Reconsidering Radio Free Europe's role in the 1956 Hungarian uprising (updated).

Posted: 31 Oct 2006   Print   Send a link
"Hungary 1956: Radio, Film, and History" at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, will look at the allegations that "Radio Free Europe had irresponsibly encouraged the uprising, promising military support that would never come." A Ross Johnson, "former acting president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and former director of the RFE Research Institute, will be presenting the findings of his recent work in the archives of RFE." Also speaking is Michael Nelson, who has written about RFE. Lunch will be served. USC Center on Public Diplomacy. And while you in California, drive up to the Hoover Institution at Stanford to see the exhibit “A Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Hungarian Uprising of 1956,” featuring RFE recordings from the time of the crisis. The exhibit ends 15 December. Hoover Institution press release, 11 September 2006. "Can RFE be blamed for those perceptions, or were Hungarians simply hearing what they wanted to hear? RFE's message was often exaggerated by word of mouth, or simply confused with other broadcasts. Many Hungarians insist to this day that RFE promised that U.S. paratroopers were on their way. No such promise was ever made. ... RFE, whose Hungarian section was dominated by right-wing Hungarian emigres, bitterly attacked Nagy as a communist traitor. Here, Gati argues, the U.S. failed to reach for small but attainable gains — a turn away from hard-line Stalinism and a moderate distancing from Moscow." Christopher Condon, Los Angeles Times, 29 October 2006. See previous post about RFE and the Hungarian uprising. Update: "At the same time Dulles was reassuring everybody that nothing would be done, Radio Free Europe was explaining to its listeners how to make molotov cocktails and hinting at the American invasion to come. To use contemporary language, a part of the U.S. government was 'promoting democracy.' Another part was 'advocating stability.' The result was a bloody mess." Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, 31 October 2006.