest.    During   the   night   of   23-24 October.   Soviet forces began  to  pass  through  Szeged  and continued  to  move  through  the  town  along  the  road  to Budapest for some thirty-six hours.

There  is  evidence  also  that,  even  in  the  first intervention  by  the  armed  forces  of  the  USSR  use  was made not only of  Soviet troops stationed  in Hungary,  but of  Soviet  troops  from  the  USSR itself and  from Romania. It  would  appear  that,  of  the  Soviet  forces  used  in  the first intervention,  only  two divisions had been stationed in   Hungary   before   the   uprising,   namely,   the   Second Mechanized   Division,   and   the   Seventeenth   Mechanized Division.    Seemingly,   however,   Soviet  authorities  had foreseen  the  probability  that  the  troops  stationed  on Hungarian  territory  would  be  insufficient  to  deal  with the situation, and had taken steps  to call in forces from outside  Hungary.   The  Soviet  troops  from  the  USSR  who crossed  the  pontoon  bridges  at  Zahony  moved  onwards  to Miskolc,  while   those  who  crossed   the  border  in  the vicinity of  Beregsurany  proceeded  towards  Nyiregyhaza and Debrecen.   The  Hungarian  political  police  at  Nyirbator reported  at  1  AM  on  24  October  to  the  Ministry  of Defence   that  Soviet   troops  had  entered  Hungary  from Romania.[227]

Thus  the  Soviet  troop  movements  give  credence  to  the  theory that  there  was  a  "master  plan"--whether  it  was  Gerő's,  requesting Soviet help,  or  the Soviet's,  to get rid  of Nagy once and for all, ordering  Gerő  to  provoke  a conflict as a  pretext  for  Soviet  intervention  is  not known.   It seems  that even the Hungarian Politburo was in the dark as to the true situation.   Gerő may have gone through the motions of inviting the Soviets,  who were on  their way already long before  the obvious need arose,  either  to  conceal  the  plan,  or  just  to  give  the  signal  to start  firing,  or both. The  subsequent formal  invitation, if any, was  issued and signed by Hegedus only as a smoke screen.  It is quite likely that Hegedus,  the  always  obedient  puppet,  did  not  know  of  Gerő's  plan either.[228] The U.N. Report is confirmed by Oltvanyi who wrote that "the bulk of  two Soviet units appeared during the dark of the evening" of the 23rd in Budapest.[229] If this writer may add his own personal experience, he heard evidence  that at noon on  the  23rd  the  Soviet troops stationed at Taszar in Trans-Danubia started their entrainment en route to Budapest.

Thus all available  evidence  suggests  that Hungary was  treated as a colony, or an occupied territory by the Soviet Union.   In spite of all the rhetoric about Hungary being a sovereign nation, the Soviet was not only ready  to  use troops  but  it did  interfere  in  her internal  affairs  at  the  telephone  request of the Hungarian Communist Party. This makes the demands of the Hungarian students about the withdrawal of all Soviet troops and a return of full Hungarian sovereignty, more valid than those students probably realized at the time.

In  conclusion,  it  was  not  Socialism  that  was  in  danger  in Hungary  as  the  Soviets  claimed.   It  was  rule  by a  certain  clique, abusing  the people,  using violent means  that might have worked in the Soviet Union,  but were impractical, counter productive, and foreign in Hungary,  that was  in danger.   The  Hungarian students,  intellectuals, and  even  the  working class,  wanted  to be  left alone,  to be  free  to develop  Socialism according  to  the specific Hungarian conditions.   It was  this independence  that the Byzantine Orthodox Russian Mind could not tolerate.


The   demands   presented   at   the   outbreak   and   during   the Revolution  had  shown  a  strong pattern.   Free  Europe  Press  tabulated all  the demands  broadcast between October 23 and November 9  through the several radio stations and came up with these figures:

Between  October  25  and  November  9  a total  of  225 revolutionary major   demands   were   broadcast   by   the stations and monitored abroad.   By category these demands were:

                                                                   NO. OF                           PER CENT

                DEMAND                              INSTANCES                        OF TOTAL

                National Independence       78                                            35            p.c.

                Political Reform                    69                                            31            p.c.

                EconomicReform                  63                                            28            p.c.

                End of Censorship               8                                              3              p.c.

                Religious Freedom               7                                              3              p.c.

                    Total                                   225

(All percentages rounded)[230]

While  the overwhelming majority of  the demands  had  to do with the  military,  political,  or economic oppression by the Soviet Union, there was not a  single demand asking  for a  return  to  the old order, whether  the Hapsburg or  the Horthy style.   In fact,  they were quite explicit in disclaiming such goals.   The centrist Radio Gyor near the Austrian border, issued this statement on October 28:

This  is  not  a  counter-revolution,  but  the  national movement   of   the   Hungarian   people.    The   Workers  And Peasants   In   Gyor-Sopron   Counties   Do   Not   Want   the restoration  of  the  power  of  manufactures  and  landlords; the  national  revolution  is  not  aimed  at  the  restoration of the old regime.[231]

It is  unnecessary at this point to rehash the history of those 13 days  "that shook  the Kremlin," as Meray suggests  in  the  title of his  book,[232]  but  it  should  be  established  that  the  crucial  issue throughout  the  period  was  the  presence  and  the  involvement  of  the Soviet Union.

It was  well  publicized,  for  example,  that Mikoyan and  Suslov were  in Budapest during  the Revolution  to "assess the damage" and  to negotiate with Nagy.[233]  Also,  it was generally assumed  that during the first several days of his premiership,  Nagy was under strict guard by the  secret  police,  who  were,  in  turn,  under  the  direction  of  the Stalinist  old  guard  of  the  Party,  and  under  the  watchful  eyes  of Soviet tanks outside the building.[234]

Hegedus  paints  another,  also  realistic  picture  of  Nagy.   As Nagy  first  appears  in  Gerő's  office  at  Party  Headquarters  on  the evening  of  October  23,  "he  slumps  into a  deep armchair.   Let's not forget:  he  was  a  sick  and  relatively  old  man  facing  a  completely unexpected turn of events," and he was separated from his own trusted advisors  until  the  25th,  when "Donath,  Losonczi  and  Vasarhelyi  were allowed  into  the  Party  Headquarters."[235]   But  even  if  the  story  of Hegedus  is  correct,  it  was  the  Soviet  tanks  that helped  to  isolate Nagy from his advisors and the people.


At  first  it  seemed  that  real  progress  had  been made  in  the Soviet-Hungarian relationship after October 25th:  Nagy became free  to make his decisions and appoint his own men,  including Janos Kadar, who later  turned  "traitor."   The Soviet not only pulled  out of  Budapest, but issued a declaration in Moscow on October 30, on "Developing and Strengthening  the  Bonds  of  Friendship  and  Cooperation  with  other Socialist   Countries."[236]    The   declaration   not   only   admits   the possibility of Soviet mistakes, but indicates a willingness to respect the  sovereignty  of  other  socialist countries,  and  to negotiate  the stationing or withdrawal of Soviet troops under the Warsaw Pact.   The catch  in  the declaration  is  the ambiguous  last paragraph  that  talks about  "safe-guarding  peace  and   the  great  socialist  enterprise," keeping the back door open for further Soviet interference.[237]

One  of  the  most  dramatic  turns  of  the  Revolution  came  on November 1st.   It seemed that the Soviet was hesitating.   The troops, some 75,000 that were hastily moved to the Hungarian border earlier, were kept  waiting.    The  Soviet  Presidium  was  meeting.    According  to eyewitness  testimony,  “everyone in the general staff was against 'the Khrushchev  adventure' ,  it  was  better  to  lose  Hungary  than  to  lose everything ."[238]

At this point one must put the Hungarian-Soviet relationship in world context:  in October  1944 Churchill and  Stalin had agreed  that Hungary would be predominantly in  the Soviet sphere.[239]   It seems  that this  deal,  along  with  the  Yalta  agreements,  was  the  deciding  factor during  1956 events.   After  the Soviet forces withdrew from Budapest, and  the  Kremlin  was  ready  to  negotiate  total  withdrawal,  Eisenhower had sent a telegram to Tito, asking him to relay the message to Moscow that the U.S.  would not look with favor upon a government in Hungary that was unfriendly to the Soviet Union.

