My first visit to Hungary came in 1987, less than a year after this documentary film was aired in Great Britain. It amazes me to consider that at the time, a witness to history like cab driver Danny Benedikti was only 47 years old. Who could have know that by 1990, a whole new chapter would begin in Hungary and the other Warsaw Pact nations?
Three decades later, and those who lived through the revolution are passing rapidly from the scene. A more recent oral history project intended to document their memories is discussed here.
Réka Pigniczky (filmmaker) and Andrea Lauer Rice, (producer of multimedia educational tools), are living in the Hungarian diaspora of the United States and both of them are descended from families who moved to the States after 1956. It is a “call” for the creators to collect and preserve the memories of the Revolution.
Here’s the synopsis of the 1986 BBC One documentary.
Cry Hungary: A Revolution Remembered
Thirty years ago this week the Hungarians rose against communist oppression and the Soviet occupation of their country. For five days an untrained army of students and workers fought the Red Army for control of the streets of Budapest and the right to choose their own way of life.
Cry Hungary is the story of the revolution told by some of those who took part, among them: Danny Benedikti , now a taxi driver from Oldham, then a 16-year-old apprentice with a machine gun; Lucy Szalay , now in the USA, then a schoolgirl who was shot by the Secret Police; Stephen Vizinczey , writer, then a student organiser; Greg Pongratz , now a farmer in Arizona, then the Commander of the Corvin group whose young army inflicted such damage on the Russians it became a legend. They and others remember their revolution and salute the friends who were among the 20,000 who died.