Our website is a tribute to those poets and writers who took part in the intellectual preparation of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, or were partakers in the revolutionary events, both intentionally and accidentally. We would like to represent and document how our revolution’s spirit and heritage lives in our contemporary literature as well.
Hungarian Writers’ Association, as the oldest and largest writers’ organization in Hungary, being faithful to its historical traditions and moral responsibility, wished to remember worthily the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. For this, the organization launched a flow of events entitled “Writers in the Revolution”, in spring 2016, with emphasis on calling for a vast audience, especially young people and giving a close glance on the literature aspect of this outstanding revolutionary event.
Hungarian Writers’ Association organized a memorial committee for preparing the events in December 2015, with the following members: Erős Kinga literary critics, director of publishing house, secretary and directorial member of Hungarian Writers’ Association, Kiss Gy. Csaba literature and cultural historian, professor, Lezsák Sándor poet, vice-president of Hungarian Parliament, Salamon Konrád historian, doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Szentmártoni János poet, president of Hungarian Writers’ Association.
Hungarian Writers’ Association’s events for the anniversary, including the long time expected website, was given a special support from the Memorial Committee for the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight. We say thank you for it!
On our website, in the column entitled „Memorial year 2016” („Emlékév 2016”) we represent the events we completed from sprig 2016 to spring 2017. One can gain a detailed representation of them from the reports, series of photographs and videos.
„Writers in the Revolution” is intended to be a literature guidebook, which can be continuously broadened, and can be an assistant to even teachers for example to complete the literature material of a class or a festival event on Hungarian Revolution of 23rd October 1956. You can find here biographies, work of arts, interviews, bibliographies focusing on 1956.
Building the „Archive” is a long term purpose, where we represent a sample of literature aspect of one of the most significant historic turn of the 20th century, in the form of documents, recordings, movies, photographs and other unique materials. This column cannot be terminate, as we hope to publish newly discovered documents concerning to our topic from continuous research.
The „Student corner” intends to wake up and maintain the interest of the youngest generation in the 1956 Revolution and its’ literature heritage.
Dear Visitor! Hungarian Writers’ Association became itself via the 1956 Revolution. The organization became prestigious by its consistent standpoint in favor of the reforms and later the ideas of revolution and democracy. This prestigious position was held till the regime change, and means commitment and duty even today. And it is true in the other way as well: The revolution couldn’t become the one it was without the writers as intellectual compass, and without Hungarian Writers’ Association via them. Though authors have not launched revolution and did not fight physically, their manifestations and creations took a fruitful effect on students, intellectuals and workers.
Our organization’s journal at that time was the Irodalmi Újság (Literature paper), that became the forum for those who urged changes, from 1953, and published articles by even communist writers judging the current regime. On the general meeting of the Association of Hungarian Writers (this name was in use at that time) on 17th September 1956, the members conquered the servants of the Party, and re-elected Veres Péter for president, and elected to the directorial board such significant people as for example Déry Tibor, Illyés Gyula, Kassák Lajos, Németh László, Szabó Lőrinc, Tamási Áron…
The Irodalmi Újság (Literature paper) issued a leaflet containing the manifesto of the writers that summarized the claims of Hungarian nation. In the revolution issue on 2nd November, the statement of Association of Hungarian Writers welcomed the revolution and intended to prevent any self-righteousness. In this issue one could read the poem of Illyés Gyula entitled Egy mondat a zsarnokságról (One sentence on tyranny) for the first time, and several texts welcoming the revolution including the ones by Déry Tibor, Füst Milán, Kassák Lajos, Németh László, Szabó Lőrinc, Tamási Áron, Tamási Lajos. Our organization’s headquarters in Bajza street was one of the intellectual basis of the events. On the wall of this building there is the plaque of Gérecz Attila, the young martyr poet, that we enwreathe yearly. The idea of donation boxes also came from the writers. They were placed in busy main squares, and people can donate money for the died heros’ families. No one had the intention to rob the donation boxes, so they became the symbol of the flawless revolution.
After annihilating armed resistance, government of Kádár began a manhunt and persecuted intellectual leaders, including writers, who endured to the end. They expressed this endurance on the assemble on 28th December, and in the announcement that was agreed there, entitled Gond és hitvallás (Woe and creed) by Tamási Áron: „We need to realize national independence, and we need to create the healthy society via the self-government of people.”
The renewed regime didn’t gave it up, they dissolved the writers’ organization as direct consequence of the retaliation, and organized fake trials against writers in Autumn 1957 that we know from the names „little and large writer’s trial”, and that triggered international protest as well. They sent to prison the authors: Varga Domokos, Tóbiás Áron, Fekete Gyula and Molnár Zoltán – Déry Tibor, Háy Gyula, Zelk Zoltán and Tardos Tibor. They listed many other writers as prohibited authors, deprived them from their jobs and prevented them from publication of their texts (eg. Örkény István, Tamási Lajos).
We haven’t even mentioned the young so far! They earned the name „váci füveskertiek” („The ones from Vác lawn”), who broke free in 1956: Kárpáti Kamil, Béri Géza, Tóth Bálint, Tollas Tibor, Szathmáry György, Gérecz Attila. We need to mention the witnesses to the massacre on Kossuth tér, and those victims who were wounded: Ágh István, Ferdinandy György… We need to list the names of those who were sent to prison or were interned because of their poems or of their faithfulness to the revolution’s ideas: Buda Ferenc, Eörsi István, Obersovszky Gyula, Páskándi Géza, Pomogáts Béla… We need to mention here the whole „writers’ emigration of 1956”. Hungarian authors could move home from this exile after the changing of the regime. Makkai Ádám, who celebrated his 80th birthday, has migrated home recently. Csoóri Sándor had been banned from television and radio program for long years. Nagy László and Juhász Ferenc was not allowed to publish a new volume of poems till 1965…
Dear Visitor! Have a nice reading, browsing! May your knowledge about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 be renewed! We hope you leave the site with rich experiences and moral, and you return for more reading and will kindly recommend our website to others.