This  was  all  that  the  Soviet leadership needed  to  reverse  their  policies, bring in fresh troops,  summon Kadar to a private meeting to set up an illegal government, and attack,  as  soon as possible,  Hungary and  the still passive and peaceful Nagy government.

Imre  Nagy's direct appeal  to  the U.N.,[240] his desperate efforts to  withdraw  from  the  Warsaw  Pact,  proclaiming  Hungary's  neutrality, were only fuel for the fire, after the U.S. had made clear though Tito to  the  Soviets,  without also  informing  Nagy, their intentions  of doing nothing.   In fact,  it would have  been much more honest for Tito  to tell  Nagy,  at  least  privately  so  he could make his  own accommodations with the Soviets, or at least make his own escape,  that the West would not give any assistance that would violate the Moscow deal negotiated by Churchill.

In any case the Soviet reversed itself.  As new troops entered the country,  and  the  troops already  in Hungary moved  to occupy all airports and railroad centers,  Nagy called Ambassador Andropov.  Just before noon Andropov returned Nagy's call with Moscow's answer:  The Soviets  are  still  interested  in  negotiating  a  settlement,  "with special emphasis on the Warsaw Pact,  and also the withdrawal of  the Soviet forces.   When asked by Nagy about new troops entering Hungary, Andropov  had  no  answer."[241]   After  the  Andropov  call,  Nagy  quickly summoned  the  Executive  Committee  of  the  Party  which  included  Kadar and  Munnich,   the  two  who  later  negotiated  with  the  Soviet  the formation of  the new government and  the November 4th Soviet attack. "The Committee,  the leading body of the (Hungarian) Communist Party, agreed  that Soviet Russia had violated  the Warsaw Pact and that the only course was to renounce the pact and declare neutrality."[242] Nagy had summoned Andropov that afternoon  to a cabinet meeting  to  inform him of  the decision to withdraw from the Pact and to become neutral. It  was  at  this  meeting  that  the  famous  pledge,  reported  by  the Hungarian Radio Station was made by Kadar.

Looking  Andropov  straight  in  the  eyes,  Kadar cried, "what happens  to  me  is  of  little  importance,  but  I  am ready  as  a  Hungarian  to  fight  if  necessary.   If  your tanks  enter  Budapest,  I  will  go  into  the  streets  and fight against you with my bare hands."[243]

Little  did  anyone  suspect  that  Kadar  would  follow  the  Soviet tanks  back  to Budapest in three days.


In retrospect, many students of 1956 suggest that this meeting  was  the  turning  point  that decided  the fate of Hungary.   In retrospect, we can also read a warning in Tito's congratulatory cable on  October  30,  that  also  included  the  warning,  "this  far  but  not further,"  or  in  Gomulka's  telegram  which  told  Nagy  in  effect, "whatever happens, do not abandon the path to Socialism or all will be lost."[244]  But the situation was more ambiguous than the critics of Nagy realize.   First,  there was no danger of abandoning Socialism,  if that was Gomulka's true concern.

As  for realigning  the  relationship  to  the  Soviet Union,  as a truly  sovereign  nation  would,  the  October  30  Moscow  Declaration,[245] still  operative on November  1,  according  to Andropov  recognized  the right of any socialist country to sovereignty.   Nagy in his decision only  took the Kremlin by its word,  hoping that the U.N. and  the U.S. [the duplicity of the U. S. will be discussed later] would  back  Hungary.   He  certainly  had  the  backing  of  the  Hungarian people, his cabinet, and at first even that of the Hungarian Communist Party.

But, during the night, Nagy lost the backing of Janos Kadar who, in less than 12 hours after his theatrical stand, was facing Andropov again,  this  time  at  the  Soviet embassy,  in  the company of Munnich, another of Nagy's Minister of State, but an Old Stalinist.[246]  This move by  Kadar  completed  the  turning  point  in  the  Revolution.    After November  1,  it was only a  matter of  time.   Of all  that happened from November 1  to November 4, one point stands out the most.   Tito's role seems  to  be  more  sinister  than  just  being  a  messenger  boy  for Eisenhower, who  told the Soviets that the U.S. would be passive in the affair.   Several  Hungarians  who  had  taken  refuge  at  the  Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest were called by Embassy officials well before the November  4  Soviet  attack,  letting  them  know  that  the  Embassy  was prepared to grant them asylum.   Some were even left urgent messages to call the Embassy back, and were asked in urgent tones to go there.[247]

This  might  explain  why  Nagy  went  there,  instead  of  to the  U.S. Embassy, where he had arranged for Mindszenty's asylum, according to a belief the Cardinal had had.[248]

If Tito invited Nagy and his friends and arranged their taking refuge at his embassy instead of the American, he bore direct responsibility for Nagy's arrest and  subsequent  execution.   In  fact,  based  on  what  Tito  knew  in advance,  he  could  have  saved  perhaps  even  the  entire  Revolution  by specifically  warning  Nagy  of  the  consequences,  not  just  uttering general  warnings  like  "thus  far  and no  further."   This  is one area that historians will have to scrutinize much more.

It  would  be  most  appropriate  to  close  this  part  with  Imre Nagy's  message  that  he  had  dictated  after  the  Soviet  tanks  had attacked Budapest, on November 4, 1956:

“This fight is the fight for freedom by the Hungarian people   against   the   Russian   intervention, and   it   is possible that I shall only be able to stay at my post for one or two hours.   The whole world will see how the Russian  armed forces,   contrary   to  all   treaties  and conventions, are crushing  the resistance of  the Hungarian people.   They  will  also  see  how  they  are kidnapping  the Prime  Minister  of  a  country  which  is  a  Member  of  the United   Nations,   taking   him   from   the   capital,   and therefore  it  cannot  be  doubted  at  all  that  this  is  the most brutal  form of  intervention.   I should like in these last  moments  to  ask  the  leaders  of  the  Revolution,  if they  can,  to  leave  the  country.   I ask  that all  that I have  said  in  my  broadcast,  and  what  we  have  agreed  on with   the   revolutionary   leaders   during   meetings   in Parliament,   should  be  put  in  a  memorandum,  and  the leaders  should  turn  to all  the peoples  of  the world  for help  and  explain  that  today  it  is  Hungary and  tomorrow, or  the day after  tomorrow,  it will be  the  turn of other countries because  the  imperialism of Moscow does not know borders, and is only trying to play for time.”[249]

(I closed the main part of my dissertation with this message from Imre Nagy)
This following part was written in 2003, updated in 2007

Part II.




