September 26, 2016

Golfing for Radio Free Europe in the Cold War: Arnold Palmer - Jack Nicklaus Exhibition Match 1966

Professional Gold legend Arnold Palmer (1929-2016) died September 25, 2016, at age 87

Palmer, Nicklaus 1966
What is not generally known is that just over 50 years ago (September 8, 1966), he and Jack Nicklaus (another Golf legend) played an exhibition round of golf at the Wilmington Country Club (WCC) South Course in Wilmington, Delaware, on behalf of Radio Free Europe (RFE). The exhibition had been arranged by the Delaware Committee of the Radio Free Europe Fund (RFEF) as part of its fund-raising drive in 1966. 

Before the match, there was a $100-a-plate luncheon for 100 persons. At 1:30 PM, Palmer and Niklaus gave a 30-minute golf "clinic" to the assembled guests. Reportedly, 1,500 spectators purchased a ticket for $10 to watch the match.

The match began and 2 PM on the WCC South Course, with Palmer teamed with Delaware State Amateur Champion Roy Marquette. Jack Nicklaus was team up with another famed amateur golfer William (Bill) Hyndman III, from Philadelphia, who had participated in 15 National Amateur Golf Championships. Nicklaus shot a course-tying record of 69; Palmer shot 71; Marquette shot 73; and Hyndman shot 75. The Morning News newspaper edition of September 9, 1966, carried a photo in the "sports" section that showed the 1,500 spectators crowding around the first green. 

After the match, C. Rodney Smith, Vice-President of Free Europe, Inc., wrote a thank-you letter to the Delaware Committee Co-Chairmen, in which he said, “

The turnout for both the lunch and the golf exhibition and the newspaper and radio coverage were all amazingly good. It was a good illustration of how effective an imaginative idea can be when so well executed.

The wider knowledge about Radio Free Europe, as well as the financial support, generated by the lunch and exhibition with their attendant publicity is very valuable to us. The interest in RFE and East Europe displayed by the newsmen was impressive….It was a genuine pleasure to meet both of you and your distinguished guests, and to get to see Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in action. Their pre-match demonstration shots as well as their play on the course were something to watch. Those two have personalities to match their professional golfing abilities.

Smith at Left
RFEF Committee Co-chairman Thomas B. Evans, in a letter to C. Rodney Smith, wrote, “Your presence added a great deal to the occasion and the members of the press and radio were particularly impressed with what you had to say. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer both said it was as an enjoyable an exhibition as they had ever played in.”

The exhibition match raised $8,200 to help support Radio Free Europe. The 1965 Delaware fund raising campaign resulted in $3,500 in private contributions for RFE. Coincidentally, Nicklaus and Palmer each received $3,500 for their participation in the match. 

For more information about the life of Arnold Palmer, visit

Photo of C. Rodney Smith courtesy of Hoover Institution, Radio Free Europe Collection, Stanford University

Photo of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, after winning a team event in 1966 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Toby Massey/Associated Press

September 13, 2016

Nobel Prize Winner for Literature John Steinbeck and Radio Free Europe

The September 2016 National Steinbeck Center newsletter contains a short article about famed writer John Steinbeck and Radio Free Europe.

Below we will look at literary giant John Ernst Steinbeck (1902 - 1968), who won both the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for his works, and his relationship to Radio Free Europe. In July 1954, John Steinbeck visited Radio Free Europe. Steinbeck had received a request from RFE in June to visit the radio station. He and his wife then visited Munich for a week, during which time Steinbeck read this stirring, personal letter to RFE's listeners:

To my friends,

There was a time when I could visit you and you were free to visit me. My books were in your stores and you were free to write to me on any subject. Now your borders are closed with barbed wire and guarded by armed men and fierce dogs, not to keep me out but to keep you in. And now your minds are also imprisoned. You are told that I am a bad writer but you are not permitted to judge for yourselves. You are told we are bad people but you are forbidden to see and to compare. You are treated like untrustworthy animals, subjected to conditioning as cold and ruthless as though you were rats in a laboratory. You cannot travel, you cannot read freely and you cannot work at the profession of your choice. Your writers are the conditioned servants of a regime. All of this is designed to destroy your ability to think.

