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Rare RFE Polish Service Recordings from Hungarian Revolution Restored

Panel discussion devoted to the newly restored RFE Polish Service broadcasts. (l-r) Nikodem Bończa-Tomaszewski, Bea Lukács, Manfred Hanspeter, Ross Johnson, Andrzej Mietkowski.
WARSAW, POLAND -- On November 3, Polish Radio launched on-demand streaming on its web site of key RFE Polish broadcasts from 1956. These low-quality shortwave audio recordings were discovered among rare transmitter log tapes for the crucial three weeks of the Hungarian Revolution and the Polish October (liberalization of the Communist regime) that were preserved in the German Federal Archives and recovered from paper-baked tapes by RFE/RL.

Earlier, the Hungarian National Szechenyi Library isolated and transcribed the RFE Hungarian broadcasts for this period. Now, by agreement with RFE/RL, Polish Radio has identified and isolated the Polish broadcasts, which it introduced at a November 3 conference jointly organized with the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Warsaw. At the conference, Polish, Hungarian, and American participants discussed the history and recovery of the 1956 broadcasts, the political situation in Poland and Hungary in October 1956, and the content and role of RFE broadcasts to both countries at the time.

Conference participants also heard via Skype a presentation by a representative of the Romanian Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Diaspora , which by agreement with RFE/RL has isolated the RFE Romanian broadcasts for this same period and is making them available both in Bucharest and at the Hoover Archives.

-- A. Ross Johnson and Manfred Hanspeter