Historians still argue what to call the events that were triggered by a peaceful solidarity rally of Hungarian students with the Polish people on October 23rd, 1956: a rebellion, revolt, uprising, popular uprising, revolution, counter-revolution, or War of Independence.The best definition comes from SÃ¡ndor MÃ¡raiâs poem, Angel from heaven,Â written for the Christmas of 1956: âA nation said: Enough!â.Â
The events of 1956 shook not only the communist world, but had lasting effects on world politics. The brief period of breathing âfreedom at lastâ gave courage and strength to Hungarians to survive the rest of foreign tyranny until it finally collapsed in 1989.
Participants meet our expert historian guide at Bem tér, on the Buda side, at the Jozef Bem statue, or by request we can pick you up at your hotel. This place was the gathering point of the student march on October 23rd, where the celebration of solidarity led to events escalating into a new independence movement. Here we’ll have a coffee at the Bambi Presszó café, considered by many as the last city stronghold of communistic catering culture.
From Bem tér we will proceed to Kossuth tér, a central place of major events of the 1956 Revolution – including the massacre on October 25th – and also pay tribute to Imre Nagy, the martyr Prime Minister, by his statue on Vértanúk tere.
Our next destination is the Magyar Radio building on Bródy Sándor utca, where violence erupted in the late evening of October 23rd and street fights started. We’ll also visit the nearby National Museum, where Sándor Petőfi recited his famous poem of “Shall we be slaves or free?” on March 15th, 1848. It gives us a good opportunity to draw parallels between the two revolutions, and see how the ’56-ers modelled their uprising on the 1848 one.
We will finish our tour at Corvin köz, the major resistance center, where youngsters fought with Molotov cocktails against invading Russian tanks. A final drink will follow with more questions and informal talk.
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
During our private tour we will visit five iconic places connected to the fast-evolving events, and reconstruct those days from a personal perspective