‘Anxiously, almost with dread, one asks oneself how this is all going to end.’

The Hungarian uprising of 1956 sent a wave of refugees into Austria. Peter Leeming went to Wegscheid to help, and met a Swedish nurse hard at work

Budapest, Hungary, in 1956.

Ten years after world war two there were still many refugee camps in western Europe, and international aid agencies were obliged to continue their work. In October 1956 the uprising in Hungary against the Soviet occupation caused a flood of refugees into Austria, which appealed for help. The crisis caused great alarm across Europe. The Friends Ambulance Unit International Service (FAUIS) responded by sending teams of young conscientious objectors – me included – to several parts of Austria, and especially to Wegscheid, to help build prefabricated timber houses, rehousing families from the now badly overcrowded camp. FAUIS continued work there until 1959.

You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.