A Quick Close-Up on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
Demonstrators on the Pest side of the city marched to the statue of 19th century poet and martyr of the Hungarian uprising against Habsburg rule in 1848/49, Sándor Petőfi. He was in the centre of the communist literary canon and memory politics and had been abused by politics for years. This time, however, Petőfi regained its symbolic status as a hero of struggle for national independence.
This video covers the key events on the Pest side at the dawn of the Revolution.
Hungarian student protests were directly motivated by the Polish October. This was the reason why university students on the Buda side of the river Danube gathered around the statue of the Polish Józef Bem. He was a hero of the 1848 - 49 revolution and freedom fight in Hungary, just as Petőfi. The symbolic gesture is self-evident here.
It was at the Bem statue where groups of students from Pest and Buda came together. More and more workers joined them as they finished work in factories. This video tells the story of the events in Buda.
On 25 October protesters gathered in front of the Parliament, where many became victims of an unexpected volley-firing. In the afternoon, a large demonstration followed called the Bloody Flag Protest. It was named after the flags covered with the martyrs blood which were carried around by demonstrators.
This video follows the events in the City Center where the most intense fights were around Blaha Lujza Square.
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.