Dr. Lorand Tamaska was a government pathologist. His first government appointment came in 1944, just after Governor Horthy issued his unsuccessful proclamation ending Hungary's involvement in World War II. On October 17th, 1944 he became the official pathologist of the Budapest County Police forces. He stayed on after the Communist takeover and moved on to be one of the trusted pathologists, witnessing many of the atrocities of the Rakosi regime. From 1958 he became Professor of Pathology and department head at the Medical University of Pecs until he left Hungary in 1961and settled in Germany. He describes his relevant experience just before his death in an article.[250]

Performing an autopsy on a Russian officer who committed suicide brought him into contact with a Soviet pathologist, Lieutenant Colonel Baljakin. It turned out later that Baljakin was not Russian but Tartar who hated the Russians.  The relationship became much more than a professional relationship: they became friends. Baljakin had been stationed in Austria with the headquarters of the Soviet occupational forces. So when the Soviets had to pull out from Austria and Baljakin traveled through Budapest, he called Tamaska to meet him at the railroad station. Baljakin, carefully whispered into Tamaska's ears: "Colleague! You should know that as we (the Soviets) leave Austria, there will be some changes in Hungary.  Don't believe in those temporary phenomena because later there will be serious consequences!"[251]

At first this did not make much sense. But Tamaska knew that under the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties between Hungary and the Soviet Union, the Soviet troops were to pull out from Hungary within a year of their withdrawal from Austria. But he also learned that they had sneaked a paragraph into the same treaty providing that if, in their estimation, there was a danger of restoring the fascist regime, they might return and intervene without any invitation or permission by the Hungarian government.[252] Another piece was added to the puzzle when, in 1956, while in Moscow, visiting with physician-general Avdejev at the Soviet Ministry of Defense, Avdejev revealed that the Katyn murder of Polish officers in 1940 was committed by the Russians and not the Germans.[253]

A third piece was added during a conversation between Tamaska and Janos Kadar, then a prominent member of the Politburo. At a meeting on July 18, 1956, Tamaska asked Kadar to take care of some personal problem he had had with one of his superiors, and Kadar refused to act at that time and suggested that Tamaska wait until the Fall. "I can reveal to you, said Kadar, that in October there will be many changes through a Revolution."[254] This indicates, of course, that if there indeed was a Gerö Plan, Kadar knew about it well in advance.

So, Tamaska concluded that the Soviets would use a trick. "They will organize a 'counter-revolution' in Hungary so that they can continue to stay there," to protect the regime.[255]  The strategy to be used was simple. First open the valves and gradually increase the freedoms, use a few agent provocateurs and suddenly declare that the fascist forces are taking advantage of the liberalization. With this, the stage was set for the Soviet intervention.[256] It is interesting that several other sources, as we shall see, used the "fascist involvement" as the explanation of the 1956 events.

Based on this and other information discussed in the article, it seemed to Dr. Tamaska that "the Russians planned, provoked, sparked, and defeated the October 23, 1956 'counter-revolution,' and stayed" in Hungary as planned.[257] 

According to Tamaska the Petofi Circle, a liberal political forum of university students, was also created by the Party to foment dissent and demand more liberalization at an accelerated rate. This kind of behavior had been seriously punished earlier. Also, trusted party members and supporters, who knew the plan, "painted anti-Semitic remarks on the walls, shouted reactionary, fascist slogans, and were pushing the events toward a 'counter-revolution' that would justify (the desired and planned; S.B.) Soviet intervention."[258]

Tamaska also observed that there was a Soviet military build-up in the months prior to October 1956, along with a deliberate effort to make weapons accessible to the population. After all, one "cannot have a putsch without some shooting, and to have shooting, one needs weapons.” But the populace had, at best, a few outdated hunting rifles or shotguns.  Therefore "the organizers of the 'counter-revolution' had to provide, in a credible manner, weapons to the 'counter-revolutionary' provocateurs. Therefore Sandor Kopacsi (Commander of Police in Budapest) ordered his men to turn over their weapons to the 'rebels'  without any resistance. I even saw on the night of the 23 when police in blue uniforms handed out rifles to the counter-revolutionaries."[259]

Thus, he concludes "the facts, objective evidence shows that the October 23, 1956 "counter-revolution was planned by the Russians in 1955, and was provoked and defeated--and they stayed."[260] Therefore, it was not Hegedus or Marosan who invited the Russian troops but General Tyihonov, a Soviet military "adviser"  in the Hungarian Ministry of Defense,  "without any previous discussion, request, or permission" of the Hungarian government or the Hungarian Party, on the orders of Moscow, sent them in. General Tyihonov took steps as early as between 5 and 6 PM on October 23, before the Gerő speech, to have the Soviet troops involved. [261]

Therefore, according to Tamaska, "in the fall of 1956 there was no Revolution, and there was no Counter-revolution, but a state putsch."[262] The process, "similar to the Greek tragedies, had three phases: development, peak of activity, and the fall."[263]

It should also be noted that this interpretation is in harmony with the old Leninist principle that when in trouble, take one step backward, re-group, and take two steps forward.


Essentially the same scenario is given by another source, E. I. Malasenko of the General Staff with the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary, following the ratification of the treaty with Austria. Excerpts from his book dealing with the events leading up to October 23, 1956, were published in the journal of the Hungarian Military Science Institute.[264] But while Tamaska deals with the political aspect, Malasenko, a military man, covers the events from the military perspective. At the same time both Tamaska and Malasenko based their accounts strictly on their personal experiences.

Malasenko first explains the position of the Soviet Army in Hungary. Once the Soviet Army pulled out from Austria, under the newly ratified Warsaw Pact, some Soviet troops still remained in Hungary. But the Soviet Ministry of Defense rejected the suggestion to call it a "Special Army,"[265] with independent Army Headquarters, since there was an Army stationed in Rumania already. Thus they named it Army Corps (hadtest) that included two motorized, and two air divisions. The commander of the Corps was General P.N. Lascenko.   

For our purposes the crucial information is that in July of 1956,  before(!) the Party's July Central Committee meeting, Juri Andropov, the Soviet Ambassador to Hungary and the moving force for the behind the scenes preparations for the “counter-revolution,” gave a speech to the leaders of the Soviet Army Corps. In the speech Andropov "outlined the complicated situation in both the Party and the country--the existence of the opposition and the hostile atmosphere. During his report he stated: it can happen that the Hungarian leadership will ask our help.” In retrospect, after several years, now it seems that the initiatives to rescue the Hungarian Communist regime came from Andropov himself."[266]

In July, probably after the Central Committee meeting of the Hungarian Party, they (the Soviet military leadership) received direct order from Moscow to prepare a plan for direct involvement in maintaining order, if it were to become necessary.  Tyihonov was given the task of coordinating with the Hungarian military, and Malasenko received three thick volumes with all the necessary information to organize the Soviet side of the plan. He "completed in a few days the necessary paperwork concerning the joint application of the Soviet and Hungarian armies for the restoration of social order on the territory of Hungary… The plan was approved by Gen. Lascsenko, under the code name of 'Kompasz'. All the commanders of the lower units received their assignments and instructions…."[267]

In the meantime, they received regular briefings about the developments like the Rajk re-burial. "The government failed to take precautions and did not apply the necessary controls that the situation required…. Counting on the situation becoming more serious, in the middle of October  General Lascsenko interrupted a training course of higher unit  commanders and sent them back “so that at  their units they can take the necessary steps….  So, I can state, that in those days, in general, we were well informed about the developing situation in Budapest and in Hungary. But the events have exceeded our imagination."[268]

Malasenko informs us that when he finally authorized the demonstration on the afternoon of October 23, the "leadership of the MDP (the Communist Party) ordered the members of the party to participate in the demonstrations…. The demonstration soon turned into a hostile anti-government mob … and started to chant slogans based on demands written by the Petofi Club.”

It seems that the planners of the 'counter-revolution' did get what they wanted: to prove the resurgence of fascism, when "the crowd chanted ‘down with the communists!’ and "the Jews should ‘perish’!"[269]  It is not known, of course, if the chant came from the demonstrators or from the provocateurs who were sent by the Party, to create the impression of an anti-regime and Anti-Semite event developing.

With this the stage was set. "Ambassador Andropov called General Lascsenko around 7 PM, asking him if he could order his troops out to liquidate the disorder in Budapest." Lascsenko replied that maintaining order was primarily the task of the Hungarians, and not his. He also pointed out that Soviet intervention at this stage was not desirable, and anyway, any intervention could happen only on the order of the Soviet (and not the Hungarian!) government and the Soviet Ministry of Defense. In any case, within an hour (that is, around 8 PM), the order arrived from the Soviet General Staff to place the Special Corps in Hungary into a state of readiness.[270]

The above information is reinforced from another source. In 1994 the Hungarian Ministry of Justice had published a documentary volume focusing on the killing of innocent Hungarians[271]. The Documentary refers to a Russian source that reported that the Budapest Commander of the Soviet forces received an order in June 1956 to form plans and get ready to quell any rebellion in Budapest. The plan was finalized on October 22, the day before the Revolution was provoked.[272]

The same Documentary reproduced a document outlining emergency provisions taken by the Hungarian military for the defense of strategic objects in Budapest, and ordered that appropriate information be provided to the commanders in the country side, ordering them to make appropriate preparations.. The plan was approved on October 21, 1956, by General Bata, the Minister of Defense.[273]

Finally, an episode was revealed in the video documentary[274] tending to prove again that not only was the conflict provoked, but provisions were made to equip the participants with weapons and ammunition, because, as Dr. Tamaska wrote, one "cannot have a putsch without some shooting, and to have shooting, one needs weapons.”

