On October 23, 1956, civilian revolutionaries launched an armed rebellion against the Hungarian Workers’ Party (HWP) dictatorship that that had been established seven years previously. On October 24, these forces brought the reform communist Imre Nagy to power as prime minister in place of HWP General Secretary Ernő Gerő, who fled to the Soviet Union with other high-ranking party officials a few days later.
On November 4, Soviet military forces overthrew the Nagy government and initiated an offensive against Hungarian army troops and civilian resistance fighters in Budapest. János Kádár came to power in Hungary at the head of the newly formed Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt) on this same date. The Soviet Army and its pro-communist Hungarian militia units essentially suppressed pro-revolutionary military and guerrilla forces by the middle of November.
Several thousand Hungarian soldiers and civilians and several hundred Soviet soldiers were killed in combat during the revolution, while around 200,000 people fled to the West over the final two months of 1956 and between 200 and 300 people—including Imre Nagy—were executed for their participation in the uprising over the subsequent three years.