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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • November 01, 1949

    Memorandum for Mr. Wisner, 'HCFE Broadcasting (Interim Report)' [Approved for Release, November 7, 2012]

    An official from the Department of State, the Office of Policy Coordination updates Frank Wisner on possibilities for providing the Free Europe Committee (FEC) with intelligence reports for use in planned Radio Free Europe broadcasts. He also suggests that Foreign Broadcast Information Bureau monitoring reports of Soviet bloc media can be provided, but only in English translations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • July 16, 1951

    Report on Radio Free Europe

    Observations of BBC managers two months after the start of RFE broadcasting from Munich on May 1, 1951. It includes their analysis of the Czechoslovak Service broadcasts on May 26th, 1951, and of the network of field bureaus to gather information from refugees. They lauded the enthusiasm of RFE broadcasters but criticized their programs for mixing opinion with fact in newscast.

  • 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.

  • September 15, 1951

    Report to USSR Minister of Communications on Western Broadcasts to Poland

    The following document describes how arrangements were made to jam Western broadcasts to Poland from Soviet and Polish territory in 1951.