I beg you to keep alive the integrity of the individual in his ability to judge and compare and create. May your writers write secretly and hold their writing for the time when this grey anesthetic has passed as pass it must. The free world outside your prison still lives. You will join it again and it will welcome you. Everything around you is cynically designed to destroy you as individuals. You must remember and teach your children that they are precious, not as dull cogs in the wheel of party existence, but as units complete and shining in themselves.

Steinbeck had hoped to read his message on the air to RFE’s listeners in their own languages. He diligently practiced from phonetically written texts of his message and tapes prepared for him by RFE's broadcasters. Steinbeck eventually gave up on Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish, and decided to concentrate on Czech. According to former RFE political analyst Patrick Moore, "He was particularly concerned that the communist authorities in Czechoslovakia prevented his friends there from receiving the books that he had sent them." His wife Elaine finally convinced him to read his statement in English, telling him "Your English is so beautiful."  
Newspapers in the USA covered his visit to RFE. The Pittsburgh Press article published on September 4, 1954, began with: “Novelist Predicts Collapse of Soviet: Radio Free Europe airs Steinbeck.” He was quoted as saying; "The Soviet Union is the most reactionary country in the world. Hindering creative work, the Soviet will eventually destroy their own system…By destroying criticism the Communists have made any culture impossible.”

In November 1958, John Steinbeck send a letter concerning the Nobel Prize award to Boris Pasternak to Radio Free Europe in which he wrote:

The Award of the Nobel Prize to Paskernak and the Soviet outcry against it makes me sad but not for Pasternak. He has fulfilled his obligation as a writer, has seen his world, described and made his comment…[M]y sadness is for the poor official writers sitting in judgment on a book on a book they are not allowed to read. They are the ground vultures of art who having helped to clip their own wings are righteously outraged at Flight and contemptuous of Eagles.

In 1979, the U.S. Postal Service began a Literary Art series of stamps with the commemorative John Steinbeck stamp shown above.

For more information about the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, visit 

The National Steinbeck Center newsletter with the article about Patrick Moore and Radio Free Europe can be viewed at

September 06, 2016

Tin Pan Alley, Radio Free Europe, Crusade for Freedom and the Cold War: The Hy Zaret Story

Hy Zaret
According to the Wikipedia entry for Tin Pan Alley:

Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters, who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The name originally referred to a specific place: West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. One of the leading Tin Pan Alley songwriters to the mid 1950s was the lyricist Hy Zaret. In keeping with the theme of this blog, below we will briefly look at Hy Zaret and his little known contribution to the American Cold War efforts.

Who was Hy Zaret?

Hyman Harry Zaritsky was born August 21, 1907, in New York City. His parents were Russian emigres Max and Dora Zaritsky, who had emigrated to the U.S. in the 1890s.  He began working as a song lyricist in the 1930s and changed his last name to Zaret in 1934. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and became an official song writer for the U.S. Army Special Services.

Lou Singer
Lyricist Hy Zaret and composer Lou Singer began their song-writing collaboration in 1944: Zaret wrote the lyrics and Singer composed the music for their hit song "One Meatball" that has been recorded by numerous artists since then. 

According to Edit Fowke and Joe Glazer, who wrote the book Songs of Work and Freedom:

In 1947,  Hy Zaret and Lou Singer wrote their now-famous Little Songs on Big Subjects. Originally commissioned as Public Service ‘spot announcements’ for radio station WNEW in New York City, the songs were recorded by ‘The Jesters’ and immediately caught listeners’ fancy. The Institute of Democratic Education then made the records available to other radio stations, and within a few months they had played over five hundred stations throughout the country. Since then, these ‘Mother Goose Songs of Democracy’ have been heard on the air more than a hundred thousand times, have been praised by leading educators across the country, and have won a variety of awards and citations.

