“Please! Just not this “Polish-Hungarian, two good friends”! It is a quite old and boring saying, and, excuse me, only a sentimental crap nowadays. Of course, in Poland everyone knows this, just as the alphabet or the national anthem. But when you ask them why we are friends, the answer is: because… um, because… I don’t know.”

It is impossible to watch without emotion and sinking heart the Polish newsreels of October 1956, in the weeks during and after the Hungarian revolution. We have read enough about the fraternal assistance provided to us at that time, but the images of the Polish newsreel complement our readings with an astonishing power.

For the better understanding of the captions we need to correct a deeply rooted translation error. The popular saying in Hungarian goes like “Hungarian-Polish, two good friends…”, but its equally popular Polish equivalent says: “Polak-Węgier dwa bratanki...”. However, this means cousin and not friend in Polish.
In the news about Hungary, the announcers of the Polish newsreels, B. Niewinowski and A. Racławicki used sometimes this term, but mainly the expression brać. Since other terms were also used to express friendship, even in the same newsreel (worker-peasant friendship – robotniczo-chlopski przyjaciół), therefore we feel it more appropriate to translate the terms brać, brat as “brother”.

From the World

Here the new are mentioned first in the newsreel.

Blood for Hungary

The call of the Central Committee
of the Polish United Workers’
Party to the brotherly Hungary

The Polish society running
to help the people of Hungary

At the call of the Hungarian Red
Cross, thousands and thousands
go to give blood in Warsaw
and in other cities

A beautiful example of emotions,
solidarity and friendship

There, in Hungary, blood is flowing.
The blood of our brothers!

Our blood can save the life
of more than one people!

The action of blood donation and
plasma preparation is led by the Polish
Red Cross and the Ministry of Welfare.

Special aircraft delivering the
preparations from Warsaw to Budapest
Our nation is sending her own blood
to our Hungarian brothers.

In the Zerań car factory of Warsow the trade union and party organizations also address the Hungarian situation. The workers, similarly to the Hungarian revolutionary workers’ councils, speak freely, make cartoons on Stalinism, go to negotiate with the factory leaders and party organizations. The addressed bureaucrats make phone calls, and if necessary, sit on a plane to arrange the matters as quickly as possible.

One week later the Hungarian news are only at the second place.

From the Near East…

At our Hungarian brothers

Our film crew accompanied twice
the planes carrying blood and food
to Budapest.

Lenin at the airport of Ferihegy

The Polish planes are the first ones
since a long time.

They are received with great love
and friendship at the airport

Hungarian soldiers reading the
call of our party to our
Hungarian brothers.

This is how Budapest looks like
after the first tragic days
between 22 and 30 October.

The Hungarian flag often appears
also on the streets of Warsaw.

Financial help, food and blood

Hungary is calling for help!

The wounded need blood!

Help Hungary! Buy the graphics of
the A.S.P.! We send all our income
to the Hungarians!

Admission to medical work,
right wing

The Polish society has found the
most various ways of giving help.

The tragedy of the brotherly
Hungarian people has deeply
touched every Pole.

Gomulka, coming back to power on 24 October, in the special annex of the newsreel tries to convince his audience by urging the avoidance of the situations similar to the Hungarian tragedy.

Now the Hungarian news only at the third place.

From the Near East…

Eisenhower is the president

Further help

Shipyard workers! In the name
of solidarity and friendship with
the brotherly Hungarian nation,
let us join the assistance action!

We are in Gdańsk, where the
workers are donating

In a few days several thousand
zlotys have been collected.

Katowice, blood donation station.

Every day thousands stand in line
to give blood for Hungary.

Every day a great amount of
donations arrive to the
Red Cross in Krakow.

"Pénz, élelmiszer az adomány."

The Polish nation in these days
does not forget her friendship
towards the brotherly
Hungarian nation.

In the December newsreel we only see Hungarian images towards the end.

For the Hungarian children

An autobus is just arriving,
directly from Budapest

The Polish postman are hosting
Hungarian children

“They receive the guests with love,
then the presentation follows

They will forget at us the past
tragic period, and will laugh again

A beautiful offer from the activists
of the Women’s Council of Warsaw
working on the metro line

They prepare gifts
for the Hungarian children

The worker’s children  of the metro
project of Warsaw also prepare
their gifts for their
little Hungarian friends

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