October 23rd marked the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
Courageous Hungarians took to the streets throughout their country, demanding freedom and democracy. By October 31, it appeared the revolution had succeeded with the Kremlin announcing peaceful negotiations. Then, at 5:20 a.m. on November 4, a grim Hungarian Prime Minister Nagy announced a major attack by Soviet forces.
Hungary was viciously crushed by the Kremlin’s tanks as an impotent West watched. Mass arrests followed on the orders of Kremlin leader Khrushchev and his Hungarian puppet, Kádár. Thousands were slaughtered. A mass migration of 200,000 surged across the borders into free Europe. In response, Canada provided sanctuary to more than 37,000 Hungarian refugees in less than a year.
Today, let us celebrate that indomitable spirit of the Hungarian Canadians who kept the dream of Hungarian independence alive, and who have contributed so greatly to our country.