In 1956, Hungary was a satellite of the Soviet Union, occupied since the end of the Second World War by Soviet troops. A Communist system was imposed upon the country by force and maintained through systemic terror and Stalinist policies. On October 23, 1956, a student demonstration in Budapest turned violent when secret police snipers fired upon the crowd. Within hours, Hungarian civilians throughout the country took up arms and rose against the Communist system. This revolution - the first such break in Communist Eastern Europe - was victorious for about one week.