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1956 1.9: Desperately Hungary

When Diplomacy Fails Podcast

08-02-2024 • 32 minutos

1956 Episode 1.9 takes a somewhat depressing journey into post-war Hungary, to present a story and a people which suffered much over the course of the Soviet occupation – also known as the Soviet ‘liberation’.


Liberation from what, one may ask? Well how about liberation from national pride, freedom of conscience and that all too valuable commodity in history – freedom from fear. Fear was the key ingredient in the Soviet-Hungarian relationship between 1945-56, and in this episode we detail its key characteristics. Why were some Hungarians so eager to serve the Soviets, who were the most loyal Hungarian servants above all, and what were the consequences of this partnership by the time Khrushchev’s secret speech shattered all notions of Stalin-worship?


These are questions we get into in great detail here, so I hope you’ll join us. The story of Hungary is as fascinating and inspiring as it is depressing and tragic, but either way, it is a story worth committing to audio podcast format, because it tells us so much about what life was really like under the Soviet writ, and how the end of the Second World War did not mean the end of foreign rule. The Hungarians had merely swapped one regime, one centre of power, for another, and this one was more determined than ever to hold sway over every aspect of their lives. The Hungarians were desperate for sure, but as 1956 would demonstrate, their spirits and dreams were far, very far, from crushed.

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