Twenty-five years ago this month, the abor-
tive Hungarian Revolution shook the world.
But instead of being a pretty footnote in history
0ooks, the events in Hungary in October 1956
dontinue to hold significance, especially in light
f the recent developments in Poland.
At the end of the Second World War, the "Big
three," Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin,
divided up Europe into the American and
Soviet spheres of influence. Eastern Europe
was awarded to Stalin on the condition that he
would hold free elections and allow democratic
governments to flourish.
IN HUNGARY, the Communist Party lost the
lections; but the Soviet Armies and the
collaborating natives eventually eradicated the
opposition and puppet regimes were set up.
These regimes were supported by the Kremlin
and kept in power by brutal repression..
Between 1948 and 1956, sheer terror reigned
in Hungary. Deportations, executions,
beatings, torture, and mysterious "disap-
pearances" were carried out by the secret
police, the feared and hated AVO.
In the autumn of 1956, workers rioted in
Poland. Khrushchev's denunciation speech on
Stalin had spread by word of mouth into
Hungary. In Budapest on October 23, 1956,
mass deminstrations broke out in support of
the Poles, and greater liberties for Hungary.
The demonstrators peacefully sang long-
Wednesday, October 21, 1981
The Michigan Daily
ok at Hungary 25 years later
forbidden patriotic songs, recited poems, and
cut out the red star from the center of the
The flag-waving, singing masses converged
on the radio building in downtown Budapest,
demanding access to the airwaves. Here, from
the rooftops, the AVO opened fire on the un-
threatening and unarmed crowd.
THAT WAS THE spark that exploded the
people's hate of the AVO. Weapons were ob-'
tained, and fire was returned by the crowd. The
entire nation revolted. The army supported the
workers and the students. Fierce fighting erup-
ted when the besieged government called in
The demands of the freedom fighters were
simple, yet echoed a universal tone. They were,
briefly: independence and neutrality for
Hungary, a free press, free elections, a multi-
party system, free speech, the removal of all
foreign troops from the nation, and the release
of political prisoners.
The Hungarians stared with disbelief as the
Soviets withdrew from Budapest, some units
even leaving the country. The nation enjoyed a
brief burst of freedom. Scores of newspapers
and political parties were founded.
Negotiations for the final withdrawal of Soviet
troops began. General Maleter, who turned his
troops against the Soviets, headed the
negotiations. During a bargaining session, the
By Charles Jokay
negotiators were abducted by the KGB and
later tortured and killed.
ON NOVEMBER 4, 6000 Soviet tanks reen-
tered the country. They were accompanied by
15 divisions of the Red Army. The rag-tag, ill-
armed students and workers, many of them in
their teens, elected to fight until the last bullet
and last drop of blood was expended. They
hoped the United States would help them. The
free radio stations broadcast continuous pleas
for Western assistance in four languages,
but Eisenhower's promises of "rolling back the
Iron Curtain" went unfulfilled.
When it was all over, 20,000 Hungarians had
died in the fighting, while 200,000 fled to the
West. Most of them ended up in the United
States and Canada.
Also on that fateful day the United Nations
Security Council was to meet, but the Soviets
naturally vetoed it. Thus the General Assembly
passes a resolution calling for free elections
and immediate Soviet withdrawal under UN
supervision. (The same thing happened con-
cerning the Afghanistan invasion.) Nothing
ever came of the resolution.
TODAY, HUNGARY is the best' off
economically and politically among the
eastern European satellites of the Soviet
Union. Twenty percent of its gross national
product is from trade with the West. The
government uses a mix of c'apitalism and
socialism to encourage peasants and craf-
tsmen to produce more goods, if they can keep
the profit. With this "New Economic
Mechanism," Hungary's standard of living
rivals East Germany's.
. There are no shortages of food in Hungary, in
fact, Hungary exports food to all of eastern
Europe. Because of this some have suggested
that Hungary lost the battle of 1956 but won the
But the picture is not rosy. Walking in today's
Budapest, one sees many bullet-riddled
buildings, physical evidence of 1956. Speaking
about what happened is taboo. All of the
demands of the 1956 revolution are unmet. The
Soviets still occupy the country; no civil liber-
HUNGARY IS afflicted with high alcoholism
and suicide rates. The population is not
growing. The nation lost its national pride and
love of its history. Just last summer a new
crackdown on dissidents began.
