American secret services played an active role in the outbreak of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, a report aired on Russian public television claimed on the 60th anniversary of the revolution. The strange explanation may sound good for those who are fond of conspiracy theories, however, historical facts suggest completely otherwise, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet writes citing Tim Weiner’s book entitled Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.
The New York Times reporter’s best-seller hit the bookstores in the United States in 2007 and two years later a Hungarian translation was also published in Budapest. In the chapter about the Hungarian revolution, Tim Weiner argues that Frank Wisner, head of CIA activities in Central Europe in the 1950s, was rather ill-informed about the Hungary as he hardly knew what’s going on in fact on the streets of Budapest. In CIA’s Hungarian department, nobody spoke Hungarian language but a single American-Hungarian officer, Géza Katona, but he was assigned mostly to petty administrative tasks.
CIA did not learn more about the revolution than it was written in the press, according to the Pulitzer-winning author. US agents could not possibly know when the uprising in Budapest would break out, and they neither had intelligence on the timing of the Soviet intervention. “If Washington were to send weapons to Hungary, CIA would have no clue where to send them”, Weiner claims. Furthermore, Allen Dulles, head of CIA (pictured left), allegedly recommended US President Eisenhower (pictured right) to seek cooperation rather with Cardinal József Mindszenty than Prime Minister Imre Nagy, which is proof for CIA’s complete misunderstanding regarding Hungarian domestic politics in 1950s.