OSA / Highlights

First of May - EU Accession Day - Labor Day

HU OSA 300-30-30 box 13
RFE/RL Czechoslovak unit, miscellaneous records

In the summer of 1951, Radio Free Europe started to broadcast to Czechoslovakia from a new transmitter in Lisbon. This is a transcript from the script for the first program.

Inauguration Program of Radio Free Europe on short-waves, 31 meterband on July 4 1951 (Operation BARBARA-Lisbon).

"It is our task to serve you Czechoslovak democrats in order to serve the cause of peace, freedom and decent life all over the world. ---"

Music : Station theme.

Announcer: This station theme of Radio Free Europe was to be heard for the first time on May 1, 1951, when Radio Free Europe began broadcasting on a medium wave-length. On that day, Mr. C.D. Jackson, President of the National Committee for a Free Europe, in his inauguration address outlined the mission of this station. He said:

Jackson : You will hear regularly your compatriots in exile speaking to you in familiar tones. They will carry to you the voice of Free Czechoslovakia, and Radio Free Europe will bring you what we conceive to be a dependable American viewpoint on many problems of common concern. --

It would be rash to predict how soon or under what circumstances Soviet power will be withdrawn within the confines of its prewar frontiers. Nonetheless, there is a growing understanding in the United States that there can be no enduring peace until this occurs. World tranquillity cannot be achieved while the peoples of Eastern and Central Europe remain the prisoners of a foreign tyrant. Even if it could, the price itself would be far too great to pay.

Yet it is clear that once the tide of Soviet power recedes, we must search for something better than the outmoded pre-war European state system. We must have something better. And plans for something better are already maturing in the West.

As we look into the future, we see the gradual evolution of a united Europe. To an amazing extent, this idea has taken roots throughout the Western world. The growing influence of the Council of Europe, with its Consultative Assembly, and its Committee of Ministers, is evidence of this fact. And the progress made toward the realization of the Schumann Plan indicated to what an extent historical animosities are giving way to the necessity of political and economic integration. Needless to say, there can be no truly United Europe as long as the present unnatural lines of division persist. Before a truly United Europe can become a reality, the nations of Eastern and Central Europe, again free and independent, must be able to accept in such an organization the welcome that awaits them.

It may be that Czechoslovakia and its Eastern neighbors will feel the need of strengthening their hand in a United Europe by means of regional federation. Such a body might act as a brake upon the disposition of any of the Great powers to dominate a European Union. It would have the additional advantage of permitting within the frame work of the Regional Federation, the resolution of many of the frontier, nationality and economic programs that for so long embittered relations in your corner of the globe. But these are matters with which it would be premature to speculate. At the proper time, your voice will be heard on this subject. At present, one can only draw the vaguest outline of the dream of a more sound and enduring structure which is crystallizing in the Western world."


Excerpts from a home movie made by János Némedi Varga in Szeged, Hungary cca. 1958:
view or download 2 minutes in MPEG
The original film can be found in HU OSA 320-1-2 Collection of home movies.

A longer part of the original script of the program is available as scnanned PDF (8 pages).

HU OSA 300-30-30 box 13
RFE/RL Czechoslovak unit, miscellaneous records

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