Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 21 October 1956
On the Situation in Poland
(Molotov, Serov, Zhukov, Mikoyan, Pervukhin, Saburov, Kaganovich,
Voroshilov, Suslov, Furtseva, Malenkov)
Taking account of the circumstances, we should refrain from military
intervention. We need to display patience. (Everyone agrees with this.)
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, unnumbered page. Compiled by V. N. Malin.]
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 23 October 1956
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Molotov, Pervukhin,
Saburov, Khrushchev, Suslov, Brezhnev, Zhukov, Furtseva, Shepilov
On the Situation in Budapest and Overall in Hungary
(Cdes. Zhukov, Bulganin, Khrushchev)
Information of Cde. Zhukov.
A demonstration by 100 thous. in Budapest The radio station is on fire.
In Debrecen the obkom [provincial party committee--trans.] and MVD
[Ministry of Internal Affairs--trans.] buildings were occupied.
Cde. Khrushchev speaks in favor of sending troops to Budapest.
Cde. Bulganin believes Cde. Khrushchev's proposal to send troops is
Cde. Mikoyan: Without Nagy they can't get control of the movement, and it's also cheaper for us. Expresses doubt about the sending of troops. What are we losing? The Hungarians themselves will restore order on their own. We should try political measures, and only then send troops.
Cde. Molotov--With Nagy left on his own, Hungary is coming apart. Favors the sending of troops.
Cde. Kaganovich--The government is being overthrown. There's no comparison with Poland. Favors the sending of troops.
Cde. Pervukhin--Troops must be sent.
Cde. Zhukov--There is indeed a difference with Poland. Troops must be sent. One of the members of the CC Presidium should travel there. Martial law should be declared in the country, and a curfew introduced.
Cde. Suslov--The situation in Poland is different. Troops must be sent.
Cde. Saburov--Troops must be sent to uphold order.
Cde. Shepilov--Favors the sending of troops
Cde. Kirichenko--Favors the sending of troops. Cdes. Malinin and Serov
should be dispatched to Budapest.
Cde. Khrushchev--We should recruit Nagy for political action. But until
then we shouldn't make a chairman of the government.
Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov are to fly to Budapest.
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 4-4ob, compiled by V. N.
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 26 October 1956
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Malenkov, Molotov,
Saburov, Brezhnev, Khrushchev, Zhukov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov, Yudin.
From the CPC CC--Cdes. Liu Shaoqi,
Exchange of Opinions about the Situation in Poland and Hungary
The point about Rokossowski is the central question.
(Cde. Liu Shaoqi).
Gomulka is taking this to extremes.
Continuation of the session of 26/X at 8:00 p.m.
Review of the information from Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov.
Cdes. Shepilov, Brezhnev, and Furtseva are to study it.
Hungarian party workers (126 cdes.) are studying at the Higher Party
We should provide information to them.
Instruct them, carry out work. We mustn't turn them against the Directory and CC, but should say there are vacillations within the CC.
Convene a meeting with them with participation of the Hungarian ambassador and military officers (in the school), and then send them back there (to Hungary).
Hold a meeting with the students and inform them (at the colleges) perhaps with the ambassador present.
Perform the work.
for Cdes. Brezhnev,
On the Situation in Hungary
Cde. Bulganin--Cde. Mikoyan is maintaining an improper and ill-defined
position, and is not helping the Hungarian leaders put an end to their
A firm line must be maintained.
Cde. Molotov--endorses Cde. Bulganin's view.
We must set certain limits and instruct Cde. Mikoyan how to act.
Cde. Kaganovich--the real correlation of forces is such that it does not support the conclusions of Cde. Mikoyan.
We must adopt a firm position.
A Military-Revol. Com'tee must be set up.
Cde. Malenkov--we sent in troops, and the adversary began to recover.
We should tell Cde. Mikoyan that he must firmly press Nagy to restore
Cde. Zhukov--Cde. Mikoyan is acting improperly, he's pushing us toward
capitulation. We must insist on a firm position.
Cde. Shepilov--the step was extreme, but correct.
Real power is with the troops.
To make further concessions would be regarded as weakness.
Cde. Furtseva--Cde. Mikoyan, apparently, is mistaken about Nagy. They
released 1,000 who had been arrested.
Cde. Khrushchev--Mikoyan is acting as he said he would.
Cde. Mikoyan supported a position of non-intervention, but our troops are there.
A new stage--we don't agree with the government.
We should send reinforcements--Molotov, Zhukov, Malenkov.
Contact should be established with both Hegedus and the others.
We must write an appeal to our troops.
Prepare a flight.
Reinforce the troops.
Cdes. Molotov, Zhukov, and Malenkov are to fly off.
Later we can say definitively.
Regarding Cde. Mikoyan's trip to Austria--it should be deferred.
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1005, Ll. 53-53ob, 62-62ob, compiled by V. N. Malin.]
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 28 October
Those Taking Part: Voroshilov, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Malenkov, Molotov,
Saburov, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Zhukov, Shvernik, Shepilov, Furtseva,
On the Situation in Hungary
Cde. Khrushchev--the matter is becoming more complicated.