In addition, the Hungarian government has
totally neglected the 3 million to 4 million
ethnic Hungarians living in the countries
around Hungary. These people were separated.
from their compatriots after World War I, and
are subject to ongoing cultural genocide.
Since the events of 1956 in Hungary were par-
tially Polish inspired, the events of-1980 and
1981 deserve to be mentioned. Poland may be
able to avoid Hungary's fate in 1956, if
"Solidarity" and the reformers don't go as far
as demanding secession from the Warsaw
pact, or a multi-party democratic system.
They cannot demand the fundamental rights of
self-determination and national independence.
HUNGARY SET the example of how
valuable liberty and freedom is to those who
don't have it. Hungary serves as a reminder of
what the USSR. will do to nations wanting
freedom. Poland and its Solidarity union are a
perfect slap in the face of Soviet imperialism
and the economic system it represents. The
workers themselves refute the system that is
supposed to "unite the workers of the world."
Poland certainly is treading on hot coals, sin-
ce the past and the present behavior of the
Soviet Union has proven that they will stop at
nothing to preserve and expand their empire.
Hungary, Czechoslovadia, and Afghanistan
have proven that point with their own blood.
How many more times will this be allowed to
Jokay, an LSA freshman,
.r Sr41igan iai
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Vol. XCII No. 36 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Toward a better fiscal plan
slowly replaces warheads'
that might explode accidentally
T JUST COULD be that some
Republicans in both the House and
Senate are finally recognizing a few of
the problems in President Reagan's
Yesterday, GOP Representatives
and Senators met with Vice President
George Bush and Budget Director
David Stockman to attempt to work out
some alternatives to the newest budget
reductions President Reagan has
- The new GOP Congressional plans
would actually reduce the amount by
which some federal programs are to be
-cut and would increase taxes.
The action by Republicans in
:Congress may prove to be significant
since it marks the first real opposition
the president has received from his
:own party to his severe cuts in federal
: The basis of the opposition is par-
ticularly significant: Members of
Congress seem to be becoming more
sensitive to the plight of the needy who
will suffer if the President's newest
round of budget cuts are approved.
It still seems rather likely that both
Senate and House Republicans, nearly
all of whom went along with Reagan's
original reductions in federal spen-
ding, will be willing to make additional
damaging cuts in the federal budget.
The Senate program, for example,
would still cut more than $25 billion
over three years from benefit
programs such as food stamps.
Nevertheless, the point remains. The
president is finally encountering
significant opposition to his ill-advised
cuts in domestic programs.
Republican members of both the
Senate and the House may be finally
realizing something of the true danger
which inheres in the Reagan program.
They may be seeing that lower tax
rates do not necessarily increase tax
revenues, and that gutting welfare
programs does not necessarily put food
into the mouths of the poor.
By Norman Solomon
Seven years ago, government
scientists working on the U.S.
nuclear weapons program
discovered the disconcerting fact
that an explosive substance used
in warhead construction was so.
unstable that it exploded half the
times it was dropped from a
height of less than 1 foot.
Three years after that
discovery three workers at the
Pantex nuclear weapons plant.
near Amarillo, Texas, were killed
when a worker accidentally
detonated the substance during
normal machining procedures.
After the accident, which caused
$2.5 million damage and hurled
debris more than 320 feet, use of
the plastic-bonded explosive was
However, the substance, known
as LX-09, remains in hundreds of
nuclear warheads today, posing
what some experts believe con-
stitutes a very serious threat of
accidental detonation and
possible contamination of port
cities in the United States and
Maj. Gen. William Hoover, the
Department of Energy's director
of military application, confir-
med that "several hundred"
nuclear warheads presently
deployed on Poseidon' sub-
marines contain the volatile ex-
Hoover said that the gover-
nment has no safety concerns
about the LX-09 warheads. He
said it was only "a coincidence"
that a special program was un-
dertaken about one year after the
fatal accident to gradually '
replacd the Poseidon- warheads
with ones which do not contain
Removal of the warheads is
scheduled to take about six years.
