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A boy watches his people begin the Hungarian Revolution in the Cold War.

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

Leadership: We the People in the Hungarian Revolution, part 4

Peter’s head churned with fighting voices as he stood near Radio Budapest. Rocks flew past him. He did not know that today, October 23, 1956, was the first day of the Hungarian Revolution. Wounded and dead people lay around him. Factory workers from Csepel were setting up machine-gun emplacements with guns they had taken from the factories in which they worked.

“What am I doing? I should not be looking for my father among these government protesters. I am not one of them, but they are my people. They are Hungarian workers, students, and young people. Why are they rejecting what I believe?

“I believe communism will bring economic stability to Hungary. We will succeed as a nation. The Russians are here to help us. Their promises give me hope that our lives will get better.”

The voices in his head stopped fighting. One voice spoke, “Peter, why do the Party leaders and Russians have special privileges? Why do they put the AVO among us? Do we need secret police and spies?”

Another voice spoke, “Why aren’t we given permission to visit the West and read Western books?”

Peter listened to protesters shouting around him, “Russia, get out of Hungary. Curse the AVO. We want freedom. Stop stealing our food, engines, and uranium. Your promises are lies!”

Peter began walking. My father has disappeared. Is he being interrogated for disagreeing with the communists? Where is he?

He found himself near Kilian Barracks. He heard sounds of explosions inside the building. Could protesters have penetrated its defenses? Military recruits were processed there. It included 400 highly trained Hungarian soldiers. Now the AVO wanted to control the barracks and get its ammunition and guns. Strangely, they were meeting resistance. Maybe, like the students, young people, and workers, Hungarian soldiers hated the AVO.

Protestors were coming from the fighting at Radio Budapest. “We need guns. The AVO have big machine guns on the roof. They are killing us.”

At first the Hungarian soldiers at Kilian Barracks refused the desperate civilians, but then they gave in and handed out machine guns and ammunition.

There would be no turning back for the Hungarian soldiers at Kilian Barracks. That night they began making gasoline bombs. These might stop the Russian tanks they assumed would come the next morning.

The next day one armored car came towards the barracks. Soldiers blew it up. Fifteen more armored cars came. Most were stopped with gasoline bombs. Seven tanks were destroyed by hand weapons. By the day’s end the resistance had destroyed 20 tanks and 11 armored cars. Boys, men, and soldiers were killed as they tried to fight the gigantic tanks with hand weapons, but the Russians did not capture the Barracks. All of the communist Hungarian soldiers in the Kilian Barracks joined the fight against Russian tanks.

Through the first evening and the second day Peter watched as his people died. His head began reciting a poem by the famous Hungarian patriot Sándor Petöfi.

Liberty and love

These two I must have.

For my love I’ll sacrifice

My life.

For liberty I’ll sacrifice

My love.

Tomorrow he would join the resistance.

This is Barbara Steiner with a story of liberty.

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