MÚK – these three letters, standing for MÁRCIUSBAN ÚJRA KEZDJÜK (we will start again in March), kept the Kádár regime in fear until it collapsed in 1989, but has been ingrained in the Hungarian mindset so much that even these days people look forward to March 15 with contained anticipation that unrest may occur.
The three letters of MÚK appeared as graffiti on the walls of Budapest houses right after the Russian invasion of November 4, 1956 and leaflets with a call to resume the uprising went into circulation secretly. It was serious political crime punishable with death sentence to possess such a flyer. The new still unstable Soviet-backed regime started a counter leaflet campaign in which they made it public that ”Be aware that our paramilitary forces will be present as well, with weapons, and if necessary, we will mobilize the working class” – a quote from György Marosán, one of the loudest mouthpieces of the suppression of the Revolution.
The attached leaflet looks innocent to the uninitiated: March is the time to do the spring plough in the fields but it was obvious to the local population that it was a call to start a revolution again on March 15.
The coincidence in choosing March 15 is not surprising since the evolving events of 1956 October were modeled on the 1848 revolutionary scenario in many respects, see the 12 points (i.e. demands) in 1848 and very similar 16 demands in 1956, or the occupation of the media as a starting point, in 1848 the Heckenast Printers and the Radio in 1956. Not to mention the 25 points of the discontented teachers just these days in 2016.
Should you be more interested in the history of revolutions Hungarians have had, you are welcome to join our Revolutionary Budapest Tour.