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Zinner, ed., National Communism and Popular Revolt in Eastern Europe: A Selection of Documents on Events in Poland and Hungary, February-November 1956 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1956), pp. 473-481. 109 For the final text of this order, see “Prikaz Glavnokomanduyushchego Ob"edinennymi vooruzhennymi silami No. 1, 4 noyabrya 1956 goda,” reproduced in Lieut.-General E. I. Malashenko, “Osobyi korpus v ogne Budapeshta" (Part 3), Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal (Moscow), No. 12 (December 1993), p. 86. 110
It is unclear what “group," if any, was actually sent. Presumably, the reference here is to a group of Presidium members.
The three former Hungarian officials listed here—Rakosi, Hegedus, and Gero—had fled to the Soviet Union within the past few days. No doubt, Khrushchev had solicited their views beforehand about the proper course to pursue in Hungary. It is also possible that the three were asked to take part in this phase of the CPSU Presidium meeting, and that they offered their views directly. 112 The five Hungarian officials listed here were among those who were slated to take part in a forthcoming “provisional revolutionary government." The first three were still in Budapest (though Kadar was spirited out the next evening), Boldoczki was in Moscow (in his ambassadorial post), and Horvath, the foreign minister in Nagy's government, was on his way to a UN General Assembly session, but was delayed in Prague. 113 Kiss's name is incorrectly rendered in Malin's notes as Kisskar. 114 The formal protocol for this session (cited in Note 77 supra) “affirms the text of the telegram to the Soviet ambassador in Belgrade for Cde. Tito.” A copy of the telegram is attached to the protocol, which further notes that “if the answer [from the Yugoslav side) is positive, Cdes. Khrushchev and Malenkov are authorized to hold negotiations with Cde. Tito.” For the Yugoslav response to the Soviet telegram, see Document No. 9 infra. 115 See Document No. 10 infra. 116 This telephone message is unattributed and undated. Presumably, the message came from Molotov just before he returned to Moscow from Brest on 1 November. It had been arranged beforehand that while Khrushchev and Malenkov would continue on to meet with other East European leaders, Molotov would return to Moscow and brief the CPSU Presidium on Gomulka's position. 117 Protocol No. 50 (in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, L. 58) contains directives from the sessions on both 1 and 2 November (see Note 146 infra). 118 On the evening of 31 October-1 November, Mikoyan and Suslov returned to Moscow, presumably accompanied by Serov. This was the first Presidium meeting in which Mikoyan had taken part since 23 October. In Khrushchev’s absence, Bulganin presided over this session. 119 Other than Mikoyan and Suslov, who were still in Budapest, all the Presidium members took part in the 31 October decision and the subsequent discussions with the Chinese delegation. Hence, Bulganin provided this information for the benefit of Mikoyan and Suslov. 120 It is not entirely clear what Bulganin is refer
ring to here, but he probably had in mind one or more of several developments: Hungary's withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact and demand for the removal of all Soviet troops from Hungary; the commencement of French and British military operations against Egypt (see Note 101 supra); China's sudden decision to support rather than oppose Soviet military intervention in Hungary; new intelligence about the West's position vis-avis Hungary; and the warnings coming in from neighboring East European countries, particularly Czechoslovakia (see below) and Romania. 121
Kaganovich uses a word here, obsuzhdenie, that is normally translated as “discussion,” but it could also mean “deliberations” in this context. Presumably, he is referring to the meeting that Soviet leaders had on 31 October with the Chinese delegation after the CPSU Presidium approved a full-scale invasion of Hungary. 122
This is how the sentence reads in the text. Presumably, Malin meant to say that “we are not attacking." 123 It is unclear precisely who was “worried that we're giving away Hungary.” Furtseva may have been referring to one of several groups: orthodox Hungarian Communists who had sought refuge in Moscow; neighboring East European (especially Czechoslovak and Romanian) leaders; Chinese officials; members of the CPSU Central Committee and the heads of union-republic Communist parties and of regional and local CPSU organizations; and employees of the Soviet embassy in Budpaest. By this point in the crisis, all of these groups had expressed concerns very similar to the ones that Furtseva mentions. 124
