This Week's Story

Hungarians bravely respond to the Russians' return!

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

Leadership: When Bravery Is Defeated, part nine

Peter lay straight on his bed. No sleep came. Where was Mira? Had someone grabbed her yesterday on her way to the factory complex? What happened to peace? God, please help me find her!

He heard soldiers’ boots and tanks on the street outside. Soon he began to experience a new and terrible Sunday, November 4, 1956. The Russian military had returned to Budapest.

At 4:00 A.M. 140,000 Soviet foot soldiers came with stupendous military power. The streets rumbled as 2,000 modern Russian tanks entered. 2,000 more were in reserve. Rockets were used on ground. Flame throwers burned people and buildings. Death came with antitank guns, mobile baby tanks, bazookas, jet planes and propeller driven bombers! A modern Russian communication system passed death orders.

A Hungarian Press Agency reporter was sitting at a teletype machine as Budapest and its people were engulfed in terror. For a few hours the reporter had an open wire and was able to broadcast to Vienna, Austria.

“At the moment there is silence. It may be the silence before the storm.

“We have almost no weapons, only light machine guns, Russian-made long rifles and some carbines. We haven’t any kind of heavy guns.

“The people are jumping at the tanks, throwing in hand grenades and closing the drivers’ windows. The Hungarian people are not afraid of death. It is only a pity that we can’t stand for long.”

Three days later horror was in every street. Peter, Alex, and Papa were exhausted and bloodied as they gathered in their apartment. They had come from outposts of freedom fighters. Mira still was missing.

“Papa, will the Americans send troops and weapons?”

“They haven’t yet, and the revolution began October 23rd. The Americans probably think that if they help us, the Cold War will explode between them and the Russians. Both countries have nuclear weapons.

“But Papa, for years Americans told us on Voice of America and Radio Free Europe radio broadcasts, ‘The West has not forgotten you. We want to help you throw off your communist oppressors. We will help you win your freedom.”

“Peter, I doubt that they will help us militarily.”

“Papa, do they know what is happening to us? Russian troops all have one basic order, ‘Shoot.’ It does not matter whether the person killed is a student, baby, child or housewife.”

“Alex, do you have news about any of our leaders?”

“The Russians have removed the new prime minister, Imre Nagy, put General Pal Maléter into prison, and released the head of the Hungarian Roman Catholic Church, Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, from prison. ”

“Papa, can we escape from Hungary?”

“We are freedom fighters.”

“Papa, there is no hope for freedom here and now.”

Mama answered a knock at the door.

One of Mira’s friends with tears stammered, “Mira, has been killed. As soldiers drove past her, one shot her. No reason.”

“Papa,” Mother begged, “we must leave tomorrow.”

200,000 Hungarians escaped from Hungary, among them Peter’s family. Austria bravely helped refugees. Eventually many came to the United States.

This is Barbara Steiner with people who fought lies and fear to gain freedom.

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