Today is : Wednesday,26th Jun 2019

October 6th in Hungary, the 1848-1849 Freedom Fight

It was a day to go down in the Hungarian history books, the 1848-1849 Freedom Fight and Revolution and the day 13 Hungarian generals were executed by the Hapsbursb rule. Louis Kossuth died as well, the first prime minister of Hungary.

Written by Natalie Jaro

The notorious day in Hungarian history is almost upon us, October 6, but this year it’s 2009, 160 years from the actual date of the 1848-1849 Revolution and Freedom Fight of Hungary against the Habsburg Empire. Past events in which Hungary attempted to establish a democratic republic split Hungary off with Austria at the time and paved the way for a future conflict. Louis Kossuth led the movement and in August of 1849, Austria and Russia together defeated the Hungarian insurgents. October 6th is a Memorial Day for Hungary; a grievous day in history when the 13 Hungarian martyrs of Arad were executed. Arad was once a part of the Habsburg Empire but is now in the country of Romania. It was a time when the Austrian Hapsburgs were in power and in order to crush the Hungarian army the Austrians went to the Russians. Before long the Russians were crossing country borders and by the order of the emperor of the Habsburgs, Franz Joseph, 13 generals of the Hungarian army were executed by a firing squad. Count Lajos Batthyány, the first ever prime minister of Hungary was also shot. Today in Budapest, in Szabadsag ter in the fifth district is a memorial for Lajos Batthyány and it is called the Batthyány Eternal Flame. It is a location that many current political and military figures will frequent in the next few days to pay homage to their past heroes and leaders. Ceremonies will be held there along with the placement of flowers, wreaths and candles to remember those who died. Many Hungarians were imprisoned at that time or fled to other countries. An ominous figure during the revolution and freedom fight in 1848 was the general of the Habsburgs known as the ‘hyena of Brescia’, Julius Haynau. He was a man especially known for his harsh and violent leadership throughout the country of Hungary. It is told at the execution of the 13 martyrs that the Austrian soldiers clinked glasses of beer. As retaliation against that cruelty, Hungarians have made it a 150-year-old tradition to not clink glasses of beer in celebration. The etiquette in Hungary remains the same over a century and a half later.

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