Hungary 1956 links

A handful of interesting archival videos at YouTube, including this lovely 90 seconds of trams in Budapest (nothing to do with the uprising, though, as far as I can see). Pictures, some contemporary, from flickr. Terrific interview with Gyorgy Ligeti (by John Tusa) who escaped Hungary in the wake of the revolution. Timothy Garton Ash in the New York Review on the fortieth anniversary of the revolution in 1996. Fascinating contrast with the fiftieth.

A perfect use of the Prelinger Archive of old movies held at – expatriat Hungarians in Oregon filleted a bunch of Universal Studios & Warner Pathé newsreels from 1956 to make a fascinating compilation of American newsreel coverage of the revolution (don’t expect balance from this populist moviehouse stuff: Communists are ‘reds’ throughout).

Loads of good stuff about the uprising (Brits seem to call it an uprising and Hungarians a revolution) at the beeb, including this nifty timeline. An interesting account of the fighting from the English-language Budapest Times. Gripping transcript of radio transmissions from Budapest before, during and after the uprising (can’t find any audio recordings of those heartbreaking shortwave pleas for Western help from the besieged freedom fighters after the Soviet invasion but here’s an amazing little film of BBC monitoring staff transcribing Prime Minister Nagy’s appeal to the people of Hungary to end their protest).

A few weeks after the suppressed revolution, Hungary met The Soviet Union in Melbourne in the semi-finals of the Olympic Water Polo. Talk about needle. The pool, reputedly, ran red before Hungary won 4-0. Half the Hungarian team defected while in Australia rather than return to Hungary. Oh, and someone nicked a Soviet-era T-34 tank from outside a military museum in Budapest yesterday – a veteran of the uprising is suspected since no one else would have known how to hotwire it and drive it away!

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