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The need for liquidation of communism


Soviet invasion of Hungary
Tomas Venclova Poet
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Well, as I've said, there was a revolution in Hungary in the autumn of '56 against the Soviet system, against the communist system. The Hungarians declared that they wished to be neutral, they were demanding that the army of the Soviet Union withdraw. And for a while it did withdraw, but then it returned. Well, and they declared that they would govern democratically – I very much liked all of that. But, the Soviet army invaded Hungary again on November 4th '56 – they arrested members of the government, changed the government, fired on Budapest, quite a few people died, quite a few buildings were destroyed. There was the tragic suppression of that revolution which took about a couple of weeks until it was finally suppressed. There were many casualties and many Hungarians, using that situation, left Hungary, and found themselves in exile. Well, and I remember then that November 4th marked the turning point in my political beliefs.

Na, kaip sakiau, 56-ųjų metų rudenį Vengrijoje įvyko sukilimas prieš tarybinę sistemą, prieš komunistinę sistemą. Vengrai pareiškė, kad jie nori būti neutralūs; reikalauja, kad iš krašto pasitrauktų Tarybų Sąjungos kariuomenė. Ir kurį laiką ji net ir pasitraukė, paskui vėl sugrįžo. Na, ir, kad jie tvarkysis demokratiškai – man tai viskas labai patiko. Bet… 56-ųjų metų lapkričio 4-ąją dieną į Vengriją įsiveržė vėl tarybinė kariuomenė – areštavo vyriausybės narius, pakeitė vyriausybę, apšaudė Budapeštą, gana daug žmonių žuvo, gana daug pastatų buvo sugriauta. Buvo tragiškas to sukilimo numalšinimas, kuris truko kokį porą savaičių, kol jį galutinai numalšino. Aukų buvo daug, ir daug vengrų, pasinaudoję ta situacija, pasitraukė iš Vengrijos, atsidūrė emigracijoje. Na, ir atsimenu tada, tą lapkričio 4-oji buvo mano politinio lūžio pagrindinė data.

Born in 1937, Tomas Venclova is a Lithuanian scholar, poet, author and translator of literature. He was educated at Vilnius University and later at Tartu University. As an active participant in the dissident movement he was deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1977 and had to emigrate. Between 1977 and 1980 he lectured at University of California, Berkeley, where he became friends with the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz, who was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the school, as well as the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. He is currently a full professor at Yale University.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Hungarian Revolution, 1956, Soviet Union, 4-11-1956, Budapest

Duration: 1 minute, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: May/June 2011

Date story went live: 20 March 2012