János Pölöskei was nine years old when the Revolution broke out on October 23, 1956. They lived near one of the hotspots of the events, not far from the Köztársaság (Republic) Square where the headquarters of the Hungarian Communist Party was.
Index.hu says that they did not talk about politics at home, but he knew that his parent’s small enterprise was nationalised and they lived together with the family of Béla Dálnoki Miklós, a former Hungarian PM. He had an older brother who was beaten by agents of the State Protection Authority after he tore down some communist posters and his deed was reported to the police by one of his classmates.
On October 23 he said to his mother that they should buy a lot of bread because there would be war. He grabbed his father’s Primus camera and took a lot of photos during the days of the revolution. He says that everything was like the world war about which his parents and grandparents were continually talking about.
After the Soviet invasion
they lived in the basement with his family for more than a week
and Pölöskei was right – they really needed the bread he talked about on October 23. But afterwards life went on, and though some of his classmates were missing, he told that everybody was given chocolate which came as the support from Switzerland.
His photos were never published because he hid them in a book but below you can check them:
The ruins of the Rákóczi street 74 where the fight was hard even after the Soviet troops crushed the revolution on November 4.
People were trying to get through between tanks on the corner of the Rákóczi and Osvát streets.
Passer-by in front of the ruins of the József promenade 81.
On the left, the headquarters of the Hungarian communist party which was besieged by the revolutionary army on October 30. The crowds attacked the building because, allegedly, the State Protection Authority tortured there some people. Even though even Mr Pölöskei heard voices from the building then, nobody could yet find the secret tunnels connecting the building with the Kerepesi cemetery.
József boulevard 86 near the legendary Corvin-köz where a group of revolutionists fought even days after the second Soviet invasion of November 4. Even this photo was probably taken after November 4.
Tramcars burned down on the József boulevard that were used as a barricade.
Rákóczi street. It took years until all damaged buildings were rebuilt.
Ruins, passerby and a Soviet tank on the corner of the Rákóczi and Osvát streets.
The junction of the József promenade and the Üllői street. On the left, buildings of the legendary Corvin-köz while on the right, the Kilián barracks. The fight was long and bloody there; some of the buildings of the neighbourhood still have bullet holes on their walls.