Presumably this refers to the decision at the end of October to evacuate the families of Soviet embassy employees to the USSR. For a brief account of the evacuation, see the highly tendentious but occasionally useful memoir by Vladimir Kryuchkov, Lichnoe delo, vol. 1, p. 57. 125 Presumably, Suslov is referring to the plan to bring Janos Kadar and Ferenc Munnich to Moscow. 126 The formal protocol for the session, "Vypiska iz protokola No. 50 zasedaniya Prezidiuma TsK ot 2 noyabrya 1956 g.: O polozhenii v Vengrii," in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, L. 58, states that "taking account of the exchange of views at the CC Presidium, Cdes. Zhukov, Suslov, Konev, Serov, and Brezhnev are to work out the necessary measures in connection with the events in Hungary and report their proposals to the CPSU CC.” 127
A passage from Kryuchkov's memoir (Lichnoe delo, vol. 1, pp. 57-58) sheds light on what may have been discussed here: “At the end of October and beginning of November ... the situation around Soviet buildings (in Budapest] deteriorated significantly; the embassy was under siege, and any attempt to exit the building was fraught with danger. The diplomats long ago had essentially shifted over to a barracks-type operation, spending the night in their offices and only rarely-once our troops had returned (to Budapest)—taking a half-hour ride home one by one in armored personnel carriers to see their families, who were holed up in living quarters several blocks from the embassy.... Ordinarily, knowledge of Hungarian allowed me to engage in conversations with Hungarians and to receive
fresh infomation directly from the center of events ... but [by late October) attempts to strike up a conversation often caused me to have to flee, since they could tell by my accent that I was a Russian. The fulfillment of official instructions, which entailed visits to appropriate buildings and agencies, also was a difficult matter, both in somehow getting there and in then returning to the embassy while holding on to the needed documents. This did not pass off without a number of serious incidents." 128 It is unclear precisely what Shelepin is referring to here, but this seems to be an indication of Moscow's growing concerns about a spillover into the rest of Eastern Europe. Urgent warnings to this effect had been pouring in from the Czechoslovak authorities since late October. See, for example, "Stenograficky zapis ze zasedani UV KSC,” 5-6 December 1956 (Top Secret), in SUA, Arch. UV KSC, F. 07, Sv. 14, Archivna jednotka (A.j.) 14; “Zabezpeceni klidu na uzemi CSR a statnich hranic s Mad’arskem,” Report from Col.General Vaclav Kratochvil, chief of the Czechoslovak General Staff, and Lieut.-General Jaroslav Dockal, chief of operations, 29 October 1956 (Top Secret), in Vojensky historicky archiv (VHA) Praha, Fond Ministra narodni obrany (MNO) CSR, 1956, Operacni sprava Generalniho stabu cs. armady (GS/OS), 2/8-39b; and "Souhrn hlaseni operacniho dustojnika Generalniho stabu cs. armady,” Notes from Col.-General Vaclav Kratochvil, chief of the Czechoslovak General Staff, to the KSC Central Committee (Top Secret), 27 October 1956, in VHA, F. MNO, 1956, GS/OS, 2/8-49b. 129
Mikoyan’s references here to “comrades” and "them” are to Nagy's government. His mention of “three days” in the line above indicates that the timetable for the invasion (code-named “Whirlwind") had already been set. Mikoyan was hoping that some last-ditch attempt could still be made to head off the military operation. 130 No formal protocol for this session has been found (unlike the other session on 2 November recorded in Document No. 13 infra). 131 These initial comments are not attributed to anyone in Malin's notes, but it is clear that the speaker was Kadar. The notes of Kadar's remarks contain a few third-person references to himself, but this is because Malin sometimes jotted down the speaker's name rather than using the pronoun “1." 132 Jozsef Dudas, a former Budapest city official who had been imprisoned during most of the Communist period, was one of the most radical leaders of the October-November uprising. He was in charge of the rebel forces headquartered in the Szabad Nep building. Dudas and other rebel leaders insisted that Nagy must meet the protesters' demands. Dudas was detained by Hungarian police on 1 November. After Soviet troops intervened on 4 November, he took a leading part in the military resistance. He was arrested by Soviet troops on 21 November and was executed two months later. His name is incorrectly rendered as “Dusak” in Malin's notes; the spelling is corrected in the translation. 133 Kadar is referring here to negotiations that he, Munnich, and others had held in the parliament with one of the insurgent groups headed by Istvan Angyal. Angyal was not as radical as most
