Hungarian Rhapsody


Some of the first arrivals at Traiskirchen Camp, near Vienna. Within three months, 200,000 Hungarians had escaped to Austria and Yugoslavia.

On October 23, 1956, a student demonstration in the Hungarian capital Budapest triggered one of the tensest periods of the Cold War, as well as a remarkable response to the ensuing refugee crisis which brought substantial benefits to future generations of refugees all across the world.

I remember the Hungarian uprising – I was 14 years old.

“As October 23 progressed, tens of thousands of people poured on to the streets – and the initial demonstration in support of the restive population of Poland quickly turned into a full-scale revolt against the regime and its Soviet masters, which for a few heady days seemed to have succeeded.

However, the Soviet tanks rolled back into Budapest on November 4, and the revolution was soon crushed. The city endured days of…

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