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Hegedus and Rakosi).


Rakosi caused enormous damage, and for this he must be held accountable. He must be excluded from the party. 184

Cde. Khrushchev:
Cde. Kaganovich, when will you mend

your ways and stop all your toadying? Holding to some sort of hardened position. What Cde. Molotov and Kaganovich are proposing is the line of screeching and face-slapping. Speak about Nagy. About Losonczy and Donath.

Cdes. Mikoyan, Suslov, and Brezhnev are to transmit our changes and requests in a tactful manner.

II. Ciph. Tel. No... from ... (Zhukov, Shepilov)185

Affirm as an unfortunate event.


(Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, LI. 41-450b, compiled by V. N. Malin.)


Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 27 November 1956 (Re: Protocol No. 60)187

1 Protocol No. 28 was the formal protocol drafted for this session, which is now stored in Tsentr Khraneniya Sovremennoi Dokumentatsii (TsKhSD), Moscow, Fond (F.) 3, Opis' (Op.) 14, Delo (D.) 41, Listy (Ll.) 1-2. The session was held on both 9 and 12 July 1956, but the item covered here (Point IV) was discussed solely on the 12th. 2

This refers to a ciphered telegram from the Soviet ambassador in Hungary, Yu. V. Andropov, on 9 July 1956. The lengthy telegram, stored in Arkhiv Prezidenta Rossiiskoi Federatsii (APRF), F. 3, Op. 64, D. 483, LI. 151-162, recounts a discussion that Andropov had with the Hungarian leader, Erno Gero, three days earlier. Gero had spoken about the disarray within the Hungarian leadership and the growing ferment in Hungarian society. 3 Here and elsewhere in Malin's notes, the listing of surnames in parentheses after the title of a session means that these individuals spoke, in the sequence indicated, about the given topic. The formal protocol for this session, as cited in Note 1 supra, reveals that Molotov, Kaganovich, and Bulganin also spoke about the subject. 4 Mikoyan arrived in Budapest the following day (13 July) and was there until 21 July. The most important of the ciphered telegrams, secure phone messages, and reports that he and Andropov sent back from Budapest during this time were declassified in 1992 and published in “Vengriya, aprel'oktyabr' 1956 goda: Informatsiya Yu. V. Andropova, A. I. Mikoyana i M. A. Suslova iz Budapeshta," Istoricheskii arkhiv, No. 4 (1993), pp. 110-128. Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, is a popular Hungarian vacation site that was also favored by party and government leaders. 5

This means that preparation of a lead editorial for Pravda was entrusted to Pospelov, Shepilov, and Ponomarev. (The formal protocol for the session, as cited in Note 1 supra, explicitly stated: “Instruct Cdes. Pospelov, Shepilov, and Ponomarev to prepare, on the basis of the exchange of opinions at the CPSU CC Presidium session, an article for publication in the press about the internationalist solidarity of workers in the countries of people's democracy and about the intrigues of imperialists who are carrying out their subversive work to weaken ties among the countries of the socialist camp.") The article, published on 16 July, denounced the “intrigues of imperialist agents" who were seeking to exploit the ferment in Eastern Europe after the 20th CPSU Congress. It claimed that members of the Petofi Circle in Hungary had “fallen under the influence of imperialist circles" and were “disseminating their anti-party views under the guise of a discussion club." 6 Togliatti was indeed contacted by the Hungarian newspaper Szabad Nep, at Moscow's behest, on 12 July 1956 about the possibility of giving an interview to explain the significance of proletarian internationalism" and how to “strengthen the positions of the popular-democratic order in Hungary.” Before the interview could be conducted, however, Mikoyan informed the CPSU

