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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 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 22, 1954

    US Government Policy for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    An annex to the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) “169 Study” on U.S. international communications reviews the goals and effectiveness of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

  • 1956

    Frederick Hier, 'A Hungarian Diary'

    Frederick ("Fritz") Hier was an American employee of Radio Free Europe. He led a team which entered Hungary on October 31 to report on the events of the Hungarian Revolution. Hier was joined by RFE journalists Gabor Tormay from the Hungarian Service, Jerzy Ponikiewicz from the Polish Service, and a journalist from South German Radio, who helped tape RFE interviews in return for transportation. They reported the Revolution from Győr and nearby cities and interviewed heads of local revolutionary councils.

  • February, 1956

    Report on Visit to Radio Free Europe, Munich

    Analysis of RFE news operations by BBC Central European Service director Gregory Macdonald, who visited Munich from January 8 to January 23, 1956, at RFE’s request. Accompanied by notes from the British Foreign Office and its Information Research Department. Macdonald had been asked by RFE officials to assess the objectivity and organization of the newscasts.

  • March 28, 1956

    Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts Appraised

    In Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372, two Hungarian-speaking officers appraise the content and reception quality of Radio Free Europe (RFE) Hungarian broadcasts. They rate newscasts higher than commentaries and features

  • June 15, 1956

    Memorandum on Evaluation of Radio Free Europe by US Legation in Hungary

    CIA official Cord Meyer, chief of the International Organizations Division (IOD), notes that the Budapest Legation’s appraisal [Budapest Legation Dispatch No. 372 and Budapest Dispatch 427, May 23, 1956] is more positive than media commentary at the time [Cyrus Sulzberger’s May 14 commentary in The New York Times; letter to the editor response by FEC official Louis Galantier, June 2, 1956.]

  • July 03, 1956

    National Security Council, NSC 5608, Draft of “US Policy toward the Soviet Satellites in Eastern Europe”

    Staff draft of NSC 5608, concluding that ferment in the Communist world provides new opportunities to challenge Soviet control. A draft annex called for “encouraging evolutionary change” and defined as tasks of RFE and RL (and other USG-funded media) “avoiding any incitement to premature revolt” while “seeking to maintain faith in the eventual restoration of freedom.” Redacted document 76, FRUS, 1955-1957, XXV, unredacted document 12, Csaba Békés, Malcolm Byrne, and János M. Rainer, The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2002.)

  • October 25, 1956

    Policy Considerations for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    A CIA/International Operations Division official recommends policies to guide RFE broadcasting to Hungary during the revolution.

  • November 02, 1956

    Phone Conversation on Guidance for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    Radio Free Europe (RFE) Director Conerey Egan in New York telephones RFE Deputy Director Richard Condon in Munich to direct that RFE should report Hungarian developments and insurgent demands but not take a position for or against individual leaders or political parties.

  • November 03, 1956

    Comprehensive Guidance for Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    An authoritative, cautionary US government guidance, approved by Allen Dulles and Deputy Undersecretary of State Robert Murphy, conveyed to the Free Europe Committee that afternoon.

  • November 05, 1956

    Controversy Over Radio Free Europe Broadcasting

    Radio Free Europe (RFE) Director Conerey Egan reports RFE broadcasting policy problems to CIA.

  • November 05, 1956

    Radio Free Europe Encrypted Telex MUN 70, Richard Condon to W. J. Conerey Egan

    Richard Condon, the European Director of Radio Free Europe in Munich, messages with information about RFE personnel still inside Hungary.

  • November 08, 1956

    Department of State, Outgoing Telegram to Moscow Embassy

    The State Department requests that the embassy find out the status of an American citizen who works for Radio Free Europe who was detained in Hungary by Soviet military authorities.

  • November 09, 1956

    Impressions of Radio Free Europe Hungarian Broadcasts

    Frank Wisner discusses impressions of RFE broadcasts with interlocutors in Vienna

  • November 09, 1956

    Department of State, Incoming Telegram No. 1129

    US Ambassador to Moscow Charles Bohlen reports that he is sending a personal note to Foreign Affairs Minister Gromyko.

  • November 09, 1956

    Department of State, Incoming Telegram No. 1130

    Text of a personal note sent by Ambassador Bohlen to Foreign Affairs Minister Gromyko regarding an American citizen being detained in Hungary.

  • November 11, 1956

    Department of State, Incoming Telegram No. 1270

    The Embassy in Vienna reports that Radio Free Europe (RFE) staff recently detained in Hungary arrived safely in Austria.

  • November 12, 1956

    Radio Free Europe Encrypted Telex MUN 135, Richard Condon to W. J. Conerey Egan

    Richard Condon, Radio Free Europe (RFE) European Director reports the release of RFE staff from detention in Gyor, Hungary.

  • November 14, 1956

    US Government Appraisal of Radio Free Europe Broadcasts

    Cord Meyer forwards to Allen Dulles a State Department assessment dated November 13, 1956, of Radio Free Europe Hungarian and Polish broadcasts. The assessment was requested by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and was prepared by State Department official L. Randolph Higgs, responsible for coordinating RFE issues with CIA, and Meyer, who objected to an initial State Department draft.

  • November 16, 1956

    Proposed Interim Policy Guidance for Free Europe Committee, Draft

    The State Department approves with “comments and recommendations” a November 15, 1956, CIA/International Operations Division draft of revised guidelines for the Free Europe Committee (FEC) with handwritten revisions [presumably by a State official].