Comentário tornado post

O comentário que Hugo fez ao meu post de há vários meses A Revolução Hungara de 1956:

Este meu comentário resulta de uma investigação pessoal sobre factos, baseada principalmente em relatos na “primeira pessoa” de quem viveu a revolução de 56 (acrescento que um das fontes é o avô de minha esposa, húngaro, oficial combatente da segunda guerra mundial, que ainda no sábado passado esteve comigo a almoçar). Também a minha vivência diária em Budapeste me leva a entender as “coisas” e as causas desta gente (passadas e presentes).

Nagy Imre realmente demonstrava tendências reformistas, mas é o movimento estudantil, não em Budapeste, mas em Szeged que inicia aquilo que veio a tornar-se numa NÃO planeada revolução. Andropov, embaixador soviético na Hungria, sempre esteve atento aos movimentos de Nagy Imre, não podendo evitar a posterior proclamação separatista da república que Nagy Imre assume como consequência da vontade do povo (e do modo como o povo se manifestou). Andropov, leva até o novo governo a acreditar que Kruschev abdica de reacção e permita esta libertação da Hungria.Mas porque atrás da Hungria (e da Polónia) se seguiriam outros e dar-se-ia o colapso, é o enviado chefe máximo da KGB que em conjunto com o Embaixador que manobra um “entertenimento” de credulidade na independência e finge a retirada dos blindados da capital, que a apenas 15 km da capital estacionam e esperam por reforços mais pesados de unidades que eventualmente se dirigiam para o canal de Suez, antes passando por Budapeste para sanear a situação em favor da decisão do presidente da União soviética.

O movimento estudantil em Szeged, é um simples movimento sem aspirações maiores (recorde-se que Szeged é bastante longe da capital, junto à fronteira com a Jugoslávia, hoje Sérvia). apenas demanda de condições académicas, liberdades ideológicas e de expressão. Certo é que esse movimento acabou influenciando as associações académicas da capital (nao de imediato, mas passado uma semana) principalmente porque a primeira não foi reprimida (pelo explicado anteriormente, não terem havido aspirações revolucionárias). Assim na capital, aos estudantes juntaram-se reformistas, opositores e oportunistas, numa confusão instalada que acabou estimulada e aproveitada para uma revolução. Que se torne claro que ninguém toma repentinamente o poder porque foi o poder que tentou se moldar às palavras de ordem do povo frente ao parlamento, e é aos poucos que as declarações de independência e de vontade própria da república são anunciadas de modo a “testar” as reacções soviéticas. Em pouco tempo é verdade que o povo se inflamou e pegou em armas juntando-se (somente depois) o exército bem como partes de unidades do contingente militar soviético (que alguns blindados soviéticos parquearam junto aos manifestantes, apenas soldados, russos, Azeris, ucranianos, não importa a sua nacionalidade, que fartos de um sistema, acreditaram ser a solução húngara um “passaporte para a sua liberdade pessoal” e a ela se juntaram. Quanto à Igreja católica, não encontrei também referências de intervenção neste processo, bem como confirmo não se tratar de uma revolução anti-comunista ou de ideais fascistas.

[Como o post já é antigo, de certeza que este comentário iria ficar perdido]

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (XII)

Já toda a gente deve estar farta destes posts, mas vou fazer mais um – um link para o texto “The Central Workers Council”, de Balázs Nagy, de 1961, sobre o “Conselho Operário da Grande Budapeste” (Balazs Nagy foi dirigente da Liga Revolucionária Socialista Hungára, que seria mais ou menos o equivalente ao POUS português).

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (XI)

Continuando o post anterior:

B. Authorization and encouragement of Workers’ Councils by Trade Unions, the party and the government

549. The Workers’ Councils were a spontaneous creation of the factory and other workers concerned to improve their conditions of work. The role of the Councils was recognized without delay by the Trade Unions, the Communist Party and the Government.

550. Prime Minister Nagy received on 25 October a delegation of a group of workers from Borsod County, who submitted to him twenty-one demands, several of which related to the situation of workers.(34) On 26 October, at 12.58 p.m., Budapest radio announced that the Prime Minister had accepted these demands and would embody them in the programme of the new Government.

551. On the morning of 26 October, the Praesidium of the National Council of Trade Unions announced a new political and economic programme.(35) The first point in the economic part of the programme read as follows: “Constitution of Workers’ Councils in every factory with the participation of factory intellectuals there. Installation of a worker-directorate parallel with the radical transformation of the centralized planning system and of economic direction by the State; workers and factory-intellectuals to take over the direction of factories. Immediate formation of workers’ councils, which should contact their trade union centres without delay to decide on tasks”. The announcement continued that the Hungarian trade unions had to become active again as before 1948, and they would have to change their name to “Hungarian Free Trade Unions”. Later on the Praesidium made the following appeal: “Workers! The desire of the working class has been realized. Undertakings will be managed by Workers’ Councils. This will complete the process by which the factories are taken over as the property of the people. Workers and technicians! You can now regard the enterprises as being entirely your own. From now on, you will manage these yourselves. The excessive central management of the factories, which has prevailed hitherto, will now cease, together with the faults arising from it. A heavy responsibility is laid upon the Workers’ Councils; therefore you must elect the members of such Councils with great circumspection and from the most experienced and best workers. The new Government will increase the pay of those earning low wages. The sooner you start production in the factories and the better our Councils work, the more speedily can wages be raised, and the higher will they rise. Therefore, support the new Hungarian Government in its efforts for socialist construction and a free and democratic Hungary.”

552. Later on in the evening of 26 October, the Central Committee of the Communist Party declared that it approved the election of Workers’ Councils “with the co-operation of the trade union organs”.(36) It added that wages and salaries had to be increased to satisfy “the lawful material demands of the working class”. In explanation of this decision of the Central Committee, it was stated later that the Party had “perfect faith in our working class”, in which it saw the leading force of socialism and on which it relied in all circumstances. Hope was expressed that, by the organization of the Workers’ Councils, the working class would lend its support to the new Politburo of the Communist Party and to the new Government.