Presidium, shortly after his arrival in Budapest on 13 July, that the situation in Hungary would never improve so long as Rakosi remained the leader of the Hungarian Workers' Party (HWP). Acting on behalf of the Soviet Presidium, Mikoyan engineered the dismissal of Rakosi from the HWP leadership and all other posts, a step that Rakosi's colleagues welcomed, but had not dared to pursue on their own in the absence of a direct Soviet initiative. The new information from Mikoyan caused the CPSU leadership to send a new cable to Togliatti on 13 July (“Shifrtelegramma," 13 July 1956, in TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 14, D. 43/2, L. 2) urging him to be aware, in any interviews he might give about Hungary, that Rakosi would not be in power much longer. Moscow's willingness to rely on Togliatti is somewhat surprising because a recent interview with Togliatti, published in the Italian Communist daily L'Unita on 17 June 1956, had provoked dismay in certain quarters of the HWP leadership. The Soviet ambassador in Budapest, Yurii Andropov, had noted these misgivings in an important cable he sent to the CPSU Presidium on 9 July. See “Shifrtelegramma," from Yu. V. Andropov, 9 July 1956 (Strictly Secret-Special Dossier), in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 483, Ll. 151-162. Andropov had recommended that newspapers in East Germany and Czechoslovakia be asked to publish articles in support of Rakosi, but he made no such recommendation about L'Unita.

Laszlo Rajk was one of the leaders of the HWP until 1949, when he fell victim to the Stalinist purges. In October 1949 he was sentenced to death on trumped-up charges, a case that Rakosi helped mastermind. Following Stalin's death, rehabilitations of the “unjustly repressed" began in all the East-bloc countries, albeit at varying rates. This process moved rather slowly in Hungary and did not initially extend to Rajk and his associates, but calls for the rehabilitation of Rajk steadily increased. After Rakosi staged a comeback in March-April 1955, he tried, for obvious reasons, to deflect the growing pressure for Rajk's rehabilitation. In early 1956, however, the process of rehabilitation in Hungary gained greater momentum because of the limited “thaw” inspired by the 20th Soviet Party Congress. On 28 March 1956, Rakosi finally gave in and announced the formal rehabilitation of Rajk, though his announcement (published in Szabad Nep on 29 March) contained no admission of personal responsibility for the case. On 18 May, Rakosi did acknowledge a degree of personal culpability for the repressions of 1949-1952 (though not for the Rajk case), but this was not enough to curb political unrest in Hungary. Rakosi was dismissed from his posts as HWP First Secretary and an HWP Politburo member by the HWP Central Leadership (i.e., Central Committee) on 18 July 1956. (At Mikoyan's behest, the dismissal had been arranged by the HWP Politburo on 13 July and was then formally endorsed by a plenum of the HWP Central Leadership five days later.) Subsequently, Rakosi was stripped of all his other posts. On 26 July 1956, Rakosi fled to the Soviet Union, where he spent the remaining 25 years of his life in exile. Back in Hungary, Rajk and three other high-level victims of the purge trials in 1949 (Gyorgy Palffy, Tibor Szonyi, and Andras Szalai) were reinterred in formal ceremonies on 6 Octo

I. From Bucharest, (Khr., Vorosh., Kagan., Mik., Mol., Perv., Bulg., Sab., Zhuk., Grom.)

It's not advisable.

188 We should inform Dej that this is not to our advantage, and is not to the advantage of Hungary.

Cde. Bulg. is to negotiate with Cde. Dej. 189

Zhukov—we should state our view of the position of the Yugoslavs.

Khr.—we don't need to enter into correspondence with Tito about Imre Nagy; that's a matter for Hungary to handle. It was a mistake for our officer to go into the bus.



Instructions to:

The Foreign Ministry

KGB, and On the discrediting of Imre. 192


(Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, L. 52, compiled by V. N. Chernukha.)

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ber 1956, an event that contributed to the growing social unrest in Hungary. 8 This passage in Malin's notes is ambiguous because Rakosi's surname, like other foreign surnames that end in vowels other than “a," does not decline in Russian. Most likely, Khrushchev was saying that “we must alleviate Rakosi's situation." It is possible, however, that Khrushchev was saying that “Rakosi must alleviate the situation,” which would imply the need for Rakosi to step down. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine which of these two, very different interpretations is correct. The Hungarian edition of the Malin notes fails to take account of this ambiguity. See Vyacheslav Sereda and Janos M. Rainer, eds., Dontes a Kremlben, 1956: A szovjet partelnokseg vitai Magyarorszagrol (Budapest: 1956-os Intezet, 1996), p. 19. Sereda and Rainer opt for the former interpretation (“we must alleviate Rakosi's situation") without even considering the latter. 9 Here and elsewhere in Malin's notes, the inclusion of surnames in parentheses after a statement or proposal means that these individuals supported the statement or proposal. 10 The formal protocol for this session (see citation in Note 1 supra) contained the following point on this matter: "Instruct Cde. Mikoyan to travel to Hungary for discussions with the leadership of the Hungarian Workers' Party.” The reference here is to Istvan Kovacs, a top Hungarian Communist official who fled to Moscow at the end of October 1956, not to Bela Kovacs, the former Secretary General of the Independent Smallholders' Party. Soviet leaders knew that Istvan Kovacs had long been dissatisfied with Rakosi's performance. See “Telefonogramma v TSK KPSS," from M. A. Suslov to the CPSU Presidium and Secretariat, 13 June 1956 (Top Secret), in APRF, F. 3, Op. 6, D. 483, LI. 146-149. 11

