1956: Poland – Hungary. History and Remembrance

Information about the exhibition 1956.: Poland – Hungary. History and Remembrance

August 19 October 26, 2016

The Great Courtyard

The open-air exhibition 1956: Poland – Hungary. History and Remembrance is a common initiative of the Institute of National Remembrance, Committee of National Remembrance and Hungarian Institute for Culture. It is part of a series of initiatives marking the 60th anniversary of the events of 1956 in Poland and Hungary. The initiatives are primarily guided by the idea of the fight for freedom and truth, and solidary between the Polish and Hungarian nations. The activities aim to depict the universal longing for freedom of the people who lived under the Communist regime. It is also an opportunity to present the fate of two nations who despite their different history happened to be on the same side of the Iron Curtain, and the fate of the people who were capable of fighting for freedom, helping and supporting each other despite their difficult situations. In parallel, the initiatives highlight the Polish dimension of events of 1956, starting with an anti-communist revolution in Poznan in 1956. Those activities have been realised under a one title 1956. Poles and Hungarians. Together We Remember.

The exhibition 1956: Poland – Hungary. History and Remembrance tells the story of the shared, dramatic history of Poles and Hungarians – two nations bound together by centuries-old friendship – whose fates became inseparable in 1956. Students in Budapest begun demonstrations to show solidarity with Poles, by gathering by the monument of General Jozef Bem – a hero of the two nations, when they heard about the events, which took place in Poland in October 1956. This demonstration gave rise to the revolution, which toppled the Communist dictatorship in Hungary. In turn, having heard of the second intervention of the Soviet Union in Hungary that silenced the revolution, Polish nation passed the test of solidarity, by donating blood, raising money, and sending medicines to Hungary. The exhibition presents the history of Polish and Hungarian nations by interchangeably demonstrating that the history of the two nations influenced one another in 1956 and it stays alive today. Hence, as the memory of the revolution has not been forgotten in Poland, Hungarians remember about the signs of solidarity they received from Poles. The exhibition showcases, inter alia, unique photographs of columns of the Soviet Army as they approach Warsaw from their bases in the Western and Northern Territories in October 1956 – taken in hiding by the operators of the Polish Film Chronicle.

The opening of the exhibition took place on 27th and 28th June in Poznan and Warsaw. On the 28th June, during the main commemorative events of the Poznan June, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the President of Hungary Janos Ader visited the exhibition in Poznan. Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Marek Kuchcinski participated in the formal opening of the exhibition in Warsaw. The exhibition will be presented in the Great Courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw from 19th August to 26th October 2016. The Office of National Education of the Institute of National Remembrance will organise educational activities for school groups about the events on 1956 in Poland and Hungary.