communists around the world. However, in terms of
, the crisis also had a positiveaspect, at least for the communist leadership in neighbouring Romania. Drawing on archivaldocuments, published memoirs and recent Romanian scholarship, this article will examine howthe Hungarian crisis and Soviet military interventions actually helped the Romanian leadership toconsolidate its power in four ways.
First, for at least three Romanian politicians, it appeared toerode their respect for the Soviet army and its ability to protect Romanians, and strengthenedtheir desire to see the Soviet contingent leave Romanian soil. Second, the crisis dredged upmemories of 1919 and 1944
1945, providing the Bucharest leadership with a template for how to
respond. In furnishing fresh ‗proof‘ of Hungarian bellicosity, the crisis also enabled Romanian
ideologists later to craft a policy of discrimination against ethnic Hungarians in their country.Third, the Hungarian revolt conjured up the spectre of Transylvanian irredentism, which the
Bucharest leadership used to control the country‘s population. As we shall see, various rumours
and comments were recorded among the general population and even spread from above by party
The official name for the Romanian national archives (Bucharest) is
Arhivele Naţionale Istorice Centrale
(ANIC), orNational Central Historical Archives of Romania. Communist Party archival documents were delivered to theNational Archives after 1989. The Foreign Ministry archive is known as
Ministerul Afacerilor Externe
(Arh. MAE). To my knowledge, all documents cited alone here have not yet been published or translated intoEnglish. These include protocols and minutes of Politburo sessions, as well as diplomatic telegrams sent to theRomanian leaders in Bucharest from Budapest. All passages are cited in the original Romanian as they appear in thedocuments. However, it should be noted that in 1993 the Romanian Academy decided to reverse the orthographicreform of 1953. Except at the beginning of a word or in compound words, the letter â replaces î (e.g. România, notRomînia). See Deletant (1995, p. 7). Several of the archival sources used in this article have also been published inedited collections of documents. In these cases both the archival and published references are provided in footnotesbelow.