553. On 27 October, the Praesidium of the National Council of Trade Unions proposed that Workers’ Councils should be set up “everywhere”, in factories, enterprises and mines, and issued directives for their “election, functions and tasks”;(37) “Members of the Workers’ Councils should be elected by all workers of the factory, workshop or mine in question. A meeting called to carry out the election should decide the method of election. Recommendations for Workers’ Council membership should be presented, as a general rule, by the shop committees or by a worker who commands respect. Depending on the size of the undertaking, the Workers’ Councils should generally consist of from 21 to 71 members, including proportional representation of every group of workers. In factories employing less than 100 workers, all workers may be included in the Workers’ Council. The Workers’ Council shall take decisions on all questions connected with production, administration and management of the plant. Therefore: (1) for the direction of the production and management of the factory, it should elect from among its own members a Council of Direction with 5-15 members which, in accordance with the direct instructions of the Workers’ Council, will take decisions on matters connected with the management of the factory, such as the engagement and dismissal of workers, economic and technical leaders; (2) it will draw up the factory’s production plan and define tasks connected with technical development; (3) the Workers’ Council will decide on the drawing up of the wage system best suited to the conditions peculiar to the factory and on the introduction of that system, as well as on the development of social and cultural amenities in the factory; (4) the Workers’ Council will decide on investments and the utilization of profits; (5) the Workers’ Council will determine the order of business of the mine, factory, etc.; (6) the Workers’ Council will be responsible to all the workers and to the State for correct management. The principal and immediate task of the Workers’ Council is to resume production and to establish and ensure order and discipline. The workers, through their representatives, should protect their livelihood, the factory.”

554. Additional directives were issued by urban and rural Revolutionary Councils in different parts of the country. For example, the Praesidium of the Revolutionary Council of Borsod County stated that the task of the Workers’ Councils was “to exercise control over the manager, the chief engineer, factory foremen and the workers of the plant”, and requested them to attend urgently to the maintenance of order at their respective places of work.(38)

555. On 30 October, the National Council of Trade Unions became the National Council of Free Trade Unions, and replaced its old leadership by a “temporary revolutionary committee” composed of “old trade union leaders who had been dismissed and imprisoned in the past, and new revolutionary trade union leaders”. One of the first actions of this committee was to declare that the Hungarian Trade Unions would leave the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and that, “for the sake of strengthening international workers’ solidarity”, they would be “willing to establish relations with any international trade union organization”.(39) In addition, the committee issued an appeal on 31 October in which it hailed the Workers’ Councils and “requested workers to return to their jobs and to create under the leadership of the Workers’ Councils, the conditions necessary to resume production”.(40)

556. The institution of the Workers’ Councils was enthusiastically supported by the Hungarian press and radio and by professional and other organizations. Thus the People’s Patriotic Front (PPF) declared, on 28 October, that this is “our revolution, because it abolishes the inhuman production norms and entrusts the factories to Workers’ Councils”.(41) The Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian Intellectuals stressed in its programme, on 28 October, that “factories and mines should really become the property of the workers” and that they should “not he returned to the capitalists”, but managed “by freely elected Workers’ Councils”.(42)

557. The institution of the Workers’ Councils, after having received the blessing of trade unions and the Communist Party, found its way into the programme of Mr. Nagy’s new Government. The Prime Minister stated on 28 October that the Government welcomed the “initiative of factory workers as regards the extension of factory democracy and approved the formation of Workers’ Councils”. He also said that the Government would take measures to settle, to the satisfaction of the working class, “long-standing and justified demands and to remedy old complaints”.(43)

558. On 1 November, the Workers’ Councils of the large Budapest factories and delegates of various revolutionary organizations and of the National Council of Free Trade Unions had two meetings with representatives of the Government, to discuss the “grave situation” created by the continuance of the nation-wide strike. At these meetings, speaking on behalf of Mr. Nagy’s Government, Ferenc Erdei appealed, through the representatives of the Workers’ Councils and the trade unions, to the workers of Hungary, pleading with them to resume work.(44) The next day seventeen large factories of Greater Budapest, among them the Csepel Iron and Metal Works, MÁVAG, Ganz Electric and Wagon Factories and the Láng Machine Factory, as well as the transport workers and “all the workers” of Districts XIII, XIV and XV of Budapest, appealed to all workers of Hungary to “take up work immediately”. They stated that, in their opinion, the Government had fulfiled the main demands of the Hungarian people: the repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty, and the declaration of neutrality. Furthermore, “there are guarantees that in the near future elections with secret ballot will be held”. The appeal stated that “continuous strikes would paralyse the economic life of the country” and that “resumed production will provide the strength our political life needs at this moment”.(45)

559. Witnesses stated to the Committee that further negotiations between representatives of the Government and the major Workers’ Councils of Greater Budapest had taken place on 2 and 3 November, and subsequently an agreement had been reached for the resumption of work in all Hungarian industries and factories on Monday, 5 November.

C. Conclusions

560. The Committee concludes from its study of the Revolutionary Councils that they were the result of a spontaneous, nation-wide movement to assert the right of the Hungarian people to assume the direction of their affairs and lives. This movement took shape, as did the uprising itself, at the local level and there was in the beginning little or no contact between the various groups. Nevertheless, as in the case of the students and intellectuals, a broad identity of aim underlies both the demands and the methods. It is clear that the formation of these Councils met a need widely felt by the Hungarian people.

561. The same is true of the Workers’ Councils. All witnesses confirmed that dissatisfaction with the trade unions of the régime was one of the most important grievances of the Hungarian workers. In addition, they demanded a genuine voice in the control of the undertaking in which they worked, and this they set out to obtain by electing Councils along democratic lines. These Councils at once assumed important responsibilities in the factories, mines and other undertakings, and they exerted a considerable influence upon the Government, with which delegations from a number of them maintained direct contact. The overwhelming support given by Hungarians to these Workers’ Councils confirms the impression that they were among the most important achievements of the Hungarian people during their few days of freedom.

