OSA / Highlights

When authorities self censor.
Unreleased cartoons on the Hungarian 1956 revolution

in English / in Hungarian

Sándor Pogány: 23 October - Cartoon series (Edited by Róbert Pogány) Budapest, Kossuth Könyvkiadó, 1958. 88 l.

The collection of cartoons about the revolution of 1956 drawn by Sándor Pogány and edited by his brother Róbert is ’inspired not by mirth but by anger, hatred and ruthless irony’, as it says in the foreword. The album was supposed to be published in late 1958 in 12 thousand copies, but was destroyed in the last minute save some two or three volumes. The Party decided that no matter how much the cartoons expound the official propaganda, their publication just two years after the revolution might provoke an outrage. The rebels are depicted as violent outlaws menacing and killing off peaceful citizens, while events are controlled by imperialists and the resurrected rulers of the old regime.

One surviving copy of the album is in the OSA Library, see also: The 1956 Hungarian Revolution, OSA Reference Information Paper

Read the Foreword

4 pm, 23 October, 1956
Where are you going, son?
To have a closer look at this ‘peaceful’ student demonstration.

Free press
You see, all those letters you wrote to Szabad Nép?

Life with no fear
What makes you so scared, old hag? Your conscience not clear?

Law and order
There are no political prisoners in this country!

We want Hungarian radio stations independent of the party and the government!

The word of a Hungarian is to be trusted
Imre Nagy: No reason for panic, the government is in control…

What makes you think I’m not a doctor?

Hurry up, gentlemen, the humanist West is anxious to see your photos!

What are you doing here?
This time it’s us redistributing a few square feet of land – for long-term lease…

Radio Free Europe: Heroic lads! You have occupied your rightful place in history…


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