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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October 14, 1948

    Draft Charter of Committee to Support Émigré Broadcasting [Approved for Release, February 16, 2011]

    Draft charter for an émigré-support committee, prepared by the Office of Policy Coordination official Maynard Ruddock

  • February 21, 1949

    Memorandum for Mr. Wisner, 'Notes on Discussion of New York Committee with Mr. George Kennan, February 18, 1949' [Approved for Release, March 2009]

    George Kennan, State Department official Llewellyn E. Thompson, and Office of Policy Coordination director Frank Wisner agree that influential private citizens organizing the Free Europe Committee (FEC) require approval for the project from Secretary of State Dean Acheson and thereafter responsibility for dealing with East European émigré leaders will shift from State to the FEC.

  • April 19, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation with Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 10:00 am, Monday, 4 April 1949 [Approved for Release, March 2009]

    Frank Wisner and Free Europe Committee (FEC) president DeWitt C. Poole brief FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on the FEC project to secure his concurrence and assure him of coordination with the FBI on émigré contacts.

  • August 01, 1949

    Letter, Frank Wisner to DeWitte Pool [Approved for Release May 6, 2019]

    Frank Wisner counsels FEC executive secretary DeWitte Poole that the FEC, private but largely government funded, should consult closely with OPC and the State Department on issues of policy, budget, and personnel vetting.

  • October 04, 1949

    Outline of the Understanding between Office of the Policy Coordination and National Committee for Free Europe [Approved for Release, February 16, 2011]

    This seminal document reaffirms the mission of the Free Europe Committee (FEC) and outlines the respective authorities and responsibilities of OPC, as agent for the US government, and the FEC, “autonomous… with due regard for the source of its funds.”

  • March 16, 1950

    Memorandum for Mr. Horace Nickels, 'Support for Radio Broadcasting Program to Satellite Nations' [Approved for Release, March 2009]

    Office of Policy Coordination requests information – negative and positive – from the State Department on conditions in Eastern Europe that could be used in Radio Free Europe broadcasts.

  • April 26, 1950

    Recommendations on Utilization of the Russian Emigration [Approved for Release, February 16, 2011]

    Robert F. Kelley expands the recommendation of his May 3, 1949 memorandum ["Kelley Memorandum on Utilization of Russian Political Émigrés"] that the Office of Policy Coordination encourage the “existing striving of the Russian émigrés to create a central unifying organization” that would organize broadcast to the Soviet Union and be supported through a Free Europe Committee-llike committee in the United States. A longer version document of the same date, “Survey of Russian Emigration,” is available in the Kelley Papers.

  • May 05, 1950

    Letter to DeWitt C. Poole, National Committee for Free Europe, Inc. [Approved for Release, February 16, 2011]

    The Office of Policy Coordination provides the Free Europe Committee with State Department policy guidance dated April 26, 1950, calling for a range of diplomatic and information initiatives, including use of émigrés, but cautioning that broadcasts “should not promise imminent liberation or encourage active revolt.” The quoted phrase was added to the initial guidance dated April 11 and published in FRUS, 1950, IV, 14-17

  • July 26, 1950

    State Department Office of Policy Coordination Memorandum, 'Considerations in Choosing the Members and Executive Secretary for the Cinderella Cover Committee' [Declassified September 19, 2016]

    An OPC official, drawing negative lessons from Free Europe Committee autonomy, argues that AMCOMLIB (cryptonym Cinderella) should be a pure front and not be allowed the autonomy gained by the FEC.

  • August 10, 1950

    Office of Policy Coordination Provides Propaganda Themes for Radio Free Europe

    The Office of Policy Coordination provides the Free Europe Committee with four suggested propaganda themes for RFE broadcasts.

  • October 19, 1950

    Policy Planning Staff View of Exile National Councils

    State Department Policy Planning official Robert Joyce laments to Frank Wisner disarray among the national councils and suggests redoubled efforts to unify them. Check copy and redactions.

  • November 22, 1950

    Wisner Update on Radio Free Europe

    Frank Wisner reviews RFE broadcasting after 5 months and notes a shift from use of exile leaders “of questionable current value” to “timely news items and commentary.” He foreshadows expansion of broadcast hours and shift of program production to West Germany.

  • January 11, 1951

    Radio Free Europe Budget Increase Approved

    Allen Dulles (who has joined CIA as Deputy Director for Plans) informs Frank Wisner that CIA has approved RFE’s capital budget for new transmitters.

  • August 21, 1951

    Office of Policy Coordination History of American Committee for Liberation

    Frank Wisner reviews the origins of the Soviet émigré project. He considers AMCOMLIB to be a cover organization without independent authority, notes the difficulty of uniting Soviet émigré groups, yet assumes that an émigré “political center” can organize publishing and broadcasting for the Soviet Union.

  • November 20, 1951

    CIA-State Department “Summit” Limits Scope of Radio Free Europe

    Assistant Secretary of State Edward Barrett reviews Free Europe Committee plans with Allen Dulles and other officials. The State Department vetoes startup of Radio Free Europe Baltic broadcasting on grounds that it would duplicate Voice of America broadcasts and insists that the Crusade for Freedom be toned down. Dulles subsequently rejects the latter point in a handwritten annotation.

  • July 16, 1952

    Revised Princeton Statement [on American Foreign Policy]

    The Psychological Strategy Board issues a restrained revision of the Princeton Statement adopted at a May 1952 meeting at Princeton on psychological operations [available in the Hoover Archives] convened at the initiative of Free Europe Committee President C.D. Jackson.

  • September 30, 1953

    Implementation of Jackson Committee Recommendations on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    The Operations Coordinating Board forwards CIA’s acceptance of Jackson Committee recommendations that the Free Europe Committee and American Committee for Liberation concentrate on radio broadcasting to the Soviet bloc as distinct from émigré support projects.

  • June 10, 1954

    Memorandum for Mr. Lampton Berry from Thomas W. Braden [Approved for Release March 2009]

    CIA official Thomas Braden assures the State Department that RFE broadcasts which took sides in Czechoslovak factory council elections have ended. (The cited FEC document is available in the Hoover Archives as FEC teletype NYC 29, June 8, 1954.)

  • June 16, 1954

    State Department Reservations about Free Europe Committee Policy

    State Department official Lampton Berry conveys to Thomas Braden reservations about FEC Special Policy Guidance No. 19 [available in the Hoover Archives] that emphasized weakened Soviet control in Eastern Europe.

  • March 13, 1956

    German Concerns about Free Europe Committee Balloon Leaflet Operations

    West German Ambassador Heinz Krekeler shares his government’s concerns about Free Europe Committee (FEC) balloon operations with Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy and FEC President Whitney Shepardson.