Hoover said some warheads con-
taining LX-09 will remain in
development for another "three
to five years."
He added that the phase-out of
the LX-09 warheads is due to a
"deterioration problem" with the
explosive's bonding material,
and not because of safety concer-
ns. He stressed that reliability of
the LX-09 warheads as nuclear
weapons will not be impaired
during the remaining years of
However, an investigation sup-v
ported by the Center for In-
vestigative Reporting revealed
that concerns over accidental
detonation of the explosive have
been expressed by scientists at
A U.S. nuclear missile at its underground launch pad in Kansas.
radiation effects. Cancer of lungs
and bone marrow could be among
the long-term health effects; he
In addition, an accidental
detonation inside a warhead
could be of immediate danger to
the 140 crew members aboard
Poseidon submarines. If a
detonation occurred while a
submarine was in port,
plutonium contamination of
residents in the vicinity could be
Perhaps the most outspoken
critic of the continued
deployment of the LX-09
warheads is Melvin Morgan, a
Dallas physician and attorney for
relatives of the three men killed
at the Pantex plant in 1977. (On
October 1 a U.S. District Court in
Amarillo dismissed the suit by
the dead workers' relatives on
technical legal grounds.)
Morgan, who has discovered
much of the evidence about LX-
09, said he was "personally
horrified" to learn details of LX-
09's role in weapons production.
His long involvement in the legal
proceedings on the fatal LX-09
blast has convinced him that the
government "covered up" a
potential "major disaster."
". Everything I have seen leads
me to believe that LX-09 is not
safe to have in a warhead," he
Alex DeVolpi, an author and
physicist at the Argonne National
Laboratory, said he could "see
why people would be very ner-
vous about LX-09" after he
reviewed the test results on the
substance at the request of
Pacific News Service. "The
public has a legitimate concern
about the safety of nuclear
weapons," he adde4, "par-
ticularly because of the potential
hazard associated with possible
accidental detonation. Without
giving away technical details
that could be improperly applied,
the general information should be
made available in order to satisfy
this typeof inquiry."
Solomon is the author of a
forthcoming book on the U.S.
nuclear arsenal. He wrote this
article for the Pacific News
1TIE NOWT EL 'NIC Z-
buildup to violent reaction. Any
accidental mechanical ignition
has a large probability of
building to a violent deflagration
In the aftermath of the 1977
Pantex accident, Livermore
Laboratory deputy director
Duane Sewall conceded in a
"priority" memo to high-ranking
nuclear weapons program of-
ficials that the test which found
the "very undesirable proper-
ties" in LX-09 was "closely
related to weapons operational
safety." Sewell went on to
become DOE assistant secretary
for defense programs.
If there were indeed a serious
safety problem raised by the
laboratory tests, andconfirmed
by the Pantax accident, the Pen-
tagon faced a stark choice:
Either "recall" the LX-09
warheads for immediate
replacement, or play down the
significance of the problem and
replace them over a gradual
The first option would have
meant a potential disruption to
the deployment of some or all of
the 19 Poseidon submarines
which represent most of the
present U.S. sea-based nuclear
"If it were true, you'd have to
tate the solution-gradual
The Poseidon submarine have
routinely docked in Charleston,
S.C.; New London, Conn.; Nor-
folk, Va.; and Holy Loch,
Scotland. They also dock oc-
casionally at San Diego; Pearl
Harbor; and Bangor, Wash., ac-
cording to a Navy spokesman.
Some informed sources also
believe that LX-09 warheads may
have been deployed on other
missile systems, including the
ground-based Lance and the
short-range attack missiles
aboard B-52s and FB-ills. The
Pentagon denies this.
The safety concerns raised
about accidental detonation of
LX-09 do not extend to possible
detonation of the nuclear
material in the warhead itself.
Rather, a detonation of the ex-
plosive could result in
widespread dispersal of
plutonium, which "could be a
quite serious problem from a
public health standpoint," said
Dr. Edward Radfors, chairman
of the National Academy of
Science's latest committee on
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