N. Váradi The Echo of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in the Contemporary Transcarpathian Printed Press

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.53.2021.248559

Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education

Numerous papers have been written about the history of the Hungarian Revolution
of 1956 both in Hungary and beyond its borders in the past decades. The
archival documents of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union are under research too.
Numerous data prove that the actions aiming to crush the War of Independence
were directly governed from Transcarpathia. Archival data also confirm the
reminiscence of the Transcarpathian Hungarian witnesses, according to which the
Soviet military and political centre was set up in Uzhgorod, from where the defeat
of the Hungarian Revolution was directed. The reminiscence of the Soviet soldiers
reveals that the first military corps crossed the border with the purpose of crushing
the revolution on October 24.
Since travelling became impossible due to the strictly closed borders after the Second
World War, people living in the Soviet Union could not keep in touch with Hungary.
The postal connections were severely controlled. The Soviet authorities permitted
the inhabitants to order only a couple of foreign publications, in few copies. Even
the Hungarian Communist Party-press could be ordered and read only by few people. The majority of the population was informed about the local and foreign world
and events mainly by the Soviet press, which was the mouthpiece of the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union. Getting a relatively realistic picture about the
outside world was only possible through foreign radio broadcasting. The Hungarian
people mainly listened to Kossuth Radio, but some people could reach
western broadcasts and listened to the Free Europe Radio, for instance. These
sources of news were available during the revolution too.
After the revolution was suppressed, the Transcarpathian newspapers celebrated
the «victory over the counter-revolution» and judged its participants (the
«horthysts», the «fascists» — as they called them). Only rejective writings were
published; articles with the slightest sign of sympathy could be published neither
in the central nor in the local papers.
The importance of the press is confirmed by everyday experience, numerous
studies and scientific reports. Its public opinion-forming power is particularly
significant. Analysis of the press is necessary to understand the conditions of an
age. To understand the essence of the 1956 Revolution, it is crucial and vital to
study the contemporary press.
The events of the 1956 Revolution in Hungary received a great response in the
local papers. Even after 64 years, the articles that appeared in the Transcarpathian
newspapers during the ‘56 Revolution are extremely telling. It is obvious how the Soviet
authorities wanted to influence the opinion of Transcarpathian inhabitants about
the Revolution. From October 25, in the papers, the following questions arise almost
every day: what caused, triggered the revolution, what actually happened in October?
In local press sometimes 3–4 articles deal with the Revolutionary actions from
the Soviet point of view. This article is press study research on the 1956 Revolution.
Keywords: newspaper, analysis of articles, Revolution of 1956, propaganda,
communist leader.

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