For Freedom and Truth

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For Freedom and Truth
by István Bibó
The last official proclamation of the Hungarian National Government during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The proclamation was written in the Parliament building as the author awaited arrest by the Soviet military.

(To My Fellow) Hungarians!

When the Soviet Army attacked today at dawn, Prime Minister Nagy Imre went to the Soviet Embassy to negotiate and could not return. Tildy Zoltán, who was already in the Parliament building, and ministers Szabó István and Bibó István attended the council of ministers meeting which was convened this morning. As Soviet troops surrounded the Parliament building, minister Tildy Zoltán - to avoid bloodshed - reached an agreement, by which Soviet soldiers would occupy the Parliament building and allow all civilians to evacuate. According to this agreement, he then departed. Only the undersigned, Bibó István, remained in the Parliament building as the only representative of the only existing legal Hungarian government. Under these circumstances, I make the following declaration:

Hungary does not wish to pursue an anti-Soviet Policy. On the contrary, Hungary's full intent is to live in the community of free Eastern European nations which want to organise themselves on the principles of liberty, justice and freedom from exploitation. Before the entire world, I also reject the slanderous accusation that the glorious Hungarian Revolution has been despoiled by fascist or anti-semitic excess. The entire Hungarian nation, without class or denominational differences, participated in the struggle. it was moving and marvelous to see the humane, wise and discretionary behaviour of the insurgents, and how they were able to limit their outrage only towards the oppressive foreign army and the local executioner-commandos. The recently-formed Hungarian government had the ability to put an end to the incidents of street justice that repeatedly occurred during the past days, as it would have been able to halt the emergence of the unarmed arch-conservative political elements. The claim that a large foreign army had to be called or recalled into the country to accomplish these objectives is both frivolous and cynical. On the contrary, the very presence of this army is the major cause of the current tensions and disturbances.

I admonish the Hungarian people to not consider the occupying army or their puppet government as legal authority, and to utilise against them every means of passive resistance except those that would endanger the essential supplies and public utilities of Budapest. I cannot issue an order for armed resistance: I have been in the government for only one day and am not informed about the military situation. It would thus be irresponsible of me to risk the priceless blood of Hungarian youth. The Hungarian people have already sacrificed enough of their blood to show the world their devotion to freedom and truth. Now its up to the world powers to demonstrate the fore of principles embodied in the United Nations Charter and the strength of the world's freedom-loving peoples. I appeal to the major powers and the United Nations to make a wise and courageous decision to protect the freedom of our subjugated Nation.

I also declare that Hungary's sole authorised representative abroad and the senior member of the country's diplomatic corps is Minister of State Kéthly Anna.

May God Protect Hungary!

Budapest, November 4, 1956

Bibó István

Minister of State

References[edit]

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Original:
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Translation:
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