“Demonstration Turns Anti-Communist”: UK Ambassador Reads out Predecessor’s 1956 Telegram
Iain Lindsay, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Hungary, reads out a telegram sent by his predecessor Sir Leslie Fry to the British foreign ministry on 25 October 1956 in a video shared by the embassy online in 2016.
In the telegram, the diplomat who headed the British mission to Hungary at the time of the 1956 revolution wrote that while it would still be too early to draw conclusions on the reasons and consequences of the events, peaceful protests had turned into a strong anti-Communist movement. Sir Leslie Fry, who served as British ambassador to Hungary between 1955 and 1959, also reported of the large number of injuries and fatal casualties and the population’s fear of possible reprisals.
Mr. Lindsay’s video messages have been hugely popular online since his appointment in March 2016.
The script of the telegram:
“It is too soon to offer very firm comments on the immediate causes and likely results of events here during the last 24 hours but at least it is clear that what were designed as orderly and peaceful demonstrations quickly became more anti-Communist and anti-Russian than anything else and that demonstrators, although it was students of the Technical University who touched off the spark ended up by being drawn from virtually all sections of the community. The duration and intensity of the fighting testify moreover to the strength and determination of those opposing the regime. The Hungarian tricolours without the Communist emblem now fly on many public and other buildings throughout the city but the casualties have been very severe even among the women and children and the populace are terrified of massive reprisals. The success of this revolt against Communism is clearly in the balance.”
Expressions from the text. Can you fill in the gaps?
1. …… the spark
2. …… reprisals
3. …… demonstrations
4. …… and determination
5. …… tricolours
6. …… casualties
7. to …… conclusions
8. …… popular
1. touched off the spark 2. massive/possible reprisals 3. orderly and peaceful demonstrations 4. strength and determination 5. Hungarian tricolours 6. fatal casualties 7. to draw conclusions 8. hugely popular