Austria's Report Card on Neutrality during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956
Granville, Johanna, The Australian Journal of Politics and History
In his book The Bridge at Andau, James Michener provides a useful metaphor for understanding the Hungarian revolution of 1956:
Imagine the total Soviet position as a lake over which a green scum of lies, propaganda, window dressing and deceit has been allowed to grow. This seemingly placid lake has for some years been held up to the world as the serene portrait of life under communism. [...] Hungary, however, was a gigantic stone thrown into the middle of that lying lake, and waves of truth have set out from the point of impact. Now, as they move far outward toward the remotest shores of the lake, we can begin to see what life was truly like under the green scum. (1)
The "waves of truth" quickly reached Austria, which--as the only non-communist country bordering Hungary--was destined to become one of the countries most directly affected by the crisis. Refugees surged across the Austrian border, not only from Hungary itself, but also indirectly from Yugoslavia. (2)
Scholars usually associate the Hungarian crisis with the Polish "October" which occurred just a week earlier and for which there is a more direct causal link. (3) However, Austria was also a catalyst of the events, albeit under-researched. While the successful negotiation of Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab and his colleagues of Soviet troop withdrawal and achievement of neutrality in 1955 did not directly cause the Hungarian Revolution, it set an important precedent that aroused Hungarians' desires for a similar withdrawal of Soviet troops from their homeland. This article will examine more closely how the Hungarian revolution of 1956 affected Vienna's relations with both Budapest and Moscow. Although the crisis bolstered Austrians' self-reliance and new identity as a neutral country, it also unravelled the Austrian rapprochement with Hungary and the USSR that led to the signing of the State Treaty (Staatsvertrag) on 15 May 1955. Issues such as border incidents, espionage, repatriation of refugees, and favouritism toward organisations complicated Austrian-Hungarian relations. Needing to justify the invasion and ousting of Imre Nagy's regime, Soviet and Hungarian propagandists and party officials used the latter three issues to "prove" Austria's breach of neutrality. In response, the Austrian Chancellery prudently weighed every move, even to the point of paranoia.
Positive Effects of the Crisis
It is often stated that the Mandarin Chinese word for "crisis" (wei-ji) is composed of the characters for "danger" (wei) and "opportunity" (ji) While the Hungarian revolt heralded danger for the Austrian people, it also transformed the country from passive victim to proactive saviour. From 1944 to 1955--if not since the Anschluss in 1938--Austria's foreign policy had remained inseparably linked with (West) Germany's. Soviet general secretary Joseph Stalin and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov had persistently tried to use Austria--specifically their military occupation there--as a bargaining chip to keep West Germany unarmed and out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In April 1950 the Austrian Foreign Minister Karl Gruber complained that public opinion, even in the West, had "lumped us together with Germany far too much". (4) Likewise General Geoffrey Keyes, US High Commissioner on the Allied Council for Austria, once pleaded with Pentagon planners in February 1950 to "please consider Austria as part of the world jigsaw puzzle and not merely as the tail of Germany". (5) For the first time since being decoupled from West Germany and achieving neutrality, Austria had its very own foreign policy crisis. West Germany lacked a border with Hungary. The external tumult drew Austrian political parties--indeed, the whole population--closer together, discredited the Austrian Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Osterreichs, or KPO), and gave military strategists a useful precedent to help them manage the next Soviet invasion on their border twelve years later (Czechoslovakia). (6)
The Hungarian crisis--as Austria's first test case for neutrality--also enabled Austria to forge an identity as a unique neutral country. By issuing the abovementioned warning of 28 October 1956 to communist authorities, Austria was the first Western democracy officially to protest against Soviet actions--well before the major Soviet crackdown that began on 4 November. By contrast, another neutral country, Switzerland, was loath to imitate Austria's stance vis-a-vis the Hungarian crisis. Ina conversation on 1 November between the Austrian envoy to Berne, Johannes Coreth, and the Swiss Federal President, Max Petitpierre, the latter said Austria's position was "admirable but not worth imitating". (7) Austria joined the United Nations (UN) in December 1955, shortly after passing an amendment to its constitution committing the country to permanent neutrality. (8) Switzerland, on the other hand, having sworn to neutrality as early as 20 November 1815, did not join the UN until September 2002.
The crisis in nearby Hungary allowed Vienna to show the world that Austrian neutrality would be neither colourless nor spineless. As Chancellor Raab told an audience in mid-November, 1956: "I have said that Austria declares its support for the duties of military neutrality. However, such a commitment in no way means a colourless neutralism in political questions. On the contrary, it is the duty of our Austrian people, who for many centuries were one of the standard-bearers of western Christian culture [...] to bring to the attention of the world, the distress and misery of the people in those states, which have abandoned our true European ideals or who have been forced to do so." (9) Austria's commitment to nonpartisanship also did not preclude national self-defence. Well before the Hungarian revolt, on 16 June 1955, Raab stated: "The idea of sacrificing every defence from the outset is absurd. Would a father sit back quietly if his family were attacked and mistreated?" (10) Later, a week after the final Soviet crackdown on Hungary, Raab reminded his constituents of his earlier foresight: "Today I would like to ask the critics of general conscription, what would have happened if fighting units from Hungary had pulled back onto our national territory and no army had been there to disarm and detain them in accordance with military neutrality?" (11)
Austria--Hitler's first victim--could now help others for a change. The villagers of Burgenland served tens of thousands of refugees with hot drinks, food, shoes, and clothes in the cold winter. As Michener described in his novel, many of them had to cross over a frail wooden bridge in Andau (in Hungarian, Mosontaresa), a tiny border village in the Neusiedl am See district. (12) Austrian workers put in extra hours; chemists donated 600 million units of penicillin. (13) Food and medical supplies amounting to a total of 3.5 million Austrian schillings (about US$134,615) were distributed. (14) "In the past few days Vienna and all of Austria has been consumed with the events in Hungary", wrote Foreign Ministry official Heinrich Haymerle to Walter Peinsipp, the Austrian representative in Hungary, on 31 October 1956. "I have never seen anything like the way the whole population shares the misery of its neighbouring country and spontaneously supports the Red Cross with donations and offers of volunteer service." (15) The Hungarian Government specifically thanked the Austrian Legation in Budapest in a note verbale on 23 November for its "highly humanitarian" distribution of relief shipments from the Austrian Red Cross to wounded Hungarians and needy children. (16) In his speech on 11 November Chancellor Raab said, "[I]t seems as if our whole country has been trying to eradicate the suffering of our neighbour with this indication of goodwill and charity. We will continue this relief action for as long as necessary and possible." (17)
