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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 26, 1967

POLISH FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE REPORT ON RADIO FREE EUROPE

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    This intelligence report indicates detailed knowledge of certain RFE operations, including audience research among Polish travelers in Western Europe, and news gathering by its field bureaus. It is noteworthy that the first name on the distribution list for this report was Party chief Gomułka.
    "Polish Foreign Intelligence Report on Radio Free Europe," January 26, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Translated by Irena Czernichowska. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121505
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Ministry of Internal Affairs
Department One
L. dz. OCH 069/67

Warsaw
January 26, 1967
Secret

Information Report

Subject: Survey of actions of Radio Free Europe and other centers of subversion [three other topics not translated]

…. Intelligence and ideological subversion centers and so-called Institutes for Eastern Studies utilize a wide range of survey methods, and direct and indirect forms of intelligence collection. This activity is concentrated on citizens of socialist countries, including those of the Polish People’s Republic who have immigrated to the countries of Western Europe either temporarily or permanently.

One of those activities is the annual RFE survey, carried out by the RFE audience research department, which creates questionnaires and instructions on how to conduct conversations and interviews. The surveys and instructions are sent to field employees in RFE offices in nine Western European cities, who hire special pollsters to contact people from Poland and interview them.

In 1966, RFE, according to our data, interviewed 1675 Polish people, recruited from different social groups. In doing so, RFE offices cooperated with a number of West European offices and public opinion institutions, on whose behalf the pollsters are currently working. Those institutions include, among others, the Vienna office of Intora—Absatz u. Marktforschung, led by the Austrian Helmut Aigner. The RFE surveys, in addition to questions about the tasks, range, and effectiveness of the propaganda of Free Europe, included questions about the internal politics and economies of the PPR [Polish People’s Republic], the extent of the “independence” of individual socialist countries, and differences within the international workers’ movement.

Surveys are only one way that RFE obtains information. RFE receives materials from other sources, including us intelligence services, RFE offices in almost every capital of Western Europe, and domestic press and letters sent from Poland, which are scrupulously analyzed.

Last year RFE obtained some two thousand written pieces of information from various sources concerning Polish affairs.

Once the materials have been received, they are microfilmed, registered, filed, and given a control mark indicating the level of secrecy. RFE employees utilize highly developed workshops, such as a library containing seven million documents relating to socialist countries, indexes, and a press materials classifying system. Using the entire complicated system of information gathering and analysis, RFE offices are able to prepare comprehensive reports for the centers of subversion and espionage.

It is testimony to the wide use of surveys that several staff members at the Paris Kultura also prepared a questionnaire that is being used to conduct conversations and surveys. (see attachment no 2 [not translated]).

***

No similar research is carried out in Poland. Led by our organization, sporadic conversations with citizens of the capitalist countries who register here are in general met with sharp interventions and protests from the foreign diplomatic posts.