Saturday, May 29, 2021

Radio Free Europe

Radio Free Europe (RFE) was established in 1949 and Radio Liberty (RL) was established in 1951.  In 1976 the two organisations merged together.  These radio stations were run by the United States and they broadcast American propaganda in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.  The goal was to inspire independence movements within the Warsaw Pact countries and to counter Soviet propaganda within these countries.

During the Cold War, Radio Liberty targeted the Soviet Union while Radio Free Europe broadcast to Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and the three Soviet Baltic states.  The communist governments weren't keen on American propaganda and they routinely tried to jam the transmissions.  In 1959, an StB agent attempted, but failed, to poison the salt shakers in RFE's cafeteria.  

RFE was headquartered in Munich, West Germany until 1995.  In 1995, the headquarters were moved to Prague.

Here's an old 1960's or 1970's public service announcement about RFE broadcasting to Hungary that I found out on YouTube.

Following the end of the Cold War, operations in Europe were decreased.  RFE stopped broadcasting to Czechoslovakia in 1992 but Czech programming lasted until 2002 and Slovak programming ended in 2004.

Broadcasts to Hungary ended in 1993 while broadcasts to Poland ended in 1997.  Broadcasts began in 1994 in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian to the former countries of Yugoslavia.  In 1999, Albanian broadcasts began in Kosovo.  In 2000 broadcasts began in Montenegrin and Macedonian broadcasts began in 2001.  In 2004, broadcasts ended in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Romania.  In 2019, programming resumed in Bulgaria and Romania.  In 2020, programming resumed in Hungary.

Today, RFE/RL broadcast to 23 countries in 27 languages.  Its headquarters remain in Prague even though no content is produced in Czech.  Here's where they currently produce material for.

No comments:

Post a Comment