They're planning a demonstration.
Kadar is leaning toward holding negotiations with the centers of
We must set Sobolev right at the UN.
The workers are supporting the uprising (therefore they want to reclassify it as something other than a "counterrevolutionary uprising").
Cde. Zhukov provides information.
They would refrain from stamping out one of the centers of resistance.
An order was given not to permit a demonstration.
They're dismantling the railroad tracks in a number of localities.
In Debrecen power has passed to our troops.
Cde. Khrushchev provides information.
The situation is complicated.
Cde. Suslov is to fly back to Moscow.
A Directory has not been declared.
They propose that Hegedus be removed from the Directory (4 in favor, and 6 against).
The plenum is going on now.
Cde. Voroshilov--they are poorly informed.
Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov are behaving calmly, but are poorly informed.
We're in a bad situation. We must devise our own line and get a group of Hungarians to embrace it.
Cde. Mikoyan is not able to carry out this work.
What we intended to do (to send a group of comrades) must now be done.
We should not withdraw troops--we must act decisively.
Nagy is a liquidator.
Cde. Molotov--things are going badly.
The situation has deteriorated, and it is gradually moving toward
Nagy is actually speaking against us.
Our cdes. are behaving diffidently.
It is agreed up to what limit we will permit concessions.
This pertains now to the composition of the government and to the
They are excluding Hegedus, and this means they're no longer showing regard for us.
The bare minimum is the question of friendship with the USSR and the
assistance of our troops.
Cde. Mikoyan is reassuring them.
If they don't agree, we must consider what will happen with the troops.
Cde. Kaganovich--a counterrevolution is under way.
Indecisiveness of the Hungarian Communists.
Kadar should make certain concessions to the workers and peasants and
thereby neutralize the movement.
Decisive action is needed against the centers of resistance; we cannot
Cde. Bulganin--the HWP is acting ambivalently.
Kadar kept lurching. The main thing is to demand greater decisiveness from Kadar.
We must act as follows--summon Mikoyan to the phone and say: The HWP
Politburo must act decisively; otherwise, we will take action without you. Perhaps will have to appoint the gov't directly.
Cde. Malenkov--we shouldn't lay blame for the situation on our comrades. They're firmly carrying out a line aimed at suppressing the uprising. Nagy from the government so he can put forth a program [sic--trans.].
Cde. Zhukov--regarding Cde. Mikoyan's role, it's unfair to condemn him
right now. The situation has unfolded quite differently compared to when we decided to send in troops.
We must display political flexibility.
We must organize the CC for more flexible actions.
We must organize armed workers' brigades.
Our troops must be kept in full readiness.
The main center of resistance must be suppressed.
Cde. Saburov--agrees with Cde. Zhukov. They must take up their positions at large enterprises.
A program is needed.
Cde. Khrushchev--we will have a lot to answer for.
We must reckon with the facts.
Will we have a gov't that is with us, or will there be a gov't that is not with us and will request the withdrawal of troops? What then?
Nagy said that if you act he will relinquish his powers.
Then the coalition will collapse.
There is no firm leadership there, neither in the party nor in the
The uprising has spread into the provinces.
The [Hungarian] troops might go over to the side of the insurgents.
We can't persist on account of Hegedus.
The gov't takes action, and we help.
This might soon be completed, or Nagy will turn against us.
He will demand a ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops, followed by
What might the alternatives be?
1) The formation of a Committee, which takes power into its hands (this is the worst alternative), when we . . .
2) This gov't is retained, and officials from the gov't are sent into the provinces.
A platform is needed.
Perhaps our Appeal to the population and to workers, peasants, and the
intelligentsia should be prepared, or else we're just shooting.
3) Would it not be appropriate if the Chinese, Bulgarians, Poles, Czechs, and Yugoslavs appealed to the Hungarians?
4) Decisively suppress the armed forces of the insurgents.
Cdes. Brezhnev, Pospelov, Shepilov, and Furtseva are to prepare documents.
It is agreed: the fraternal parties should appeal to the Hungarians.
Do we support the present government once the declaration is issued?
Yes, support it. There is no alternative.
Cde. Bulganin: . . .
Cde. Voroshilov: We acted correctly when we sent in troops. We should be in no hurry to pull them out.
American secret services are more active there than Cdes. Suslov and
Mikoyan are. A group of comrades should go there. Arrange to form a gov't and then withdraw the troops. We sent you there for nothing.
(Cdes. Khrushchev and Kaganovich object.)
Cde. Bulganin: We acted properly when we sent in troops, but I can't agree with the assessment offered by Cde. Voroshilov. We should endorse the actions taken by Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov.
We must draw the right conclusion: In Budapest there are forces that want to get rid of Nagy's and Kadar's government. We should adopt a position of support for the current government.
Otherwise we'll have to undertake an occupation.
This will drag us into a dubious venture.
Cde. Kaganovich: Regarding the sending of troops, we acted properly in
There is no reason to attack Mikoyan and Suslov.
They acted properly. It's unfair to lay the blame on them.
