First Commemoration of 1956 in Hírek

Reported by Kinga Bíbor Nagy

Thoughts on October by Márta Horváth from 1983

As the October winds come down from the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains, it seems fitting to remember the winds of October, 1956.

It was the wind of revolution that swept through our tiny country and nation. We Hungarians daringly rebelled against the communist regime and the mighty Soviet Union. We fought for sovereignty, freedom and human rights, as so many times before in the history of the Magyars.

Some of the Hungarians fought with arms in hands, endangering your lives. You were young and idealistic at that time and believed in a noble cause. Today you may be 40 or 50 some years old, sitting in your comfortable home, enjoying the luxuries of the world’s most wealthy nation, and you may be asking, was it all futile. Was the fight useless?

It would be unfair to think so. The revolution was suppressed, still all wasn’t lost…

As a result of that October, Hungarians today enjoy more freedom than any other nation among the communist countries, and even the West marvels at the wealth and success of the Hungarian economy. With the clever politics of János Kádár, Hungary created its own unique brand of communism. There are problems and hardships but there are advances also.

Therefore, it is fitting for us to remember those who were there 28 years ago in our universities, in our factories, at the barricades and who defied the authorities, endangered their lives or who died for their beliefs. The principles, the ideas they fought for are still worth taking a stand for: freedom, independence and human rights.

The 1956 revolution was commemorated in Seattle for the first time in 1985. Interesting fact: the invitations had to be sent out twice (with double postage) because the hours were changed. At that time there was still communism in Hungary, so Márta, the president of HAAW, used two different names as a precaution. She managed the association’s affairs under the name Márta Boros and her articles appeared in Hírek under the name Márta Horváth.

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