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (X)

Continuando com o Relatório da UNU sobre a Revolução Hungara, pags. 166-168:

III. Workers’ councils in factories

539. Since 1947, trade unions in Hungary had become instruments of the Government and eventually agents of the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party. From then on, they were exclusively used to establish production standards, working conditions and wage scales in such a way as to serve the interests of the State. Their leaders were appointed by the Government, under the direction of the Party, and the chairman of the shop committee in each plant picked the committee members from workers trusted politically by the Party. Only one candidate was put up for election, and he was elected by show of hands. In these circumstances, as witnesses stated, workers ceased to consider the trade unions as their true representatives, but looked toward the establishment of genuine workers’ organizations which would not remain indifferent to their complaints and their demands.(24) This criticism of the unions had become widespread before the uprising, and Népszava, the central organ of the National Council of Trade Unions, (Szakszervezetek Országos Tanácsa) (SZOT), declared on 9 September 1956 in an editorial: “Trade union activities in Hungary became distorted and for years have been run on the wrong lines. The time has come now for the trade union movement to become, once again, a workers’ movement”.

540. Hungarian workers were aware that in neighbouring Yugoslavia, the economic and social status of workers was superior to their own, and that Yugoslav workers had some say in the running of factories through the agency of Workers’ Councils. Hungarian workers, according to witnesses, were especially attracted by the Yugoslav system whereby the factory manager was elected by the Workers’ Council and not imposed on them as was the case in Hungary. For some time before the revolution questions relating to worker-management relations in general and the Yugoslav Workers’ Councils in particular had been widely discussed in the trade unions and in the Petőfi Club. Articles were published – including one by the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Council of Trade Unions, Jenő Fock – suggesting changes in the status of trade unions and factory bodies. A well-known economist, János Kornai, a convinced Communist, made a critical study of the “scientific Marxist-Leninist planned economy” and, among the new methods which he proposed to help in solving the problems of State-managed industry, he stressed the role of Workers’ Councils. During the summer and fall of 1956, leading economists and trade union leaders – among them Professor István Friss, Zoltán Vas and Sándor Gáspár, the latter Secretary-General of the National Council of Trade Unions – went to Yugoslavia to study the functioning of Workers’ Councils, and reported on them at public lectures and in the press.

541. Some of the demands put forward by student organizations and other intellectual bodies on the eve of the uprising related to the situation of workers and included proposals for the setting up of Workers’ Councils. The Petőfi Club of the Communist League of Working Youth (DISZ), in a resolution adopted on 22 October, suggested that the Central Committee of the Party and the Government should promote “the development of a socialist democracy in Hungary… by satisfying the justified political demands of the workers, and by establishing factory autonomy and workers democracy”.(25) A statement issued by the Hungarian Writers’ Union on 23 October included the following point: “Factories must be run by workers and specialists. The present humiliating system of wages, working norms and social security conditions must be reformed. The trade unions must truly represent the interests of the Hungarian workers.”(26)

A. The establishment and functions of Workers’ Councils

542. The first Workers’ Council in Hungary, which was set up in the United Lamp Factory in Budapest (Egyesült Izzó), was constituted on 24 October,(27) some two days before the authorization of the setting up of such Councils by the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party. The first Workers’ Councils in the provinces were set up in Debrecen and Dunapentele around 25 October. By 26 October, Workers’ Councils had been set up in many factories both in Budapest and in the provinces. Workers’ Councils were elected in enterprises of the most varied types – in industrial plants, mines, State-owned farms and hospitals.

543. Workers’ Councils in factories of a given area set up co-ordinating committees among themselves. Such a committee, called the Central Workers’ Council of Csepel, was set up about 30 October by the nineteen Workers’ Councils in that area. The Workers’ Councils in the Greater Budapest area set up their co-ordinating body after the second Soviet attack; this Greater Budapest Workers’ Council was to play a major political role during the month of November and part of December 1956.(28)

544. Witnesses explained how the Workers’ Councils, in which they had participated, were elected by the factory workers in free, democratic elections. In some cases, for lack of time, no real elections were organized but, by forming a temporary Workers’ Council, de facto leadership of the workers in the factory was assured. Few Communists were among those elected to the Workers’ Councils. In the opinion of witnesses connected with various Councils, the industrial workers no longer put their trust in Communist leaders. Many of the heads of formerly Communist-controlled trade unions voluntarily relinquished their positions in favour of the new leaders of the Workers’ Councils.

545. The tasks of Workers’ Councils varied during the different phases of the revolution. However, the Councils were, above all, active political organs of the workers. In practice, between 24 and 31 October, they were “strike committees” and insurrectionary centres for combatant workers. After 31 October, and until the second Soviet intervention, the Councils considered that their chief responsibility was to prepare for a resumption of work. From that time on, the Workers’ Councils participated fully in the political aspects of the revolution. They were also active in the organization of food supplies for the people of Budapest, especially for hospitals, and took part in the repair of damaged hospitals and factories and in restoring means of transport and communication. A first step taken by the Councils was usually the dismissal of the existing managerial staff of the factory or establishment. In many cases Workers’ Councils dismissed the directors and personnel officers who were all members of the Communist Party, but retained the business and technical managers, unless they were members of the Party. Another step taken by the Workers’ Councils was to withdraw money from the bank account or to use other available funds of the undertaking concerned to pay the workers’ salaries. Workers’ Councils also sought to secure food for workers and their families. In some cases, factory guards were set up to protect the plant. Many Workers’ Councils destroyed the “white cards” on all workers which were held by the personnel officer. In many cases, they removed photographs of Russian and Hungarian Communist leaders and Soviet insignia. In some cases plans were drawn up to organize the work of the undertaking so as to increaseproduction and reduce costs.