If we don't offer support, there'll be an occupation of the country.
That will take us far afield.
We should do what is needed to support the gov't.
Changes shouldn't be made in the declaration regarding the withdrawal of troops.
So that they speak about friendship.
The question is how to strengthen the party.
We don't need to send additional people there.
Malenkov: The actions that were taken were correct.
There is no point at all in condemning Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov.
We should support the new gov't.
We should keep troops there with the approval of the gov't.
Cde. Malenkov: So many people were involved there that there'll have to be a guarantee of an amnesty.
Cde. Molotov: We acted properly when we sent in troops. The initial
messages from Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov were reassuring about their view of the government.
The influence of the party on the masses is weak.
With regard to the new government, we should support it.
But regarding friendship with the USSR, they're talking about the
withdrawal of troops. We must act cautiously.
Cde. Zhukov: We must support the new gov't.
The question of a troop withdrawal from Hungary--this question must be
considered by the entire socialist camp.
The authority of the HWP CC must be raised.
We should appeal to the fraternal parties so that they, in turn, will issue appeals to the Hungarians.
In Budapest, we should pull troops off the streets in certain regions.
Perhaps we should release a statement from the military command.
With regard to the assessment of Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov, it's
inappropriate to say the things that Cde. Voroshilov did.
Cde. Saburov: We must support this gov't.
The authority of the gov't must be increased in the eyes of the people.
We shouldn't protest their assessments of events, and we shouldn't protest about the withdrawal of troops, albeit not an immediate withdrawal.
Cde. Khrushchev: Agrees with the cdes.
We must support this gov't.
We must devise our tactics.
We must speak with Kadar and Nagy: We support you; the declaration--you
evidently are not able to do more.
We will declare a ceasefire.
We are ready to withdraw troops from Budapest.
We must make this conditional on a ceasefire by the centers of resistance.
Cde. Molotov: Second, we must look after the Hungarian Communists.
Cde. Bulganin--the regime of people's democracy in the country has
The HWP leadership no longer exists.
Power has been gained by . . .
Cde. Kaganovich--we're not talking here about concessions, but about a war for the people.
The declaration must be adopted.
A troop withdrawal from Budapest.
Cde. Voroshilov: If only a group could be formed there, we could leave our troops in place.
There's no one to rely on.
Otherwise there's war.
Cde. Khrushchev--I support the declaration.
Politically this is beneficial for us.
The English and French are in a real mess in Egypt. We shouldn't get caught in the same company.
But we must not foster illusions.
We are saving face.
Fundamentally, the declaration must be adopted.
But adopt it with corrections.
Life in the city must be put right.
An appeal from the fraternal parties.
A ciphered cable to Yugoslavia.
Cde. Pospelov is to be included in preparations of the report for 6.XI.56
If there is to be a leaflet from the military command, let . . .
them to Bulgaria.
On the Situation in Hungary
Cde. Suslov: The situation is complicated.
On 23 Oct. our troops entered.
On 25 Oct. only one pocket of resistance was left; we found out about it on 26 Oct. It was in the "Corvin" cinema, a group headed by a colonel from the Horthyite army.
Single gunshots are heard (often).
They're beating officers.
3,000 wounded, 350 dead (Hungarians).
Our losses are 600 dead.
The popular view of our troops now is bad (and has gotten worse). The
reason is the dispersal of the demonstration on 24 Oct. 56. Shooting
began. 70 ordinary citizens were killed. Many flags were hung up on the
Workers are leaving their enterprises.
Councils are being formed (spontaneously) at enterprises (around various cities).
There is an anti-Soviet trend in the demonstrations.
How can we regain control of the situation?
The establishment of a relatively strong gov't.
Our line is not to protest the inclusion of several democrats in the gov't.
Yesterday a government was formed.
On the morning of 28 Oct., at 5:00, Kadar arrived and pointed out that the trade unions had demanded a reassessment of the insurgents, reclassifying the events as a national-democratic uprising.
They want to classify it according to the example of the Poznan events.
Kadar reported that he had succeeded in agreeing with the trade unions to eliminate the formula of a national-democratic movement and about the organs of state security.
In his address, Nagy inserted a point about the withdrawal of Soviet
They're also insisting on a ceasefire.
Our line now: this time the gov't is recommending a ceasefire, and the
military command is devising an order for the withdrawal of troops from
Nagy and Szanto raised the question of removing Hegedus from the
There's no need to hold elections.
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1005, Ll. 54-63, compiled by V. N.
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 30 October
(Re: Point 1 of Protocol No. 49)
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Molotov, Kaganovich, Saburov,
Brezhnev, Zhukov, Shepilov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov
On the Situation in Hungary
Information from Cdes. Mikoyan and Serov is read aloud.
Cde. Zhukov provides information about the concentration of mil.-transport aircraft in the Vienna region.
Nagy is playing a double game (in Malinin's opinion).
Cde. Konev is to be sent to Budapest.
On Discussions with the Chinese comrades.
We should adopt a declaration today on the withdrawal of troops from the countries of people's democracy (and consider these matters at a session of the Warsaw Pact), taking account of the views of the countries in which our troops are based.
