During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe, RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976. Communist governments frequently sent agents to infiltrate RFEs headquarters, Radio transmissions into the Soviet Union were regularly jammed by the KGB. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency until 1972, RFE/RL was headquartered at Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, from 1949 to 1995. In 1995, the headquarters were moved to Prague in the Czech Republic, european operations have been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War. In addition to the headquarters, the service maintains 20 local bureaus in countries throughout their broadcast region, as well as an office in Washington. RFE/RL broadcasts in 28 languages to 21 countries including Armenia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the committee was composed of an A list of powerful U. S. Radio Free Europe received widespread support from Eisenhowers Crusade for Freedom campaign. In 1950, over 16 million Americans signed Eisenhower’s Freedom Scrolls on a publicity trip to over 20 U. S. cities, the NCFEs mission was to support the refugees and provide them with a useful outlet for their opinions and creativity while increasing exposure to the modern world. The NCFE divided its program into three parts, exile relations, radio, and American contacts, although exile relations were initially its first priority, Radio Free Europe became the NCFEs greatest legacy. The United States funded a long list of projects to counter the Communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe, RFE was developed out of a belief that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means. American policymakers such as George Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was essentially a war of ideas, the implementation of surrogate radio stations was a key part of the greater psychological war effort. RFE was modeled after Radio in the American Sector a U. S. government-sponsored radio service initially intended for Germans living in the American sector of Berlin, staffed almost entirely by Germans with minimal U. S. supervision, the station provided free media to German listeners. In January 1950 the NCFE obtained a base at Lampertheim, West Germany. In late 1950, RFE began to assemble a full-fledged foreign broadcast staff, teams of journalists were hired for each language service and an elaborate system of intelligence gathering provided up-to-date broadcast material. Most of this came from a network of well-connected émigrés. RFE did not use paid agents inside the Iron Curtain and based its bureaus in regions popular with exiles, RFE also extensively monitored Communist bloc publications and radio services, creating an impressive body of information that would later serve as a resource for organizations across the world. From October 1951 to November 1956, the skies of Central Europe were filled with more than 350,000 balloons carrying over 300 million leaflets, posters, books, the project served as a publicity tool to solidify RFEs reputation as an unbiased broadcaster
RFE/RL official logo
Newly constructed building of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague-Hagibor.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty transmitter site, Biblis, Germany