As we have seen, Kopacsi, the Chief of Police in Budapest, ordered his men to turn over weapons, but to be sure that there would be adequate fireworks, an unexpected thing happened. After the secret police fired on the crowd at the Radio Building, somebody shouted: “Let’s go to the Lamp Factory.” While the general population was unaware, some provocateurs obviously knew that the Lamp Factory was making weapons and ammunition. So a few members of the crowd got on a truck  (that just happened to be available near by) and drove to the Lamp Factory. In spite of the October 21 special precautions, which included under 6/c safeguarding arms, ammunition and explosives warehouses, naming five sites, (that did not include the Lamp Factory), when the truck arrived at the Lamp Factory there was only an old worker guarding the gate, and a young cleaning girl in the yard, who just happened to know where the weapons and the ammunition was stored. Other than these two people, the whole site was abandoned, so the young people loaded their truck with guns and ammunition without any difficulty, and drove out the gate.

The interviewer on the video tape made a valiant effort[275] to find an explanation for the incident, but of the several people who should have known, none was able to explain why somebody suggested to go to the Lamp Factory, where the truck came from, why the site was unguarded, and how  the cleaning girl knew at once that the arms were behind a closed door that was hidden behind some boxes!


In 1999 a controversial booklet was written by Robert Szalay and published by the World Council of  '56 Hungarians,[276]  The author was an Army Captain and history professor at the Hunyadi Officer Continuing Education Academy in 1956. The booklet was distributed free of charge to high schools in Hungary by the World Council of ’56 Hungarians to supplement other history course material on 1956.

According to his own biography[277] Szalay participated in the events from the night of the 23rd, and also on November 4, 1956. He organized a National Guard unit, which was disbanded on November 9, and on November 19, he reported to the Ministry of Defense for further military duty. On December 14 he was suspended as unreliable, and after a three month investigation he was "dismissed from the Army as unreliable" without any further punishment. "Later he was sentenced to four years imprisonment by a military court," but allegedly it was for activities unrelated to 1956.

The booklet is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it shows that the Hungarian Army completely sabotaged the revolt. The second reason is that this the only book I have seen in the literature of '56 that claims that 1956 was the logical result of the Hungarista Mozgalom (Hungarist Movement) that under Ferenc Szalasi's leadership took over the struggle against the Soviets after Governor Horthy's resignation on October 15, 1944.

Szalay develops this thesis as a response to the official ‘56 Institute,which had a near monopoly on access to the documents of  '56, and which interpreted it by distorting the truth. According to the Institute, the roots of 1956 go back to Stalin's death in 1953, while Szalay argues that it is really the Hungarist Movement from 1944 that had spawned the events of 1956. He illustrates his thesis by mentioning a few conceptual trials where the charge involving the Hungarists was invented or distorted, but the accused, after the obvious mistreatment, admitted the charges.[278]

In an open letter[279], responding to Matyas Eorsi's published criticism of his booklet, Szalay  admits that he is a late convert to Hungarist ideology, and attacks Eorsi as a lackey of the Jews, who have a vested interest in denying the contributions of Szalasi and the Hungarist movement.

But late convert or not, his thesis seems to strengthen the Soviet claim that their intervention was justified under the 1947 Paris treaty, to prevent a Fascist takeover in Hungary.

Szalay's claim received unexpected confirmation from Andras Mink, an investigative journalist, whose full page essay, "Magyar ellenállás ötvenhat elött (Hungarian resistance before '56), was published in the conservative NAPI MAGYARORSZÁG (DAILY HUNGARY), the only pro-government daily at the time.[280]

Mink starts his article by pointing out that the reviews of the Szalay booklet tend to overlook one of Szalay's central themes, that is, that there was opposition to Communism prior to '56. So to correct this situation Mink presents several cases, including trials and confession, to prove that there was considerable opposition. Mink concludes his article by pointing out that Szalay's book was a monument to the memory of those anti-Communist fighters, many of whom had been executed or beaten to death.

There was great rejoicing in the Szalay camp upon reading such a distinguished journalist confirming Szalay's point in a full page article in the government's own daily. It was even published on Bankuty's Internet homepage (http"// as reported by the Independent Hungarian News Service.

But alas, they joy did not last long! A few days after the first article, Mink published another one, announcing that the first article was a hoax:

“I owe an apology! My article in the Daily Hungary is a hoax. The line of reasoning was based on sources and quotes from the most infamous propaganda pieces of the (post '56) Kadar regime that dirtied and falsified the '56 Revolution.”

Then he explains point by point that each quoted statement or allegation was coerced or falsified, made by communist agents, etc. Mink admitted that his hoax was a serious breech of journalistic ethics, but justified it by writing:

"I wanted to prove that what Szalay and his ideological comrades are stating about 1956 is the same as what Kadar's historians in his Department of Interior [which runs the political police] have lied about the Revolution for decades."

This does not mean that there were no true Hungarian patriots who have rebelled against the Soviet occupation and their puppet government. But this resistance (a) had little if any connection to the Hungarist movement as such, and (b) was not related in any significant way to the events of October 23, 1956, if for no other reason that all those patriots were either in prison, or dead, or escaped to the West by 1956. The events of 1956 were a Fascist take-over effort only according to the Soviet propaganda, necessitated by their desire to (a) stay in Hungary after they had pulled out of Austria, and (b) to intervene in Hungary's internal matters to prop up a puppet government that was loosing the battle for the support of the people.

As for Szalay, one must wonder, who are his "ideological comrades?"  Are they the Communists, who have distorted the true history of 1956, or the Hungarists whom Szalay claims to have joined only recently? Mink seems to suggest the first alternative, but reading the rest of Szalay's booklet, it seems more likely that in his zeal, Szalay is claiming some undeserved glory for his new soul-mates, the Hungarists and thus, unwittingly, supports the Soviet inspired charge that 1956 was a fascist attempt to take over the country. And ultimately, if Szalay is right, the Soviet could extend their stay in Hungary under the terms of the peace treaties.

As already suggested, Szalay's booklet was an attack on the officially supported  '56 Institute that gives all the glory to the Reform Communists. Szalay not only disputes this claim but lists several examples where Reform Communists and military leaders sabotaged the uprising. Szalay shows the seamy side of the events. This part of his book seems to contain new information and is a significant contribution to the literature of '56. Also, of the authors cited in this section of this report, Szalay is the only one who goes beyond his own personal experiences and does actual research to support his point.

But let us get back to the original question as to who started or provoked the uprising.  Was it popular revolt, fascist initiated uprising, or Communist provocation, by Gerő or the Kremlin?  Szalay’s argument seems to be most consistent with the theory that the uprising was provoked. The sabotage by the Hungarian military leaders, including distribution of arms that Kadar also admitted (see above) seems to support (without much credible evidence) the Soviet excuse for the intervention, namely, that fascists were trying to take over Hungary.

As for the role of the so called Reform Communists, the truth is somewhere between the views propagated by the ’56 Institute and Szalay’s position. The Reform Communists were being prepared by Gerő, by pushing them to the forefront of the Reform Movement, for the sacrificial role of being the scapegoat for the outbreak of the rebellion and justifying their planned complete and final elimination by the Gerő regime for their role in the events.