The entire CPC CC Politburo supports this position.
One document for the Hungarians, and another for the participants of the Warsaw Pact.
On Rokossowski--I said to Gomulka that this matter is for you (the Poles) to decide.
Cde. Bulganin--The Chinese cdes. have an incorrect impression of our
relations with the countries of people's democracy.
On our appeal to the Hungarians--we should prepare it.
A declaration should be prepared.
Cde. Molotov--Today an appeal must be written to the Hungarian people so that they promptly enter into negotiations about the withdrawal of troops.
There is the Warsaw Pact.
This must be considered with other countries.
On the view of the Chinese comrades--they suggest that relations with the countries of the socialist camp be built on the principles of Pancha Shila.
Relations along interstate lines are on one basis and interparty relations on another.
Cde. Voroshilov: We must look ahead. Declarations must be composed so that we aren't placed into an onerous position. We must criticize ourselves—but justly.
Cde. Kaganovich--Pancha Shila, but I don't think they should propose that we build our relations on the principles of Pancha Shila.
Two documents--an appeal to the Hungarians and a Declaration.
In this document we don't need to provide self-criticism.
There's a difference between party and state relations.
Cde. Shepilov--The course of events reveals the crisis in our relations
with the countries of people's democracy.
Anti-Soviet sentiments are widespread.
The underlying reasons must be revealed.
The foundations remain unshakable.
Eliminate the elements of diktat, not giving play in this situation to a number of measures to be considered in our relations.
The declaration is the first step.
There is no need for an appeal to the Hungarians.
On the armed forces: We support the principles of non-interference.
With the agreement of the government of Hungary, we are ready to withdraw troops.
We'll have to keep up a struggle with national-Communism for a long time.
Cde. Zhukov--Agrees with what Cde. Shepilov has said.
The main thing is to decide in Hungary.
Anti-Soviet sentiments are widespread.
We should withdraw troops from Budapest, and if necessary withdraw from
Hungary as a whole.
This is a lesson for us in the military-political sphere.
Cde. Zhukov--With regard to troops in the GDR and in Poland, the question is more serious.
It must be considered at the Consultative Council.
The Consultative Council is to be convened.
To persist further--it is unclear what will come of this.
A quick decision, the main thing is to declare it today.
Cde. Furtseva--We should adopt a general declaration, not an appeal to the Hungarians. Not a cumbersome declaration.
The second thing is important for the internal situation.
We must search for other modes of relations with the countries of people's democracy.
About meetings with leaders of the people's democracies (concerning
We should convene a CC plenum (for informational purposes).
Cde. Saburov: Agrees about the need for a Declaration and withdrawal of
At the XX Congress we did the correct thing, but then did not keep control of the unleashed initiative of the masses.
It's impossible to lead against the will of the people.
We failed to stand for genuine Leninist principles of leadership.
We might end up lagging behind events.
Agrees with Cde. Furtseva. The ministers are asking; so are members of the CC.
With regard to Romania--they owe us 5 billion rubles for property created by the people.
We must reexamine our relations.
Relations must be built on an equal basis.
Cde. Khrushchev: We are unanimous.
As a first step we will issue a Declaration.
Cde. Khrushchev--informs the others about his conversation with Cde.
Kadar is behaving well.
5 of the 6 are firmly hanging in there.
A struggle is going on inside the [HWP--trans.] Presidium about the
withdrawal of troops.
The minister of defense will issue a directive about the suppression of
insurgents in the cinema, using the armed forces. (Malinin, apparently,
became nervous and left the session.)
Officers from the state security (Hungarian) are with our troops.
Consideration of the Draft Declaration
(Shepilov, Molotov, Bulganin)
Cde. Bulganin--we should say in what connection the question of a
Page 2, Par. 2, don't soften the self-criticism.
Mistakes were committed.
Much use should be made of "Leninist principles."
Cde. Khrushchev--expresses agreement. We should say we are guided by
Page 2, Par. 5--we should say we are making a statement, not an
Page 3--we should speak about economic equity, make it the main thing.
We should say that no troops are stationed in the majority of countries.
We should say that on the territory of the Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian states the stationing of troops is done with the consent of their governments and in the interests of these gov'ts and peoples.
We should express our view of the government of Hungary.
Measures to support them.
About support for the party and HWP CC and for the gov't. We should refer specifically to Nagy and Kadar.
Cde. Kaganovich, Cde. Molotov, Cde. Zhukov: We should mention the Potsdam agreement and the treaties with every country.
Cde. Zhukov--We should express sympathy with the people. We should call for an end to the bloodshed.
Page 2, Par. 2: We should say the XX Congress condemned the disregard for principles of equality.
Cde. Zhukov--we should speak about economics.
Restructuring was thwarted after the XX Congress.
We are turning to the member-states of the Warsaw Pact to consider the
question of our advisers. We are ready to withdraw them.
Transmitted via high frequency to Cdes. Mikoyan and Suslov.
Information from Cde. Yudin on Negotiations with the Chinese Comrades.
