This Week's Story

Hungarians in the Revolution of 1956 fought for liberty as many people do today.

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

Leadership Bleeds, part five

Debris littered the streets. Peter walked past a fire-gutted Russian armored car. Ahead of him two boys bent over a man. He lay sprawled in dirt, gasoline, and glass. When the boys wiped his face, his eyes opened, and he asked, “Did we destroy the tank?”

“Yes!”

Peter recognized the man’s voice and raced to it. “Papa! What happened to you? I have been looking for you. Protestors are shouting and rioting against the government. Fighting has been at Radio Budapest and Kilian Barracks.

“Russian soldiers and AVO fired into crowds killing people. Csepel workers from factories brought guns and ammunition to help the resistance. Protestors are gathering from inside the city and farms and towns around Budapest.”

The boys exclaimed, “Your father needs a doctor. He’s been shot, and we must get him to a hospital. He was greasing the road ahead of Russian tanks to make their treads slide and we were throwing gasoline bombs at the tanks. Your father was shot in crossfire.”

Peter’s father looked intently at him. “Son, go home and tell your mother what has happened to me. Then what will you do?”

“Father, I am joining the resistance. I have seen that they are our people. They are not capitalists and foreigners. They are university students, factory workers, teenagers like myself, and boys like these two here. I have seen Hungarian soldiers fighting with us, instead of with the Russians and AVO.”

“Son, what do you mean “us”? You have insisted that the Russians and the communist government they force upon us, are building a society for the good of Hungary. At home you do not speak against the fear we live in as secret police and spies watch us. When neighbors or friends are arrested by the AVO, you are quiet. When we have only the Communist Party and our voting is meaningless, what do you say?”

“Papa, in two days I have heard the hearts of Hungarians. I am not the same teenager who came home two days ago from attending a communist training class.”

Peter’s father smiled slightly, and the two boys lifted him onto a slab of plywood. “We will carry him to a hospital.”

When Peter opened the door of his family’s apartment, his mother stood with her arms around his sister. “Mira, we must trust that God’s love can pierce this darkness.”

Peter’s brother Alex grabbed him. “Have you seen Papa?”

“Yes, he lives. I have seen him. He was shot while fighting with the protestors. By now he should be at a hospital.

“Please sit down. I want you to know that I am going back to fight with the resistance. I have seen factory workers and Hungarian soldiers fight with university students against Russian tanks and soldiers. Boys and girls are throwing Molotov cocktails and grenades at tanks. I have heard shouts of hatred from our people against the cruel unfairness of our communist government.

“Mother, I need to eat and get some sleep before I return.”

Alex said, “Peter, let me tell you what happened the day before the fighting began.”

“Later, my brother.”

This is Barbara Steiner sharing a family in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Their longings and suffering remind me that people in many countries today yearn and bleed for freedom and justice.

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