Yet, the book cannot be closed on the Soviet role in the Hungarian events of 1956. We have quoted two credible sources, one Hungarian pathologist, and a Soviet general, but there has not been made public any documentation about the Soviet plan to stay in Hungary after the evacuation of Austria.

The only official and relevant document that I found that was published from the Soviet Central Committee’s archives is Mikojan’s secret report to the Central Committee on July 14, 1956. Mikojan analyzed the Hungarian situation, and summarized his discussions with several Hungarian leaders. According to Mikojan, “After debating the situation, the Hungarian comrades were forced to admit that, although the power actually has not yet slipped out of their hands, it is slipping, and the events are leading to the loss of power.”[281]

Yet, in the long telegram that has been published, there is not one word about the military preparations that General Malasenko wrote about. Mikojan mentions only in general terms that “They have to prepare and in the next few days get ready a plan to destroy the hostile, anti-Party groups, and to break up the centers of their activities.” But there is no hint of a potential military action.[282]

Thus there is plenty to be discovered by future historians who will gain access to the Moscow archives, to definitively prove or disprove the above outlined claim, namely, that the Soviets, together with Gerő, provoked  the uprising to justify their stay in Hungary. But whatever they will find, so far the thesis of my dissertation has not been contradicted or even weakened by the known events. In fact, my more modest thesis has been fully supported by the evidence un-earthed after 1990.


Link: L. v. Südland: The Southern Slav Question 




[1] It should be noted that in the Communist regimes the "political officer" in the army has nothing to do with the military aspects of the service. They are trusted and highly paid Party activists assigned to military units, and are not only the mouth-piece of the Party, but also its eyes and ears, spying and reporting on others, including their fellow officers.

[2] Az igazsag a Nagy Imre ügyben (The Truth in the Imre Nagy case), Brussels, 1959; Budapest 1989, p. 55.

[3] For details see excerpts attached from Geza Radics, 1956 és előzményei

[4] “Timetable of a Failure,” VIRGINIA  QUARTERLY, 34:2, 1958:Spring,  pp. 161-191

[5] p. 169,

[6] It is quite possible that Cuban president Battista was ousted as punishment for his attempt in defense of Hungary, and his attempts to counter the US efforts to quell any UN action.

[7] Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr. THE VITAL CENTER: THE POLITICS OF FREEDOM, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949)

[8] From a letter  informing me  of  the Committee's  decision,  signed by my advisor, Prof. Mark H. Roelofs, dated June 5, 1969.

[9] The Act provides for the "free movement of persons and ideas."


[10] The "Twenty-second Semiannual Report" on the      of Helsinki Final Act,  October  1,  1986-April  1,  1987, Washington, DC: U  S. Department of State, 1987) has this to report: "Visas are seldom denied  to  Americans  for  family  visits  to  Hungary.   The  Foreign Ministry never supplies reasons for the 5-6 such refusals annually of which our embassy is aware but will consider the embassy's request for review,  sometimes with favorable  results.   Favorable  reconsideration is  often  granted  to  such  applicants  for  demonstrable  humanitarian concerns such as the illness of a close relative.  Most cases involve people  especially  prominent  in  the  1956  uprising."   The  number of refusals is probably more, since I never before went to the embassy, and probably many people never think of appealing to them.  Also,  I was not "especially prominent" in 1956.  (p. 25)  It should further be noted, however,  that according to an AP story in July 1987 the U. S. Department of State protested the Israeli practice of denying visas to Arab-Americans,  yet no similar protest was  lodged  to the Hungarian government about Hungarian-Americans.

[11] Halford J. Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality (New York: W.W. Norton, 1942), p. 150.

[12] 2 lbid., p. IX.

[13] Nicholas  John Spykman,  America's  Strategy  in World  Politics (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. 1942), p. 466.

[14] Mackinder, p. 171.

[15] Ibid.

[16] cf. Spykman, p. 467

[17] 5 Christoph Bertram, "Reagan Decline Leaves Room for Europe  to Step  in," Die Zeit,  Nov.  28,  1986;  English translation published  in The German Tribune, Dec. 7, 1986, pp. 1, 6.

[18] lbid., p. 2.

[19] “European  Leadership  Changes  had  Pivotal  Role  in  Changed Relationship with US,", Die Zeit, Nov. 21, 1986; Ibid., pp. 6-7.

[20] See, among others, the entire issue of Geopolitique (Review of the International Institute of Geopolitics,  1984, No.  6, or the Aspen Talks  held  in Berlin  in November  1984  (cf. The German Tribune,  Dec. 16, 1984, pp. 5-8).

[21] Colin S. Gray, The Geopolitics  of  the Nuclear Era: Heartland,  Rimlands,  and  the  Technological  Revolution. (New York: Crane, Russak and Co., 1977).

[22] Ibid., p. 39

[23] lbid., p. 29.

[24] Pauline V.  Young,  Scientific Social Surveys and Research     3rd ed., (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1956), pp. 132-33.

[25] Stjepan  Buc,  "Croatia  and  Central  Europe",  in  Francis  S. Wagner, ed. Toward a New Central Europe, A Symposium on the Problems of  the Danubian Nations,  (Astor Park, FL:  Danubian Press,  1970),  p. 2-63.

[26] Lucian W.  Pye and Sidney Verba,  ed.  Political Culture and Political  Development,  (Princeton  NJ'  Princeton  University  Press, 1969).  First published in 1965.

[27] Walter  A.  Rosenbaum,  Political  Culture  (New  York:  Praeger Publishers, 1975).


[28] Archie Brown & Jack Gray, ed., Political Culture & Political Change in Communist States, (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1977).


[29] Stephen White,  John Gardner, and George Schopflin, Comunist Political Systems: An Introduction (New York: St. Nartin's Press, 1982).

[30] Archie  Brown,  ed.,  Political  Culture and  Communist  Studies (Armonk, NY: Sharpe Inc., 1984).

[31] Brown refers to over 30 definitions by 1976; Ibid., p.2.

[32] Stephen White,  Political  Culture  and  Soviet  Politics,  (New York:      St. Martin's Press, 1979) p. ix.


[33] F.         Barghoorn, Politics in the USSR (2nd ed., Boston: 1972).


[34] J. Reshetar, The Soviet Polity, (New York: Dodd & Mead, 1971).

[35]6e.g.  Robert V.  Daniels,  The Nature  of Comunism (New York: Random  House,  Vintage  Book,  1962);  William  Henry  Chamberlain,  The Russian Enigma,  (New York: Charles Scribner's  Sons,  1943); Virginia Cowles,  The Russian Dagger--Cold War in the Days of  the Czars, New York: Harper and Row, 1969), etc.

[36] Mary McCauley, “Political Culture and Communist Politics: One Step Forward, two Steps Back,” in Brown, pp. 13-39.

[37] lbid., p. 18.


[38] White  is obviously aware of  the Russian-Byzantine Connection, as he refers to it in White, Gardner, and Schopflin, p. 35.

[39] Stephen  White,  "Soviet  Political  Culture  Reassessed,"  in Brown, pp. 63-64.


[40] 1lbid., pp. 91-92.

[41] Brown candidly admits that the purpose of his "present work" was  to  relate  political  culture  to political  change  or continuity rather than to the notion of political development” (Brown and Gray, p. 3), as the title indicates.  But this seems to imply that there is room, in  other  studies,  to  focus  on  "political  development"   (his emphasis).


[42] cf. p. 10, supra.


[43] In Brown and Gray, pp. 131-158.


[44] lbid., p. 131.


[45] Stephen  Sisa,  The  Spirit  of  Hungary,   (Ontario'  Rakoczi Foundation, 1983) p. 172.


[46] lbid., p. 132.


[47] Chapter 6 in White, Gardner and Schopflin, pp. 221-264.


[48] Ibid., pp. 221-222.


[49] lbid., p. 236.


[50] lbid., p.  238.   It should be noted that in Romania it is the Hungarian and German ethnic minorities that make this demand, not the ethnic Romanians.


