Thirteen Days That Shook the Kremlin

Thirteen Days That Shook the Kremlin

Thirteen Days That Shook the Kremlin

Thirteen Days That Shook the Kremlin

Excerpt

Imre Nagy was still alive when I began this book during the summer of 1957. At that time, I wrote in the preface: "I want to tell what I know about him. If there were still any hope that he would one day be free and could tell this story himself, I would seek another subject for my efforts. But there is no longer much hope. I do not know what the future holds for him any more than I know what my own future will bring. But in these days it is better to put onto paper what one carries in one's head. Paper is a less perishable repository than is a human head."

Since then, they have killed him. Today, it has become even more imperative for those who were close to him to set down in the utmost detail what they remember about him. Yesterday's timely stories, now a sheaf of memories, have been transformed by his destiny into history.

I have not sought to present the colorful or the picturesque in this book. I have sought to present only the truth. I knew Imre Nagy well. I witnessed the events that climaxed and ended his career. I spoke with him frequently, during the Revolution as well as in the months before. Whenever I have been unable to set down the results of my own observations, I have tried to report either the known facts or the evidence of reliable witnesses. Only in extreme instances, and then with great reluctance, have I made use of logic or of my insight into the psychology of the personalities involved . . .

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