Last month Facts Forum News began a presentation of a
critical view of Radio Free Europe, the second installment of which appears on page 23 of this issue. Here is
RFE's own version of the effectiveness of the program.
Itiijhe Iron Curtain
RADIO FREE EUROPE'S OWN STORY-Part I
J forces and other special groups.
It is a private, not a governmental
inued to '"J ltatl°n- It does not broadcast to Soviet
ugees from «* fTss„la °7r East Germany, but only to
.From all of „" hveiron. Curtain countries named
in their to
'lerf above To three of "thosTcouVtries -
)f* ^'and, Czechoslovakia and Hungary
sentiment ?A , ''delivers a full radio service, in-
lers radio l's, t„,f '."S Programs of culture and en-
and th«^ ^"ainment as well as news, editorial
icracy alio l"i» m,H„.. ~~1~ Z, '""" "° "cyy=' cul""""
A special J2 IT ' ant'-Communist polemics, and
fector" the C "emontrations of the ethics and insti-
gime official, I™0™ of true democracy. Its five
pened to thJ^S* are national voices-Poles
e creed an"
fRr'ii'ut char*lSis„ "' c"">IU tneir own name, not in
Iliac nt | the name of the U. S. government or
write and K ,' , AmCT>ean people. Its chief cen-
ones nrogr4*^,of operation is in and around Mu-
' >i P1" in it V ermanv' broadcasts prepared
red'knowled^ 15 SV™*0**"*** c"ver,inK «>me
By IJer Cent of the rlmlv tnrnl inKina
J5 Per cent of the daily total airtime.
11 maintains a ml,,, .„„„■„„ .•„ r>„_*..
''''ctorf^Kar^^V"8 a reIaY service "inPortu"
i^ure exceeded St^ Eu^ haS ^
icnt, science-ifrorn abZ " °T"g * h°mVtation
,f them tf^m-Jfr, is borne out by the com-
... ti e h^'Cee L°f l^ and letters' A ref""
'' « C,^adiora°nmdteary SUid' "ThfS T
r ,o their c'H'jspeak over it9' A tTw P6°P *°
Tid patriots, ged -n."!1 A Bulgarian comment-
ind the Ii"n
its. ; ed "Tk .11 "'"K-iiiiin commeni-
nk ' En'rr, villagers listen to Radio Free
"|lnl,inPe because the programs are
evils' ',pokon> understandable to all,
on *JWrnf «d Peasants." A Czechoslovak
1 ' t Vnon 1' Ra/,io Free E"r°P<' is the most
s nia,or . ( j popular of stations, not only because
l'S " Th Xeo™ thf air a1' dav long but also
'""'■, t^Vak T °f the ""'"-"elv Czeehoslo-
"V s^lsean arfter of the broadcast..- An
s ol all f^ilgPee from Poland stated, "Radio
workers. Free Europe has t. kt , succeed.
. police, ' Jpers Forum News, February, 1956
ed in establishing a live contact between Poles in Poland and Poles in the
West. The programs, obviously broadcast by and for Poles, are based on
Letters reaching Radio Free Europe
from people behind the Iron Curtain
emphasize the kinship that has grown
between the RFE stations and people
under Communist domination. They
usually begin with such salutations as
"My fellow countrymen," "Dear compatriots abroad," "Our dear free brethren," "Beloved compatriots."
Americans at Radio Free Europe
work closely with the exiles — advising, guiding and lending their professional experience to the operation.
The American-exile relationship is one
of consultation among partners allied
in the common struggle for a free
world; it has resulted in a competent,
professional broadcasting operation
that has won the loyalty of millions
,A basic concept of Radio Free Europe programming is that truth is the
most effective weapon against Communist lies. The truth is used in many
ways. It matches the lies and distortions of the Communists with facts —
often in such a way that listeners can
check the facts with their own eyes
and ears. It reports news of the world
truthfully. Disagreements among free
world nations are neither ignored nor
glossed over; they are treated as elements of the democratic pattern,
wherein the right to discuss differ
ences freely stands in contrast to op-
prosivc conditions under Communist
rule. Radio Free Europe employs the
truth to expose events and conditions
which the Communist regimes would
prefer to hide from their people. In so
doing, it often forces the regimes into
admission or false denial of the circumstances.
The captive peoples are anti-Communist in overwhelming majority —
perhaps 80 to 85 per cent. They listen
to all the foreign broadcasts they can.
In certain countries—Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, particularly—RFE
is adjudged to be the favorite station.
It sustains its listeners' belief in the
superior strength of the Western powers and the higher moral and material
content of democracy. It brings them
reasons to continue their persistent
opposition to the puppets of Moscow
by whom they are governed. It does
not incite them to futile and dangerous acts of rebellion but guides their
thinking and shows them that their
spontaneous blocking of the purposes
of each regime is evidence of their
Radio Free Europe programs weaken the Iron Curtain regimes by
spreading dissent among Communists,
nourishing the anxieties of regime
functionaries, and creating a wholesome fear of retribution among those
who refuse to purge themselves of
their crimes against their fellow countrymen. John Hvasta, the Czechoslovak-American who was imprisoned in
Czechoslovakia for several years, observed that Communists he came in
contact with were often influenced by