On 19 October 1956, the day before this Presidium meeting. Khrushchev led a top-level Soviet delegation on an unannounced visit to Warsaw. The Soviet delegates held tense negotiations with the Polish leader, Wladyslaw Gomulka, in an effort to prevent the removal of Marshal Konstantin Rokossowski and other officials from the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR). The Soviet delegates were unsuccessful in their task, despite exerting strong military and political pressure on Gomulka. For a fuller account of the meeting, see the notes by one of the participants, Anastas Mikoyan, in “Zapis' besedy N. S. Khrushcheva v Varshave,” October 1956, No. 233 (Strictly Secret—Special Dossier), in APRF, Osobaya papka, F. 3, Op. 65, D. 2, LI. 1-14. 12 Marshal Konstantin Rokossowski, a Polishborn officer who had lived most of his life in the Soviet Union and was a marshal in the Soviet army, was installed as defense minister and commander-in-chief in Poland in December 1949. He also was a full member of the PZPR Politburo. He was one of hundreds of high-ranking Soviet officers who were brought into the Polish army in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Not surprisingly, their presence caused widespread resentment. For a detailed account of this phenomenon, see Edward Jan Nalepa, Oficerowie Radziecky w Wojsku Polskim w latach 1943-1968: Studium historyczno-wojskowe (Warsaw: Wojskowy

Instytut Historyczny, 1992). Here and elsewhere in Malin's notes, Rokossowski's surname is misspelled as “Rokkosowski.” The spelling has been corrected in the translation. 13 It is not entirely clear from these brief points what the Soviet Presidium was intending to do. Most evidence suggests, however, that they planned to hold new military exercises in Poland and to form a “provisional revolutionary committee” of pro-Soviet Polish officials, who would then be installed in place of Gomulka. This is roughly what occurred with Hungary in early November, when a “revolutionary workers’and peasants' government” was formed in Moscow, with Janos Kadar and Ferenc Munnich at its head. Kadar's government was installed when Soviet troops moved in on 4 November. 14 Khrushchev declined to mention that he himself—and the rest of the Soviet leadership— had "grossly” misjudged the situation in Poland over the previous few months. This was evident, for example, when Ochab stopped in Moscow in September 1956 on his way back from Beijing. See “Priem Posla Pol'skoi Narodnoi Respubliki v SSSR tov. V. Levikovskogo, 10 sentyabrya 1956 g.," 11 September 1956 (Secret), memorandum from N. Patolichev, Soviet deputy foreign minister, in Arkhiv Vneshnei Politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii (AVPRF), F. Referentura po Pol'she, Op. 38, Por. 9, Papka, 126, D. 031, L. 1. 15

This session of the CPSU CC Presidium was held on 24 October. See the assessment of the meeting and translation of handwritten Czech notes by Mark Kramer, “Hungary and Poland, 1956: Khrushchev's CPSU CC Presidium Meeting on East European Crises, 24 October 1956," Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issue No. 5 (Spring 1995), pp. 1, 50-56. 16 As it turned out, Khrushchev phoned Mao, and the Chinese leader decided to send a high-level delegation to Moscow for consultations. The delegation, led by Liu Shaoqi, arrived on 23 October and stayed until the 31st. 17 Not until three days later would the uprising in Hungary begin, but Andropov's telegrams from Budapest on 12 and 14 October had kept the CPSU leadership apprised of the rapidly mounting crisis within the HWP and Hungarian society. The two telegrams were declassified in 1992 and published in “Vengriya, aprel'-oktyabr' 1956 g.,” pp. 110-128. 18