546. The Workers’ Councils were also responsible for transmitting to Mr. Nagy’s Government the political and economic demands of the workers. This function was of considerable significance at the beginning of the uprising, but lost some of its importance later, when major demands were put forward by the Revolutionary Councils. However, it regained importance in the first days of November with the increased concentration of Russian troops on Hungarian soil, and after 4 November it became of paramount importance.(29)

547. The Workers’ Councils and the Revolutionary Councils were closely related phenomena of the Revolution. In many cities the Revolutionary Councils were elected by the delegates of Workers’ Councils, and most of the Revolutionary Councils included many workers in the membership. Witnesses described how, after the election of a Revolutionary Council or a National Committee in such a way, a mutual link was created between a Revolutionary Council and the Workers’ Councils which were to be set up in the area covered by it. In one case, reported by the newspaper of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee, the establishment of certain Workers’ Councils was not recognized, and a new election was ordered “in accordance with the spirit of true democracy”.(30)

548. The demands put forward by the Workers’ Councils in most cases resembled those of the Revolutionary Councils described in part II of this chapter.(31) In many cases, they were coupled with the threat of a strike, should the demands not be met. Thus on 26 October, the Workers’ Council of Miskolc demanded that the Soviet Army should leave Hungary at once, that a new Hungarian Government should be constituted and that a complete amnesty should be extended to all those who had participated in the uprising.(32) The Temporary Workers’Council of the Hungarian Optical Workers demanded on 29 October the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the recall of Péter Kós from the United Nations. They added that the factory would resume work only if the delegation which had been sent to the Government received a satisfactory answer.(33) The representatives of Workers’ Councils from a number of factories of Greater Budapest, which met at the Belojanis Factory on 31 October, demanded free and secret elections with the participation of several parties, the trial of those responsible for the ÁVH massacres, immediate dismissal of some Ministers and immediate withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Treaty.

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (IX)

O tal relatório, pags. 164-166:

D. Efforts for the co-ordination of revolutionary councils and committees

533. By the end of October, individual Councils felt the need to establish a central organization to co-ordinate the work of the numerous Revolutionary Councils and Committees. The second Soviet intervention prevented the establishment of such an organization, but certain attempts were made along those lines. Witnesses stated that thought was being given to the formation of a centralized National Revolutionary Council, on the lines of the Transdanubian National Council to which reference has been made above.(21) A similar Council would have been established for the region between the Rivers Danube and Tisza. Such a central organization of Revolutionary Councils would have been built from the bottom, and not from the top. It would have co-operated with the Government to prepare for the holding of free elections. A specific proposal for such a central organization was made by a delegation from the Workers’ Council of County Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, which called on Mr. Nagy and Mr. Tildy on 2 November. The proposed central organization would have been composed of democratically elected representatives of the Workers’ Councils in Budapest and the provinces.

534. The Peoples’ Patriotic Front (PPF)(22) set up on 28 October a Central National Committee (Országos Nemzeti Bizottság), with the task of uniting and coordinating the activities of locally elected revolutionary bodies. It was said that this Committee would keep the people informed by press and radio on the activities of such bodies and on the scope of their authority.

535. On 2 November, the Central National Committee joined the Revolutionary Committee of the Public Security Forces and the Revolutionary Committee of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in an appeal to the National Guard and citizens, calling on them to “safeguard the purity of our revolution”. The Committee appealed on 3 November to Committees and Councils in counties, districts, cities and villages and urged them to use their influence with the workers to resume work as soon as possible in all enterprises and factories. The Committee added in its appeal that the Government had “fulfiled the demands of the insurgents”.

536. The Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee (Magyar Nemzeti Forradalmi Bizottmány) was set up about 28 October by József Dudás, a former member of the National Peasant Party. This was not the projected National Revolutionary Council mentioned in para.

533 above. The Committee had a newspaper of its own from 30 October, the Magyar Függetlenség (Hungarian Independence). The first number of this newspaper published a twenty-five point resolution adopted on 28 October which the Committee had at that time submitted to the Government. The Committee declared that it would not recognize the Government of Mr. Nagy until the latter included in his Cabinet the “elected representatives” of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee and others. It called for repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty, for Hungarian neutrality and for the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops. Mr. Dudás also issued a statement on 30 October inviting revolutionary organizations to send delegates on 1 November to a National Congress of Revolutionary Delegates. He asked that these delegates should be Hungarians with a clean conscience, who had never taken part in the policies of the old régime or that of the régime Rákosi and Gerő, but had always been “on the side of freedom and progress”. The next day, Magyar Függetlenség announced that this Congress had had to be postponed indefinitely, because Budapest was surrounded by Soviet forces which prevented delegates from the provinces from entering the city. On 2 November, the newspaper stated that all the twenty-five points which had been submitted to the Government on 28 October had been implemented, some of them “against the will of the Government, and as a result of the defeat of the Soviet forces by the sacrifices of our sons and daughters who have fallen”.

E. Contacts of Revolutionary Councils with the government

537. From 26 October on, Mr. Nagy and several of his associates, in particular Zoltán Tildy and Ferenc Erdei, received many delegations of Revolutionary Councils and National Committees from Budapest and the provinces. Practically all of these presented demands to the Government, as has been described in the specific instance of the Transdanubian National Council. On 30 October, Mr. Nagy had talks with representatives of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee, the Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian Army, the Revolutionary Insurgent Forces, the Revolutionary Committee of Hungarian Intellectuals and the Students’ Revolutionary Council, and was presented with proposals by József Dudás, in this case acting for all these groups. According to Magyar Függetlenség of 31 October, these proposals were to be transmitted to the Government by Mr. Nagy. After 1 November at least three further meetings were reportedly held between representatives of the Government and several of the above-mentioned revolutionary bodies to discuss the “political and economic situation of the national revolution”. They were joined by the provisional executive of the National Council of Free Trade Unions, the Writers’ Union, and the representatives of the Workers’ Councils of Budapest’s large industries.(23)

538. On various occasions, delegates met Zoltán Vas, Károly Janza, Ferenc Erdei, as well as János Kádár. At the meeting held on 2 November in the Headquarters of the Builders’ Trade Union, representatives of the Revolutionary Councils emphasized that Hungary wanted to live in peace with all countries, but insisted on the withdrawal of Soviet troops because, as they stated, “the country would not lay down arms while there was one Russian on Hungarian territory”. They added “that Hungarian neutrality was worth no more than the paper it was written on so long as armed Russian troops stayed on Hungarian soil”.

