A Path to Freedom: the Bridge at Andau Essay

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A Path to Freedom: The Bridge at Andau The Bridge at Andau by James Michener tells the true story of the Hungarian revolution in 1956. A popular historian and novelist, Michener’s account of the Hungarian uprising awakens the reader to the shocking plight of millions who suffered the iron fist of communism and Soviet puppet leadership. The revolution was a rebellion of students and intellectuals directed against the Soviet occupation and communism in Hungary. Viewing the revolution as a threat, the Soviet Union mercilessly sent tanks into the city center of Budapest violently extinguishing the uprise. The Soviet destruction of a magnificent city left Budapest and the Hungarian people in ruin. Interviewing those …show more content…
The fight for Hungry involved everyone. The Hungarians fought for their country from the inside out hoping to push the Soviets back and reclaim their country. Dedicating two chapters about the education of the Hungarian children, Michener describes the lengths that the Soviet infiltrated the schools and how families counteracted the Soviet educational system. Inside Hungarian classrooms hung portraits of communist leaders. Marx, Lenin, and Stalin were the most popular and teachers emphasized the glory of communism. At home, parents taught their children Hungarian history, culture, poetry, and religious values. Parents put themselves and their children at serious risk from interrogation by the AVO. There was a constant battle between what was taught in school and what was learned at home. It was gripping to read how parents had to counteract what was taught in the school system. The Soviets used education as a tool to push the communist agenda while at home parents taught their children what it was like to be a Hungarian. One particular moving story dealt with a little boy who was turning six years old. The boy’s father proudly dressed his “son in full national costume with an armband so big it could be spotted a block away” (Michener, 166). The boy was spotted by a policeman and sent home to change. When the boy asked the officer where his national colors were, the policeman replied, “I wear them in my heart” (Michener, 166). This sense of