It was exactly 50 years ago, on October 23rd 1956 that the Hungarian Revolution started. The nation, willing to do anything to shake off its Soviet masters took to the streets of Budapest to fight against the hated communist regime. Everything seemed to go the freedom fighters’ way, but after a couple of days Moscow decided that it couldn’t let one of its puppets break free. Soviet troops invaded Hungary and the revolution was quickly crushed. Despite the obvious defeat, the revolution was a victory in many ways. It proved that the Soviets couldn’t feel safe even in their own backyard, and it also provided enough pride for many Hungarians to help them live through the next 33 years until communism finally collapsed for good.
October 23rd 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, a day that every political power wanted to make special – on their own terms. So a number of memorials were planned:
- The big official party, featuring most top Hungarian politicians (except the opposition ones that refused to share a stage with PM Gyurcsány), and a lot of top-dog guests like Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission and heads of state and government from all over the world.
- A big popular rally organized by main opposition party Fidesz on Astoria square, right in the heart of Budapest.
- The party that the weirdos squatting in front of the Parliament building for a month had planned, which was finally broken up on the eve of the 23rd, the event that led to all hell breaking lose in Budapest for the second time in a month.