The victims of Hungary’s 1956 anti-Soviet uprising have been remembered at a state ceremony in Budapest.
The event took place on the 50th anniversary of the excecution of the then Prime Minister Imre Nagy.
Veterans of the 1956 uprising rubbed shoulders with representatives of all major political parties.
Nagy was prime minister between October 24 and November 4, 1956, one day after the revolution against Moscow began.
In 12 days, Soviet tanks had crushed the rebellion. Nagy and his associates were arrested, tried for treason and eventually sentenced to death.
Now, 50 years after his “trial”, tapes of the process, which lasted a week, are being played at the exact time corresponding to the original hearing.
In the recordings, Nagy can be heard protesting against the closed and expedited trial and saying that he felt like a scapegoat.
To many Hungarians, the 1956 revolt is one of the proudest moments in the country’s history, but a huge price was paid. As many as 3,000 people died and 180,000 fled the country to seek refuge in Austria.
Nagy attempted to bring events under control, working within the Soviet framework, while reforming Hungarian politics. He offered an amnesty to demonstrators, abolished the one- party state and believed he had negotiated the withdrawal of the Red Army.
However, Nagy was deceived by the Soviets. He then withdrew Hungary from the Warsaw Pact.
Moscow acted quickly and invaded.
Nagy sought refuge in the Yugoslav Embassy and was later picked up by the military and sent to Romania. He was sentenced to death by hanging along with his defence minister Pal Maleter and pro-reformist journalist Miklos Gimes.
Nagy was held for two years in jail and, after a secret trial, was put to death on June 16, 1958 at the age of 62.