What's the situation: Will Hungary leave our camp? Who is Nagy? Can he be trusted? About the advisers.
Those taking part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Molotov, Saburov,
Khrushchev, Zhukov, Brezhnev, Shepilov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov, Yudin. Chinese comrades.
On the Situation in Hungary
Cde. Liu Shaoqi)
Cde. Liu Shaoqi indicates on behalf of the CPC CC that troops must remain in Hungary and in Budapest.
Cde. Khrushchev--there are two paths.
A military path--one of occupation.
A peaceful path--the withdrawal of troops, negotiations.
Cde. Molotov--the political situation has taken clearer shape. An
anti-revol. gov't has been formed, a transitional gov't. We should issue the Declaration and explain our position. We should clarify our
relationship with the new gov't. We are entering into negotiations about the withdrawal of troops.
Nagy--the prime minister.
Kadar--a state minister.
Tildy Zoltan-- "
Losonczy--a Communist and a supporter of Nagy
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 6-14, compiled by V. N. Malin.]
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 31 October
(Re: Point VI of Protocol No. 49)
Information about Discussions with Gomulka
Regarding the Situation in Poland and Hungary
A meeting with Cde. Gomulka (in the Brest region) was proposed.
Cde. Khrushchev sets forth the various considerations.
We should reexamine our assessment and should not withdraw our troops from Hungary and Budapest. We should take the initative in restoring order in Hungary. If we depart from Hungary, it will give a great boost to the Americans, English, and French--the imperialists.
They will perceive it as weakness on our part and will go onto the
We would then be exposing the weakness of our positions.
Our party will not accept it if we do this.
To Egypt they will then add Hungary.
We have no other choice.
If this point of view is supported and endorsed, let's consider what we
Agreed: Cdes. Zhukov, Bulganin, Molo-tov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov,
We should say we tried to meet them halfway, but there is not now any
What line are we now adopting?
We should create a Provisional Revol. Gov't (headed by Kadar).
Best of all--a deputy.
Munnich--as premier and min. of defense and internal affairs.
This government--we should invite them to negotiations about the withdrawal of troops and resolve the matter.
If Nagy agrees, bring him in as dep. premier.
Munnich is appealing to us with a request for assistance. We are lending assistance and restoring order.
We should negotiate with Tito.
We should inform the Chinese comrades, the Czechs, the Romanians, and the Bulgarians.
There will be no large-scale war.
Cde. Saburov--after yesterday's session this discussion is all pointless.
It will vindicate NATO.
Cde. Molotov--yesterday was only a compromise decision.
Cdes. Zhukov, Voroshilov, Bulganin: We should reject the view that we are reexamining our position.
Cde. Furtseva--What further should be done?
We showed patience, but now things have gone too far. We must act to ensure that victory goes to our side.
Cde. Pospelov--we should use the argument that we will not let socialism in Hungary be strangled.
Cde. Shvernik--Cde. Khrushchev's proposal is correct.
Cde. Molotov--we should not defer the creation of organs in localities. We should act simultaneously in the center and in the localities.
Cde. Zhukov is instructed to work out a plan and report on it.
Shepilov, Brezhnev, Furtseva, and Pospelov are to handle the propaganda
An appeal to the people from the military command or the government.
An appeal to the people from the Prov. Revol. Gov't.
An order from Cde. Konev.
We should send a group to the region of Cde. Konev's headquarters.
Cde. Rakosi--favors Munnich (as premier)
Cde. Hegedus-- "
Cde. Gero-- "
On Negotiations with Tito
(Cdes. Khrushchev, Molotov, Bulganin)
Draft a telegram to Tito about the meeting.
To Brest: Khrushchev, Molotov, Malen-kov.
To Yugoslavia: Khrushchev, Malenkov.
To discuss with you the situation that has emerged in Hungary. What is your view of it? If you agree, our delegation will visit incognito from
1. XI in the evening to
2. XI in the morning your time.
Confirm the telegram to the Soviet ambassador in Belgrade.
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 15-18ob, compiled by V. N.
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 1 November 1956
(Re: Point I of Protocol No. 50)1
Those Taking Part: Voroshilov, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Saburov,
Suslov, Brezhnev, Zhukov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov, Konev, Serov
On the Situation in Hungary.
The demand for the withdrawal of troops became universal.
Anti-Soviet sentiments have intensified.
In current circumstances it is better now to support the existing gov't.
Right now, the use of force will not help anything.
We should enter into negotiations. For 10-15 days.
If the regime slips away, we'll need to decide what to do. We simply cannot allow Hungary to be removed from our camp.
We shouldn't quarrel right now with the army.
If the situation stabilizes, we should decide at that point whether we'll withdraw the troops.
We should wait another 10-15 days and support this government.
If the situation stabilizes, everything will change for the better.
Cde. Suslov: The unstable polit. situation. The danger of a bourgeois
restoration has reached its peak.
The situation will be clarified in the next few days.
Events are developing wildly, but without the control of the party.
A schism in the HWP--the intra-party struggle has spilled out onto the
I don't believe that Nagy organized the uprising, but his name is being
If we back this gov't--there is no guarantee.
