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Hungary - Republic Day

European Days and Weeks
Date: Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Venue: Hungary

This day commemorates two key events in the history of modern Hungary that both happened on 23 October; the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union and the creation of the Republic of Hungary in 1989.

History of Hungarian Republic day

Following the end of the Second World War, Hungary had increasingly come under the control of their liberators from Germany, the Soviet Union. Following democratic changes in Austria, some Hungarians had hoped for similar concessions in their country, but these hopes were quashed with the establishment of the Warsaw Pact in 1955, placing Hungary behind the so-called 'Iron Curtain'. Demanding democratic changes and the withdrawal of Soviet forces, Hungarian students held a demonstration in Budapest on 23 October 1956. The demonstration drew popular support and the crowds grew and similar protests broke out across Hungary. This led to the Soviets deploying tanks on the streets of Budapest in an attempt to take back control. Violent rebellion then erupted in all parts of Hungary, with uprisings removing the local government. A new democratic government ousted the ruling communist party.

On 28 October the Soviets called for a cease-fire, withdrew their troops and pledged to re-establish free elections. However, on 3 November 1956, the Soviets changed their minds. The new government was arrested and within a week the Soviet military had crushed the rebels and the short-lived revolution was over. While the revolution may not have been successful, it was still seen as a significant event that hardened international opinion against the more oppressive aspects of the Soviet Union.

On 23 October 1989, a date chosen to honour the 1956 revolution, Hungarians proclaimed the Third Republic of Hungary, amending their constitution to permit multi-party politics, public assembly, and create separation of power in the government.






All Dates

  • Sunday, 23 October 2016
  • Sunday, 23 October 2022
  • Saturday, 23 October 2021
  • Friday, 23 October 2020
  • Wednesday, 23 October 2019
  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018
  • Monday, 23 October 2017

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