[51] lbid., p. 241.  Cf. pp. 239-40, Ibid.


[52] Ibid., p. 243.


[53] Ibid., pp. 243-48.


[54] Ibid., pp. 248-50.


[55] McAuley, pp. 24-25.


[56] "Address by George Bush Vice President of the United States: Vienna, Austria, September 21, 1983."  (The Vice President's Office).


[57] Ibid., p. 2. Cf. Czeszlav Milosz, The Captive Mind (New York: Vintage Books, 1951).  No page reference given by Bush.


[58] Sandor  Balogh,  "St.  Augustine  and  Modern  Democratic  Ideas" (unpublished M.A. Thesis) NYU Library, 1965) p. 92.


[59] "The Voice of  Deism,"  from Howard H.  Quint,  Dean Albertson, and Milton Cantor,  (ed) Main Problems in American History  (Homewood, Il:     Dorsey Press,  1968)   Vol.  1,  pp.  79-80.   Source:  Thomas  Paine, '1The Age of Reason," in Moncure D.  Conway   (ed), Writings of Thomas Paine (New York, 1896, Vol. IV, pp. 188-90.


[60] Humanist Manifestos  I and  II  (Buffalo,  NY'  Prometheus Books, 1977), p. 3.


[61] "Humanist Manifesto" #5.


[62] Ibid., #7.


[63] lbid., #1.


[64] See Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia  (1957) and United States V. Seeger (1965).


[65] Humanist Manifesto II.


[66] By George W. Cornell, ALBANY TIMES UNION, July 11, 1987, p.Dl.


[67] Ibid.


[68] 2According to David Martin, in the U.S. the "church is formally separated from the state, and even religion from school, and yet, the overall social order is legitimized by a pervasive ci~il religion" (~ General Theory of Secularization, New York: Harper & Row,  1978, p. 28),   while  in  the  U.S.S.R.   "active  evangelization  amounts   to interference with the rights of others while atheistic propaganda is part of the liberation of the backward" (p. 135.).


[69] Humanist Manifesto, # 14.


[70] Humanist Manifesto Ir, #10.


[71] Manifesto II, Introduction.



[73] lbid,  p. 240.


[74] Milosz, pp. x-xi.


[75] see Balogh.  The original idea for this terminology was suggested in the course "Modern Political Theory," by Professor Mark H. Roelofs of NYU.


[76] lbid., pp. 12-14.


[77] Donald Atwell  Zoll,  in his excellent essay,  "On Tradition," The   Intercollegiate  Review,   Winter   1983-73,   pp.   3-12,  defines "tradition"  as  "the  manifestation within  the historical  process  of partial actualization of the objective order of nature," p. 7.

[78] Balogh, pp. 4-7.


[79] Ibid., pp. 8-11.


[80] Ibid., p. 8.


[81] Ibid., pp. 15-17.


[82] See Figure I.


[83] Reagan's  traditionalism  is  perhaps  best  illustrated  by  his appointments  to  the  Supreme  Court that were  opposed  by  both  Statists  and Libertarians in Congress.


[84] See Figure II.


[85] See supra,


[86] See  Bernstein,   Evolutionary  Socialism:   A  Criticism  and Affirmation (New York: Shocken Books, 1961).


[87] Cf.  Alexander  Gray, The Socialist Tradition--Moses to Lenin (Nev York: Harper & Row, Harper Torchbooks, 1968) p. 384.


[88] For summary of East-West differences regarding Central Europe see Figure III. The detailed analysis has been omitted in this report


[89] Brown, p. 78.

[90] Walter  A.  Rosenbaum,  Political  Culture  (New  York:  Praeger, 1975) pp. 27-29.


[91] T.W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunsvik, Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford,  The Authoritarian Personality  (New York:  John Wiley and Sons,  1964 Science Edition).  See especially: Chapter XX, "Genetic Aspects   of   the  Authoritarian  Personality:   Case   study  of   two contrasting  individuals,"  by  Sanford.   For  more  on  Authoritarian Personality, see pp. 162 ff., infra.


[92] Reported  by  Daniel  Goleman,  "Major  Personality  Study  Finds That Traits Are Mostly Inherited," New York Times, Dec. 2, 1986. pp. C1-2. Cf Table. I.

[93] Helena  Curtis,  Biology  (New York:  Worth Publishers, 1975), p. 867.


[94] Ibid., p. 872.

[95] cf. Ibid. p. 884.

[96] Admittedly,   the  question  of   national  character  and  of inherited political attitudes is a very delicate issue that has to be handled with great care, especially in the US.   It could produce charges and countercharges of  biologism,  like  the  IQ  studies  of  Arthur  Jensen  have  provoked accusations of racism.  But just because some findings can be abused, true science cannot, should not bow to political pressure, especially when such a potentially significant issue is involved.  Instead, political scientists  should  warn  against  unwarranted  use,  or  abuse  of  such findings.


[97] See Gray, p. 4, Supra.


[98] cf. J. Nettl, "Takeover in East Germany," in Roger Pethybridge, ed., The Development of the Comunist Bloc (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1965), pp. 31-40.


[99] Arnold J.  Heidenheimer, The Governments of Germany (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1966), p. 191.


[100] Buc, p. 65.


[101] lbid., p. 63.


[102] Lawrence Minard, "A Balkan Despotism," Forbes, May 11,1981, p.136. It should be  noted  that Forbes contrasts  Hungary  ("The Hungarian Exception,") by the same author in  the same issue (pp. 119-128), showing  the   social  and economic  conditions in the two countries. For other examples of differences  between Eastern and Central              European political culture see pp. 13-15, Supra.


[103] lbid.  It should be noted how accurate the ters, "Despot," is in the case of the Rumanian dictator. cf. Hailgarten's definition, p. 91, infra.


[104] Ibid.; emphasis added.


[105] The  imperialistic  nature  of  the  "Russo-Soviet  Empire"  is discussed and documented by Cohn S. Gray,  in Nuclear Strategy and National Style (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Press,  1986), "The Soviet Union as an Empire,  pp. 77-87.


[106] Roy C. Macridis, Contemporary Political Ideologies, Movements and Regimes (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1983), p. 131.


[107] Ibid.


[108] Ibid., p.  132.   Please note  that the Communist Party of  the U.S., for the most part, has been quite loyal to the Soviet Communist Party.


[109] Ted  Robert  Gurr,  Why  Men  Rebel  (Princeton,  NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1971) p. 119.


[110] Ted  Gurr,  "A  Causal  Model  of  Civil  Strife:  a  comparative Analysis  using New  Indices,"  The American Political  Science Review LXII, 4 (Dec. 1968), p. 104.


[111] Ted  Gurr,  "Psychological  Factors  in  Civil  Violence," World Politics, (January 1968). p. 245.

[112] Ibid., p.246.

[113] Ibid.

[114] Why Men Rebel, p. 418.

[115] lbid., p. 11.

[116] American Sociological Review 27,1 (Feb. 1962): 5-19.


[117] Ibid., p. 6.


[118] “Psychological factors," p. 249.


[119] Denton  E.  Morrison,  "Some  Notes  Toward  Theory  on Relative Deprivation,   Social  Movements,  and  Social  Change"  The  American Behavioral Scientist 14 (May/June 1971) p. 678-682.


[120] Gurr, "Psychological Factors," p. 249.


[121] "Strife' the act of striving or vying with another," Webster's New World Dictionary, (2nd College ed., 1972) p. 1410.


[122] For example, in the "Battle of  Lexington more than a year before July 4, 1776, it was the frustrated Major Pitcairn that ordered his troops to fire first, and kill eight colonists, when they refused to disperse.


[123] For  details  and  circumstantial  evidence of  this  theory see infra, Chapter 6..


[124] George  Bancroft,  History  of  the  United  States  of  America. (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1893) 3rd vol., p. 466.


[125] Samuel  Eliot  Morison,  The  Oxford  History  of  the  American People (New York: Oxford U. Press,  1965) p. 218. See also Bancroft, 4th vol., p. 270.


