Stuart Schulzke


Hungarians, Soviet military, revolution, Hungarian State Secret Police


For fourteen days during late October and early November of 1956, Hungary staged a revolution and set up an autonomous government. The Hungarians forced Soviet military personnel to withdraw only to see them reenter the country, reestablish Soviet authority, and overthrow the short-lived Hungarian government. This sequence of events suggests an occupied nation's predictable reaction against foreign influence. However, it obscures one of the most critical aspects of Hungary's Revolution in 1956: the role of the Hungarian State Secret Police. Probably no governmental branch in Hungarian history has been more hated by the Hungarian people than the Allamvedelmi Hatosag (AVH), or Hungarian State Security Police. In the years from 1947 to 1956, the AVH, by their control-oriented strategies, manufactured feelings of paranoid disunity and general distrust within Hungary.