The failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution – the Soviets blamed the West just like Orbán does today

Sixty-five years ago Soviet troops crushed the Hungarian Revolution. The Soviet Union started a propaganda campaign blaming the West for the uprising and the bloodshed.  Howard Norton, a journalist with the Baltimore Sun reported from Moscow that the Soviets had spread their version why Russian troops were fighting in Hungary.  Not surprisingly, they put the blame unequivocally on the West and on America.

According to Moscow the revolution was started „by earnest and honest Hungarians who merely wanted to improve their standard of living.”  Western agents manipulated them after they saw the chance to seize power and revive the Capitalist system in Hungary.  These „enemies of the people convinced and confused many honest laboring people.”

The Soviets also blamed outside interference. „Western money was used for releasing propagandist literature over Hungary from balloons and for making subversive radio broadcasting and setting up a reactionary underground inside the country.”

And as a proof that the uprising was the West’s conspiracy the Pravda wrote, „the bourgeois press greets with glee the news of the actions of the counter-revolutionary element.”  The West was also deliberately destroying Hungarian society by promoting human rights.

Many of the Hungarian revolutionaries also blamed the West, especially the United States for failing to provide military assistance to the uprising. Hungarian émigré radio broadcasts made many Hungarians believe that American troops would come to the rescue of the rebels.  Nothing was further from the truth.

India also squarely put the blame on the West, specifically on Britain and France.  Nehru told India’s Senate that the Soviet intervention in Hungary was due at least in part to Russian alarm over the Anglo-French attack on Egypt. The Suez-crisis deviated attention from Hungary and the Russians attacked.

Today, on the 65th anniversary of the failed revolution, the Orbán government uses the same rhetoric. Budapest blames the West for the failure of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.  Mr. László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament recently talked about the “betrayal of the West” and claimed that the West cannot be an example for Hungary. (Read here in Hungarian)

On this anniversary the Orbán regime brings its anti-West and anti-American message to the US.  Mr. Peter Szilágyi, a junior minister will bring the message to Passaic, to the St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Márta Mártai, the Deputy Speaker will bring Mr. Kövér’s message to Pennsylvania.

In Hungary today the West is blamed for everything.  Western NGOs are destroying Hungary; LGBTQ “agents,” the Biden administration became enemies of Hungary’s thousand-year old traditions.

Just like the Soviets 65 years ago “Western arrogance” is mentioned and Mr. Orbán claims “the West isn’t happy just being successful, they also insist that they are correct.  It’s not enough for them that they’re free and get to live how they want and enact decisions their peoples want; they also want everyone else to acknowledge that their decision is the only right one and to adopt it. So they want to tell us how to live.”

A couple of days ago Mr. Kövér went one step further, he stated that the West “would prefer to collaborate with a neo-Bolshevik group today.”

65-year-old anti-West and anti-American Soviet propaganda is recycled in Budapest and even exported to North America on the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

György Lázár

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