The reference here is to the large number of Soviet officers who were busy at the time helping out with the harvest. Although the uprising in Hungary had not yet begun, Soviet troops in that country had been preparing since mid-July to undertake large-scale operations aimed at “upholding and restoring public order.” A full “Plan of Operations for the Special Corps to Restore Public Order on the Territory of Hungary," which received the codename “Volna" (Wave), was approved on 20 July 1956 by General Pyotr Lashchenko. See “Plan deistvii Osobogo korpusa po vosstanovleniyu obshchestvennogo poryadka na territorii Vengrii," in Tsentral'nyi arkhiv Ministerstva oborony Rossiiskoi Federatsii (TSAMO), F. 32, Op. 701291, D. 15, LI. 130-131. See also the account by Lieut.-General E. I. Malashenko, “Osobyi korpus v ogne Budapeshta" (Part 1), Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal, No 10 (October 1993), pp. 24-25. The proposal to re

call Soviet troops from their agricultural work was part of the “Volna" plan, which placed Soviet forces on increased alert in mid-October and brought them to full combat alert by 20-21 October at the behest of the Soviet General Staff. The full plan was due to be put into effect when a signal known as “Kompas” was received. 19 No such informational report had actually been prepared by 21 October, when a meeting of Eastbloc leaders was hastily arranged. But by the time the meeting was held on 24 October, the start of the uprising in Hungary on 23 October forced Khrushchev to cover the events in Hungary in some detail. See Kramer, “Hungary and Poland, 1956," pp. 1, 50-56. 20 Unfortunately, only a small fragment of this session has been found. It is possible that missing pages will turn up in other parts of the Malin collection, but for now the brief (but important) section below is all that is available. 21

The formal protocol for this session (Protocol No. 48) did not list the Hungarian question among the twelve other matters considered here. The most likely reason is that Mikoyan was opposed to the use of Soviet troops in Hungary, preferring instead to rely on political mediation (see below). The Presidium therefore had to adopt its decision without unanimity, an unprecedented step for such an important matter. As a result, no decree on this issue was included as an extract in the formal protocol. 22 In fact, the radio station was not on fire, but heavy smoke from several nearby cars that had been set alight had created the impression that the building, too, was burning. Zhukov's reference to the storming of the radio building indicates that this CPSU Presidium meeting must have taken place shortly after 10 p.m. Moscow time. The storming of the building was sparked mainly by the broadcast of a hardline speech by Erno Gero at precisely 10 p.m. Moscow time (8 p.m. Budapest time). It is clear that the CPSU Presidium meeting was over by around 11 p.m. (Moscow time), when orders were transmitted by Zhukov for the mobilization of five Soviet divisions. See “TsK KPSS,” memorandum from Zhukov and Marshal Vasilii Sokolovskii, chief of the Soviet General Staff, to the CPSU Presidium, 24 October 1956 (Strictly Secret—Special Dossier), in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, LI. 85-87. Hence, the meeting must have been held between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. It is remarkable that, for a session convened at such short notice, so many Presidium members were able to attend. Although a meeting had already been scheduled to discuss other matters, it was abruptly moved up to take account of the situation in Hungary. 23

Khrushchev is referring here to the requests for military intervention he had received from Erno Gero. The request came initially via Yurii Andropov (who transmitted Gero's appeal to Moscow and followed up with an emergency phone call) and then was repeated during a phone call that Khrushchev placed to Gero. A written appeal from then-prime minister Andras Hegedus, supposedly delivered on the night of 23-24 October 1956, was transmitted by Andropov in a ciphered telegram on 28 October. See "Shifrtelegramma” (Strictly Secret—Urgent), 28 October 1956, in AVPRF, F. 059a, Op. 4, P. 6, D. 5, L. 12.



Mikoyan, Suslov, Malinin, and Serov arrived somewhat late in Budapest because inclement weather forced Mikoyan's and Suslov's plane to be diverted to an airport 90 kilometers north of the capital. A Soviet armored personnel carrier, accompanied by tanks, brought the four into Budapest, where they promptly began sending reports back to Moscow. See “Shifrtelegramma” from Mikoyan and Suslov to the CPSU Presidium, 24 October 1956 (Strictly Secret), in AVPRF, F. 059a, Op. 4, P. 6, D. 5, LI. 1-7. A retrospective account of Mikoyan's and Suslov's arrival in Budapest, by Vladimir Kryuchkov, who was a senior aide to Andropov in 1956 and who later followed in Andropov's footsteps at the KGB, claims that Mikoyan's and Suslov's plane was diverted northward because it came under fire and was struck by a machine gun. Kryuchkov also asserts that Mikoyan and the others had to walk for more than two hours to reach the embassy. See Vladimir Kryuchkov, Lichnoe delo, 2 vols. (Moscow: Olimp, 1996), vol. 1. p. 58. There is no evidence whatsoever to back up Kryuchkov's assertions. On the contrary, Mikoyan's and Suslov's contemporaneous report seems far more reliable than Kryuchkov's tendentious memoir. 25 The notes provide no further names of members of the Chinese delegation, who were in Moscow for consultations between 23 and 31 October. The delegation, headed by Liu Shaoqi, included the CPC General Secretary, Deng Xiaoping, as well as three lower-ranking officials: Wang Jiaxing, Hu Qiaomu, and Shi Zhe. Soviet leaders conferred with them several times about the events in Poland and Hungary. 26 By this point, Rokossowski already had been removed from the PZPR CC Politburo. The only remaining question was whether he would be kept as Polish national defense minister. 27 For the continuation of the session, see the portion below and the explanation in Note 33 infra. 28

On 26 October, Mikoyan and Suslov sent four emergency messages via secure telephone to the CPSU Presidium. See the longest and most important of these messages, “Telefonogramma," 26 October 1956 (Top Secret-Deliver Immediately), in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 483, LI. 123129. 29 The reference here is slightly awry. The number given in parentheses (126) refers to the total number of Hungarians studying in Moscow, including party workers, military officers, state security officials, and others. See “Zapis' besedy s poslom Vengerskoi Narodnoi Respubliki tov. Yanoshem Boldotskim, 26 oktyabrya 1956 g.," Cable No. 597/AR (Secret) from A. A. Gromyko, Soviet deputy foreign minister, to the CPSU Presidium, 26 October 1956, in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, LI. 116-117. Malin's notes imply that the figure includes only HWP officials studying at the Higher Party School. 30 A “Directory," which served as the highest HWP organ, had been created by this point under Soviet auspices, but its existence had not yet been officially announced. The existence of the Directory was acknowledged for the first time on 28 October (three days after it had been set up), when it was renamed the HWP Presidium and was formally granted supreme power by the HWP

Central Committee. 31 The reference here is to young people from Hungary studying in the Soviet Union, who would not have been included in the 126 mentioned above. 32

This annotation was in the bottom left-hand margin of Malin's notes. It refers to copies of the messages from Mikoyan and Suslov. 33 According to Khrushchev's remarks above, the session on 26 October was to be reconvened at 8 p.m. to consider the latest information from Mikoyan and Suslov. The double-sided page of handwritten notes pertaining to the continuation of the session, which is provided here, was out of sequence in File 1005. In the earlier published versions of Malin's notes (the Hungarian translation and the original Russian), this fragment is incorrectly placed at the end of the 28 October session. Close analysis of the text reveals that the fragment must have come before, not after, the portions on the 28th. The fact that the 26 October session was due to be reconvened suggests that this is precisely what the fragment covers, rather than being part of a separate meeting on the 27th. (There is no evidence that the Presidium met on the 27th to discuss the situation in Hungary.) 34

Bulganin is complaining about the long telegrams and secure phone messages that Mikoyan and Suslova had been sending to Moscow on 25 and 26 October. See Note 28 supra. See also “Shifrtelegramma,” 25 October 1956 (Strictly Secret—Special Attention), in AVPRF, F. 059a, Op. 4, P. 6, D. 5, LI. 8-11. 35 On 30 October a Revolutionary Military Council was set up within the Hungarian army, but it was not the type of body that Kaganovich had in mind. He was referring to an armed organization that would suppress the uprising, whereas the Revolutionary Military Council did just the opposite, expressing strong support for the resistance and demanding the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary 36 Actually, of those who had been detained since the start of the uprising, more than 8,000 had been released by this time. 37 Khrushchev evidently means that they should confer with the recently ousted prime minister Andras Hegedus and other Hungarian officials who had been removed from high-level party and state positions after 23 October. 38 This trip never occurred, presumably because

time constraints as events in Hungary gath

minister. The posters called for a demonstration in support of Kovacs, who was in Pecs at the time recovering from nine years of imprisonment in the Soviet Union (between 1947 and 1955). When Kovacs was contacted by the Hungarian president, Istvan Dobi, on 27 October over the phone, he tentatively agreed to serve as agriculture minister in Nagy's reorganized government. But Kovacs did not actually participate in any government deliberations until he returned to Budapest on 1 November, by which time the situation had changed a great deal. (Ed. note: An English translation of the Mikoyan-Suslov report of 27 October 1956 cited above appears in CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), pp. 29-30, from a copy of the document in TsKhSD, F. 89, Per. 45, Dok. 9. However, it contains a mistranslation of the passage referring to the posters which had gone up in Budapest declaring Nagy a traitor and supporting Bela Kovacs. The mistranslated portion notes that placards had appeared in Budapest at night, “in which Nagy was declared the chairman and Bela Kovacs was recommended as premier," and that a demonstration was planned “in their honor.” It should have read that Nagy was called “a traitor" and that the demonstration was called on "his" (Bela Kovacs') behalf. The Bulletin regrets the error.) 42

An emergency session of the UN Security Council was convened on 28 October in the midafternoon (New York time) to discuss the situation in Hungary. The Soviet Foreign Ministry originally had instructed Arkadii Sobolev, the Soviet representative at the Security Council, to depict the events in Hungary as being inspired solely by fascist, anti-democratic elements. See “Shifrtelegramma,” 27 October 1956 (Strictly Secret—Special Dossier), in AVPRF, F. 0536, Op. 1, P. 5, D. 65, LI. 24-28. Khrushchev's statement here suggests that the Presidium must issue new instructions to Sobolev, ordering him to take account of the latest developments in Hungary. 43 Zhukov is referring here to the strongest center of resistance in the densely populated region around the Corvin film theater in downtown Budapest. Counterinsurgency operations against this area were supposed to commence on the morning of 28 October, but Nagy cancelled those plans because of the risk of heavy civilian casualties.

For an illuminating account of events in Debrecen, where anti-Gero demonstrations preceded those in Budapest on 23 October, see Tibor A. Filep, A debreceni forradalom, 1956 oktober: Tizenket

nap kronikaja (Debrecen: Mozgaskorlatozottak Egyesulete, 1990). 45 Here and elsewhere in Malin's notes, Hegedus's surname is mistakenly rendered as Hedegus. The spelling has been corrected in the translation. 46

Mikoyan and Suslov were taking part in this HWP Central Committee plenum, which adjourned around 5:30 p.m. Budapest time. The HWP Central Committee endorsed the program of Nagy's new government and conferred supreme power on a new HWP Presidium consisting of Janos Kadar (as chair), Antal Apro, Ferenc Munnich, Imre Nagy, Zoltan Szanto, and Karoly Kiss. See the CC resolution in Szabad Nep (Budapest), 29 October 1956, p. 1. 47 This sentence fragment is highly ambiguous


ered pace.

39 Mikoyan had planned to travel to Austria at the very end of October 1956, but his trip ended up being postponed until April 1957. 46

Some of the pages from this session were out of sequence in the original file. The order has been corrected in the translation. 41 Hundreds of demonstrations and meetings had been taking place in Hungary since 23 October, even after a curfew was imposed. Evidently, Khrushchev is referring here to a warning he received on 27 October in an emergency message from Mikoyan and Suslov (APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, LI. 131-134). The message noted that posters had gone up in Budapest declaring Imre Nagy a traitor and demanding that Bela Kovacs, the former General Secretary of the Independent Smallholders Party, be instated as the new prime

in Russian. The final word in the fragment, translated here as “directly," is samim, which literally means “by itself' or “by himself.” The antecedent might be either the HWP Politburo or Mikoyan, or perhaps something or someone else. The ambiguity cannot be fully conveyed in English (which has separate words for itself' and "himself”), but the translation tries to do so as best as possible. 48 Here again, Zhukov is referring to the center of resistance around the Corvin cinema. 49 Khrushchev is referring here to the coalition government that was formed (or actually reorganized) on 27 October. This government included, on an informal basis, representatives of parties from the pre-Communist era: Bela Kovacs, the former General Secretary of the Smallholders Party; Zoltan Tildy, the former leader of the Smallholders Party; and Ferenc Erdei, the former leader of the National Peasant Party. Not until 30 October, however, did Nagy announce the formal restoration of a multi-party state, with full participation by the Smallholders, the National Peasant Party (renamed the Petofi Party on 1 November), and the Social Democratic Party as well as the Communists. Other non-Communist parties soon sprang up as well, including the Hungarian Independence Party, the People's Democratic Party, the Catholic People's Party, and the Catholic National Association.) 50 Scattered defections of Hungarian troops to the insurgents had begun on the first day of the uprising, but Khrushchev was concerned that the whole army would switch sides. In later years, official Soviet accounts of the 1956 uprising acknowledged that “during the most trying days,” a substantial number of "soldiers and officers from the Hungarian People's Army" had joined the insurgents in fighting “against Soviet soldiers who had been called in to help.” See P. A. Zhilin, ed., Stroitel'stvo armii evropeiskikh stran sotsialisticheskogo sodruzhestva, 1949-1980 (Moscow: Nauka, 1984), p. 93. Formerly secret documents in the main Russian military archive (TsAMO, F. 32, Op. 701291, D. 17, LI. 33-48) include the Soviet defense ministry's complete list of Hungarian army units that took the side of the insurgents. Many other valuable documents about the role of the Hungarian army are now available in the 1956 Collection (1956-os Gyujtemeny) of the Hungarian Military History Archive, Hadtortenelmi Leveltar, Honvedelmi Miniszterium (HL/HM). For a useful volume drawing on these documents, see Miklos Horvath, 1956 katonai kronologiaja (Budapest: Magyar Honvedseg Oktatasi es Kulturalis Anyagellato Kozpont, 1993). For an equally valuable survey of the Hungarian army's role in 1956 based on archival sources, see Imre Okvath, “Magyar tisztikar a hideghaboru idoszakaban, 1945-1956," Uj Honvedsegi szemle (Budapest), No. 1 (1994), pp. 14-27. See also Bela Kiraly, “Hungary's Army: Its Part in the Revolt,” East Europe, Vol. 7, No. 6 (June 1958), pp. 3-16. 51 This sentence is incomplete in the original. 52 This refers to the new Hungarian government's declaration on 28 October, which Nagy would read over the radio at 5:20 p.m. that same afternoon. Among other things, the declaration called for the dissolution of the state security organs, amnesties for those involved in the uprising, the

restoration of the Kossuth emblem as the national emblem, and the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops from Budapest as well as subsequent negotiations on a full withdrawal from Hungary. The statement also rejected previous characterizations of the uprising as a “counterrevolution," saying that the events were representative of a "broad national-democratic movement” that was seeking to achieve “national independence and sovereignty” for Hungary. Unfortunately, the draft of this declaration that the CPSU CC Presidium was presumably considering at this meeting has not yet been located by scholars. 53 Nothing follows Bulganin's name in the original. 54 Most likely, the “you” (Vas) in this sentence should have been “them” (ikh), referring to Mikoyan and Suslov, the former of whom was still in Hungary. If so, Voroshilov was saying that their mission in Hungary had been worthless. It is also remotely possible that Voroshilov was claiming that Mikoyan himself had said these sorts of things about the Soviet troops who were sent to Budapest on the night of 23-24 October. Whatever the case may be, it is clear that Voroshilov was expressing strong disapproval of Mikoyan's performance in Budapest. 55

Kaganovich and other speakers are referring to possible changes in the Hungarian government's draft statement, which was broadcast in final form at 5:20 p.m. on 28 October (see Note 52 supra). 56 Malenkov's surname appears here without the standard title “Cde.” The full designation “Cde. Malenkov" appears a few lines further down in a continuation of Malenkov's remarks. 57

This clearly refers to the Hungarian statement of 28 October (see Note 52 supra), not to the Soviet declaration of 30 October. At this point, Khrushchev and the others had seen the Hungarian statement only in draft form. 58 Most likely, Molotov is referring here to Rakosi, who was already in Moscow, and other hard-line HWP officials who were about to be spirited to the Soviet Union. See below. 59

This sentence is incomplete in the original. 60

Kaganovich is referring to the draft Hungarian statement of 28 October, not to the declaration adopted by the Soviet authorities on 30 October (which was considered at the Presidium meeting that day; see Document No. 7 infra). 61 Khrushchev is probably referring here to the benefits they hoped to gain for Soviet-Hungarian relations, and in international opinion generally, by announcing a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Budapest. 62 Khrushchev is referring to the political, not military, problems that the French and British governments had been encountering. At this point, military action in Suez was imminent, but had not yet begun. On 26 July 1956 the new Egyptian leader, Gamel Abdel Nasser, had nationalized the Suez Canal Company. He stuck by that decision despite coming under vigorous diplomatic pressure from Great Britain, France, and the United States. On 27 and 28 October, Israel mobilized its army for an operation that was broadly coordinated with France and Great Britain. On 29 October, Israeli troops moved rapidly into Egyptian territory. The French and British joined the Israeli incursions on 31 October by

launching air raids against Egyptian cities and imposing a naval blockade. 63 Here again, Khrushchev is referring to proposed corrections in the draft Hungarian statement. It is doubtful there was enough time for most such changes to be included. 64

In line with this decision, the CPSU Presidium sent a message to Gomulka and Cyrankiewicz expressing support for Nagy's new government and for the statement Nagy issued on 28 October. The Polish authorities followed up with an appeal to the HWP and the Hungarian people, published in the PZPR daily Trybuna Ludu on 29 October, which expressed “shock," "pain," and "deep disquiet" at "the tragic news coming from [Hungary]” and called for an end to the bloodshed, destruction, and fratricidal struggle." 65

As a result of this decision, the CPSU Presidium dispatched a cable to Tito that was very similar to the cable sent to the Polish leadership. On 29 October the Yugoslav authorities published a message to the HWP, in the main Belgrade daily Politika, urging “an end to the fratricidal struggle" and warning that “further bloodshed would only harm the interests of the Hungarian working people and socialism, and would only promote the aims of reactionaries and bureaucratic deformation." 66

This sentence is incomplete in the original. 67

This is what appears in the original. Perhaps initially there was some consideration given to bringing these three officials to Bulgaria. As things actually worked out, however, the three men and their families, as well as the former defense minister Istvan Bata and his family, were spirited to Moscow in a Soviet military aircraft on the evening of 28 October. Hegedus and Piros remained in Moscow until September 1958, and Gero stayed there until 1960. Only Rakosi was never able to return to Hungary. For an intriguing article about Rakosi's many years of exile in the USSR, drawing on recently declassified sources, see V.L. Musatov, “Istoriya odnoi ssylki: ‘Zhitie' Matiasa Rakoshi v SSSR (19561971 gg.)," Kentavr (Moscow), No. 6 (November-December 1993), pp. 72-81. 68 Judging from some of the statements below (e.g., "yesterday a government was formed”) and from Suslov's presence (after he had flown back from Hungary), this portion of the meeting must have taken place either late in the evening on 28 October or early in the morning on 29 October. In either case, the CPSU Presidium members would already have heard about the statement that Nagy broadcast over the radio on 28 October. 69 The chronology is slightly awry here. The decision to send in Soviet troops was adopted on the evening of 23 October (see above), but the troops did not actually arrive until the early morning hours of 24 October. 70 The area around the Corvin cinema, on the corner of Jozsef Boulevard in downtown Pest (Budapest's 8th District), was the site of intense fighting that led to many casualties, both Soviet and Hungarian. For a useful account, see Bill Lomax, Hungary 1956 (London: Allison and Busby, 1976), pp. 118-119, 126-127. On 26 October the fighters in the Corvin district elected Gergely Pongracz as their leader. Suslov presumably is referring to Pal Maleter when he mentions “a colonel from the Horthyite army.” Early on


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