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (VIII)

Relatório da ONU, pags. 161-162

2. Armed forces

518. The Revolutionary National Defense Committee (Forradalmi Honvédelmi Bizottmány) was set up in the early hours of 31 October, at a meeting held at the Ministry of Defence, by two hundred and fifty representatives of (a) The Revolutionary Insurgent Forces (Felkelt Forradalmi Erők); (b) The Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian People’s Army (Magyar Néphadsereg Forradalmi Tanácsa); (c) The Revolutionary Council of the National Police Command (Országos Rendőrkapitányság Forradalmi Tanácsa); and (d) The Revolutionary Committee of the Frontier Guards (Határőrségi Forradalmi Bizottmány). The first three groups had been set up on 30 October and represented young freedom fighters – including the Hungarian Revolutionary Youth Alliance – soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers, cadets and staff officers of the armed forces; and the central authority of the Hungarian National Police. The Frontier Guards had been placed since 1949 under the authority of the ÁVH. They were, nevertheless, considered in a different light by the population of Hungary, and its officers and soldiers pledged loyalty on 29 October to the Government of Mr. Nagy, stating that they sincerely agreed with the revolutionary changes.

519. The meeting of 31 October was convened by the Revolutionary Military Council of the Hungarian People’s Army, which, in the invitation also summoned “the leaders of the Revolutionary Army Committee of the units of the Third Motorized Army Group, which have replaced the Soviet troops withdrawing from Budapest”, to report to it. Thus the terms of the invitation to the above meeting implied that the power of disposition of the armed forces at that date rested with the Revolutionary Military Council, in which leaders of all army branches were represented, and not with the Minister of Defence – at that time Károly Janza. Local revolutionary army committees and military councils had been set up about 28 October all over the country, in different units, including the Air Force Commands and the military academies.

520. The meeting of 31 October set up the Revolutionary National Defence Committee of twenty-one officers headed by General Béla Király, formerly chief of the training centres of the Ministry of Defence; Colonel Pál Maléter, Commander of the Kilián Barracks; Major-General Gyula Váradi of the Tank Corps; Colonel András Marton of the Zrínyi Academy and Lt.- Colonel István Marián, leader of the freedom fighters of the Technological University. It also adopted a resolution of eight points which demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the entire territory of Hungary, the repudiation of the Warsaw Treaty after the convocation of a conference of the signatory Governments, and the occupation of the uranium mines by the Hungarian Army. The Revolutionary National Defence Committee approved the dissolution of the ÁVH, and at the same time demanded that former members of the ÁVH should not be allowed, in the future, to join any armed formation or the National Guard. The Committee stated that Hungarian armed formations would oppose, with arms, any external or internal enemy which set foot on Hungarian soil and attacked its independence, and that, if Soviet troops did not leave Hungary by 31 December 1956, the Hungarian armed forces would fight with arms “for the cause of the country’s freedom and for the defence of the achievements of the victorious revolution”.

521. A few hours before the constitutive meeting of the Revolutionary National Defence Committee on 31 October, Mr. Nagy, acting on behalf of the Council of Ministers, acknowledged and confirmed” the formation of the Preparatory Committee of the evolutionary National Defence Committee which was, apparently, at that time, already in existence. Mr. Nagy added that “the Revolutionary National Defence Committee, once formally established, will form the new armed forces, made up of the units of the army, the police, the revolutionary insurgent forces, and the workers and youth brigades. With their assistance, the Revolutionary National Defence Committee will restore the internal peace of our country and create the conditions for the implementation of the Government programmes proclaimed on 28 and 30 October.(15) The Revolutionary National Defence Committee will operate until the new Government has been formed, after general elections by secret ballot, and has taken office”.

522. Thus from 31 October, the Revolutionary National Defence Committee became the supreme directing power of the Hungarian Army, of other semi-military formations and of the freedom fighters. Between 1 and 3 November the Defence Committee took several decisions of considerable importance and issued statements of policy with or without the Government’s formal blessing. During the day of 31 October, the Committee proceeded to establish the Revolutionary Committee of the Public Security Forces (Forradalmi Karhatalmi Bizottság), composed of the army, the police and the factory guards, which was charged with the coordination of activities of all security forces; and also to develop further the National Guard (Nemzetőrség), which was to be composed of members of armed formations of those fighters who were not members of the army, police or factory guards. General Béla Király was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard, which was to enjoy equal status with the regular army and police. General Király made a statement in which he said that the National Guard should do their utmost to separate themselves from “sporadic disturbers” and that, for this purpose, they would be issued immediately with a special National Guard identity card; they would also receive, as from that day, flags for their units similar to those used in 1848, to which they would swear allegiance.

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (VII)

Relatório da ONU, pags. 159-160:

3. Budapest

510. Revolutionary Councils or National Committees were set up all over Budapest. As early as the night of 23 October, individual fighting groups elected from among their members the first temporary Councils to co-ordinate their forces and to present their demands to the Government. These Councils received added responsibility after 28 October when they took over public administration in their respective districts. The leaders of these Councils came together at an early stage with those of the Workers’ Councils in the same area, and proceeded to set up unified Revolutionary Councils, consisting of representatives of the freedom fighters, Workers’ Council and political parties. Several of the Revolutionary Councils of Greater Budapest were elected by democratic voting, but in many districts there had been no time to organize mass meetings for a democratic election before the Soviet forces intervened again on 4 November.

511. Information is available on the Revolutionary Councils of South Budapest, Csepel and Districts II, V, VII, VIII, XII, XIV and XX. These Councils and Committees had an average membership of twenty to twenty-five. Among the members were workers, soldiers, police, students and other intellectuals, small artisans and small shopkeepers. They met every two or three days and, like the provincial Councils, undertook various responsibilities of public administration, as well as emergency tasks rendered necessary by the fighting. Several Budapest Councils, after adopting the sixteen demands of the students as a political platform,(10) made other statements of their own concerning their recognition or conditional recognition of the Nagy Government. The Councils expressed their views in a newspaper, Esti Hírlap (Evening News) which appeared until 3 November. The following is a summary of the major tasks outlined for themselves by these Councils:

a) restoration of order and peace;
b) organization of National Guard;
c) reorganization and democratization of public administration;
d) immediate tasks of daily public administration;
e) organization of supplies to hospitals, mainly from the hotel industry;
f) treatment of, and supply to the sick;
g) just and equitable distribution of food and other gifts from the Provinces and from abroad, in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross;
h) equitable distribution of available apartments;
i) repair of apartments and the communications system;
j) he clearance of rubble.

