OSA / Highlights

In the News: John Paul II

John Paul II, formerly Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, was elected pope in 1978, some ten years before the collapse of communism in central Europe. REF/RL began closely to monitor his activities already in the sixties, and its Research Institute assembled a vast amount of documents related to him, to postwar Polish history (including dissident movements and the Catholic church) and to the Vatican.

Most of the material consists of press clippings, news agency releases, research papers, background analyses, transcripts of Polish radio broadcasts, letters and émigré publications. In some cases, speeches and press photos are included.

During one period Radio Free Europe ran a special information bureau in Rome in order to keep up to date with political and diplomatic developments in the Vatican and in Italy. The bureau collected news agency reports and articles mainly from the Italian press, as well as reports by Western news agencies; some of the official communiqués of the Vatican can also be found among its documents. A substantial amount of press and court documents cover the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1981.




Find a list of links to the most comprehensive sources held at OSA:

  • 300-50-1 RFE/RL Research Institute, Polish Unit, "Old Code Subject Files", boxes 650-724 (1961-1974) (Note: 77 boxes, or 50-75000 pages)
  • 300-50-15 RFE/RL Research Institute, Polish Unit, Biographical files, (1979-1974) boxes 44-45
  • 300-120-7 RFE/RL Research Institute, Western Press Biographical Archive: Biographical files, (1978-1993) boxes 91-95
  • 300-1-1 RFE/RL Research Institute, Rome Bureau, ( 1973-1986) boxes 3-5, 15-19
  • 300-120-1 RFE/RL Research Institute: Library, Western Press Archives, Biographical files, (1970-1994) boxes 104-112
  • You can also download the Reference Information Paper no 5, Church and Religion
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