of the other rebel leaders, but he was insistent on the need for far-reaching changes. Angyal was executed in November 1958. See Laszlo Eorsi, ed., “Angyal Istvan sajat kezu vallomasai, 1956 december,” Multunk (Budapest), Vol. 40, No. 4 (1995), pp. 133-182. 134 The references here are to the Soviet declaration of 30 October and to the declaration of neutrality adopted by the Hungarian government on the evening of 1 November. Nagy announced the declaration in a nationwide radio address. 135 On 3 November, Anna Kethly was named as the Social Democratic representative in the government. See Note 96 supra. 136 On 31 October the Hungarian government announced that, on the previous evening, Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty had been freed from house arrest in Felsopeteny. He had been detained there for some 15 months after his release from prison. As the Primate of the Hungarian Catholic Church, Mindszenty had been sentenced to life imprisonment during an anti-religious campaign in February 1949. Mindszenty's statements in the autumn of 1956 were restrained, but clearly supportive of the revolution. When Soviet troops intervened on 4 November, he sought refuge in the U.S. legation in Budapest. Subsequently, Kadar's government prohibited Mindszenty from performing clerical duties of any sort from the legation. 137
It is unclear precisely what Kadar was saying here. (Malin inadvertently may have omitted some comments just before this line.) At the noontime meeting, the Hungarian government reached no final decision on whether to demand the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops and whether to issue the declaration of neutrality. Those decisions were not approved until the evening session, as Kadar explains below. 138 Ferenc Nagy, one of the former leaders of the Independent Smallholders' Party who had been living in exile in the United States, came to Vienna in late October to display solidarity with the insurgents. On 31 October, however, the Austrian authorities forced him to leave the country on the grounds that his presence might be deemed incompatible with Austria's neutral sta
Secret), in AVPRF, F. 059a, Op. 4, P. 6, D. 6, LI. 17-19. 143
The word used here for "nationalism" is natsionalizatsiya, which normally means “nationalization” (i.e., the assertion of state control over property), but Kadar seems to have in mind the notion of reasserting Hungarian national control over Hungary's internal affairs, rather than leaving important matters under Soviet control. 144 This again is a telling indication that East European and Soviet leaders were fully aware of the popular resentment caused by Soviet preponderance in Eastern Europe. 145
Presumably, Munnich is referring to nationalistic slogans that had been shouted during Soviet-Hungarian soccer matches and to the influence of Radio Free Europe and other Western broadcasts. The Hungarian scholar Janos M. Rainer adds the following explanation for the reference to “soccer": "It was widely believed at the time that the celebrated Hungarian (soccer] team of the period, the Golden Team', which won against nearly every country it played, was not allowed to beat the Soviet Union for political reasons. (Their matches usually ended in a draw.) In actual fact, the first Hungarian win against the Soviet team took place some weeks before the revolution.” See Janos M. Rainer, “The Road to Budapest, 1956: New Documentation of the Kremlin's Decision To Intervene," pt. 2, in The Hungarian Quarterly Vol. 37, No. 143 (Autumn 1996), p. 31 n. 28; readers interested in following the exploits of a fictionalized Hungarian basketball team of this era are advised to read Tibor Fischer's novel, Under the Frog (Penguin: London, 1993). 146
The protocol in question is "Vypiska iz protokola No. 50 zasedaniya Prezidiuma TsK ot 2 noyabrya 1956 g.: O meropriyatiyakh v svyazi s sobytiyami v Vengrii,” in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, L. 58. It reads simply: “To approve the plan for measures concerning the events in Hun147 on 1 November, in accordance with Protocol No. P50/1 (“Vypiska iz protokola No. 50 zasedaniya Prezidiuma TsK ot 1 noyabrya 1956 g.: O polozhenii v Vengrii,” in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 484, L. 47), five Soviet officials (Zhukov, Suslov, Konev, Serov, and Brezhnev) had been instructed to "work out the necessary measures concerning the events in Hungary and present them to the CPSU CC.” This session allowed them to complete the task. 148 All four phrases in this point were incorporated (with modifications) into Order No. 1 issued by Marshal Konev in the name of the Warsaw Pact Joint Command (see Note 109 supra). 149 Those sent to Hungary (at varying intervals) included Suslov, Averki Aristov, Serov, and Zhukov. 150 The text of the plan has not yet been released from the former Soviet archives, but the directive here presumably refers to the military (as opposed to political and propaganda) steps needed to fulfill the decision of 31 October. On the same day of this meeting, Marshal Konev arrived at his command post in Szolnok and ordered the reinforced Special Corps in Hungary to be ready for full-scale combat operations by the following day. 151 No source is specified for the information in
this telegram from Soviet ambassador Aleksei Epishev, but the content leaves little doubt that the Romanian embassy in Budapest was relying at the time on the Soviet embassies in Budapest and Bucharest to relay information. 152 Aleksei Alekseevich Epishev had been a commissar in the Soviet army during World War II. After the war he served in a number of regional party posts, and from 1955 until 1962 he was the Soviet ambassador to Romania and then Yugoslavia. In 1962 he was given the military rank of army-general and appointed the head of the Soviet Army's Main Political Directorate, a post he retained until his death in 1985. 153 The surname of Aurel Malnasan (who was then a deputy foreign minister in Romania) is correctly spelled in the original Malin notes, but for some reason the published versions of the notes (in both Hungarian and Russian) mistakenly render Malnasan's surname as Malnasanu. The editors of the published versions erroneously claim that Malin's notes misspelled the name. 154 On 2 November in Bucharest, Khrushchev and Malenkov briefed the Romanian leader, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, and his Czechoslovak and Bulgarian counterparts about the forthcoming invasion. On the eve of the invasion, Malnasan held lengthy talks with Nagy. Gheorghiu-Dej's motivation in sending Malnasan to Budapest must have been to keep Nagy occupied and to prevent him from taking any steps to counter the imminent military operation. For brief reports by Malnasan on the talks, see the newly declassified cables from the Romanian Foreign Ministry archive in Corneliu Mihai Lungu and Mihai Retegan, cds., 1956 Explozia: Perceptii romane, iugoslave si sovietice asupra evenimentelor din Polonia si Unguria (Bucharest: Editura Univers Enciclopedic, 1996), pp. 181182. 155
For some reason, Malin did not list Khrushchev's name among the participants. Also not listed here are Janos Kadar, Ferenc Munnich, and Imre Horvath, who took part in the segment on the formation of a new Hungarian government. This portion of the meeting began at 8:45 p.m., with Khrushchev and Malenkov in attendance after their return from Brioni. 156 The reference here is to documents issued by the Kadar government after it was installed in power. 157 a Hungarian scholar, Janos Rainer, recently found a document in the Hungarian National Archive that sheds important light on this part of the CPSU Presidium's deliberations. Notes taken by Imre Horvath, one of the Hungarian officials who were present, reveal that Khrushchev offered an opening statement here, which for some reason was not transcribed by Malin. The notes Horvath took of Khrushchev's speech are translated below (see Document No. 16) as a supplement to the Malin notes, but they may be worth reading at this point before finishing Malin's rendition of the meeting. Although Horvath’s notes were written hurriedly in mixed Hungarian and Russian, they provide a good flavor of what Khrushchev said.
139 Bela Kovacs had been recuperating in Pecs from his nine years of imprisonment. The government's evening session on 1 November was the first activity in which he took part in Budapest. 140 On the alarm generated by the Soviet troop movements, see Andropov's ciphered telegrams from 30 October, 1 November, and 2 November in AVPRF, F. 059a, Op. 4, P. 6, D. 5, LI. 15-16, 17-19, and 20-22, respectively. 141 The name “Kovacs” here refers to General Istvan Kovacs, not Bela Kovacs. General Kovacs had become chief of the Hungarian General Staff on 31 October and was also a member of the Revolutionary Defense Committee. He was arrested on 3 November along with the other members of the Hungarian delegation that were negotiating the withdrawal of Soviet troops. He was not released from prison until 1960. 142
Andropov's own account of his attendance at the inner cabinet's evening session, which tallies very well with Kadar's version, is in “Shifrtelegramma," 1 November 1956 (Strictly
158 a secret report from the Soviet ambassador in Hungary, Yurii Andropov, in May 1956 was much less positive, alleging that “the work of the
Hungarian press in illuminating the results of the
Osobaya Papka; and “TsK KPSS,” 18 July 1956 on 1 November, which was published in
self feared; see the detailed account by the chief 165 The nature of this statement is unclear (to say of the East German State Security forces in 1956, the least), but the mention of these countries at a Ernst Wollweber, in Wilfriede Otto, ed., "Ernst time of escalating hostilities is another interest- Wollweber: Aus Erinnerungen Ein Portrait ing indication of the role of the Suez Crisis in Walter Ulbrichts,” Beitrage zur Geschichte der Soviet thinking about events in Hungary. Arbeiterbewegung, No. 3 (1990), esp. pp. 361166 This topic was not included in the formal pro- 378. For more on the impact of the 1956 crises tocol for the session (“Protokol No. 51 zasedaniya on the East German communist leadership, see Prezidiuma TsK KPSS," in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, the papers presented by Hope M. Harrison and D. 484, LI. 60-61).
Christian F. Ostermann at the "Conference on 167 Most likely, there is a mistake or omission in Hungary and the World, 1956: The New ArchiMalin's text. These phrases, as given in the origi- val Evidence,” which took place in Budapest on nal, do not make sense.
25-29 September 1996 and was organized by the 168 The reference here is to financial, not mili- Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian tary, assistance. A Soviet economic aid package Revolution, the National Security Archive, and for Hungary was approved on 5 November and the Cold War International History Project. Copannounced the following day.
ies of the papers, both of which draw extensively 169These points about the Suez Crisis are intrigu- on the archives of the former Socialist Unity Party ing in light of what happened the following day of Germany (SED), are available from the con(5 November). During the first several days of ference organizers. the Suez Crisis, Moscow's response was limited 173Saburov is referring to the families of Soviet to verbal protestations through the media and at troops who were killed, not to the much larger the UN. On 5 November, the day before a number of Hungarians who died in the fighting. ceasefire was arranged, Soviet prime minister 174This illustrates how concerned CPSU leadNikolai Bulganin sent letters to the U.S., French, ers were that the crisis was spilling over into the British, and Israeli governments. His letter to Soviet Union. Both before and after 4 NovemPresident Eisenhower warned that “if this war is ber, unrest and protests occurred at a number of not halted, it will be fraught with danger and might higher educational institutions in the USSR, inescalate into a third world war.” Bulganin pro- cluding Moscow State University (MGU). At posed that the United States and Soviet Union MGU, “protests against Soviet military intervenmove jointly to “crush the aggressors," an action tion" were accompanied by “anti-Soviet slogans he justified on the grounds that the two super- and posters.” Both students and faculty took part powers had “all modern types of arms, including in the actions. The KGB quickly moved in and nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, and bear par- restored order, but the crackdown was not as vigticular responsibility for stopping the war.” Not orous and sweeping as some CPSU officials surprisingly, Eisenhower immediately rejected wanted. See the first-hand account by the longBulganin's proposal. Bulganin's letters to France, time deputy director of the KGB, Filipp Bobkov, Great Britain, and Israel were far more minatory, KGB i vlast' (Moscow: Veteran MP, 1995), pp. including thinly-veiled threats to use missiles if 144-145. Bobkov claims that Pyotr Pospelov and necessary to prevent Egypt's destruction. The some other senior party officials, as well as a letters to France and Britain contained identical number of high-ranking personnel in the KGB, passages: “In what position would (Britain and wanted to launch “mass repressions” to deter any France) have found themselves if they had been further unrest, but their proposals were never forattacked by more powerful states possessing all mally adopted. Subsequently, a commission types of modern weapons of destruction? These headed by Brezhnev issued secret orders and more powerful states, instead of sending naval or guidelines to all party organizations to tighten air forces to the shores of [Britain or France), political controls. could use other means, such as missile technol- 1750n 4 November, the Soviet ambassador in Yuogy.” Bulganin's letter to Israel declared that “Is- goslavia, Nikolai Firyubin, sent a telegram to rael is playing with the fate of peace and the fate Moscow with information provided by Kardelj of its own people in a criminal and irresponsible (at Tito's behest) about the refuge granted to Imre manner.” This policy, Bulganin warned, “is rais- Nagy and his aides in the Yugoslav embassy. The ing doubts about the very existence of Israel as a response, as approved by the CPSU Presidium, state. We expect that the Government of Israel called on the Yugoslav authorities to turn over will come to its senses before it is too late and the Hungarian officials to Soviet troops. See will halt its military operations against Egypt.” “Vypiska iz protokola No. P51/IV zasedaniya For the texts of the letters and other Soviet state- Prezidiuma TsK KPSS ot 4 noyabrya 1956 g.,"4 ments during the crisis, see D. T. Shepilov, ed., November 1956 (Strictly Secret), in APRF, F. 3, Suetskii krizis (Moscow: Politizdat, 1956). Al- Op. 64, D. 485, LI. 103-104. though the letters represented a much more force- 176Nagy had appealed to UN Secretary-General ful and conspicuous Soviet stance against the al- Dag Hammerskjold on 1 November asking for lied incursions, they came so belatedly that they support of Hungary's sovereignty and indepenhad only a minor impact at best on efforts to dence. The UN Security Council began considachieve a ceasefire.
ering the matter on 3 November. On 4 Novem170 This
passage refers to the appeal to the na- ber, the UN Security Council took up the question that Kadar's government issued when it was tion of Soviet military intervention in Hungary, installed in power on 4 November.
and the UN General Assembly voted to condemn 171 Molotov is referring to Kadar's radio address the Soviet invasion. On 5 November, the CPSU
newspaper Pravda featured a letter purportedly sent by Kadar and Imre Horvath to Dag Hammarskjold. The letter claimed that Nagy's submission of the Hungarian question to the UN had been illegal, and requested that all consideration of the issue cease. 177This brief session produced few results. The formal protocol for the session (in TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 14, D. 73, L. 4) simply reads: “Defer consideration of the matter." 178 Voroshilov's name is not listed among the participants, but the notes below indicate that he actively took part. 179Other documents recently declassified by the Russian government shed light on what occurred at this meeting. On 5 November an official from the CPSU CC international department, Vladimir Baikov, who had been sent to Budapest the previous day to maintain liaison with Kadar, sent a secure, high-frequency message back to Moscow along with the draft text of a statement prepared by Kadar. Baikov's message reads as follows: “At the request of Cde. Kadar, I am conveying the translation from Hungarian of an Appeal by the Provisional Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party 'To Hungarian Communists! To Loyal Members of the Hungarian Workers' Party! Cde. Kadar requested that I transmit the views and observations of the Soviet comrades regarding the text of the Appeal by 10:00 a.m. on 6 November.” (See “Po VCh," APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 485, L. 132.) The draft went to Mikoyan, who prepared a number of changes and suggestions before the Presidium meeting began. The most significant change was the addition of a reference to the "treacherous" activities of a “group of Imre Nagy, Losonczy, and Donath” after the condemnation of the “Rakosi clique." (See the marked-up draft in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 485, L. 136.) Kadar incorporated this change, though he dropped the mention of Ferenc Donath, referring simply to the “Nagy-Losonczy group,” which he claimed had committed "treason” and inspired the “counterrevolution.” Other proposed changes also were included. The final text was released as a leaflet in Hungary on 6 November. It was published in the Szolnok newspaper Szabad Nep on 7 November and in Russian translation in the CPSU daily Pravda that same day. On 8 November it was published in Nepszabadsag. This was the first major programmatic statement by Kadar's government. 180This is the same telegram that Kadar mentioned earlier. See Note 159 supra. 181The draft statement pledged that the HSWP would "make a decisive break with the harmful policy and criminal methods of the Rakosi clique, which shook the faith of the broad popular masses in our party.” This was preserved in the final text along with other condemnations of “past mistakes." 182 Malenkov obviously is referring to a CC plenum of the HWP, not of the CPSU. 183 Again, the reference is to a CC plenum of the HWP, not of the CPSU. 184 From exile in Moscow, Rakosi had made overtures about his possible readmission into the Hungarian Communist party. 185The topic discussed here was a telegram received on 5 November 1956 from the Soviet am
bassador in Yugoslavia, Nikolai Firyubin, transmitting a formal protest by the Yugoslav government about the death of Milenko Milovanov, a Yugoslav embassy employee in Budapest who was struck by shots fired from a Soviet tank. The Yugoslav foreign minister, Koca Popovic, accused the Soviet tank of having deliberately opened fire on the embassy even though the compound was clearly marked and “the Soviet government had been informed by the Yugoslav side of who, other than Yugoslav diplomatic personnel, is in the Yugoslav embassy compound in Budapest.” See “Shifrtelegramma," 5 November 1956 (Strictly Secret), in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 485, LI. 143144. To reinforce Popovic's complaint, a similar protest was delivered by the Yugoslav ambassador in Budapest, Dalibor Soldatic, to the Soviet ambassador in Budapest, Yurii Andropov. Soldatic requested that the Soviet military unit alongside the Yugoslav embassy be pulled back. Andropov relayed this message by telephone to the Soviet deputy foreign minister Valerian Zorin, warning that “the demand for the withdrawal of the Soviet military unit from the building of the mission is of a suspicious nature.” See “Telefonogramma,” 5 November 1956, in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 485, L. 130. These messages were discussed at the Presidium meeting not only by Zhukov and Shepilov (as indicated by Malin), but also by Khrushchev, who presented the draft of a cable intended for the Yugoslav government. Subsequently, the cable was transmitted via Firyubin to Popovic. 186The formal protocol for this session (“Vypiska iz Protokola No. 53 zasedaniya Prezidiuma TsK KPSS ot 6 noyabrya 1956 g.," in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 485, L. 141) indicates that the Presidium “affirmed the draft response to the Yugoslavs in connection with the unfortunate case of an employee at the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest.” The telegram, signed by foreign minister Dmitrii Shepilov, was sent to the Yugoslav foreign minister, Koca Popovic, via the Yugoslav ambassador in Budapest, Veljko Micunovic. It stated that the Soviet military commander in Hungary had been ordered to make a careful study of how the incident happened. The telegram also conveyed the Soviet government's “deep condolences” regarding the death of Milenko Milovanov, and promised assistance in transporting Milanov's body to Yugoslavia. The telegram said that the Soviet military government would take “all necessary measures" to safeguard the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest, and in a follow-on conversation with Micunovic, Shepilov indicated that the Soviet military command would comply with the Yugoslav request to “pull back the military unit next to the [Yugoslav) embassy compound.” See “O besede s poslom Yugoslavii v SSSR Michunovichem,” No. 486 (Secret), from D. T. Shepilov to the CPSU Presidium, 7 November 1956, in TsKhSD, F. 89, Op. 45, D. 29, LI. 1-3. The investigation into the incident was completed by mid-day on 7 November. It concluded that the Soviet tank had come under fire from a house alongside the Yugoslav embassy. When the tank responded by firing back, one of the shots had strayed into the embassy, killing Milovanov. It is unclear whether this version of events is more accurate than the original Yugoslav account, but whatever the case may have been, steps were
taken to prevent further “unfortunate incidents." 187 These notes were compiled by Malin's deputy, Vladimir Naumovich Chernukha, not by Malin himself. Hence, they are somewhat sketchier than other notes from this period. No list of participants in the session is given, but the formal protocol for the session (“Vypiska iz Protokola No. 60 zasedaniya Prezidiuma TsK KPSS ot 27 noyabrya 1956 g.," in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 488, L. 181) indicates that, in addition to those listed here, the participants included Brezhnev, Shvernik, Furtseva, Belyaev, and Pospelov. The protocol does not mention Andrei Gromyko. 188The Presidium is discussing a telegram that was sent on 26 November by V. F. Nikolaev, an official at the Soviet embassy in Bucharest. The telegram indicated that the Romanian leader, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej intended to seek toplevel negotiations with Yugoslavia as soon as possible to alleviate the dispute that Yugoslavia was having with the Soviet Union and Hungary about the fate of Imre Nagy. During negotiations with the Yugoslavs, Kadar's government had given assurances of safety for Nagy and his aides
they left the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest. When Nagy's group went outside on 22 November, they were immediately arrested by Soviet military personnel. Soon thereafter, they were transported as prisoners to Romania. A senior aide to Gheorghiu-Dej, Emil Bodnaras, told Nikolaev that the Romanians “hadn't expected that the Yugoslavs would raise a fuss about the transfer of Imre Nagy and his group to Romania. However, as you know, they presented a note of protest to the Soviet and Hungarian governments. It's possible that this question might be raised at the UN, etc. We believe that we must be ready for different speeches and discussions regarding Imre Nagy. But first of all we believe it is necessary to discuss this matter with the Yugoslavs.” See “Shifrtelegramma," 26 November 1956 (Strictly Secret), in TsKhSD, F. 89, Op. 2, D. 5, Ll. 13-14. 189The formal protocol for this session (“Vypiska iz Protokola No. 60 zasedaniya Prezidiuma Tsk KPSS," 27 November 1956, in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 488, L. 177) stated that “on the basis of the exchange of opinions at the session of the CPSU CC Presidium, Cde. Bulganin is instructed to hold negotiations with Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej.” Later that day, Bulganin had a telephone conversation with Gheorghiu-Dej, which he promptly recounted in writing for the other members of the CPSU Presidium: "I told Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej that, in our opinion, a meeting at the highest level with the Yugoslav leadership about Imre Nagy and his group will not produce a good solution, since the Yugoslavs have a set position on this matter, and such a meeting might complicate the situation. The Yugoslavs might demand a meeting with Imre Nagy and the others, which would hardly be worthwhile. ... Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej asked that I let the CPSU CC Presidium know that they are working via plenipotentiaries with Imre Nagy and his group. They have set out to persuade Imre Nagy and his group to issue a statement in which they would acknowledge their criminal actions and indicate that the only correct course at present is to support and consolidate the Revolutionary Workers' and Peasants' Government of Kadar, and to strengthen the re
gime of people's democracy. In this way, said
directly subordinate to Soviet leader J.V. Gheorghiu-Dej, we want to test Imre Nagy." See RESEARCH NOTES:
Stalin. It functioned for almost eight “Informatsiya,” 27 November 1956 (Top Secret), in TsKhSD, F. 89, Op. 2, D. 5, LI. 16-17.
years until it was abolished in accor
THE RUSSIAN NUCLEAR 190This refers to the manner in which Imre Nagy
dance with a CC CPSU Presidium and his aides were arrested. A bus had been DECLASSIFICATION PROJECT:
Resolution of 26 June 1953—the same brought alongside the Yugoslav embassy, suppos
SETTING UP THE A-BOMB
tumultuous meeting at which Beria was edly to transport the officials and their families
EFFORT, 1946 to their apartments. It turned out that the bus was
arrested. Thus, the Special Committee's merely part of an elaborate plot devised by Ivan
activities covered a most important, forSerov and other senior KGB officials to lure Nagy
by G. A. Goncharov, N. I. Komov,
mative period of the Soviet atomic from the embassy. A Soviet military officer was
A. S. Stepanov
project, that is, the establishment and sitting in the bus, and others quickly approached. Two Yugoslav diplomats who were accompany
growth of the USSR atomic-energy ining the Hungarians were forced out of the bus,
On 16 July 1945, the USA con
dustry, the development and testing of and the remaining passengers were placed under ducted the world's first test of an atomic
the first Soviet atomic bomb (in 1949) arrest, contrary to the assurances that Kadar's bomb, and on 6 and 9 August 1945, it
and early improved atomic bomb degovernment had given to the Yugoslavs. This
used the new weapon on Hiroshima and episode is recounted in detail in the note of pro
signs, and the development and virtual Nagasaki. The world faced the fact of completion of the first Soviet hydrogen test that Yugoslav foreign minister Koca Popovic sent to the Soviet and Hungarian embassies on the USA's monopolistic possession of
bomb (RDS-6), which was first tested 24 November 1956, in TsKhSD, F. 89, Op. 2, D. the new, unprecedently powerful de
in August 1953. 5, LI. 19-26. See also “Telefonogramma,” Se- vice. The atomic bombardments of the cure High-Frequency Transmission, from
Considering and resolving all the Japanese cities, some believed, also Malenkov, Suslov, and Aristov, 23 November
most basic issues which arose in the 1956, in APRF, F. 3, Op. 64, D. 488, LI. 95-96. constituted a demonstration by
course of the early Soviet atomic 191 No title for this section is given, but the for- America's leaders of their readiness to
project, the Special Committee was mal protocol for the session (No. 60, as cited in employ these weapons later on as well. Note 187 supra) indicates that Point II dealt with
empowered to supervise
The events of 1945 forced the So“Questions of Hungary.” According to the Protocol, “the USSR Foreign Ministry, the KGB, and viet leadership to undertake emergency
all work on the use of atomic energy of the USSR Ministry of Defense (were) instructed measures to speed up the creation of the
uranium:- the development of scientific to prepare materials about Imre Nagy and his USSR's own nuclear weapons. It was group in accordance with the exchange of opin
research in this sphere;- the broad use clear that solving the problem of makions at the CPSU CC Presidium's session."
of geological surveys and the establish192 Nagy's surname is omitted in this line of ing the atomic bomb as soon as pos
ment of a resource base for the USSR Malin's notes. sible would require mobilization of all
to obtain uranium...,- the organization the country's resources, which had been
of industry to process uranium and to Mark Kramer, a scholar based at the Davis entirely directed to securing the victory
produce special equipment and materiCenter for Russian Studies at Harvard Uni- over fascist Germany and its allies.
als connected with the use of atomic enversity, is a frequent contributor to the Focusing all the country's forces on
ergy; and the construction of atomic CWIHP Bulletin. the solution of this complex problem
energy facilities, and the development called above all for the establishment
and production of an atomic bomb. 1 of a new state management body endowed with appropriate power. Such a
The Special Committee's decisions body, which was entrusted with practi- either were of unilaterally decisive charcally unlimited authority, was the Spe
acter or were made to support draft resocial Committee, headed by L. P. Beria
lutions and directions of the USSR Gov(a member of State Defense Commit
ernment previously submitted to Stalin tee and Vice Chairman of the USSR
for approval. Throughout the lifetime Council of People's Commissars) and
of the Special Committee, more than was founded by the USSR State De
140 sittings were held. The approxifense Committee's Resolution No.
mate volume of the Special GOKO-9887 of 20 August 1945. The
Committee's protocols is 1000 typeCommittee was founded under the State
written pages. The complete work of the Defense Committee, but after the State Special Committee fills about 1700 Defense Committee was abolished in
dossiers containing more than 300,000 September 1945, the Special Commit
typewritten pages. These materials are tee functioned as a body of USSR Coun
currently stored in the Archive of the cil of People's Commissars (and after
President, Russian Federation (APRF). March 1946 as a body of the USSR
These materials, documenting Council of Ministers).
events from 1943 to 1953, constitute an In reality, the Special Committee
invaluable treasure of early Soviet was an independent state control body atomic project history.