Only by means of an occupation can we have a government that supports us.
Cde. Serov--the demonstrations were meticulously prepared. Nagy was
connected with the rebels.
We must take decisive measures.
We must occupy the country.
Cde. Bulganin--provides information about the decision taken on 31-X-56 and about the discussions with the Chinese comrades.
Cde. Bulganin: The international situation has changed.
If we don't take measures--we will lose Hungary.
Cde. Konev--Budapest is in the hands of the rebels.
Anarchy is spreading; reaction is triumphing.
The decision: occupation.
Cde. Kaganovich: The discussion was complicated.121
The Chinese said we should not withdraw troops.
Objectively--a sharp reactionary movement.
The party doesn't exist.
We can't wait long.
The reactionary forces are attacking, and we are attacking.
Cde. Furtseva--reactions to the Declaration.
Are worried that we're giving away Hungary.
Cde. Zhukov--there is no basis for reconsidering the decision of 31-X-56.
I don't agree with Cde. Mikoyan that we must support the current gov't.
Our actions must be decisive.
Remove all the unsavory elements.
Disarm the counterrevolution.
Delay the parliamentary delegation to France.
To the ambassador in Budapest--send the families.
Reconsider sending a parliamentary delegation to Thailand.
Cde. Bulganin--everything is being done in the spirit of the decision of 31 X.
Cde. Zhukov: Everything will be restored to order.
We are acting on the basis of the Declaration--the redeployments will bring order.
Cde. Suslov--now the situation has become clearer.
Separate out the honest ones.
Zhukov, Suslov, Konev, Serov, Brezhnev (the plan of measures).
Those Taking Part: Voroshilov, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Saburov,
Suslov, Brezhnev, Zhukov, Shepilov, Shvernik, Furtseva, Pospelov, Konev, Serov
On the Situation in Hungary
About our embassy in Hungary.
(Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Zhukov, Shepilov)
So far, to keep the embassy.
On the main question.
Cde. Shepilov: There were two paths: to reckon with the mass nature of the movement and not to intervene; or second, the military path; it turned out there was a third path: both that we intervened and that reaction triumphed.
The current situation: a counterrev. putsch has been carried out, and the state order has changed; the main trend is anti-Soviet; the chief
orientation of forces is being orchestrated from outside.
If we don't embark on a decisive path, things in Czechoslovakia will
We must establish order by the use of force.
Cde. Mikoyan: If Hungary becomes a base for imperialism, that's a different matter.
What we're talking about here is the current situation.
We should not tolerate a pedantic approach.
There are still 3 days to think it over; there'll be advice from the
The tactic: to maintain contacts with them.
Cdes. Suslov, Brezhnev, + Hungarian comrades--
to prepare measures (on which cadres to rely and what we will do).
[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 19-22, compiled by V. N.
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 2 November 1956, with Participation by J. Kadar, F. Munnich, and I. Bata
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Mikoyan, Molotov,
Saburov, Suslov, Brezhnev. Cdes. Munnich, Kadar, and Bata
Exchange of Opinions about the Situation in HungaryAn assessment.The intelligentsia is taking the lead;the oppositionists are supporters of Nagy;the armed groups are headed by
party figures, including
Dudas, an engineer.
When the uprising ended, they spoke with the rebels;
these were workers, the leaders of the group;
they arrived at the coalition government;
they didn't want this;
they're seeking the ouster of the Rakosi clique.
They fought for the withdrawal of troops and for the order of people'sdemocracy.Mass demonstrations are taking place on the periphery;
these didn't include any goal--to destroy the order of people's democracy; many demands about democratization, and social demands.
I personally took part in one meeting (of the conference), and no one
But when we spoke with the leaders of the armed groups, inside these
groups--armed groups of a counterrevolutionary nature have emerged.I have to say that everyone demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops.
We didn't clarify how the counterrevolutionaries managed to disseminate
this counterrevolutionary propaganda.
The strike is a demand for the withdrawal of troops: we'll starve in the process, but the troops must be withdrawn.
Yesterday there was a conference.
They were speaking about the Declaration of the Soviet government and the Declaration of neutrality.
Stated that we will go back to work.
But Soviet troops were being redeployed, and the news quickly spread.The government will not be considered to have any authority because of the coalition nature of the government.All forces are seeking the restoration of their parties. Each group wants to take power into its own hands. This undermines the authority of the government even further.
The Soc.-Democrats are especially distinctive in this regard.In the inner cabinet the Soc.-Dems. were given one spot. But they haven't named a candidate; they don't want to act in solidarity with Nagy.Nagy's policy has counterrev. aspects to it.The soldiers freed Cardinal Mindszenty.The Austrians support a fascist organization (in West Germany--a Hungarian organization) 35 thous. people (Horthyites).The weak link is the HWP; it has ceased to exist: some have been killed(workers), some were saved.The leaders of 1/3 of the obkoms are taking part in revolutionary
committees (for the region and province).Local bodies have been destroyed.On 1 Nov. at noon--the point of view in the government is that it's
necessary to hold discussions with the Soviet gov't and to have the troops withdrawn by a certain time.
