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Karl Owen

This book is a story, a story about the both World Wars and the Build up to the Hungarian Uprising which started in the latter part of 1956.I researched and spoke to many people to gain my own unique viewpoint of what people were feeling and doing in those terrible times. Both my Great Grandparents and Grandparents lives, and eventually my uncle and Mother were all greatly affected by what happened in Hungary. They sought refuge in the UK early 1957 and have lived with the memories and horrors that occurred from 1956 and as you will read, they have good reason too.

Although some of this story is fictitious, I have based the story on their true versions of events by talking to them and visiting Hungary myself to see first-hand the devastation that was left behind when they were so brutally ripped from their beloved country.

Hungary was a vast empire. Much larger back before 1940’s than it is today, and a terrible chain of events occurred which resulted in over 70yrs of terror, anguish and upset. The Hungarian country is now only a third of the size it was in the 19th century. This is the direct result to both world wars and dictatorship lead.

I feel that it needs to be acknowledged that over 2 million Jews and over 1million Gypsies were murdered, gassed, tortured, enslaved and brutally abused and medically tested on in this terrible period. It also needs to be said that more than a third of those were Hungarian.

Further to this, in the peak of the uprising in November 1956 just over 200,000 people stood their ground and stood up to the soviets. All they were asking for was to be left alone and to live their lives through a democratic government, they protested peacefully. They asked in an assertive way for their country to be handed back to them and to leave their Government buildings. Their ‘plea’ was heard by the Soviets and to their dismay was welcomed with over 100 machine guns and armoured tanks. Nearly all of the people there on that first day were shot where they stood. It has now become a huge point in history for the Hungarian people and a day of ‘reflection’ and state holiday day of rest is called by the government.

Post 1956 was a very difficult time and the politicians of the era had some very difficult decisions to make, some were good, and some were bad. The political outcome was not good at all for the huge state and country. Prime Ministers were committing suicide, political leaders were being shot, leaders changing sides, leaders changing political minds and the poor military leaders just stuck, in ‘limbo’ not knowing what to believe, who to support, what they were representing it was hard to judge it all.

The Soviets gave the Hungarian State back Democratic government rule to the Hungarian people in 1989 to which was a joyous occasion for the Hungarian people all over the world. This freedom was a huge step for the Hungarian people it took over 30yrs to get back what they fought and many died for. They truthfully deserved this freedom, and it should never be forgotten what happened in ‘1956’

I would like dedicate this book to all of my family, (on my mother’s side), Anna and Károly Junior and Senior. I fully respect you all for your beliefs and the fact that you stood by them with such dedication, also what they all went through in those troubled times I love you all.
I would also like to dedicate this book to all of the people that died and were killed in ‘1956’ were then, and still are ‘Unsung Heroes’ they should never be forgotten.