On October 23, 1956, a student demonstration in Budapest demanding democracy was crushed by police and the students arrested. A crowd gathered and attempted to free the students, and the police opened fire. Street fighting became general. The Communist regime declared martial law, and called for Soviet assistance. Overnight, Soviet tanks and jets fired on demonstrators.
So began 19 days of desperate struggle by the people of Hungary in a heroic attempt to throw off the yoke of Soviet Communism. Radio Free Europe urged resistance, but John Foster Dulles and Dwight Eisenhower declined to intervene.
Uncertain numbers, but undoubtedy thousands, of Hungarians died in the fighting, more than 350 were executed by the Soviets, 26,000 were put on trial, and over 200,000 fled the country. The inscription on a campanalogical memorial for Imre Nagy, could be applied to the memory of all the Hungarian freedom fighters murdered by the Soviets: Vivos voco / Mortuos plango / Fulgura frango (I call the living, I mourn the dead, I break the lightning).
Hungary regained its independence October 23, 1989, after the fall of Communism.