But this isn't accurate.
The coalition parties don't want counterrev.
Tildy and other cdes. are afraid of Ferenc Nagy.
Those in the emigre community: they're afraid of them.
Tildy is afraid of Kovacs, but he's better than Tildy and is a smart man.
Kovacs gave a speech in Pecs:139 we are creating a Smallholders party, but we can't struggle on the basis of the old program.
He is against the return of the landowners and capitalists.But they aren't putting forth demands that are popular in the nation.
Hour by hour the situation is moving rightward.
1) the gov't's decision about neutrality,2) the party.How did the decision about neutrality emerge?
The strong impression is that there's an organized departure of troops.
The Declaration--a good impression and a reassuring gesture.
But the masses are very stirred-up and are reacting harshly.
There were movements of Sov. troops, which alarmed the gov't and masses.
The gov't is doing one thing, and the troops another.
They reported that Soviet troops had crossed the border in transport
vehicles. Hungarian formations are entrenched.
What should be done--to shoot or not to shoot?
They summoned Andropov. Andropov said that these are railroad workers.
Hungarians at the border sent back telegrams saying that these definitely are not railroad workers.
Then they reported that Soviet tanks are moving into Szolnok.
This was at noon. The government has been thrown into a nervous state.
They summoned Andropov. He responded: the withdrawal of wounded soldiers.
Nagy was convinced that a strike against Budapest is being prepared. Tildy requested that Hungarian tanks approach the parliament.
In the army--a Rev. Council,
Maleter, Kovacs, and Kiraly are not subordinate to the gov't.
They don't want bad ministers.
The whole gov't was inclined to the view that if the troops move toward
Budapest, the city must be defended.In this atmosphere the idea of neutrality arose.The initiator of it was Zoltan Tildy.
Everyone supported it.
I was a supporter of the view that no sorts of steps should be taken
without having spoken with Andropov.
The whole cabinet, other than Kadar, declared that the Sov. gov't is
deceiving the Hungarian gov't.
They deferred it for two hours.
The Sov. gov't's explanation didn't satisfy them. They told Andropov that they'll be taking this step.
When Andropov left, they took their step about neutrality and decided to issue an appeal to the UN.
If these are just maneuvers, they'll withdraw the question from the UN.
When Andropov left, Kadar voted for neutrality, too.
The renaming of the party: the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (a name used back in 1925).The HWP has been compromised in the view of the overwhelming masses.
The peak of the HWP's authority was in 1948 (the alliance with the
The Rajk affair shattered its authority.
About the future.
Yesterday I voted for these two decisions of the government.
If they will withdraw Soviet troops in the near future (within two-three months)--the decision on the withdrawal of troops is the important thing--our party and other parties would be able to fight against the counterrev.
But I'm not sure this will be successful.
There's no unity within the coalition.
My point of view is: if the Soc.-Dems. and the Smallholders party are going to operate on the basis of their old progams, they will be deceitful.The people believe in nationalism and regard it as their affair.If the Communists declare that they support nationalism, the authority of the other parties will stop increasing.
The looming danger--the counterrevolution wouldn't embolden these coalition parties.
My view is that there's another path.The armed forces could be deployed to support Hungary.
But then there will be skirmishes.The use of military force will be destructive and lead to bloodshed.
What will happen then? The morale of the Communists will be reduced to
The socialist countries will suffer losses.Is there a guarantee that such circumstances will not arise in other
The counterrev. forces are not meager.
But this is a matter of struggle.
If order is restored by force, the authority of the socialist countries
will be eroded.
A gloomy situation.
Why did this situation arise?
The isolation of the leaders from the masses.
Certainty that the regime exists and is preserved only through the support of the USSR.
This is the source of anti-Soviet sentiments (facts: soccer, radio broadcasts).
In Hungary: total chaos.
What would be the result if the troops are withdrawn--this would respond to the sentiment of the masses.
Counterrev. elements are receiving reinforcement, and their actions are not being stopped.
We have no more forces left.
On the military nature of the events.Anti-Soviet sentiments are being spread by counterrev. elements.Cde. Kadar--a concrete request: preserve the party cadres.
The question is pointedly raised about the withdrawal of Soviet troops.Everything all of them are doing will lead to a confrontation of Soviet and Hungarian troops.I was a witness when a Hungarian unit opened fire on Soviet troops.
The Soviets didn't respond. Further such restraint couldn't be expected
from even the most disciplined army.
Whether deliberately or not, the gov't is laying the groundwork for a
confrontation of Soviet and Hungarian troops.
Order must be restored through a military dictatorship.
Change the policy of the government.[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 23-29, compiled by V. N.
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 3 November 1956, with Participation by J. Kadar, F. Munnich, and I. Horvath
Those Taking Part: Voroshilov, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Malenkov, Mikoyan,
Molotov, Kirichenko, Saburov, Suslov, Brezhnev, Pospelov
On the Preparation of Documents for Use in Hungary
The documents are poorly prepared.
Cdes. Suslov, Mikoyan, and Shepilov are to prepare the documents.
