Against the backdrop of present day political turmoil Hungarians have been marking the 50th anniversary of the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule. Thousands attended a rally outside Budapest’s House of Terror museum which commemorates victims of totalitarian regimes around the world.
The revolt began with a student demonstration demanding reforms, democracy, and above all, independence from Russian influence. It soon spiralled into an all-out uprising. Fighting between the Soviet army and the Hungarian state police continued for days with heavy losses. Civilians were also at the forefront of the battle. The revolution was finally crushed in November.
Some 25,000 people were killed, and 200,000 Hungarians fled their country. A number of commemorative events will take place in the coming days. But the opposition says it will boycott some official ceremonies over of an ongoing row with the government.