By 3 November streetcars and buses had started, and on 5 November schools and normal work were to resume. In addition, the Councils spent a great deal of time with political questions. Some of the Councils suggested that the Government should be reorganized on a broader national, democratic and coalition basis. General support was expressed for an independent, socialist and democratic Hungary and for the three people who, in their opinion, stood for these ideals: Imre Nagy, János Kádár and Béla Kovács.

512. A National Committee and a Revolutionary Council, composed of representatives of the different parties, took over on 30 October the “ideological and political administration of the municipal authority” of Budapest, and pledged the restoration of full autonomy to the capital. The Committee, at its meeting of 2 November, elected József Kővágó, Mayor, and Péter Bechtler, Vice-Mayor of the city – the first a member of the Independent Smallholders’ Party, the other of the Social Democratic Party.(11)

A Revolução Hungara de 1956 (VI)

Relatório da ONU, pags. 158-59

2. The Transdanubian National Council

506. Of all the Revolutionary Councils, that which appears to have wielded the greatest political influence was the Transdanubian National Council. This Council was set up at a conference in Győr on 30 October, at tended by about 400 delegates, four from each county and two from each city in the Transdanubian region, as well as by delegates of the Revolutionary Councils of Borsod and Bács-Kiskún Counties and the Central Workers’ Council of Csepel. The conference was opened by the President of the “National Revolutionary Council” of Győr-Sopron County, Attila Szigethy. Demonstrations held in Győr during the previous days had demanded the formation of a “counter-Government” to that of Mr. Nagy and had called for military help from the Western Powers and for war with the Soviet Union. However, news reached the conference from Budapest about the “Inner-Cabinet” which Mr. Nagy had just set up(8) and which included Béla Kovács, the Independent Smallholder leader from Pécs in the Transdanubian area, and about the opening of negotiations for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Under the impact of this news, the conference decisively rejected the proposal for a “counter-Government” and declared that it would immediately open negotiations with Mr. Nagy regarding the following points:

(1) The Government must give reliable guarantees for the fulfilment of promises regarding the demands of the people, above all regarding the withdrawal of Soviet forces;
(2) The Government must hold general elections by secret ballot with the participation of several parties after the departure of the Soviet troops, but not later than January 1957;
(3) The Government must set up local organs for the maintenance of order with the approval of the competent Revolutionary Councils;
(4) Until a new National Assembly could be convened, all appointments of colonels and other senior officers must be approved by a “Central Council”, which is still to be set up;
(5) Changes within the Government are necessary and the freedom fighters must be represented adequately in the new Government;
(6) The Government must issue a neutrality declaration and communicate it to the United Nations;
(7) The Government must guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.

The conference delegates said that the Transdanubian Council would withdraw recognition from the Government if the above demands were not satisfied and would start negotiations with Revolutionary Councils in Budapest to set up a new Government. The declaration added that the Council took note of the pledge given by Army units in four cities of western Hungary, including Győr, that they would defend the people against all foreign attacks, even if they received orders to the contrary. The Conference declared that it was essential to establish a unified military command for the whole territory of Hungary. The Transdanubian National Council stated at the outset of the Conference that negotiations with the Government would be undertaken in 24 hours and that, in the meantime, the strike would continue. During the night it was announced that the Ninth Army Division in its entirety had associated itself with the Council. This was followed by an appeal broadcast by the Council to all troops in the Transdanubian area calling upon them to follow the example of the Ninth Division.(9)

507. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Szigethy, a delegation from the Transdanubian National Council went to Budapest and met Mr. Nagy on 31 October at the Parliament Building. For several days, Free Radio Győr had been insistently broadcasting the Council demands, including that for Hungarian neutrality. According to a broadcast, emanating from Free Radio Petőfi, on 31 October at 10.30 p.m. Mr. Nagy took note of the creation of the Transdanubian National Council and requested its assistance. Representatives of the Council stated that the condition of their support to the Government was the acceptance of the demands of the Council.

508. The Prime Minister in his reply asked representatives of the Council to give him their confidence; he told them that he was taking steps to fulfil several of the Council’s demands. On the following day at 7.45 p.m. Mr. Nagy made his broadcast proclaiming the neutrality of Hungary and announcing his appeal to the United Nations.

509. Mr. Szigethy and his colleagues, on their return to Győr, reported to the second meeting of the Transdanubian National Council, which adjourned in the early hours of 1 November. The Council decided in favour of the continuation of the strike, pledging the esumption of work after the withdrawal of Soviet troops “had been guaranteed diplomatically”. Acording to testimony received by the Special Committee, at the above meeting of the Council, a delegate of József Dudás, the Chairman of the Hungarian National Revolutionary Committee, proposed once again the establishment of a “counter-Government” within the framework of the Council. This proposal was rejected by the Council with an overwhelming majority.