Zaret and Singer wrote the following copyrighted songs for the 1958 Crusade for Freedom fund-raising campaign in support of Radio Free Europe:
  • Radio Free Europe
  • Crusade for Freedom
  • March of the Truth Dollars
  • Freedom is not Free
The 1958 songs were used by the Advertising Council for nation-wide radio public service announcements recorded by then entertainment personalities such as Arthur Godfrey, Steve Allen, Eddie Fisher, and Dinah Shore. 



What does it say?
What does it do?
It cracks the Iron Curtain
And lets the truth get through

How does it work?
What does it prove?
It proves the Iron Curtain cannot keep out the truth.

RADIO FREE EUROPE cracks the Iron Curtain.
It gives a captive people a chance to hear the truth.

Listen to the Zaret and Singer song RADIO FREE EUROPE:



We swing along and sing a song of “freedom for all”
We are the Truth Dollars
Like little drops of water we can crumble a wall
We are the Truth Dollars
Behind the Iron Curtain we are giving them the truth
On Radio Free Europe we are speaking up for you
Freedom’s indivisible, so get on the ball
Send in your Truth Dollars.

Listen to their song MARCH OF THE TRUTH DOLLARS:


His most famous song (in collaboration with Alex North for the 1955 movie "Unchained") is "Unchained Melody" that has appeared in movies (including an Academy Award nomination) and been recorded, sung, or played by countless singers and music groups, including the Righteous Brothers, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, U2, as well as by the Boston Pops and London Symphony orchestras.  In 1984, Hy Zaret was inducted into the Song Writers Hall of Fame. 

Hy Zaret died July 2, 2007. Lou Singer died December 28, 1966.

For more information

Hy Zaret’s papers, songs, and correspondence, 1937 - 2003, are stored in the archives of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Carmel, Indiana.

Audio and lyrics of the song Radio Free Europe are courtesy of The Great American Songbook Foundation, with permission of the families of Hy Zaret and Lou Singer, the Musical Sales Corporation, Argosy Music Corporation, and Helen Blue Musique

September 03, 2016

The Second Crusade for Freedom Campaign: General Clay and the Appeal to American Women

The 1951 national campaign started on Labor Day, September 3, 1951, with a nationwide radio broadcast carried by the CBS network, which featured General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade National Chairman Lucius D. Clay, 1951 Crusade Chairman Harold E. Stassen, and others. The broadcast, narrated by famed television and radio journalist Edward R. Murrow, was also carried by Radio Free Europe. 

Eisenhower from Paris, France, said, "They (citizens of iron curtain countries) hunger also for the truth, to sustain them under the crushing weight of a godless dictatorship. You can help bring them the truth through the Crusade for Freedom. I trust every American will support whole-heartedly its campaign to use truth as a weapon against Communistic domination of the world."

General Clay gave a nation-wide radio address that was broadcast by radio station WNBC at 10:15 P.M., September 8, 1951. The New York Times headlined the speech on September 9, 1951: “CLAY OPENS APPEAL TO AID RED ‘SLAVES.’” 

There was also a Call to Action newspaper appeal, in the best Cold-war rhetoric, to the women of the United States to support the Crusade:

The CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM is our means, as private citizens, of insuring that the voice of liberty will be heard. Radio Free Europe is out personal instrument for adding our voice to the voices of truth penetrating the Iron Curtain.

This struggle (against Communism) reaches into every American home. It involves you and me. It affects the way of life of our children and our grandchildren.

The Crusade for Freedom and Radio Free Europe are one of the means, one of the powerful weapons that can be brought into play against the forces of tyranny— powerful because through them American citizens can dispel the chill blackness of evil ideas with the clear warmth and light of truth.

That is the primary reason why it is urgent for every woman to enroll in the Crusade for Freedom.

If we truly want a free world, then each and every one of us must be willing to play a part in bringing it about. It is not our way to leave our problems entirely resolved by government. It is our way as a people to join together in doing those things, which we believe worthwhile. The Crusade for Freedom presents the opportunity to each American to take a personal part in the struggle for freedom.

Therefore I call upon the women of America to join in the CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM. I ask you to take this positive action now.