Negative Effects Despite having their very own crisis to help shape Austria's new identity as a uniquely neutral--yet not spineless--country that could now help others in need, the Austrian people also felt the negative effects of the crisis. For one thing, the Hungarian revolt sharply worsened Austria's relations with both Hungary and the USSR. Throughout 1954 and 1955, Chancellor Raab had carefully cultivated good relations with the Khrushchev leadership, much to Washington's consternation. Earlier, Vienna and Moscow had remained at an impasse over such issues as control of Austrian oil fields and formerly German-owned enterprises, as well as the larger problem of Austria's future status. However, after Raab's historic trip to Moscow in April 1955 and the signing of the Austrian State Treaty the following month, Austria's ties with both the Soviet Union and Hungary had begun to improve. In July 1956, a delegation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR visited Austria for two weeks. "We were pleased to meet once again our old friends, the members of the Austrian parliamentary delegation that had visited the Soviet Union in 1955", enthused a reporter for Pravda. He added: "The relations between Austria and the Soviet Union on political, economic and cultural planes must and can be strengthened." (18)
Similarly, Hungarian dissidents and reformers had called for an expansion in Hungarian-Austrian relations in 1955. (19) Hungary was the fifth country to officially acknowledge Austrian neutrality. On 23 January 1956, negotiations about trade and border defences--which had stalled since the fall of 1953--resumed. (20) Later, during a discussion with Minister Peinsipp, Hungarian deputy Foreign Minister Istvan Sebes alluded to proposals to invite an Austrian parliamentary delegation to Budapest for a visit, establish a Hungarian consulate in Graz, create a border commission, and conclude a cultural pact. (21) Hungarian officials had begun to dismantle the barbed wire and remove mines from the fields along the border, although not completely. (22)
The Hungarian revolt of 23 October 1956 changed all that. Border incidents became more frequent and strained Austro-Hungarian relations. Although they began early in 1956, they continued well beyond the crisis. In some cases they involved an accidental damage of Austrian property as, for example, when Soviet pilot Nikolai Konoplov took off on 21 January 1956 from Papa in western Hungary in his Mig-15 jet fighter to pursue two unidentified planes. When the planes refused to turn around even after he signalled them to do so by dipping his wings, he flew closer to them, colliding with the planes unwittingly just as he was crossing the Hungarian-Austrian border. As his plane exploded inflames, Konoplov parachuted to safety, surviving with merely a bruised elbow and abrasion behind his ear. The burning plane destroyed forty tonnes of hay belonging to Austrian farmer Andreas Wegleitner of Pamhagen and worth about 3,500 Austrian schillings (about US$135). One of the other planes tore up the field of another farmer, Michael Bors, causing about 1,000 schillings (US$38) in damage. (23)
In other cases, particularly involving land mines, innocent Austrian citizens were maimed or killed. On 1 June 1957, Farmer Kollner and his wife Gisela from the district of Gussing in the Burgenland had arisen early, deciding to start the month off on the right foot, tilling their field. Gisela was energetically--perhaps a bit too energetically--raking the soil near border marker B/52a/18. Suddenly, about 11:00 am, something exploded beneath one of the rake's tines, scarring Gisela's face and leaving her right foot a mass of bloody gristle. Police and customs officials immediately alerted the Mine Removal Service and noted in their report: "We suspect that Hungarian soldiers threw the mines over the border either maliciously or negligently while they were laying new mines in the restricted area along the border." (24) The author included a detailed map of the incident, "which has caused commotion among the local population". This event did nothing to endear the communists to the Burgenlander, who as inhabitants of the former eastern occupation zone had suffered the most from Soviet pillage and rape. (25) To be sure, mine explosions along the Austro-Hungarian border were nothing new in the postwar period. Between 30 June 1949 and 29 November 1949, for example, ten people were seriously injured by hidden mines: seven Austrians, one Hungarian, and one ethnic German. (26)
Many of the border incidents appear to have involved young Hungarian guards taking pot-shots at citizens and Austrian border officials out of sheer boredom. Sometimes Hungarian citizens were attacked after they fled across the border into Austria. Customs Agent Kurt Steinbock was conducting regular patrol together with a local police officer in Lutzmannburg on 18 March 1957 at about 6:50 a.m. when they heard machine-gun fire from the direction of border marker B-76 and spotted a man limping in the distance. Hungarian guards had shot in the right hip thirty-five-year-old Tibor Gaal, a Hungarian citizen from Gyor, when he was already about a hundred meters on Austrian soil. (27)
Another incident occurred on 5 June 1957 at 11:00 a.m. in Andau. First Lieutenant Straka was patrolling the border when he noticed four Hungarian soldiers lying behind border marker A-25 in Hungarian territory but aiming machine guns toward Austrian territory. Straka and his interpreter went over to talk with them about the importance of not crossing the border. While his back was turned, three other armed Hungarian soldiers did just that, walking three meters onto Austrian territory before Straka noticed them. If you do that again, I'll arrest you, Straka fumed. If you do, we'll shoot you, they laughed. (28) Reporting the above incident, a Foreign Ministry official wrote: "The Hungarian soldiers' behaviour shows an attitude of disrespect towards the Austrian border." (29) Similar cases whereby Hungarian guards shot at civilians and border officials occurred on 18 July and 11 November (1956), and 12 May, 15 August, 1 September, 13 September, and 12 November (1957). (30)
Ina discussion with Sebes on 6 December 1956, Minister Peinsipp estimated that in 1956 alone the incidents had killed or wounded two hundred people and caused "incalculable property damage". (31) While the total number of border incidents cannot be precisely determined from available documents, it might be estimated that at least one or two hundred incidents occurred in 1956 and 1957, or a combined total of at least three hundred incidents during those two years. At this meeting Peinsipp pointed out that Austria, in contrast to Hungary, had never erected barriers on its side of the border (e.g. mines, barbed wire, and watchtowers). Sebes replied defensively that Hungary had been "compelled to erect technical barriers since the Americans had established an army in Burgenland for the invasion of Hungary". Only the State Treaty of 1955, he explained, had "eliminated the danger of intervention". Wittily, Peinsipp shot back: you should not "play around with the lives of Soviet generals, for as soon as Moscow learns that an American army of intervention was stationed in Soviet-occupied Burgenland, surely all the generals of the Soviet Army of Occupation will be shot for treason or dereliction of duty". (32)
Finally, on 6 November 1957 a high-level meeting took place that was attended by Hungarian Foreign Minister Imre Horvath, Austrian representative Peinsipp, and officials such as Dr. Maximilian Pammer from the Ministry of the Interior. They decided to establish a border commission to prevent further incidences by marking the borders more clearly and conducting a thorough mine sweep (Ruckverlegung) similar to one that had been conducted on the Austro-Czech border. (33)
Certainly, crashing planes and tossing mines over the border, trespassing physically, and shooting at--many times wounding--individuals across the border, all constitute violations of territorial boundaries. The inviolability of state borders has always been a key element of sovereignty. As mentioned, in some cases the border violations may simply have reflected the youth and boredom of the Hungarian border guards who did not fully grasp the principle of sovereignty and larger meaning of their pranks. While they may have used border incidents to test Austrian resolve, Soviet and Hungarian officials and reporters deliberately exploited other issues, such as espionage, repatriation of refugees, and favouritism toward organisations, to expose Austria's alleged infraction of international law.
