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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June, 1941

    Report from the People’s Committee of Internal Affairs to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Party, about Agent 'Volodya' (Imre Nagy)

    Sverdlov provides a brief overview of agent "Volodya" (Imre Nagy) and his work.

  • April 30, 1948

    George F. Kennan, 'The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare' [Redacted Version]

    State Department Policy Planning Director George Kennan outlines, in a document for the National Security Council, the idea of a public committee, working closely with the US government, to sponsor various émigré activities

  • April 30, 1948

    George F. Kennan, 'The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare'

    State Department Policy Planning Director George Kennan outlines, in a document for the National Security Council, the idea of a public committee, working closely with the US government, to sponsor various émigré activities.

  • August 26, 1948

    Memorandum of Conversation [Approved for Release, March 2009]

    CIA, State Department, Defense Department, and OPC officials discuss establishing a philanthropic organization to sponsor radio broadcasts and other activities of Eastern European émigrés.

  • 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.

  • May 03, 1949

    Utilization of Russian Political Refugees in Germany and Austria [Approved for Release, February 16, 2011]

    Soviet expert Robert F. Kelley urges forming a central organization representing Russian émigré groups and providing it with radio facilities to reach the Soviet Union and Soviet armed forces in Eastern Europe.

  • September 13, 1949

    Memorandum from Frank G. Wisner to [withheld], 'Policy Directive Governing Organization of Russian Refugees in Germany and Austria' [Approved for Release, March 2009]

    George Kennan authorizes Frank Wisner to proceed with a central Russian émigré organization initially focused on émigré welfare and subject to US government policy guidance. Wisner directs Office of Policy Coordination staff in a cover memorandum to proceed with the project.

  • 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.”

  • 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

  • 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.

  • August 25, 1951

    Radio Liberty Objectives Outlined

    An Office of Policy Coordination officer explains Radio Liberty aims and objectives as involving “Russians speaking to Russians through an organization made up of the peoples of Russia.”

  • August 27, 1951

    Office of Policy Coordination Memorandum on Russian Emigration

    OPC provides the State Department with a positive progress report on efforts to unify the Russian emigration and organize broadcasting to the USSR.

  • September 06, 1951

    CIA-State Department Reservations about Broadcasting to the Soviet Union

    Senior CIA and State Department officials review the August 21 OPC memorandum ["Office of Policy Coordination History of American Committee for Liberation"]. The State Department officials question whether disparate Russian émigré groups can cooperate enough to organize broadcasting to the USSR, while CIA director Walter Bedell Smith questions the cost of the project.

  • 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.

  • February 17, 1952

    Report by Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart on his visit to Radio Free Europe, Munich

    Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart - head of the World War II Political Warfare Executive who later had a highly popular BBC weekly program in Czech - visited RFE with BBC Central European chief Gregory Macdonald between January 29 and February 1, 1952. Reviewing personalities, attitudes, and operations in Munich, Lockhart concluded that RFE had made progress in its first year, that its broadcasters were happy to be separated geographically from émigré politicians in the US, but that RFE faced the challenge of keeping the spark of hope alive in Eastern Europe without instigating revolt. It also faced the challenge of emerging German sovereignty, which Lockhart thought would force RFE to relocate to another country. Accompanying Foreign Office memoranda generally endorsed Lockhart conclusions. Information Research Department official F.C. Stacey cautioned that “the need for sensational stories of RFE activities” for the domestic US audience might result in irresponsible RFE broadcasts.

  • March 08, 1952

    Voice of America Views of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    Voice of America Director Foy Kohler argues that without the formation of a Russian émigré political center enabling “Russians speaking to Russians," Radio Liberty would be a "bad imitation of VOA."

  • March 15, 1952

    CIA, State Department, American Committee for Liberation Discussion of Radio Liberty Broadcasting

    CIA, State Department, and American Committee for Liberation (AMCOMLIB) officials agree to expand AMCOMLIB activities, share funding with Radio Free Europe from the Crusade for Freedom, and delay Radio Liberty broadcasts until a sponsoring Russian Émigré Political Center is formed