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Revolution in Hungary: The 1956 Budapest Uprising
Revolution in Hungary: The 1956 Budapest Uprising
by Erich Lessing
October 2007 marks the 51st anniversary of one of the defining moments in the history of the 20th century: On Oct. 23, 1956, what began as a mass rally in Budapest quickly evolved into the Hungarian Revolution. Within days, millions of Hungarians supported the revolt. It lasted until Nov. 4, when it was crushed by the Hungarian security police and Soviet tanks and artillery. Thousands of Hungarian revolutionaries and Soviets were injured or killed, and nearly a quarter of a million people fled the country as refugees. Erich Lessing was the first photographer to arrive in Hungary, and he documented the short-lived uprising and its aftermath in a series of photographs. These world-famous images bring to life once more the hope and euphoria of the first days of the revolt, soon followed by the pain and punishment of brutal suppression.
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The more I worked at it, the more I felt I could begin to see the world through my subjects' eyes, and the more I realized the task was endless.
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