Now that the Hungarian revolution had washed the green scum off the metaphorical lake and exposed the myth of Hungarians as contented communists, the Soviet and Hungarian regimes needed scapegoats. They--as well as the KPO--accused Austria of violating its oath of neutrality by, inter alia, abetting espionage. Forced to exercise neutrality for the first time and faced with constant charges by the communist bloc of failing in the endeavour, the Raab government soon realised just how hard it was to stay impartial. According to the Hague Convention of 1907, a neutral state must not participate in any military conflict, support any belligerents with its armed forces, or allow foreign nationals to use its territory for military (or intelligence) purposes. In return, a neutral state's sovereignty must be respected.
Soviet and Hungarian propagandists went for the jugular, claiming that Austria served as a "springboard" (Sprungbrett) for Hungarian emigres and Horthyist spies, and, as mentioned, that the Austrians were also equipping Hungarian insurgents with weapons. (34) The KPO's newspaper Osterreichische Volksstimme reported on 4 November 1956 that armed Hungarian emigres arrived from West Germany clad in American uniforms and were waiting at the Austrian customs office for clearance to enter Hungary. (35) In Chancellor Raab's opinion, the clearest allegation of Austria's violation of neutrality came from Janos Kadar, head of the post-invasion regime, in a speech on 15 November when he claimed that armed units had penetrated Hungary. (36)
In another article in Osterreichische Volksstimme, a reporter described a villa named the "Golden Staircase" (Goldene Stiege) in Modling near Vienna where a former General Staff officer Ferenc Demeter and other Hungarian refugees lived. "This tree-shaded house is really an espionage bureau", the reporter wrote in a conspiratorial tone. (37) The smear campaign became farcical on 21 November 1956. The Soviet delegate at the UN General Assembly solemnly announced that Austria had supplied Hungarian rebels with "Gasser" pistols. Tongue-in-cheek, Chancellor Raab asked him: Are you aware that the Gasser company stopped making arms in 1917? Do you know that the company, together with the Rast company, has been producing sewing machines under the brand name "Rast und Gasser"? Raab could not resist then asking: Have the Hungarian rebels been using the sewing machines as secret weapons? (38)
The claims of espionage seemed to intensify with each new wave of repression within Hungary. As late as June 1958--when Nagy was hanged in Budapest--Leonid F. Il'ichev, director of the third European division of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conveyed to his superiors what Soviet Ambassador to Austria, Sergei Lapin, told him. "Hungarian emigres met in Vienna in June to create a committee of action" and form "military divisions in order to intervene in Hungary should a new uprising take place there." One of the leaders, Imre Erdely, stated at this meeting that the Austrian leaders agreed to provide the committee with 1,500 rifles and machine guns, which had been brought into Austria in the fall of 1956 from Spain for the Hungarian insurgents and confiscated by Austrian authorities, Il'ichev wrote. Moreover "at the end of July of this year  [...] seven hundred Hungarian emigres were recruited from the refugee camps in the Vienna region. I request that you report on what kinds of information you have about the Hungarian emigre organisations in Austria, and whether or not we should take some steps in this regard", Il'ichev continued. (39)
True, some Austrian citizens did conduct espionage, but mostly because they had been blackmailed. Austrian ski instructor Jakob Fink took his winter vacation in Augsburg, West Germany in 1957, not suspecting that the seductive women he courted there would turn out to be members of a spy ring from the GDR. They blackmailed him into returning to Austria to plant "evidence" of Hungarian emigre espionage activities. (40) Franz Mayer, forty-eight years old, a well-respected Austrian director of a coal mine in Tatabanya, Hungary, where he had lived since birth, was suddenly accused of counterrevolutionary activities and, despite the lack of any proof, forced to uproot his family and return to Austria in March 1957. (41) According to another report, an Austrian citizen, Johann Feldbacher, smuggled into Hungary goods and letters containing espionage assignments for Hungarians citizens on 24 October 1956. After the Nagy government expelled him, Feldbacher served time in a Viennese prison. (42) On 27 November 1956, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior ordered the police department to remind all Austrian nationals, especially of Hungarian descent, of their civic duty and to warn them that authorities would "prosecute every action taken against Austria's state interests". (43)
In most cases, however, Budapest sent Hungarians to spy on Hungarian refugees in Austria. The Ministry of the Interior reported that Stephen (Istvan) Incze, a Hungarian thirty-four-year-old solicitor, crossed the border at Nicklesdorf on 27 October 1956 as a political refugee, bur then swindled money from individuals, claiming he could obtain Austrian passports for them. According to the Austrian newspaper Neuer Kurier, Incze gave to an agent in the Hungarian State Security Authority (Allamvedelmi Hatosag, or AVH) lists of Hungarian refugees in the camps. (44) Apparently through one of its agents, Austrian counter-intelligence learned that all the "peoples' democracies" were competing to obtain a full register of the refugees in all 257 camps in Austria. They thought the Czech agency, particularly the notorious Heinz Siloman, would win the contest. (45)
Many Hungarian refugees were apparently recruited after the final Soviet crackdown of November 4. Stefan (Istvan) Nemeth, a thirty-five-year-old photographer, fled Hungary in December 1956 and stayed at Camp Haid in Linz as a refugee where he took photographs of all the camp's inhabitants. To their mortification, he suddenly absconded with the photographs on 24 March 1957, later turning up in Hungary. Ah article about him in the Bild-Telegraf of 2 April 1957 prompted Austrian security authorities to confirm the facts. (46) Moreover, the Soviet invasion in Hungary was bound to create another class of refugees who--from sheer poverty--would agree to spy for any country. One Jozsef Kovacs, whom security police in the Burgenland called an "intelligence swindler" (Nachrichtenschwindler), fled to Austria on 1 April 1957 and was caught allegedly spying on Austria for the Argentinian embassy in Budapest. (47)
Repatriation of Hungarian Refugees
Bureaucratic bottlenecks concerning the repatriation of Hungarian refugees also tainted Austria's relations with both Hungary and the Soviet Union, especially the matter of refugees under age eighteen (Minderjahrige). Anxious to prove that Hungarians were eager to go home, the Kadar government accused the Raab regime of deliberately detaining them. The problem looms large in the memoirs of Frigyes Puja, the Hungarian ambassador to Austria (1955-59). In the memoirs, published in 1988, a time when still relatively few people spoke openly of the 1956 revolution in Hungary, Puja could write only in the official tone: "Hungarian dissidents were numerous in Vienna at the time, and the sly old foxes there tried to turn the masses against us." (48) But he gave a detailed chronology of events concerning the repatriation issue and described his general frustrations: "It was a difficult task to represent Hungary in Vienna in the fall of 1956 and at the beginning of 1957." (49) He felt frustrated by the official Austrian bureaucracy and the almost total lack of direction he received from the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "But we didn't fall into despair. Without any official orders, we delivered a protest to the Austrians and made arrangements for the return of Hungarian property taken during the counterrevolution." (50) Repatriating refugees was harder. On 28 November 1956, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry sent a note to the Austrian embassy in Budapest regarding the "urgent need for repatriation of children and youth eighteen years of age and younger who are Hungarian citizens and who left the country as a result of the events in Hungary after 23 October 1956". (51) The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stalled: We are "overloaded with administrative tasks." "At least 5,000 refugees are arriving daily," so it is "difficult to deal right now with those wishing to return home." However, the note read, the Raab government "sees no reason why the Hungarian refugees (Ruckfluchtlinge) who wish to cannot return home". (52)
