Imre Nagy appeals for UN help in Hungary (1956)




On November 2nd 1956, as Soviet troops poured into Hungary in response to the political reforms there, Hungarian prime minister Imre Nagy sent the following note to United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Seeking to stall the Soviet invasion, Nagy called for the UN’s “great powers” to officially recognise Hungary’s neutrality:



Your Excellency,

As the president of the Council of Ministers and designate foreign minister of the Hungarian People’s Republic, I have the honour to bring to the attention of Your Excellency the following additional information.

I have already mentioned in my letter of November 1st that new Soviet military units entered Hungary and that the Hungarian Government informed the Soviet Ambassador in Budapest of this fact, at the same time terminated the Warsaw Pact, declared the neutrality of Hungary and requested the United Nations to guarantee the neutrality of the country.

On November 2nd, further and exact information, mainly military reports, reached the Government of the Hungarian People’s Republic, according to which large Soviet military units crossed the border of the country, marching toward Budapest. They occupy railway lines, railway stations, and railway safety equipment. Reports also have come that Soviet military movements in an east-west direction are being observed on the territory of Western Hungary.

On the basis of the above-mentioned facts, the Hungarian Government deemed it necessary to inform the Embassy of the Soviet Union and all the other diplomatic missions in Budapest about these steps directed against our People’s Republic.

At the same time, the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic forwarded concrete proposals on the withdrawal of Soviet troops stationed in Hungary, as well as the place of negotiations concerning the execution of the termination of the Warsaw Pact, and presented a list containing the names of the members of the government’s delegation. Furthermore, the Hungarian Government made a proposal to the Soviet embassy in Budapest to form a joint committee to prepare the withdrawal of the Soviet troops.

I request Your Excellency to call upon the great powers to recognise the neutrality of Hungary and ask the Security Council to instruct the Soviet and Hungarian governments to start the negotiations immediately. I also request Your Excellency to make known the above to the members of the Security Council. Please accept, Your Excellency, the expression of my highest consideration.”

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