Following the Life Stories of Participants in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution


  • Tibor Valuch University of Debrecen



1956 Revolution, political activity, life stories, the Kádár Regime


To date, analyses of the 1956 Revolution have devoted little attention to examining the events pertaining to this period from the aspect of social history. In this study Valuch explores the life stories of those who participated in these events from six decades ago in an attempt to introduce the most important characteristics determining various life phases from before and after the revolution. Based upon life interviews conducted during the 1990s with former 1956 participants living mainly in the city of Debrecen and its surrounding Hajdú-Bihar County, Valuch’s examination outlines those experiences determining their socialization, including family background, political attitudes predating the revolution and political activity conducted during 1956. His focus will then turn to the issue of how these individuals experienced the period of retribution following the revolution as well as attempts by the Kádár regime to marginalize participants in the 1956 Revolution. What general effect did collaboration with the revolutionary movement have on life during the Kádár regime and the political attitudes held by these individuals? In the final section, factors characterizing life stories from the 1956 period will be analyzed.






Special Cluster: The 1956 Revolution and Its Aftermath, Seen from Sixty Years On