[126] Perhaps it will be helpful to understand civil strife better if  we  compare  it  to  labor  strife.   In  labor disputes  there  is a distinction between strike and "Lock-out." Revolution is comparable to strike, while the equivalent of Gerő's gambit would be a "lock-out." Yet, political science does not even have a term for such a maneuver.


[127] Ferenc A. Vali, Rift and Revolt in Hungary, Nationalism versus Communism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.  1961).

[128] Ibid., pp. 503-5


[129] See Figure IV.


[130] Ibid., pp. 505-6.


[131] Ibid., p. 506.


[132] See  Edmund  0.  Stillman,  The  Ideology  of  Revolution  -  The People's Demands in Hungary October - November 1956 - (New York: Free Europe Press, 1957), pp. 32-35.


[133] 0f  the  tremendous  amount of  Solzhenitsyn's writings,  a  two page statement, "Solzhenitsyn on Communism, Advise to the West in an hour of extremity,'1 in TIME (Feb. 18, 1980, pp. 48-49) seems to be the best summary, and the present critique is based on this essay.


[134] Alexander  Solzhenitsyn,  compiler,  From  Under  the Rubble,  essays by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Mikhail Agursky, A.B., Evgeny Barabanov, Vadim Borisov, F. Koraskov, and Igor Shafarevich; translated by A.M. Brock, Milada  Haigh,  Narita  Sapiets,  Hilary Sternberg,  and Harry Willetts (New York: Bantam Books, 1976).


[135] "Solzhenitsyn on Communism," p. 48.


[136] Ibid., p. 49.


[137] Ibid.


[138] Ibid.


[139] Ibid.


[140] Gray,  Geopolitics  p.   35.  For  Pipes  quote  see  "Detente: Moscow's View,” in Richard Pipes,  ed.,  Soviet Strategy in Europe (New York: Crane, Russak, 1976), p. 9. Emphasis in the original, by Pipes.


[141] lbid., Gray's Emphasis. The Soviet slogan, “Proletarians of the World, Unite!” openly admits that they aim to conquer the world.


[142]  See "Berlin  and  its  East-West  Role:  Need  to  Get  Rid  of  Smokescreen Terminology," in Aussenpolitik, No. 4, 1986, translation in The German Tribune, Dec. 14,  1986, p. 5.  In light of Gray's comments, why is it a crime to call the GDR's "loyalty to its alliance into question”? It is not a matter of German loyalty to the Soviet Union but a matter of the Soviet occupying and dominating part of Germany, part of Western Europe. Similarly, except on a much larger scale,  the Helsinki Accord of  1975,  by  recognizing  the  inviolability  of  the  existing boundary between East and West seems  to sanction the already conquered Soviet territorial gains that the Soviet can use for further expansion.


[143] lbid.


[144] Robert C. Tucker, The Marxian Revolutionary Idea (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969), p. 163.


[145] lbid., pp. 168-9


[146] For  published  statements  by  Jean-Paul  Sartre  and  Haldor Laxnes, Nobel Price Winner Icelandic Socialist, see Francis S. Wagner, ed.--The  Hungarian  Revolution  in  Perspective  (Washington,  DC'  F.F. Memorial Foundation, 1969) pp. 26-7.


[147] "Solzhenitsyn on Comunism," p. 49.


[148] David K. Shipler, The Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1984), p. 438; cf. pp. 447-451.


[149] lbid., p.  265.  Shiplers description of the Russian yearning is almost an answer to McAuley's demand (see above)

[150] Cf. Ibid., p. 349.


[151] (New York: Penguin Books, 1984).


[152] Ibid, "Introduction," Ibid., p. 21.


[153] Ibid., p. 20.


[154] Ibid., pp. 19, 21.


[155] Ibid., p. 19.


[156] Ibid.

[157] E.g. lsaac   Deutscher,   in   "Socialism   in  One  Country"  quotes Plekhanov. Cf. Ibid., p. 106.


[158] E .g. the existence of the "nomenklatura," cf. Ibid., p. 26.


[159] lbid., p. 139.  Liebman 's emphasis.


[160] Ibid., p. 17.


[161] Ibid.


[162] Ibid., pp. 60-94.


[163] lbid., p. 79.


[164] lbid., p. 80.


[165] lbid., p. 81.


[166] Ibid., p. 82.  Mandel's emphasis.


[167] lbid., pp. 83-84.


[168]Preobrazhensky's term, p. 81.


[169]  “Marxism and Primitive Magic,” p. 112.

[170] Idem.

[171] Ibid., p. 113.

[172] Idem.

[173] Ibid., p. 114.

[174] Ibid., p. 116.

[175] Idem.

[176] Ibid., p. 129.

[177] Ibid., pp. 161-2.

[178] Ibid., p. 165.

[179] Ibid., p. 548.

[180] Ibid, p. 549.

[181] In 2006 one might even add Putin to the list.

[182][182] Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Program, in Lewis S. Feuer, ed., Marx and Engels, Basic writings on Politics and Philosophy; Doubleday and Co., 1959, p. 117.

[183] Ali, p. 7.

[184] Cf. Frederick Engels, “On Social Conditions in Russia,” in Feuer, pp. 470-474.

[185] Bertell Ollman, Social and Sexual Revolution, essays on Marx and Reich (Boston, South End Press, 1979) pp. 48-98.

[186] Ibid., p. 60.

[187] Ibid., p. 48.

[188] Robert Hotz, “The Soviet Response to the US Strategic Defense,” in Assessing Strategic Defense; Six Roundtable Discussions, edited by . Bruce Weinrod (Washington, DC, Heritage Foundation, 1985) p. 49.

[189] Meray, p. 23.

[190]  lbid.

[191]  Ibid., p. 24

[192] Reshetar,  pp.  263-64. It  should  be  noted  that Nagy's "New Economic  Course"  (NEC)  in  Hungary  was  announced  on  July  4,  1953, about one month earlier than the Malenkov policy in the Soviet Union.

[193] Meray., p. 25.( Cf. pp.      271-2, Supra, Note #1.)

[194] Meray, p. 27.

[195] Ibid., p. 28

[196] Idem.

[197] Reshetar, p. 264

[198] Idem.

[199] Imre Nagy, ON COMMUNISM, In Defense of the New Course (New York: Praeger, 1957).

[200] William  Solyom-Fekete, THE  LEGAL  EFFECTS  OF  A  REVOLUTION. Hungary's  Legal  History: 1956-1966

(Washington,  DC: Library  of Congress, Law Library, 1982) p. 7.

[201] Bill Lomax, Magyarorszag,  1956,  (Hungary,  1956)  trans.  Gyorgy Krasso (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Corvin Publishing L.T.D., 1982), p.  12;  the following chronology is based on Lomax, pp. 12-14.

[202] Ibid., p. 3.

[203] Ibid., p. 35

[204] Ibid, p. 45

[205] Idem.

[206] Idem.

[207] Ibid., p. 47.

[208] Ibid., p. 46.

[209] Ibid., p. 48.

[210] Ibid., pp. 47-50; also cf. pp. 58 supra.

[211] 2The Provisional Central Committee of  the  Party suggested this explanation in its Dec. 5,  1956 Resolution (Ez Tortent [This Happened--Articles  about  1956]  Budapest:  Nepszabadsag,  1981,  pp.  23-4). The1981 article that quoted the  1956 Resolution supports this accusation against  the U.S.,  New York Times,  Radio Free Europe,  etc.  Ibid,  pp. 4-25.

[212]  Cf. Meray, p. 87.

[213] Idem.

[214] 3This  account  by  Lomax  reinforces  the  personal  experience  of this author.

[215] 1Endre  Marton,  Forbidden  Sky   (Boston:  Little,  Brown,  1971), p. 126.

[216]  Meray, p. 85.

[217] Vali, Cf. pp. 254-7.

[218] Probably in conjunction with the Nov. 7th celebrations of the anniversary of the Great October revolution.

