IRRC No. 313

ICRC operations in Hungary and the Middle East in 1956

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In Eastern Europe, 1956 was above all the year that marked the beginning of destalinization, following the submission to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party (17–24 February) of Nikita Khrushchev's famous report on Stalin's crimes.Khrushchev's revelations were soon to have repercussions, notably in Poland where thousands of political prisoners were released as early as April of the same year. Among them was Wladyslaw Gomulka, former Secretary-General of the Polish Communist Party from 1943 to 1948, who had been dismissed in 1948 for “right-wing and nationalist deviation” and jailed in 1951.

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