November 1, 1956

November 1st began with negotiations between the worker’s council and the government, which resulted in an appeal for people to go back to work and to end the strike.

Later in the day Imre Nagy summoned Soviet Ambassador Yuri Andropov, to inform him that Hungary would be leaving the Warsaw Pact in protest of the fresh arrival of more Soviet units. The government, however, did not make any attempts to join NATO. Not only would that have been impossible, but any such attempts would justify in Moscow’s eyes that the events in Hungary were a capitalist fascist counterrevolution, when of course that was not the case at all. Consequently, the government opted for neutrality on the Austrian or Yugoslavian model in the hopes that that might prevent a Soviet attack.

The government informed not only the Soviet Union, however, but every foreign embassy or legation in Budapest as well the United Nations that the country should now be considered neutral.

That evening János Kádár, the head of the communist party, went missing. As it would later be discovered, he and Ferenc Münnich, another communist leader, had secretly boarded a plane destined for Moscow, where they would begin discussions on what would happen in Hungary once the revolution was overthrown.

Zoltán Csipke