Staying Red

Why I remain a socialist. By Norman Harding

The Hungarian Uprising: the battle in Leeds

The Hungarian uprising, although one of the most important events In post-war Europe, was not an isolated event. Stalinism as a political force had never been free of crisis. Nonetheless, the period around 1956 was an important turning point.

Workers on the streets of Budapest in 1956.

Workers on the streets of Budapest in 1956.

The uprising followed hard on the heels of the rehabilitation of Tito and the shattering revelations of the crimes of Stalinism which Khrushchev sought to lay at the feet of one man in his speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

This process was reflected in a deep-going crisis within the Communist Party in Britain. In 1986, as part of a re-evaluation of the Hungarian events during their thirtieth anniversary, Workers Press  interviewed some of those who were active in both the Trotskyist movement and the Communist Party at the time. One of the interviews was with Norman Harding, which is reproduced in the attachment. In it he discusses his own early political development, how the Hungarian events appeared at that time to the small group of Trotskyists in Leeds and what they achieved. Their work helped change for good the relationship between Trotskyism and Stalinism.

Leeds and the Hungarian uprising

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