To further accelerate the refugees' return to Hungary, the Kadar government published on 29 November, the day after the Austrian response, an official amnesty to "anyone who crossed the border between 23 October 1956 and 29 November 1956", promising not to "initiate criminal procedures as long as they voluntarily return to Hungary before 31 Match 1957". (53) To facilitate the refugees" return, a three-member Repatriating Committee (Hazateresi Bizottsag) was established, composed of Ferenc Esztergalyos, Andras Borcsok, and Gyula Kelemen. (54)
The stalemate continued, nevertheless. Hoping to clarify matters, Hans Reichman, the federal counselor and head of the legal department in the Austrian Federal Chancellery invited Istvan Beck, the counselor in the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna, for a talk a month later on 17 December 1956. Beck's detailed account of the conversation--which Puja sent to the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs--epitomises the tension between the two countries over the repatriation issue. Beck, perhaps in a bad mood that day, found Reichman overbearing, "lecturing" him about why the refugees could not return to Hungary. Reichman explained that the large number of refugees pouring into Austria each day shows that "the Kadar government is consolidating very slowly". (55) Also, he added, we need to discuss the issue with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who is visiting Vienna soon. Besides, we cannot permit the members of the Hungarian Repatriating Committee to enter Austria, "because we fear there may be attempts on their lives", Reichman said, adding in a comic understatement "and this would be rather inconvenient for them". Beck wrote bitterly: "In my reply, I pointed out that his statements only proved that, despite humanitarian phrases", the Austrian government is thwarting "simple Hungarians who just want to go home". The disconsolate Hungarian official added: "The refugee babies will have grown beards by the time our government is consolidated." (56)
One ofthe bottlenecks stemmed from the fact that the Hungarian memoranda had all been directed to the UN High Commissioner, Auguste Lindt, awaiting his action. (57) When Lindt did visit Vienna, he told Haymerle that he had reconsidered the whole matter and preferred to see an Austrian commission formed to handle the repatriation issue rather than lead such a commission himself. He had discussed this earlier with Minister of the Interior Oskar Helmer, who had agreed. He also planned to raise the issue in New York and Washington and finalise the matter before the end of the year. As far as the repatriation of minor children was concerned, it would "soon be resolved through the International Red Cross". (58) The Austrian Foreign Ministry reported that by December 1956 about 500 Hungarian refugees had expressed the desire to return home, something the Austrian side had in fact not hindered. Some ninety internees of the Siezenheim camp in Salzburg chose to return home and left soon thereafter. By 13 September 1957, approximately 5,343 refugees had voluntarily returned to Hungary. (59)
Meanwhile, in Moscow, Soviet reporters exercised their full creative powers possible only in a state-sponsored factual void. One reporter for Komsomolskaia Pravda compared Austrian camp officials to the Comprachicos in Victor Hugo's novel, L'Homme qui Rit ("The Man Who Laughs") in an article published on 16 February 1957. He cited Hugo's description of the "Comprachicos" who bought children, disfigured them until they were past recognition, and sold them for entertainment to royal courts. "The Comprachicos of today do not live on some lonely island in the ocean," he wrote. "They live in Vienna and operate in Austrian camps for Hungarian refugees. In the seventeenth century the Comprachicos deformed children's faces. In the twentieth century they deform childrens' souls." (60) The article concluded with "quotes" from letters from forlorn parents and siblings, the gist of which was: please come home; we miss you. Another article by Anatoliev in Komsomolskaia Pravda described the young pilot Dever who flew off course during the counterrevolution and ended up in Austria, coaxed into working for the American CIA and forbidden to return home. (61)
Favouritism toward Organisations
While a neutral state can maintain trade and economic relations with all parties during a conflict, it must not show any partiality. It was especially ironic, then, that the Kadar regime would accuse Austria of favouring the Red Cross organisations that flew supplies only to Vienna's Schwechat airport rather than directly to Budapest's Ferihegy airport. Communist officials claimed the Raab government was using Red Cross and other aid for Austria's own propaganda purposes, and that the Red Cross was really being used to ship in military supplies and weapons--again going for the jugular, because, again, a neutral state is strictly forbidden to permit its territory to be used for military purposes. (62) Minister Peinsipp in Budapest wrote to the Austrian Foreign Ministry on 14 November 1956, explaining why stocks of supplies were low. "We had to distribute the provisions quickly, because 1) the Hungarians need them urgently, and 2) they will get stolen otherwise. Some things have already been stolen." (63) in a conversation with Mr. Ripken of the German Red Cross, Peinsipp expressed his reservations about allowing the Hungarian Red Cross to distribute Western aid, saying be "would have to refuse to cooperate with" the organisation anyway. (64) The Canadian Red Cross flatly refused to fly to Budapest, wanting to "avoid complications". (65)
Soviet and Hungarian propagandists accused Austrian authorities of showing favouritism towards organisations like the Socialist International and Radio Free Europe (RFE), while discriminating against Soviet-funded organisations like the World Peace Council and World Federation of Trade Unions. (66) A Soviet reporter wrote in Pravda on 13 February 1957: "The Austrians who forbid the secretaries of the World Peace Council and the World Federation of Trade Unions to enter Austria justify their actions citing 'the fear' of losing neutrality, but do they really fear losing neutrality if they can ignore the demands of the public to shut down the radio station 'Free Europe' in Salzburg, Graz, and Vienna, which is a tool of evil propaganda, a weapon of war?" (67) In fact, the ouster of the World Federation of Trade Unions from Vienna and the refusal of visas to World Peace conference representatives were just two of several actions that US policymakers had listed in a secret report that would enhance Austrian ties with the West. (68) Similarly, Austrian support of Radio Free Europe further revealed the country's pro-American leanings. As one diplomat wrote from the US embassy in Vienna: "Radio Free Europe has enjoyed unrestricted access to newly arriving refugees. Despite a continued campaign in the communist press urging the Austrian government to expel RFE, to which was added genuine Austrian irritation over incidents connected with balloons landing on Austrian territory, RFE has so far been able without interference to spread propaganda among refugees in Austria." (69)