A Revolução Hungára de 1956 (V)

Continuando com a citar o tal relatório (o continuando no tema das formas de auto-organização adoptados pelo povo húngaro em 1956):

[pags. 155-158]
II. Revolutionary Councils
A. Territorial Councils
1. The provinces

493. As from 24 October, Revolutionary Councils were set up in many parts of Hungary in villages, towns, at district level and in the counties. Whole areas were brought under their control after successful bloodless shorter or longer fights with the ÁVH. They at once assumed administrative responsibilities and began address demands to the Government, some of which had considerable influence on the course of events.
494. Various names were used by these Councils, such as Revolutionary Council, National Revolutionary Council, Revolutionary Committee, Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council, Revolutionary
Workers’ Council, National Revolutionary Committee, National Council, National Committee, Socialist Revolutionary Committee. Many of the Revolutionary Councils were called Municipal Workers’ Council or Workers’ Council which sometimes made it difficult to distinguish them from the Workers’ Councils in factories. In part II of this chapter, the term “Revolutionary Council” will be used.
495. Among the first provincial Revolutionary Councils set up immediately after 24 October were those of Dunapentele and Miskolc. The Councils of Debrecen, Győr and Jászberény were set up on 25 October; those of Mosonmagyaróvár, Tatabánya and Veszprém on the 26th; Eger, Nyíregyháza, Szeged, Székesfehérvár, Szolnok and Zalaegerszeg on the 27th; Szombathely on the 28th and Kaposvár on 30 October.

496. The circumstances in which the Councils were elected varied from one place to another. In many places they came into being after peaceful demonstrations, combined with the liberation of political prisoners; elsewhere the population’s demands, among which the election of a Revolutionary Council was prominent, were resisted by the ÁVH and resulted in a massacre of the population before it was possible to proceed with the setting up of a Council. The following are some examples.(4)

497. In Debrecen in the course of a peaceful manifestation on 23 October, the ÁVH killed 2 persons. After this, power was taken over by a “Revolutionary Socialist Committee” which, after two days’ negotiation, disarmed the ÁVH. In Győr the Council was set up on 25 October after demonstrations which took place before the Headquarters of the Communist Party with the participation of a crowd of more than 10,000. Demonstrators were originally led by Communists, and were joined by factory workers; the crowd tore down the Soviet emblems from public buildings and cut out the Soviet insignia from the flags. When the prison was attacked and political prisoners liberated, the ÁVH intervened and killed four people. The demonstrations continued during the night, and the day after, a notice was published in the papers concerning the mode of election of the Revolutionary Councils, which eventually took over power and disarmed the ÁVH. In Jászberény, after the news of uprising in Budapest arrived, workers and intellectuals went on strike, removed the Soviet insignia from official buildings and hoisted national flags. The Revolutionary Council was established on 25 October by 150 inhabitants of the town. By 29 October the Council had the support of the peasants of the region. In Miskolc revolutionary demonstrations took place on 24 and 25 October and a “Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council” was set up. Demonstrations went on the 26th before Police Headquarters and when demands were made for the release of demonstrators arrested earlier, the ÁVH fired into the crowd. After this, the crowd, composed of miners and workers, attacked Police Headquarters, blowing open the door with explosives and killing many members of the ÁVH. By nightfall, the Council had taken over full control of the town. At Mosonmagyaróvár, on 26 October, students and workers joined by townspeople demonstrated before the ÁVH Headquarters, asking that the Soviet star be removed from the building. ÁVH officers opened fire with four machine-guns, others threw hand grenades at the defenceless people; 101 people were killed and 150 wounded, many of them women and small children. After these events, with the assistance of the local police, the population disarmed the ÁVH
498. In Sopron the local population, with the help of the workers of Győr and Mosonmagyaróvár, disarmed the ÁVH and formed the “Provisional National Council”. In Szeged on 26 October, a military administration took the place of the City Council. On 27 October a demonstration took place in the course of which many people were wounded by ÁVH, and during the day a “Workers’ Council” for the city was set up. In Szolnok there was fighting on 26 October to break down the Hungarian Communist organization and also against the Soviet troops stationed there, followed by the setting up of a Revolutionary Council. In Veszprém representatives of Workers’ Councils in factories met on 26 October at the University and elected a Revolutionary Council for the city and the county. In Zalaegerszeg on 26 October a crowd of several thousands demonstrated before the county building and requested the resignation of the president of the County Council. The president resigned, and in agreement with him a “Workers’ Council” was set up. In the course of the demonstrations, however, shooting started and two persons were killed and many were wounded.

499. The procedure followed in establishing the Councils also varied from place to place. The methods used included election by secret ballot at a general meeting, or at a meeting of factory workers’ delegates, and election by representatives of peasants, factory workers and professional organizations. Sometimes, members of the Council were appointed by acclamation, sometimes by open election from those present at the meeting. In some cases, de facto non-Communist leadership appears to have been established without previous election.
500. The Councils included representatives of all segments of the population. In Debrecen, the Council had one hundred members of whom 60 per cent were workers, 20 per cent University students and 20 per cent representatives of the armed forces. The Councils of Győr and Eger consisted of workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals, while half of the twentyeight members of the Council of Jászberény were peasants. Revolutionary Councils were fully supported from the beginning by the armed forces (e.g., Debrecen, Eger, Győr, Szeged, Szolnok, Veszprém), and by the local police (e.g., Debrecen, Győr, Mosonmagyaróvár, Szolnok, Tatabánya, Veszprém).
501. Some of the Revolutionary Councils were set up with the consent of the local Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party (e.g., Debrecen) many of them had from the beginning to the end Communist members (e.g., Debrecen) ; others dropped their Communist members after 1 November (e.g., Pécs). Most of them enjoyed almost at once the editorial support of the local organ of the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party. Regarding the attitude taken by the Councils towards the Party, the following comments of Hétfői Hírlap of 29 October are significant:
“The demands [of the Revolutionary Councils] are, on the whole, identical and essentially socialist and democratic(5) in their character, and do not intend to destroy the people’s power. This is proved by the fact that wherever Party organizations endorsed the aims of thedemocratic revolution, no action was taken against them.”
502. Some of the Revolutionary Councils had radio stations of their own, which broadcast news and announcements during the whole period of the uprising. The main radio centre of the Provinces was in Győr, where Free Radio Győr and Free Radio Petőfi functioned on medium and short waves. Another important centre was the radio of the Workers’ Council of the County Borsod in Miskolc which broadcast on medium wave. Other free stations were Radio Damjanich (Szolnok), Free Radio Debrecen, Free Radio Dunapentele, Free Radio Eger, Free Radio Rákóczi (Kaposvár), Free Radio Széchenyi (Szeged), Free Radio Szombathely, Radio Vörösmarty (Székesfehérvár) and the Radio of the Workers’ Council of the County of Szabolcs-Szatmár. Most of the latter stations broadcast on short wave.
503. Of considerable political significance were the demands put forward by the Councils to the Government on behalf of the people of their area. These demands varied greatly, in accordance with the geographic location of the Councils. Those from the western parts of the country submitted more extreme demands than the Councils in the east. Demands differed further with the political trends which were represented within the Councils.
504. Some Councils gave qualified approval to the Government of Mr. Nagy, while making conditions for full recognition. The great majority of Revolutionary Councils were unanimous in calling for immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the organization of free elections. Other demands amongst those put forward by the Revolutionary Councils of twelve Hungarian cities and counties(6) which were examined, were for complete independence and freedom for Hungary, for a protest to the United Nations against the presence of Soviet troops in Hungary, for the United Nations to deal with the Hungarian situation, for equality with the USSR, withdrawal from the Warsaw Treaty, recall of Péter Kós, the representative of Hungary to the United Nations, and for a proclamation of neutrality. Further demands included changes within the structure of the Government, the abolition of the ÁVH and the creation of new police, the establishment of the National Guard, liberation of political prisoners, in particular, of Cardinal Mindszenty, freedom of speech, press, religion and association, the setting up of Workers’ Councils in factories; new agrarian policies and, in particular, abolition of compulsory delivery of produce by the peasants.(7) It was often emphasized that a return of the landed estates to their former owners would not be tolerated. “The people have already decided as far as the question of land, factories and mineral wealth is concerned”, one Council delegate told the Government on 3 November. “The people will never alter that decision.”
505. The Revolutionary Councils controlled the ad ministration of the cities in which they were set up, dealing with all the major problems of local government and taking special measures to restore and maintain order by setting up of local units of the National Guard. Some collected medical supplies and food for the fighters and wounded in Budapest. Thus the Revolutionary Council of Jászberény, in co-operation with the local peasants, from 30 October on provided the fighters in Budapest free of charge with nearly 10,000 kilogrammes of food on a daily basis.

A Revolução Húngar de 1956 (IV)

Continuando com a minha transcrição do Relatório da ONU:

[pags. 154-155]

REVOLUTIONARY AND WORKERS’ COUNCILS

I. Introduction

485. No aspect of the Hungarian uprising expressed its democratic tendencies or its reaction to previous conditions more clearly than the creation of Revolutionary Councils in villages, towns and on the county level, and of Workers’ Councils in factories. Within a few days, these bodies came into existence all over Hungary and assumed important responsibilities. Their chief purpose was to ensure for the Hungarian people real, and not merely nominal, control of local government and of factories, mines, and other industrial enterprises. There was even a suggestion that a National Revolutionary Committee might replace the National Assembly,(1) while another proposal was that a Supreme National Council could exercise the prerogative of Head of the State.(2) While nothing of the kind took place, the fact that such proposals could be put forward at all suggests the degree to which they were felt to reflect the desires of the people.
486. The first part of this chapter will deal with the Revolutionary Councils and the second part with the Workers’ Councils in factories.
487. Before the end of October, the entire Communist-controlled Party apparatus had collapsed in Hungary, leaving a vacuum in public administration. By article 30 of the Constitution of the Hungarian People’s Republic of 18 August 1949, various Councils had been established as local organs of the State administration; including County Councils, District Councils, Town Councils, Borough Councils and Town Precinct Councils. Owing to the one party system, these Councils came under the direct control of the Party and local autonomy was destroyed. As soon as the Communist Party apparatus collapsed, the Hungarian people demanded that democratic elections be held in autonomous communities and that the Communist Party functionaries, police administrators and their associates be replaced by men trusted by the people. In accordance with these demands, Revolutionary Councils were created and took over the functions of the local administration in urban as well as rural areas.
488. In addition, and mostly after 27 October, Revolutionary Councils or Committees were created within Government offices, many of which took over the actual running of Departments; and in the Army, by students and other youth groups, as well as by groups of intellectuals.
489. Just as these Revolutionary Councils appeared to be an expression of popular dissatisfaction with the local councils of the régime, so the Workers’ Councils were an attempt to establish control by the workers themselves in factories, mines and similar enterprises. Under article 6 of the Constitution of 1949, the State and public bodies were to act as “trustees for the whole people” for mines, large industrial enterprises and State-sponsored agricultural undertakings. In practice, this meant rigid Party control and, during the Rákosi régime, as was seen in chapter IX, the Hungarian economy was largely subjected to the interests of the Soviet Union.(3) The Workers’ Councils in factories seem to have been an expression of popular disapproval of this state of affairs, as well as the reaction of the workers to the Governmentcontrolled trade unions.

490. Revolutionary and Workers’ Councils sprang up all over Hungary without any central direction or co-ordinating plan, but, as the days passed, efforts were made to achieve some degree of co-ordination. These efforts were still in a tentative stage when the second Soviet intervention occurred on 4 November.

491. On 28 October the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party commended the establishment of these Councils in an article in Szabad Nép, its official organ:
“News comes all the time from all parts of the country about the setting up of municipal and county Councils, Workers’ Councils, National Councils or Revolutionary Socialist Committees – many different names. All are alike, however, in being spontaneous, popular organs which came into existence through the upsurge of a new democracy in this country. We do not know who the members of the Councils are; we do know, however, that they are representatives of the workers and that they are being elected in a democratic way. There is none among them who would abuse the confidence of the people, who would misuse his power or think only of his personal position. Among them are those Communists who are respected and loved by the people. The good judgment and intelligence of the working masses are seen in the first measures taken by these popular organs.”
492. Official recognition was given to the Revolutionary Councils by Mr. Nagy “in the name of the National Government” on 30 October. He referred to them as “autonomous, democratic local organs formed during the Revolution,” and asked for “full support” from them. The setting up of factory Workers’ Councils in all plants was recommended by the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ (Communist) Party in a statement issued on 26 October, and on the same day the Praesidium of the National Council of Trade Unions published a similar appeal to all workers. “