Commemorating the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

MCC Brussels' Inaugural Freedom Breakfast

Stanhope Hotel Brussels

09.00, Monday 23rd October 2023


"The Hungarian people, young and old, knew that they were ‘living amidst lies’ and asked, unanimously and in all manifestos, for something the Russian intelligentsia apparently has even forgotten how to dream of, namely, for freedom of thought.”

Hannah Arendt

  • Date: Monday 23rd October 2023
  • Time: 09:00 to 10:30
  • Venue: Stanhope Hotel Brussels, Rue du Commerce 9, 1000 Bruxelles

Please join us for breakfast to commemorate those who fought bravely for freedom in 1956, in Hungary and Poland, and to share perspectives and conversation with others willing to stand up for freedom today.

Welcome by:

  • Hungarian Ambassador His Excellency Dr Tamás Iván Kovács


  • Professor Frank Furedi, Executive Director, MCC Brussels
  • Piotr Bernatowicz, Director, Ujazdowski Castle, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw

On the 23 October 1956, students in Budapest raised a cry for freedom. Their cause? Solidarity with Polish workers who led an uprising in Poznan which had been brutally crushed by the Communist authorities. These student protests sparked the Hungarian revolution.

The Hungarian revolutionaries sought to liberate themselves from Soviet control, smash the grip of the communist system and gain national independence. They too were brutally suppressed, but not before impressing the world with their courage, commitment and revolutionary approach to politics.

On this October 23rd, the anniversary of the revolution, join MCC Brussels for a freedom breakfast commemorating the events of 1956. We will explore the political, historical and social importance of this seismic event and what it means for our lives and freedoms today. Hungarian Ambassador His Excellency Dr Tamás Iván Kovács will open the breakfast welcoming our guests and speakers. Joining us are MCC Brussels’ executive director Frank Füredi, who lived through the events as a 9-year-old boy and fled the country with his family as a consequence. Also present will be Piotr Bernatowicz, the Director of Ujazdowski Castle, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw who fearlessly defends artists’ freedom of expression.

Hungarians, with critical solidarity from Poles in the form of food, blood and medicines, undertook a heroic fight for freedom and self-determination. We will honour the courage of those valiant citizens who gave their lives as the uprising was suppressed by the Soviet army and the multitudes who were forced to leave their homelands and were scattered around the world.