As we approach the 50th anniversary of the heroic Hungarian uprising of 1956 let us remember the fallen militants who were fighting to bring a socialist solution to the problems of Stalinist-dominated Hungary. Honor the memory of Pal Malater, Defense Minister , anti-fascist fighter in World War II and fighter for socialism, executed by the Russian Stalinists in the aftermath of the Hungarian uprising.
In one of the cruel ironies of history anti-communists, including the current President Bush, and Hungarian nationalist have appropriated the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Militants must learn about that struggle and take back a heritage that is rightly ours and not the imperialists and their hangers-on.
Hungary, 1956 is a classic example of what the initial stages of a working class political revolution against Stalinist bureaucratic represssion looks like. In the main, the workers were fighting for some kind of indigenous workers government free from Stalinist repression. Let history and Mr. Bush note that the militants definitely not fighting for a restoration of capitalist rule in Hungary.
Did the militants have illusions in Western-style democracy. Surely, some did. Just as some Chinese workers and students had in 1989. Did the Catholic church play a counterrevolutionary role in league with the agencies of U.S.imperialism and try to turn religious working class elements against socialism? You bet. Just as Pope John Paul and the Catholic church did in Poland in the late 1970’s. Did the Soviet Union motivate its invading troops by falsely claiming a fascist uprising was occurring? By all means yes, but the first wave correctly fraternized with the Hungarian workers once they knew the score.
Nevertheless, the central fight, the fight in the streets was for a new form of workers government. The prove is is in the pudding-the uprising split the Hungarian Communist party to its core with the bulk of the party going over to the insurgents. The pre-conditions for success were there but the militants needed a party that knew what it was doing in the chaotic situation to have any chance of success. Read about this important event in Cold War history.