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Witness: Reflections on the Meaning of the Hungarian Revolution, Fifty Years Later

Recorded on November 3, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In the pre-dawn hours of November 4, 1956, Soviet forces launched a major attack against the Hungarian capital of Budapest, aimed at crushing the national uprising that had begun some 12 days earlier. While there was fierce opposition from the Hungarian people - dubbed Freedom Fighters - it took the Soviets only a few weeks to destroy the resistance. Why did the Hungarians revolt? Was it a merely romantic assertion of a poetic people - or was it a manly assertion for freedom against tyranny?

Having fled his native Hungary during those tumultuous times, Peter W. Schramm is now the Executive Director of the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs and a Professor of Political Science at Ashland University. Previously, he served in the Reagan Administration as the Director of the Center for International Education in the United States Department of Education and was the President of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, in Claremont, California. He was recently awarded the Salvatori Prize in American Citizenship by The Heritage Foundation for his work in teaching the principles of the American Founding.