On the Composition of the Hungarian Gov't(Mikoyan)Cde. Mikoyan: At the head of the gov't is Kadar.
Kadar--it is worth speaking about mistakes, but for a long while there was no time.
About one matter--why in the summer they chose Gero as secretary.The Soviet comrades always helped, but there was one mistake: only 3-4
Hungarian cdes. enjoyed the full trust of the Soviet cdes.: Rakosi, Gero, Farkas.
But among others there are many orderly people.
3-4 individuals monopolized relations between Hungary and the USSR.
This is the source of many mistakes.Rakosi would say "this is the view of the Soviet cdes.," and that would put an end to the debate.
On the exclusion of Nagy from the party:
Rakosi said that the Soviet cdes. share his view.
Cde. Kadar--the decisions of the XX Congress were heartily welcomed.To criticize Rakosi means speaking out against the Soviet cdes.
The congratulatory telegram in Rakosi's name (caused confusion).
For 12 years: the Soviet comrades were calm with Rakosi at the head andthen Gero (they didn't raise objections to them).What now?On Nagy's behavior.
They're killing Communists.
The counterrev. are killing them, and premier Nagy provides a cover.
The government lacks the forces to put an end to it.What must be done?
Surrendering a socialist country to counterrev. is impossible.
I agree with you.The correct course of action is to form a rev. government.
I'd like to dwell on one point:
the whole nation is taking part in the movement.
The nation does not want to liquidate the peop.-dem. order.
The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary has great significance.
We are being strengthened in our military relationship, and are becoming weaker in the political.
National sentiments are offended (form, title).
This government must not be puppetlike, there must be a base for its
activities and support among workers.
There must be an answer to the question of what sort of relationship we
must have with the USSR.
Believes that Cde. Kadar's assessment and conclusions are correct.
Cde. Kadar--the center of counterrev. is in the city of Gyor.
If we declare Nagy's gov't counterrev., all parties will fall under this rubric.
The government does not want to struggle against the counterrev.
on the basis of defending the peop.-dem. order, socialist gains, and
friendship with the USSR and with other socialist countries and cooperation with all peaceloving countries.
At the head of the gov't is Kadar.
To send: Malenkov, Mikoyan, Brezhnev.
To fly off: (at 2:00-3:00) at 7:00 to 8:00 in the morning.[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, L. 31-33ob, compiled by V. N.Malin.]
Working Notes from the Session of the CPSU CC Presidium on 4 November 1956
(Re: Protocol No. 51)
Those Taking Part: Bulganin, Voroshilov, Kaganovich, Malenkov, Molotov,
Pervukhin, Saburov, Suslov, Khrushchev, Zhukov, Shepilov, Furtseva,
On the Operations and Situation in Hungary
Cde. Kaganovich's ciphered cable from Cde. Malinin
at Cde. Khrushchev
1) Bring back Cdes. Mikoyan and Brezhnev.
2) Provide assistance to Hungary.
3) More actively take part in the assistance to Egypt.
Think through a number of measures (perhaps a demonstration at the English embassy).
More widely in the newspapers.
Cde. Molotov--think about Hungary.
Exert influence on Kadar so that Hungary does not go the route of
Yugoslavia. They made changes in the Declaration--they now condemn the
Rakosi-Gero clique--and this might be dangerous.
We must convince them that they should refrain from this reference
to the Rakosi-Gero clique.Kadar is calling (1 XI) for a condemnation of Stalinism.The title of Hungarian Workers' Party should be retained.
We should come to agreement with them and prevent them from shifting to
Cde. Molotov--reinforce the military victory through political means.
Cde. Khrushchev--I don't understand Cde. Molotov. He comes up with the most pernicious ideas.
Cde. Molotov--you should keep quiet and stop being so overbearing.
Cde. Bulganin--we should condemn the incorrect line of Rakosi-Gero.Cde. Khrushchev:The declaration is good --we must act honorably.
Cde. Shepilov--during the editing they added the phrase "the clique of
Rakosi and Gero."
We are giving them legal opportunities to denigrate the entire 12-year
period of the HWP's work.
Cde. Shepilov--is it really necessary to disparage cadres?Tomorrow it will be the "clique of Ulbricht."
Cde. Saburov--if they themselves don't comprehend their mistakes, we will deal at length with the matter.
Reward the military personnel.
Take care of the families of those who perished.
V. On Purging the Higher Educational Institutions of Unsavory Elements
(Cdes. Zhukov, Khrushchev, Furtseva, Pervukhin, Voroshilov)
Furtseva, Pospelov, Shepilov, and Elyutin are to come up with
recommendations for purging the higher educational institutions of unsavory elements.
IV. On the Response to Cde. Kardelj and the Telegram About Imre NagyAffirm the text of the response.On Instructions to the Soviet Ambassador in Hungary
On the Raising of the Question at the Gen. Assembly's Session on HungaryCde. Kadar is to say that he will withdraw the question from the UN.[Source: TsKhSD, F. 3, Op. 12, D. 1006, Ll. 34-36ob, compiled by V. N.