VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

Presentation in Tápiószecső

19 November 2016

In 1956 Tápiószecső was a Pest County village of five thousand inhabitants. When the revolution erupted on October 23rd, the village responded in its own unique way, as did the soldiers of the military barracks – the 14th Weapons Depot – that was located outside of the village.

A national committee supplanted the local counsel. Policemen who had fled were replaced by militia. Soldiers beat and detained revolutionaries. Later these very same soldiers would switch sides and supply weapons to the freedom fighters in the area and in Budapest, to head for the border when the Soviets attacked on November 4th.

In his All Saints’ Day sermon delivered in the cemetery, the Catholic priest declared that Lenin had been infected with syphilis. Teenaged youngsters covered lath fences in crude graffiti that read “Russians, go home!”. At the local distillery, a drunken young man grabbed a party secretary and began choking him. Another young man knocked the communist red star off the façade of the local Communist Party headquarters, which a few weeks later we would reattach while offering profuse apologies for what he had done.  

In the end two people died. The average prison sentence for a revolutionary was 6–10 months. Dissidents left to join the French Foreign Legion. Seven officers were discharged, while the garrison commander was detained.

The followers of the priest and the cantor, whose relationship was already marked by acrimony, used the occasion of the reprisals to snitch: the priest’s on the cantor, the cantor’s on the rector. The rector’s mistress gathered signatures to petition for his release. For many years, the military barracks and the students of Tapiószecső would be kept under surveillance by informers.  

And the most important question:

What was the Japanese embassy chef doing at Erzsébet Palotai’s wedding?

László Anka, Tápiószecő Deputy Mayor and Research Fellow at the VERITAS Research Institute for History, will give a presentation about all of the above.

Location: Kós Károly Cultural Center, Kátai u. (Street) 93, Tápiószecső

Időpont: 3 PM on (Saturday) November 19th, 2016