• Last updated: 29 Aug. 2013 11:50

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NATO discloses documents related to the Hungarian Revolution in 1956

In the spring of 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary initiated an ad hoc request for the public disclosure of NATO documents related to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. These documents, described as ‘unique’ and ‘valuable’ by Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi, were of keen interest and of great historical value for the people of Hungary, and their public disclosure would contribute to a wider understanding of the international context surrounding these events. The NATO Archives identified a selection of NATO documents for the declassification and public disclosure review process, the most significant being a set of 22 Private Records detailing the private meetings of the North Atlantic Council held between 1956-1959 which discussed the Hungarian Revolution and its aftermath. The review process was coordinated by the NATO Archives and the documents were declassified and publicly disclosed in time for the official visit of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Hungary on 1 July 2013. On this occasion, Hungarian President János Áder received a custom-made hardbound compilation of these Private Records from Mr. Fogh Rasmussen, who paid tribute to the Hungarian people whose historical sacrifices helped usher in a new era of Euro-Atlantic stability.

The NATO Archives is pleased to present the on-line publication of these Private Records alongside a supplementary selection of publicly disclosed NATO documents focusing on the humanitarian aid that followed in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. This selection features documents created by the North Atlantic Council, the Political Committee (AC/119), and the Committee on Information and Cultural Relations (AC/52) that include reports covering the situation of Hungarian refugee students seeking asylum in NATO member countries. More publicly disclosed NATO documents related to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 will be gradually added to the NATO Archives website over the coming year, culminating in a special exhibition on the subject slated for the summer of 2014.