The Austrians' Response
Vienna did try to retaliate earlier against the wild allegations, especially those coming from Austrian communists within Austria. On 1 November 1956, Osterreichische Volksstimme published an article entitled "Flights to Hungary" [Fluge nach Ungarn], claiming that armed Hungarian emigres were entering Hungary under the pretext of bringing medical aid. In response, Pammer of the Ministry of the interior urged that the Chancellery label the article's claims as lies "without giving the Volksstimme the opportunity to deny it". The Minister of Justice Dr. Lowenstein later decided to press criminal charges. (70) Meanwhile, the general population expressed its rage at the KPO by staging an anti-communist protest and ransacking the party's offices on 7 November, when the party celebrated the anniversary of the October Revolution. (71)
To pass its first test of neutrality, the Austrian government conducted its foreign policy more cautiously, striving neither to coddle nor to offend the communist world and "free world", but to strike a balance between the two. To convince Soviet officials that the Austro-Hungarian border was being tightly controlled, Defence Minister Ferdinand Graf invited Soviet, American, British, and French military attaches on 2 November 1956 to inspect the border area with him. He explained that Austrian officials had been instructed not to issue visas without the Ministry of the Interior's approval. (72) Likewise, on 19 July 1957, Haymerle told Dr. Mayer, an official in the Foreign Ministry of the Interior, that "neither the Chancellery nor the foreign ministry will allow any person to enter Austrian territory who acts against the Soviet Union and its satellites". (73)
Austrian officials also deliberated warily about which officials from the "free world" or communist bloc to admit to their own country. Although the Austrians supported a UN resolution in November 1956 to send observers to visit the refugee camps in Austria, they got cold feet temporarily the following March, when UN officials demanded office space, simultaneous interpreting equipment, and extra personnel. As Foreign Minister Figl told US Ambassador to Austria Llewellyn Thompson, the Austrians feared the "UN commission intended to put on a spectacle" which might "jeopardise Austrian neutrality". Eventually they relented. (74) Raab government officials again waffled when an American priest, Leopold Braun, wanted to visit Austria to interview Hungarian refugees as well as the prisoners of war repatriated from the Soviet Union (Russlandheimkehrer). Instead of granting him permission, Austrian authorities told him that it would be too time-consuming to sort through the files, and besides, Braun could more easily interview the Hungarian refugees who had already arrived in the United States. (75)
When the Hungarian state minister Gyorgy Marosan applied for an entry visa in order to attend the KPO Congress scheduled for late March 1957, the Austrian foreign ministry decided--so as not to disrupt Austrian-Hungarian relations--to "request that the visa application be withdrawn". As Peinsipp informed his superiors, Austrian communists and social democrats "do not accept as one of their own" this "noisy gypsy" who "screamed his way to the top" and "gets on their nerves". A well-connected Hungarian informant warned Peinsipp that Marosan would not have read his prepared speech, since "he is known to speak sharply and extemporaneously." He "would surely have insulted the Austrian social democrats, who for him represented the Devil himself", Peinsipp wrote. (76) Due to Vienna's refusal to grant a visa to Marosan, no Hungarians attended the conference, even though visas were granted to the other members of the Hungarian delegation. (77)
On the other hand, in order to keep the peace, the Vienna government did permit the Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister, Anastas Mikoyan, to visit Austria on 23 and 24 April 1957, even though the visit was less than amicable. He had been scheduled to visit Vienna in the fall of 1956, but cancelled it due to the "counterrevolution". Mikoyan had stated that Austrian neutrality was a "special case", thus rebuffing Raab for his earlier hints that Hungary could also become neutral. Laying a wreath at the Soviet war memorial in Vienna, Mikoyan also criticised Austrian gendarmes for killing M.P. Lopatin--a Soviet soldier decorated for long years of service--near the border village of Rechnitz on 23 November 1956, when the latter refused to stop running. (78)
Vienna officials also took special pains not to favor individuals or organisations that sought to help the Hungarian refugees who had fled from the communist regime at home. The former Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Nagy was asked to leave Vienna shortly after his arrival. (79) The Austrian Foreign Ministry sent a telegram on 1 November 1956 to the Austrian embassy in Washington: please do not issue any more visas to Hungarian emigre organisations. All assistance to Hungary should go exclusively through the International Red Cross. (80) In a cabinet meeting on 20 November, Minister of the Interior Helmer noted that many of the refugees had relatives in Eisenstadt, and an "irredentist attitude" was developing there. He urged that the refugees be quickly moved out of the Burgenland or else "we will become obligated" to help them "permanently". (81)
On 21 November 1956, an official from the Austrian embassy in Italy requested that the Italian foreign office recommend to the Italian Red Cross not to send Hungarian aid workers to Austria. Even Red Cross workers, should they happen to be of Hungarian descent, were asked not to come to Austria. (82) Furthermore, Hungarian emigres who had long resettled in Austria and become legal Austrian citizens were forbidden to offer political support to the Hungarians both in Austria or Hungary, even well into the following year, 1957. But political support and moral support are sometimes indistinguishable. One Hungarian named Karl Vertesy, a former deputy of the Smallholders Party who fled to Austria after the Second World War and had become ah Austrian citizen, participated actively in a US-supported emigre organisation. On 2 November 1957, he gave a speech on Styrian radio encouraging the Hungarians not to give up hope. This was promptly reported to the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, whereupon officials curtly stated: "this is unacceptable". (83)
Organisations aiming simply to organise the Hungarian refugees, to help them find employment and provide fellowship during this difficult period of adjustment, alarmed Vienna as well. For example, the "Culture and Relief Organisation of Hungarian Social Democrats" appealed to the Austrian Foreign Ministry for public support, including financial aid. The Foreign Ministry decided on 4 April 1957 to withhold it, and wrote to the Ministry of the Interior, expressing concern about the formation of organisations by Hungarian refugees in Austria. "The fact that these organizations [...] only develop cultural or social activities changes nothing about the political dimension of their existence [...] The political nature of the organisation becomes clear in paragraph 4.2 of the statutes, where it is said that only past members of the Hungarian Social Democratic party may become members of the organisation. From the viewpoint of foreign affairs, one should refrain from everything that could lead to the organisation of refugees". (84)
