For the Crusade for Freedom fund-raising campaign, which began in February 1953, American newspapers in the United States printed the following graphic story produced by the Advertising Council that is another example of the use of emotion as a rallying tool by the American media for Radio Free Europe:
Radio Free Europe tells the true story of Mrs. X and the child she was forced to sell to the State.
THE STORY TOLD in these pictures is documented by the receipt for the child Mrs. X was forced to sell. This receipt, signed by Comrade Lajtha, is in the possession of Radio Free Europe.
Truth is the most deadly weapon against Communist tyranny. By broadcasting to captive peoples behind the Iron Curtain the truth about Communism, Radio Free Europe stiffens the will to resist oppression - keeps hope for freedom alive.
Daily, Radio Free Europe exposes specific Red crimes with convincing. documented facts -- ripping Communist propaganda to shreds. And while this barrage of truth sows fear and confusion among the Communist ranks, it is pointing out the greatest friend these eager listeners have in the world-you!
1. On July 21, 1951, Mrs. X received a summons to report with her four-year-old son to the local organization of the State Kinder-garten for a "medical visit," Mrs. X was a devoted mother, whose husband had been sent by the Communist Party to work in the mines on the Hungarian border. She dedicated all her efforts to raising her little boy under the difficult circumstances in which they lived.
2. Reporting on the following day. Mrs. X was informed by Comrade Szigmond Lajtha that she had been selected as one of 500 women "volunteers" for a labor brigade. She would be permitted no dependents, but the State would take her child and make of him a real "man of tomorrow." The People's Government would generously give her 3,000 forints, ($272) for which she was forced to sign a receipt.
3. The tragic story ended a few days later when the heartbroken mother met instant death by throwing herself in front of an onrushing train. Although the Communists attempt to clamp a lid of secrecy on such terrifying occurrences, the people behind the Iron Curtain are getting the truth about hundreds of similar atrocities from the broadcasts of Radio Free Europe.
Readers were asked to complete a Freedom-gram to "Help Truth Fight Communism" and send in a contribution. The text, which was addressed to listeners of RFE behind the Iron Curtain, read:
Do you listen to Radio Free Europe? I hope you do, for I am one of millions of American citizens who has voluntarily contributed to build these stations, which bring Truth to you who are deprived of it.
In America millions voluntarily pray for an understanding between our peoples. Please add your prayers to ours. Surely our common faith in God is the place where hope for freedom begins.
I am a (occupation) _________________________
Note to Contributors: Replies to this Freedom-Gram may be received in a foreign language. If you should be unable to translate them, free translations may be obtained by forwarding the letters to Crusade for Freedom c/o your local Postmaster.
Six million Americans signed Freedom-Grams, which were then sent to Germany for inclusion in the balloons provided by the Free European Press and sent over the Iron Curtain in the months that followed.
The stated goals of the Advertising Council were:
Obtain the moral support and signatures of millions of Americans who want a chance to participate personally in the fight against Soviet aggression by sending messages of freedom behind the Iron Curtain.
Obtain the sum of $4,000,000 needed to support and expand the activities of Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia.
The fund-raising was a financial disappointment as the 1953 campaign took in contributions of only $861,000 against expenses of $930,000. This was the lowest amount of money raised in the Crusade for Freedom’s history. On the other hand, U.S. government support through CIA funding for the Free Europe Committee, Radio Free Europe, Free Europe Press, etc., amounted to almost $15,000,000.