The program is supported by the Memorial Committee set up for the Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight.
"Not to go, this must be only appropriate decision."
J. Linhorst Homan, president of the Dutch Olympic Committee, 6th of November 1956
In 1956 The Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain boycotted the olympic games because of the bloodshed in Hungary with the 1956 revolution. The sentence mentioned above by the president of The Netherlands Olympic Committee at the general meeting on November 8, 1956. His speech was followed by enthusiastic applause, the association unanimously backed his decision, and voted to donate 100,000 guldens from its own budget to help refugees arriving from Hungary. The athletes already in Australia, were informed by telegram. The Olympians accepted the decision and flew back from Australia. Athlete Eef Kamerbeek saw the opening ceremonies from the pléane as it took off. Supporting Hungary in 1956 caused a break in sport life in the Netherlands and their lack of success in the 1960 Rome Olympics is attributed to this fact. Decades later Haman still stood by his decision. Despite this, the Netherlands’ Olympic Committee apoligized to their athletes in 2006, and they still get together every year with the Swiss athletes. Until now no public gesture has been made by Hungary.
Sixty years after these events on the anniversary of the opening of the Olympics, with the support of the the Hungarian Institute of Civil European Music and Sport Diplomacy, Hungarian FolkEmbassy and their invited partners (National Sport Magazine, Hungarian Association of Sports Journalists, Gyula Andrássy German Language University, Hotel Continental Budapest, Urania National Film Theatre) would like to thank the Olympic associations of the three supporting countries and the athletes that formed the quotas. We won’t be giving out awards, because that would legitimize boycott as a diplomatic instrument. Hungary will express its gratitude with specially designed gold-plated commemorative medals and plaques, an invitation to be our guest in Budapest for three days and a gala celebration evening. At the gala celebration evening in addition to Hungarian folk music, actual hits from 1956 from the three countries will be performed by Hungarian artists and take them back to those times. Short films will be screened, to aquaint us with the Olympians. And because it didn’t happen in Melbourne in 1956, we will raise the flags of the three countries, in thanks to the athletes visiting us that gave up their life dreams for the sake of freedom for a country they might didn’t even know. A scientific conference will happen in parallel to this event. The conference will bear the title: „Diplomacy in Sport and Music – Background and Lessons of the 1956 Olympic Boycott” and will be held at the Gyula Andrássy German Language University. The historical background of the events will be presented and the way political decisions affect the lives of athletes will be examined. No matter, Hungary has to express gratitude for the solidarity, we hope to contribute to expelling the boycott of the athletes as a tool of international sports diplomacy.
Highest patron: László Kövér – Hungarian Parliamentary President
The program is supported by the Memorial Committee set up for the Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Figh.