[219] Ibid., p. 273

[220] Ibid., p. 274.

[221]  Ibid., p. 276.

[222] Zinner, p. 461

[223] Noel Barber, SEVEN DAYS OF FREEDOM (New York: ; Stein and Day, 1974) p. 127

[224] Melvin J.  Lasky,  The Hungarian Revolution, A White Book.  (New York:         Praeger, 1957) p. 178.

[225] Alice Gimes, The “Secret” Meeting in AZ IGAZSAG A NAGY IMRE UGYBEN;(The truth in the Nagy Imre case) Századvég füzetek, Budapest, 1989, 54-55 o. also Aron tobias ed., in Memmoriam nagy Imre, Szabad Tér Kiadó, 1989, 178-9 o.

[226] United Nations,  Report of  the Special Committee on the Problem Hungary   (New  York:  General  Assembly,  1957,  supplement  No.  18) A 3592 , par. #54.


[227] Ibid. #157-9.

[228] Andras Hegedus and Zoltan Zsille,.  ELET EGY ESZME ARNYEKABAN   (Life in  the Shadow of an Idea.   A Biographical  Interview with Andras Hegedus).  Vienna: by the author (Zsille), 1985, pp. 261-65.

[229] Laszlo Oltvanyi,  HARCOK DELBUDAPESTEN,  1956 (Fighting in South Budapest,   1956)   (Munchen:   The  Hungarian  Freedom  Fighters'  World Federation,  198l) pp. 33-44.


[230] Radio  Free  Europe,  The  Ideology of Revolution - The  People's in Hungary, October - November        1956        (New York R.F.E. Press.)  p.  16.   A  more  detailed  breakdown  of  these  categories  is presented in the Appendix.


[231] lbid., p. 14.

[232] Tibor Méray, THIRTEEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE KREMLIN, New York, 1959

[233] Cf.  Igazsag, November 1, quoted in Lasky, p.  167, also for an insider's account see Hegedus, pp. 271-76.

[234] Cf. U.N. Report, #246-258

[235] Hegedus,  p.  259,  267.   It is interesting to note that Hegedus admits that the events were "unexpected" as far as Nagy was concerned; Nagy wasn't part of a conspiracy.

[236] For  complete  text  see  Appendix.   Source  of  Declaration  is Wagner, Hungarian Revolution..., pp. 163-7, also Zinner, pp. 485-489.

[237] Cf. Wagner, p. 167.

[238] Oleg   Penkovskiy, THE PENKOVSKIY PAPERS (Garden       City:Doubleday, 1965) quoted in Barber, p. 147.

[239] Alperovitz claims 80-20 ratio, cf. p. 249, Supra; while Marton wrote that Churchill gave Stalin 75% versus 25% for the West (Marton, p. 276.).

[240] For a  detailed  analysis  see  Gordon Gaskill,  "Timetable of a Failure", Virginia Quarterly, Vol. 84, Spring 1958, pp. 137-152.


[241] 1Barber, p. 150.

[242] Barber, p. 151.

[243] lbid.


[244] Cf. Barber, p. 128.

[245] See Appendix

[246] Barber p. 159

[247] Cf. Marton, 207, Barber, 180, Meray pp. 271-2, Kozi-Horvath  Jozsef,  "Mindszenty  es  Nagy  Imre  Kapcsolatai" (“Relationship between Mindszenty and Imre Nagy")   Nemzetor, September 1981, p. 6.

[248] Kozi-Horvath  Jozsef,  "Mindszenty  es  Nagy  Imre  Kapcsolatai" (1tRelationship between Mindszenty and Imre Nagy")   Nemzetor, September 1981, p. 6.

[249] United Nations,  par. ~9l.   Note the similarity of Nagy's tone and Kossuth's prophecies: pp. 109, ff., Supra.



[250] Lorand Tamaska, MD, "Ötszaz gramm pragai sonka--A magyar '56 háttere" (five hundred grams Ham from Pague--the background of the Hungarian 1956.) in HUNNIA, October 25, 1994, pp. 21-31.

[251] Ibid., p. 23.

[252] Ibid., p. 27. It should be noted that the main purpose of organizing the Warsaw Pact was also to justify the stationing of Soviet troops in Hungary. Thus, Tamaska's interpretation would make sense only if we make a distinction between stay and intervention: while the Soviet may stay in Hungary for defense purposes against foreign enemies, but under the Pact it did not have the right to the Soviet military to interfere in Hungary's domestic affairs. For such intervention the threat of fascist restoration had to be invoked.

[253] Ibid., p. 25.

[254] Ibid., p. 27. It seems a book was published in Hungary last spring that claimed that Janos Kadar ”predicted in January 1956 that there will  be a revolution in the Fall.” The degree of ignorance about 1956  in Hungary is frustrating. The reaction to this assertion in the weekly, DEMOCRATA, was violent denial. According to Karoly Szalay if one wants to narrow it down to a centrally directed provocation, he is, mildly speaking, ignorant, more accurately, malevolent idiot.” Demokrata, October 20, 2005, p. 45.

[255] Ibid., p. 25.

[256] Ibid., p. 28.

[257] Ibid., p. 30.

[258] Ibid., p. 31.

[259] Ibid., p. 30.

[260] Idem.

[261] Idem.

[262] Ibid., p. 27.

[263] Ibid., p. 26.

[264] E. I. Malasenko, "The Special Army Corps in the Fire in Budapest" in HADTUDOMÁNY (MILITARY SCIENCE) 1994, # 1, pp. 121-4; excerpts from the book with the same title, published in Russia.

[265] The term would refer to major independent units of the Armed Forces, like in the American Army there is the "Second Army," or "Third Army."

[266] Malasenko,  p. 122. Emphasis in all quotes is from the original

[267] Ibid., pp. 122-3...

[268]  Ibid., p. 123.

[269]  Ibid., p. 124

[270]. Idem.

[271] Igazsagügyi Miniszterium Tenyfeltaro Bizottsag, 1994, “Sortuzek, Megtorlas Menekules.” II. Report

[272] Ibid., pp. 9-10, cf. Vojenno Isztoricseszkij Zsurnal 1993, #10.

[273] II. Report, pp. 62-63;

[274] A Mi Forradalmunk   magyar dokumentumfilm, 1995(Our Revolution; a 5 part video documentary), rendező (Director): Magyar József, operatőr: Vékás Péter, Kőszegi Gyula.

[275] Ibid., tape #2.

[276]  Robert Szalay, 1956, A FORRADALOM IGAZ TORTENETE; Ami a történelemkönyvekböl kimaradt (1956, THE TRUE STRORY OF THE REVOLUTION; What was left out from the history books),  MET Publishing, 1999,  40 pages. Preface by Geza E. Bankuty, President of the World Council of  '56 Hungarians.

[277]  Ibid., p. 39.

[278]  Ibid., p.5. It should be noted that this author feels that the true roots of 1956 go back to 1949, when the oppression turned the people against Communism and the Soviet Union. 1944-45 were important dates as the Hungarian people had direct experience of the barbarism of the Red Army, but it is absurd to trace 1956 to 1944. At the same time, 1953, giving a taste of freedom after years of brutal oppression was an important milestone on the road to '56, but '56 was much more than a return of post-Stalin era. Also, the Institute made a mistake when it gave exclusive credit to the Reform Communists for 1956, and Szalay also erred when he denied altogether the role of Reform Communists. Even if their role was only to provoke the confrontation,  they had unleashed the popular resentment that swept from power the entire Gerő regime.

[279] It probably has not been published in print, but circulated on the Internet and was available on Bankuty's homepage, where Szalay's booklet was also available and could be down loaded in Hungarian..

[280] February 19, 2000, p. 21.

[281] MISSING PAGES FROM THE HISTORY OF 1956, Documents from the former Soviet Communist Party Central Committee’s Archives, Zenit Books Publisher, p. 42.

[282] Ibid., p. 45.