An official wrote to Figl on 12 April 1957: "In my opinion, politics are carried out in the camps this way." (85) The Foreign Ministry also recommended that all individual Hungarian emigres who had entered Austria before 24 October 1956 be warned that "every kind of political or espionage activity in Austria would make their continued stay in the country uncertain, regardless of name or rank". (86) The "Organisation of Hungary's Friends" also appealed directly to Vienna for support. This organisation wanted to provide moral, spiritual, and material support for Hungarian refugees who were forced to leave their native country because of political reasons. It explicitly stated in its bylaws that its activities excluded every form of politics and discrimination. Nevertheless, Haymerle was still concerned and recommended that the Ministry of the Interior "inform the organisation's members that everything that would seem to be political activity should be avoided". (87)
When Kadar stated on 9 May 1957 that Vienna could ameliorate HungarianAustrian relations by returning all state property confiscated by Austrian border officials or abandoned by refugees after they crossed the border, the Austrian Foreign Ministry took a meticulous inventory. By 29 August 1957, Viennese officials cooperated with Frigyes Puja to transmit all weapons and ammunition, as well as eighty-one lorries, forty-four cars, fourteen buses, fifteen motorcycles, six tractors, and one motorboat. (88)
As for the Soviet and Hungarian accusations about the breach of neutrality, Austrian policymakers and diplomats longed just to ignore them or publish simple denials. They soon realised that would not work, however. As an Austrian envoy in the Belgrade embassy said: "I have learned from friends in Yugoslavia that the lies spread by the Russians about weapons being sent from Austria to Hungary are readily accepted in certain circles and spread widely. Since there is no free press here in this country, any attempt to tell the public the truth through the newspapers is destined to fail. We have, therefore, no choice but to deny the Russian propaganda sharply through our contacts with Yugoslavs and diplomats." (89) Ambassador Franz Matsch went to great lengths in his speech to the UN General Assembly on 4 December 1956 to deny Soviet Foreign Minister Dmitrii Shepilov's remarks to the same forum earlier on 19 November that Austria was allowing Hungarian political figures into the country. (90) "I am authorised to state that Tibor Eckhardt [former leader of the Hungarian Smallholders Party, 1932-1941] was not granted an Austrian visa and has not come to Vienna. Neither [Miklos] Horthy, Jr. nor Otto von Habsburg have visited Austria. Current laws ban the latter from entering Austria." (91) On the contrary, Austrian border guards promptly turned back or arrested any suspicious individuals trying to enter Hungary, including one deranged Nikolaus Bernuy, a swashbuckling member of the Swiss militia who, clad in full uniform and steel helmet--but without any weapons--tried to cross the border on foot to support the Hungarian freedom fighters. (92)
For the sake of appearances, a Foreign Ministry official also recommended that Austria try to get on the UN committee for coordinating aid programmes. "Not to include Austria in such a committee would lend credence to the rumours that Austria is providing arms to Hungary under the cover of the Red Cross." (93) Surprisingly enough, when the Soviet leaders issued a UN resolution condemning the "subversive activities" of the United States in Eastern Europe, Vienna instructed the Austrian delegation to the UN to abstain or be absent from the roll-call vote. This action shocked Washington policymakers, who sought the largest possible vote against the resolution. (94) They had assumed the Raab government would firmly endorse such a resolution, considering the communists' incessant claims that Austria was collaborating with the alleged US-backed "spies".
In short, the 1956 Hungarian revolution and Soviet military crackdown disrupted the Austrian government and population, which historians easily forget, since the crisis ultimately renewed Austrian political and military self-reliance. It temporarily marred Austria's relations with the communist bloc and bred complaints from the communist bloc about Austria's breach of neutrality. To the statesmen's credit, however, diplomatic relations were not completely severed, as they were for example between the United States and Cuba (1961) or Iran (1980), or between the USSR and Israel (1967).
In the Cold War of the 1950s where public image and deterrent capacity perhaps counted for more than the possession of mere military weapons, he who denounced first often looked right. Harsh denunciations could sometimes prevent convincing counter-accusations by the injured. The Khrushchev and Kadar regimes exploited the issues of border incidents, espionage, repatriation of refugees, and favouritism toward organisations to throw Austria onto the defensive and thus lessen the negative impact of Soviet aggression against its own ally, Hungary. Such were the difficulties Austria faced in 1956-57. It was hard enough to remain neutral in the Cold War period in general, let alone during an actual "hot war"--especially when Austria was new at exercising neutrality, when the crisis was right on its border, and when the population strongly adhered to Western democratic values of non-violence and freedom of speech.
Although he was able to punish the KPO's Volksstimme for its treasonous articles, Raab could not censor the Austrian population--unlike the GDR leader, Walter Ulbricht, who could simply send in the Kampfgruppen (battle groups) to muzzle the students at Humboldt University in Berlin, or Romanian leader Gheorghe GheorghiuDej, who could banish thousands of students to labour camps in Baragan until the mid1960s.
Ideologically pro-West, Austria aspired to integrate itself economically with Western Europe, yet at the same time avoid offending the Soviet Union and other communist bloc countries. The Raab government found itself caught between Scylla and Charybdis, a beleaguered mediator between two military giants. In the end, the Vienna regime could not avoid disgruntling both the West (by abstaining from the UN vote and banning intelligence recruiting on Austrian soil) and the communist bloc (by allegedly abetting espionage, delaying the repatriation of refugees, and favouring organisations such as RFE over others). Nevertheless, the splash of the Hungarian rock into the proverbial lake of green scum ultimately began a process of European integration which, roughly four decades later, ultimately transformed Austria and Hungary into allies within the European Union, negating the need for Austria to take sides.
(1) James A. Michener, The Bridge at Andau (New York, 1957), p. 241.
(2) Austrian State Archive, Vienna (Osterreichisches Staatsarchiv, or OStA), Archiv der Republik (AdR), Bundeskanzleramt/Auswartige Angelegenheiten (BKA/AA), Abteilung 2, Karton 403, "Situationsbericht uber das Fluchtlingswesen in Osterreich", 8. November 1956. About 200-300 refugees arrived from Yugoslavia daily in November 1956, for an approximate total of 5,000 by September 1957. During Vice-President Nixon's visit to Austria on 20 December, State Secretary Grubhofer put the figure much higher: 1,000 Yugoslav refugees arriving daily in Austria. OstA, AdR, BKA/AA, Z1 792.188 Pol 56, Karton 405, "Besuch des Vizeprasidenten Nixon in Osterreich, 20. Dezember 1956". In Yugoslavia, Tito had ordered numerous people arrested as "Cominformists" in 1956. According to the Dutch diplomat, Eduard Star-Busmann, Tito called in reserves, sent about 100,000 soldiers to the Yugoslav-Hungarian border, and tried to censor foreign diplomats, demanding, for example, that the British Ambassador in Belgrade allow no news about Hungary to be published in the British embassy's bulletin, a demand the British ambassador rejected. See OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Z1 520.445 Pol 56, Karton 402 (UdSSR) "Mitteilung des niederlandischen Gesandten Star Busmann uber sowjetische Truppenbereitstellungen in Sudosteuropa, Wien, 15. November 1956".
