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Declassified U.S. Government Documents About RFE, RL Posted Online

WASHINGTON -- A diverse set of declassified U.S. Government documents that provide important insight on the first 23 years of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty has just been posted to the website of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s “Cold War International History Project.”

The 152 items in the collection range from the first memos in 1948 to call for a “committee of responsible foreign language groups” in Germany to be provided with “facilities for communication with their homelands” to a September 1971 chronology documenting the end of the CIA’s “twenty-plus years of responsibility for the two organizations.” They address such milestones as the birth of the Radios and their early 1950’s growing pains, RFE’s controversial performance during the 1956 Hungarian revolution, early 1960’s critiques of RFE Polish and Radio Liberty Russian programming, and the late 1960’s struggle for survival after the CIA’s covert funding of the Radios was revealed.

These documents were used as primary sources for former RFE executive Ross Johnson’s book, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond.