During the 1956 Hungarian revolution one of the primary concerns of the people of Budapest was to remove and destroy symbols of the repressive political regime. This exhibition documents this process.
The Soviet Union "brought salvation and liberation [...] But he could not bring freedom, because he himself did not have it" - as Hungarian writer, Sándor Márai observed in 1947. By many, Soviet military presence was seen as a threat to national sovereignty and in 1956 Soviet monuments were often damaged by protesters.
"Our Russian friends! Do not shoot at us! We are not Fascists! We are not Stalinists! We want an independent democratic Hungary! Do not shoot at us! Do not shoot at workers, peasants and intellectuals!" - says this flyer prepared by "The Revolutionary Hungarian Youth". Soviet soldiers were reportedly told that they were fighting Fascist counterrevolutionaries, and flyers were distributed among them (in Russian) to counter this image.
Hungarian public opinion placed great trust in the United Nations, and it was widely expected that the UN will send troops or, at least, observers to the country. This flyer prepared by the University Revolutionary Committee, however, suggests that the UN would be just as an occupying force as the Soviet Union. There should be "Only Hungarian Soldiers on Hungarian Soil" - they proclaimed, and believed that the UN should support Hungary in economic terms instead.
This video shows and narrates how totalitarian symbols were pulled down or damaged.
This exhibition and videos were created by the working group of the "Hungary 1956" digital humanities project at National Széchényi Library in collaboration with Google.
The Project (to be launched on 23 October 2016) is about creating a georeferenced online living archive of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution with a particular emphasis on its visual heritage (films and photos) by making advantage of GoogleMaps.
Creators would like to thank the MANDA Archive (http://mandarchiv.hu/), Fortepan (www.fortepan.hu), and the 1956 Institute (now integrated into the National Széchényi Library, see www.rev.hu) for supporting the Project. Their materials are used in these exhibitions and videos.