(3) The Polish "October" refers to the confrontation between Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Polish leader Wladyslaw Gomulka on 19-20 October 1956. The liberalizing "thaw" in Eastern Europe following Stalin's death (March 1953) and Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist speech (February 1956) stirred ferment in Poland. The death of hard-liner Boleslaw Bierut the same month as Khrushchev's speech exacerbated an existing split in the Polish United Workers Party (PZPR). In June 1956, scores of demonstrators died when army troops quelled workers' riots in Poznan. Realizing the need for new leadership, the PZPR chose Gomulka, a moderate who had been purged after losing an earlier battle with Bierut. In Warsaw, just as the PZPR Central Committee was about to convene to elect Gomulka as First Secretary, Khrushchev ordered Soviet troops to advance toward Warsaw and paid Gomulka a surprise visit on 19 October 1956. Only when Gomulka reassured Khrushchev that the basic foundations of Polish communism would remain did Khrushchev withdraw the invasion threat. Gomulka's success in defying the Kremlin encouraged Hungarian students and the Petofi Circle (an intellectual discussion group) to view Imre Nagy as a "Hungarian Gomulka". They staged a demonstration in Poland's honour four days later, on 23 October, the event which sparked the Hungarian revolution.
(4) Michael Gehler, '"Kein Anschluss, aber auch keine chinesische Mauer' Osterreichs aussenpolitische Emanzipation und die deutsche Frage 1945-1955" in Alfred Ableitinger, Siegfried Beer, and Eduard G. Staudinger, eds. Osterreich unter Alliierter Besatzung, 1945-1955 (Vienna, 1998), p. 225.
(5) Gunter Bischof, "'Austria looks to the West': Kommunistische Putschgefahr, geheime Wiederbewaffnung und Westorientierung am Anfang der funfziger Jahre" in Thomas Albrich, Klaus Eisterer, Michael Gehler, Rolf Steininger, eds. Osterreich in den Funfzigern (Innsbruck and Vienna, 1995), p. 190.
(6) The KPO, in fact, lost all of its seats in the Austrian Parliament by 1959 and has not been represented in federal parliament since. In 2005, after winning 6.3 per cent of the vote in Styria, the KPO gained representation in its first state parliament in thirty-five years.
(7) Erich Wendl, "Der Nachbar Osterreich--1956 und danach" in Heiner Timmermann and Laszlo Kiss, eds. Ungarn 1956." Reaktionen in Ost und West (Berlin, 2000), p. 52.
(8) Few non-specialists realise that the word "neutrality" is never mentioned in the famous treaty signed on 15 May 1955. Only five months later, on 26 October 1955, did Austria legally incorporate neutrality anda ban on foreign military bases into the Austrian constitution. Sven Allard, Russia and the Austrian State Treaty: A Case Study of Soviet Policy in Europe (University Park and London, 1970), p. 158.
(9) "Flammen an Osterreichs ostlicher Grenze', radio speech on 11 November 1956, in Johannes Kunz, ed. Julius Raab : Ansichten des Staatsvertragskanzlers (Vienna, 1991), pp. 72-3.
(10) "Bundesheer wird Friedensburgschaft sein", Radio speech on 16 June 1955, in Johannes Kunz, ed. Julius Raab: Ansichten des Staatsvertragskanzlers (Vienna, 1991), p. 67.
(11) "Flammen an Osterreichs ostlicher Grenze", p. 72.
(12) Katalin Soos, "Ausztria es a Magyar Menekultugy 1956-57", Szazadok 1998, no. 5, p. 1026. Also Michener. The Bridge at Andau, p. 225.
(13) Manfried Rauchensteiner, Spatherbst 1956: Die Neutralitat auf dem Prufstand (Vienna, 1981), p.84.
(14) In 1956, one US dollar was the equivalent of 26 Austrian schillings (ATS). The Austrian Schilling became obsolete on 1 January 1999, when the Euro officially replaced it.
(15) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956, Ungarn 3, Karton 403a, "Schreiben des Gesandten Haymerle (Wien) an Herrn Dr. Walther Peinsipp, Budapest, Allgemeine Lage in Ungarn, 31 Oktober 1956", p. 1.
(16) OSta, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956 (Ungarn 3), Zahl 98-Pol 56, Karton 403a, "Osterreichische Vertretung bei den Vereinten Nationen, UN Generalversammlung uber die ungarische Frage: Osterreichische Erklarung, New York, 6. Dezember 1956".
(17) "Flammen an Osterreichs ostlicher Grenze", p. 73.
(18) OSta, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 402, Sowjetpresse uber Osterreich, "Sowjetische Abgeordnete in Osterreich", Prawda, 26. July 1956. The exact composition of the Soviet delegation is not given in the document. The Austrian delegation was composed of Chancellor Raab, President Theodor Korner, National Council President Felix Hurdes, mayors, and leading functionaries of the nine Austrian Lander (states).
(19) Bianca L. Adair, "The Austrian State Treaty and Austro-Hungarian Relations, 1955-1956" in Erwin Schmidl, ed. Die Ungarnkrise 1956 und Osterreich (Vienna, 2003), p. 209.
(20) OstA, AdR, BKA/AA, Z1. 511368 Pol 56, Karton 403, "Zur Normalisierung der osterrischen ungarischen Beziehungen".
(21) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956 (Ungarn 3), Zahl 130-Pol 56, "Osterreichische Gesandtschaft Budapest, Aussenminister-Stellvertreter Sebes; die Beschuldigungen gegen Osterreich", 6. Dezember 1956, p. 2.
(22) Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, Moscow (Arkhiv Vneshnei Politiki Rossiiskoi Federatsii, or AVP RF), f. 77, op. 37, por. 36, papka 53, 1. 89. "Spravka: Avstro-Vengerskie Otnosheniia (1956-1957), ot Stazhera Posol'stva SSSR v Vengrii I. Aleksandrov v MID SSSR, 9 sentiabria 1957".
(23) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956, Ungarn 9-49, Karton 407. "Grenzzwischenfall bei Pamhagen, 2.1.1956; Absturz von 2 auslandischen Flugzeugen." The wreckage of this airplane, and of others, was eventually returned to the Soviet Union. See OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956, Ungarn 9-49, Karton 407, Bundesministerium f'ur Landesverteidigung, "Pamhagen, Reste des abgesturzten sowjetischen Flugzeuges", 29. September 1956.
