This Week's Story

As the Hungarian Revolution erupts, a fifteen year old boy struggles between what he believes about communism and his family's convictions.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Leadership without Mercy,
part three

Peter was troubled as he came home from his communist study class. The more he accepted communism, the more his family rejected him. His mother, brother, and sister stood silent in the living room. “Why aren’t you talking?” he asked.

His brother Alex opened his mouth, but no words came out. His older sister Mira was trembling. “Peter, did you report Papa to the AVO?”

“No! Where is he?”

“We don’t know. Peter, when I left the factory, boys and men outside were shouting, ‘If you are a Hungarian, join us.’ They ran to a nearby police station.”

Mira stopped talking when they heard loud knocking. A neighbor shouted, “Men stole weapons from the police station.”

“Another neighbor shouted, “A tank with AVO men commanding it, shot at boys and men. I saw one man jump onto the tank turret and open an escape hatch. He shot men inside.

Peter ordered his family, “Stay home! I will find out what is happening.”

Alex spoke angrily, “Why should we trust you? You called Papa a traitor. Papa expects us to resist the AVO and Russian communist domination in our country. What will you do?”

Peter could not answer. He turned to his mother. “Please, Mama, there may be danger for all of US. Stay here. I will come back.”

He ran down their apartment stairs. In the street he learned that an uprising had been started by young people. A crowd was gathering at Radio Budapest.

Without thinking about what he might do, he started for the radio building. It produced only information the communists wanted Hungarians to listen to on the radio. Peter never questioned that the information was necessary. 1,200 artists and technicians worked there. Eighty secret police of the AVO guarded it with machine guns.

Peter saw support troops entering the building with supplies of ammunition. A group of university students arrived and asked for the right to broadcast their demands for changes in government policy. AVO men laughed and replied, “You can put your demands on tape. Maybe we will play your tape on radio.”

The students decided it was a trick offer and refused. They tried to force their way through the fortified front doors. AVO men began throwing tear gas bombs into the crowd, and people began choking and moving back.

Soon the crowd was again shoving against the doors. More tear-gas bombs were thrown at them. Two gigantic beams of lights began flashing at the crowd. Each person knew that he or she was being identified.

Stones were thrown and the AVO began firing bullets into the crowd. People were dying. Trucks began arriving and workers stepped from them. The AVO guards were shocked but the crowd was thrilled to see factory workers from Csepel Island. They brought arms and ammunition for the protesters.

Peter looked at the young people, students, and factory workers protesting around him. These were the people that Radio Budapest boasted were the proof that communism meets the needs of its followers. Yet here these people gathered to oppose the government, even though they were risking their education, jobs, and lives. He knew that the AVO and its spies would be reporting them. Punishment would be certain for this evening.

This is Barbara Steiner with scenes from the Hungarian Revolution as it burst forth in Budapest October 23, 1956. Some people are composites. We will continue soon.

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