Why de-Stalinization led to an outbreak in Hungary but not in the other Central and East European countriesAs within the few years after the World War II the USSR firmly established its hegemony over the newly socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, the processes going on in Moscow necessarily echoed in all of them. Thus, when the new party elite headed by Nikita Khrushchev initiated a reversal of most of specifically Stalinist policies, Warsaw and Budapest, Sofia and Prague were supposed to proceed in the similar peaceful vein. However, there turned out to be a notable exception to the Soviet leader’s established image of a progressive reformer, namely the Hungarian revolution of October 1956 which was brutally cracked down by the Soviet army, with its leaders to be later executed.

But why did the Hungarian dissent, initially developing in the debates in semi-legal politics clubs and intraparty reformist groups, ultimately give way to a violent anti-Soviet rebellion? In this essay, the author argues that the reasons can be classified into two groups- structural and idiosyncratic. 

 

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