(24) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, ZI 221792 Pol 57, Karton 461, "Verletzung einer osterreichischen Staatsangehorigen durch einen ungarischen Sprengkorper (Minenzunder), Moschendorf, 18. Juni 1957".
(25) For an enlightening archival study of the Austrian experience in the Soviet occupation zone, see Klaus-Dieter Mulley, "Befreiung und Besatzung: Aspekte sowjetischer Besatzung in Niederosterreich, 1945-1948" in Ableitinger, et al., eds., Osterreich unter Alliierter Besatzung, pp.361-400.
(26) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956, Ungarn 1-2, Karton 407. "Zusammenstellung der im osterreichisch-ungarischem Grenzgebiet durch Minenexplosion verursachten Zwischenfalle."
(27) All quoted passages in this paragraph come from OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Z1 46.867-22/57, Karton 461, "Grenzzwischenfall an der osterreichischen-ungarischen Grenze, Lutzmannsburg, Burgenland, 28. Marz 1957".
(28) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, ZI 221028, Karton 461, "Zwischenfall an der ungarischen Grenze, 6. Juni 1957".
(30) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, Ungarn 9-49, Karton 407, 19. Juli 1956; Ungarn 3, Karton 403a, "Aktenvermerk, 18. November 1956"; Ungarn 9, Zahl 221030-Pol/57, Karton 461, "Grenzzwischenfall an der Dreilanderecke bei Deutsch-Jahrendorf, 14. Mai 1957"; Ungarn 9, Zahl 223.990, Karton 461, "Grenzverletzung durch ungarische Grenzorgane, Mogersdorf, 23. August 1957"; Ungarn 9, Zahl 224.960, Karton 461, "Grenzverletzung an der osterreichischen-ungarischen Staatsgrenze durch ungarische Grenzsoldaten, Mogersdorf, 23. September 1957"; and Ungam 9, Karton 461, "Grenzzwischenfall ira Grenzgebiet von Kulm, Eberau, 12. November 1957".
(31) OstA, AdR, BKA/AA, Abteilung 2, II-pol. 1956 (Ungarn 3), Zahl 130-Pol 56, Osterreichische Gesandtschaft Budapest, "Aussenminister-Stellvertreter Sebes; die Beschuldigungen gegen Osterreich, 6. Dezember 1956", p. 2.
(33) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, ZI 226-762 Pol 57, Karton 458, "Besuch des ungarischen Aussenministers Horvath, 6 November 1957". The document does not indicate when the minesweeping of the Austrian-Czech border occurred and why Czechoslovakia had been cooperative.
(34) The terra "Horthyist" refers to the right-wing, anti-communist Hungarian leader, Admiral Miklos Horthy (1868-1957). Having served as the last commander-in-chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, he then successfully led an uprising in 1919 against the Hungarian Communist government of Bela Kun. Horthy presided over an authoritarian regime (with the title of Regent) in Hungary during the interwar period and most of World War II (1920-1944). Having been arrested by the Gestapo, Horthy and his family were exiled to Germany. Although he was never able to reenter Hungary, given the Soviet occupation and new Communist government there, Soviet and Hungarian communist leaders have always feared his return.
(35) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 403a, "Sowjetpresse uber Osterreich, Iswestija, 14. November 1956".
(36) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Zl. 52069, "Behauptete Neutralitatsverletzung durch Osterreich; Information des Bundesministers, Wien, 16 November 1956".
(37) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Zahl: 227.150 Pol 57, Karton 450, "Behauptungen der Volksstimme uber Spionagezentrum in Modling", 12.11.1957.
(38) Wendl, "Der Nachbar Osterreich--1956 und danach", p. 57.
(39) AVP RF, f. 066, op. 42, por. 21, papka 225, ll. 19-21. "L. Il'ichev, zaveduiushii 3-im Evropeiskim otdelom MID SSSR, poslu S. Lapin, posol SSSR v Avstrii, 11 noiabria 1958."
(40) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, "Jakob Fink, Spionage fur die DDR", Karton 450, Zl. 218552, 28.3.1957.
(41) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, "Ausweisung des osterreichischen Staatsangehorigen Mayer Franz aus Ungarn", Karton 461, Zl. 225.133 Pol-57, 9.10.1957. The Yugoslavs also bribed Austrians to provide military intelligence. See OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 450, Zl. 225.869. "Walter Ischepp, 29. Oktober 1957."
(42) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Osterreichische Gesandtschaft Budapest, Karton 407, Zl. 448-Res/56, "Johann Feldbacher, Verhaftung in Ungarn, 24.10.1956".
(43) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Zl. 183.517-2/56, Karton 450, "Politische Betatigung von Auslandern in Oesterreich, 12.6.1957".
(44) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 450, Zl. 220.634-Pol 57, "Ungarische Agententatigkeit in Osterreich", 2.5.1957.
(45) This information comes from an article published in the Vertriebenen-Anzeiger on 23 March 1957 (issue 12) that the Austrian general consul in Munich sent to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna. OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, "Spionagekampf um Fluchtlingslisten", Zl. 5035A-/Pol 57, Munchen, 27.3.1957.
(46) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 450, Zl. 220.634-Pol 57, S. 3, "Ungarische Agententatigkeit in Osterreich", 3. (4.1957.
(47) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 450, Zl. 223.542-Pol 57, "Jozsef Kovacs, angebliche nachrichtendienstliche Tatigkeit fur Argentinien", 22.8.1957.
(48) Frigyes Puja, A Szedoszekrenytol a Miniszteri Szekig (Budapest, 1988), p. 187.
(49) Ibid., pp. 186-7.
(50) Ibid., p. 187.
(51) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Karton 405, Zl 792.243 Pol 56, "Repatriierung ungarischer Fluchtlinge", 28.11.1956.
(52) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Zl. 628460. Cited in Soos, "Ausztria es a Magyar Menekultugy", p. 1039.
(53) Hungarian National Archive (Magyar Orszagos Leveltar, or MOL), Budapest, BKI XIX-J-36-a 305/5/1956.
(54) OStA, AdR, BKA/AA, Zl 511190 Pol 56, cited in Soos, "Ausztria es a Magyar Menekultugy", p. 1040.
(55) The situation in Hungary at this time was indeed unsettled. On 11 December 1956 the Central Workers' Council of Greater Budapest called a 48-hour strike. In response the Kadar government declared a state of emergency--martial law--and ordered all factory guards to be disarmed. The same day, the Hungarian UN delegation walked out of the General Assembly following attacks on the Kadar government. On 15 December, the very first execution of a revolutionary insurgent was carried out (Jozsef Soltesz in Miskolc). See Csaba Bekes et al., The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents (Washington, DC, 2003), p. xlvii.
(56) The conversation between Reichman and Beck