Sunday, October 23, is the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.
Having just returned from my first visit to Hungary, this anniversary carries a special poignancy to me.
Visiting Budapest's University of Technology where the Freedom Manifesto was written, the Radio building where the Manifesto was announced and the Parliament square where the massacre of October 25, 1956 occurred, reminds us that the human desire for freedom can never be extinguished.
For the Hungarian Revolution, parallels to China's 1989 pro-democracy movement and its subsequent Tiananmen massacre on June 4 are unmistakeable. Both protests were started by students and subsequently spread to all walks of life and to the rest of the country. Both ended in tragedy with tanks rolling into the city. Yet both inspired generations to come.
The Hungarian Revolution brought forth the Prague Spring of 1968 no matter how short lived and the formation of Solidarity in Poland in 1980.
China's 1989 pro-democracy movement though crushed, nevertheless led the water shed changes in eastern Europe that year.
History does not happen in a vacuum. In 1956, China's Mao Zedong had urged Khrushchev to send in the troops to Budapest to put down the revolution just as in 1989 when Burma's military dictator advised China's Deng Xiaoping to use force against the student demonstrators in Beijing.
The Hungarians in Hungary refer to the period of Communist rule as the Communist Era. I had asked a Chinese friend when can the Chinese people refer to this current period as the Communist Era? He responded it would be soon and that he would call it the Period of Tyranny.
To the Hungarian Freedom Fighters who are with us now, to those who had passed from us and to those who sacrificed their lives so others may have freedom, we honor you and thank you.
May the Hungarian Revolution be not just the beginning of the end of Communist tyranny in Eastern Europe but will soon be the end of Communist tyranny in China as well.
Chair, Visual Artists Guild
A Commemoration will be held at MacArthur Park, in Los Angeles at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 23. (corner of S. Park View St and W 6th Street)
In 2006 Visual Artists Guild honored twelve Hungarian Freedom Fighters at the 17th Tiananmen Commemoration event. Among those honored were John Dolinsky, Julius Jancso, Laszlo Sandor and others. Eva Szorenyi could not attend that year and was honored in 2007 and also had her 90th birthday celebration at the event.