Russian tanks block defiant Hungarian women

By RUSSELL JONES  |  December 05 1956
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BUDAPEST, Dec. 5, 1956 (UP) - Russian tanks and armored cars roared through Budapest again today to block a defiant demonstration by Hungarian women. The women screamed and shook their fists at the Soviet troops. It was the second demonstration of mourning for victims of the Hungarian revolt in as many days. It occurred on the eve of a mass movement that could touch off a new armed uprising throughout the nation. Fewer women turned out today than the 30,000 who defied Russia's might yesterday. And there was no repetition of the Soviet gunfire that wounded one woman yesterday. The goal of today's mourners was Petoefi Square, where the Oct. 23 uprisings against the Russians began. A few women, in groups of three or four, got through a Soviet armored cordon to lay flowers on the statue honoring a 19th-century patiot which gives the square its name. As the women defied Soviet guns, a new spirit of revolt was growing among the people. It was fanned by the realization that the puppet regime of Janos Kadar had no intention of meeting workers' demands. Unsigned leaflets distributed in the streets called for a new armed uprising against the Communist oppressors. They gave no date for the attack, but set tomorrow for a mighty demonstration. Tomorrow's mass demonstration, if it does not erupt into large-scale fighting, is expected at least to start a new "total strike" in Budapest - one so complete it might cut off the city's electricity and gas for the first time. The threat of open resistance by armed rebel bands hiding in the woods and hills in the provinces mounted. Strong bands were reported in the Mescek Hills near the coal and uranium mining center of Pecs in Southern Hungary. Radio Budapest last night urged the people to ignore the call for tomorrow's demonstration. The radio is controlled by the Soviets. Among other things, the workers are demanding the return of Imre Nagy as premier, free elections, freedom of the press and withdrawal of Russian troops. Worker leaders and the Kadar government have been negotiating for four weeks without result. In recent days, the government has adopted an increasingly tougher attitude and there were signs it may be moving to wipe out the gains made by the workers in their fight for freedom. The government struck another blow at the "freedom" organization by decreeing the dissolution of the revolutionary councils. The councils were formed spontaneously during the revolt. The decree did not affect the workers' councils which also were set up after the Oct. 23 uprising. The government has accepted the workers' councils purely as administrative organs to handle staff questions within factories. Western observers said the prospect of any new armed uprising is all the more amazing since Hungarians now realize they could expect no military aid from the West. -- (Editor's Note: Russell Jones won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his reports on the Hungarian Revolution. An advisory published with the above dispatch said: "This may be the last story Russell Jones writes from Budapest. Hungarian police have ordered him to leave by midnight tonight or face arrest. The puppet regime has refused to honor a special visa that would have allowed Jones to stay through the week." Jones was forced to leave Hungary that day, Dec. 5, 1956. Hungarian national Ilona Marton, who as a United Press reporter in Budapest assisted Jones, remained. She and her husband, Endre, a reporter for the Associated Press, were given refuge in the U.S. Embassy in 1957 and were smuggled out of Hungary. The Martons each received a special George Polk Award for their reporting on the Hungarian Revolution.)

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