The Views of French Political Parties about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution: the Hungarian Issue in the National Assembly Issues of foreign affairs were relatively rare on the lists of agenda of the French National Assembly during the Fourth Republic. In 1956, however, the issue of the Hungarian Revolution (especially after it was crushed) caused heated debates among the parliamentary parties. Three interpellations and four draft proposals were discussed in the case, and even the Foreign Affairs Committee was convened. It was partly related to other important international events taking place in Suez and Algeria but it also highlighted conflicts in French internal politics. The French Communist Party supported the Soviet intervention in Hungary while the rest of the parties sharply condemned it. The far right even proposed the ban of the FCP who in turn labeled them as fascists. And the issue of the Hungarian revolution just added fuel to this long-standing conflict. The debate, however, was wider than that: it was another battle between the communist and the anti-communist forces. French socialists tried to discredit communists this way and entice FCP voters into their own camp.
Reactions to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and its Suppression in the French Communist Movement
In 1956, the French Communist Party was a significant political force in both internal politics and the international communist movement. The question arises: how did the Hungarian events influence the internal and foreign policy of the party? The paper describes the role the Hungarian revolution played in the isolation of the party on the political stage and in its internal crisis.
The reaction of the party leadership and the communist press were the direct causes of the confusion spreading from November 1956 in the basic party organizations and the trade unions as well as of the large scale protest campaign of intellectuals. The disorder was reduced by other events, for example the Algerian war, the Suez Crisis and the anticommunist atrocities in Paris on November 7. The FCP made use of this political context to divert public attention from the Hungarian revolution and to substantiate the party's interpretation of it at the same time.
The FCP's losses in 1956 in the trade unions (especially in the communist-influenced CGT) and the party membership were significant. The protest wave within communist intellectual circles against the second Soviet intervention in Hungary is well known and thoroughly researched. A brief survey of this clearly shows that these protests were in fact of little significance and the effects of 1956 on the intelligentsia were manifested in the long run only.
The Retaliation of the Spirit of 1956 after Ten Years.
The Cases of László Vaczkó and János Hamusics
The fourth statutory rule of 1963, which was the legal termination of the greatest political retaliation in Hungarian history, of the revenge following the 1956 revolution and war of independence, granted amnesty to those who had participated in the revolution and had been imprisoned because of that. The Kádárian politics that followed did its best to try to obliterate the memory of the revolution, successfully. Still there remained a small number of people who not only failed to forget the event but wanted to keep its memory alive and even continued the fight. In the year of the 10th anniversary of the revolution 991 persons were prosecuted on charges of (political) attempts against the state. This figure was 594 in the previous and 529 in the following year. In 1966, political police discovered six so called armed conspiracies. With one exception all of these covered such acts as printing of leaflets, while in one case miners with an anti-Soviet intent blew up a railroad. The paper describes two cases tried at the County Court of Veszprém. In the Vaczkó case, an "armed conspiracy" of a number of village intellectuals having distributed leaflets, the first defendant was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment. In the Hamusics case a death sentence was passed and carried out, while many of the miners who had been ready for an armed fight against the Soviet army got severe prison terms.
The Duality of National Radical Politics and Social Scientific
Argumentation in Ferenc Erdei's Village Sociography
Surveys of Erdei's sociographical activity has so far seen the work "Magyar falu" (The Hungarian Village), written after the dissolution of the movement of popular sociography, as one of his most mature and expert works, where the author goes beyond the analysis of the previous era which was based on the ideal of the community of the civilized homestead market town. Arguing with previous interpretations, the paper, through a social structural analysis of the book, makes an attempt to rethink the view of society expressed in this definitely important work and at the same time tries to find its place in Erdei's oeuvre. It demonstrates that while due to his political analysis Erdei makes an attempt to describe society in a model of a twofold structure (village and town society), from the multi-dimensional aspects of Magyar falu a more complex social structural analysis can be unfolded. Still the paper calls attention to the fact that despite the forward-looking views doubtlessly discernible in Magyar falu the view of society in the book is basically determined by the author's peculiar set of values and his political analysis resulting from that. The aim of the book was not the characterization of Hungarian society, rather it was written for political purposes. And this idea is organized around the unjustifiably idealized social development of the homestead market towns of the Hungarian plain. Consequently, the major content of the book can be seen as a continuation of that interpretation of society that was typical in the heydays of popular sociography. That is, Magyar falu is another version of the homestead market town utopia written many times before, while that expertise in social sciences that was regarded as one of its merits is barely manifested in the work.
Alfonso XIII of Spain – the Possibilities and the Constraints of a Neutral Ruler
The paper is part of a longer research project which focuses on Spain's neutrality in the First World War as seen in Viennese diplomacy. Sources discovered in archives in Vienna show that the king, Alfonso XIII played a significant role in forming the history of Spain between 1914 and 1918. On the basis of these sources we could reconstruct in a brief biography the wartime politics of king Alfonso. To better understand his role in World War I, we briefly outline his rule between 1902 and 1914 as well, paying special attention to the quest for and changes in orientation of Spanish foreign policy at the time. It is definitely due to him that Spain remained neutral all the way during the war. His aims were to keep the country out of the conflict, to do everything possible to avoid losses for the economy, and to help those who were affected by the war. To provide a complete wartime political portrait of Alfonso XIII, we also analyze his efforts to establish peace. With a little exaggeration we can say that during the First World War Spain shone in its old glory. Salvador de Madariaga goes so far as to compare the country's role in world politics during these years to its influence in the 16th and 17th centuries. The relations of Spain and Viennese diplomacy, however, make it clear that both Spain and Austria–Hungary were on the periphery of European politics during the First World War, none of them could seriously influence the war. But Alfonso XIII was at least successful in saving his throne while the rule of the Habsburgs came to an end.
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