By helping to win the battle for men's minds, we thereby help to keep this cold war from developing into a hot war. That is the primary reason why it is urgent for every woman in this nation to enroll in the CRUSADE FOR FREEDOM.

August 23, 2016

Radio Free Europe and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution: Reporting from behind the Iron Curtain: The Fred (Fritz) Hier Story

One of the lesser known stories of the Cold War is that Radio Free Europe sent reporters and technicians behind the Iron Curtain during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution – and some staffers crossed over into Hungary. The story of how they returned from Hungary is both dramatic and interesting, as we will read below.

The Director of RFE’s Munich operations, Richard Condon traveled in October 1956 to Vienna to oversee the RFE activities. Condon later reported to RFE’s headquarters in Munich:

When the rebellion began in Hungary we deployed most of the Austrian bureau staffs augmented by staff from Munich and other bureaus along the border. The staff had strict instructions not to attempt to enter Hungary, although correspondents from other news agencies were going in and although our staff reported that at some border crossing points there would be no problem of entry. Some had been invited into the country by Hungarians.

On Oct 31 the situation was that almost all border points were completely free. Austrian officials were allowing anyone in possession of a passport or travel document plus accreditation from a news gathering agency to leave Austria and return to Austria with no difficulties.

With the border situation as it was, and all indications at the time pointing to even freer one, I decided after consultation with staff here to allow staff enter Hungary to gather programming news and audience analysis material. All were told that no one was to make a break for Budapest, as several had requested, and that they were to operate only in clear territory.

At least 14 RFE staffers entered Hungary. One wasWilliam (Bill) Raedamaekers, who was the only Radio Free Europe American manager in Munich with Hungarian language abilities. He described his experiences to me, after he crossed over into Hungary:

I went into Hungary in 1956 with a car, driver and tape recorder to tape comments from the leaders of the revolutionary committees that had replaced the communists ion towns like Sopron, Gyor, etc. The electrical current in Sopron was 110 volts and my tape recorder---we didn’t have batteries---was 220, so they found this massive transformer, and we stuck on the hood of the car, while i interviewed the young leaders. I did bring tapes of my interviews back to RFE, but I doubt they were ever aired. The soviet invasion of November 4th made them more historic than current. Still, I asked the American programmer Ted Bell months later what happened to my interviews. He said they were wiped.

Condon sent a report back to Munich on November 5, 1956,

As of today all RFE staff who had been covering border situation and who had at various times been inside Hungary are back in Austria with the exception of:

Frederick L. Hier, U.S. citizen, chief of Salzburg bureau; Gabor Tormay, Austrian citizen and Hungarian reporter Vienna office; and Jerzy Ponikieswki, holder of U.S. Reentry Permit and presumably British travel document, Polish Stringer.

These three returned to Gyor Friday Nov 2 and in company of ten others, including Peter Wiles of Manchester Guardian, Swiss reporter, three or four German reporters and three or four British relief workers, could not return Austria that day when Soviets began establishing check points.

Who was Frederick L. Hier?

Frederick (Fritz) Lorenz Hier, then 34 years old, graduate of Dartmouth College (Class ’44), was born on March 24, 1922. His father was Frederick Hier and his mother Carol Lorenz. He worked as a correspondent in RFE’s Salzburg news bureau, starting in 1951.

His diary of his fourteen days in Hungary was published in his local newspaper The Daily Bulletin, Endicot, New York, on November 27, 1956: “The Rape of Hungary Described in Heir’s Diary.” Here are some verbatim excerpts from his diary:

Saturday, Oct. 27: – Arrived on the Austrian side of the border of Nickelsdorf at 4 p.m [...]Got chummy with Austrian guards who let us go two kilometers over to the Hungarian control house. Where “Freedom Fighters” in full control. Having thrown out Communist guards; torn down all flags and other Red signs; and ripped the stars and Hungarian army insignia from their uniforms.

Tuesday, Oct. 30: Plea to Munich to be allowed to go into Hungary.

Wednesday, Oct. 31: – Approval. Teams made up [...] Buy 12 cartons of cigarettes, 400 chocolate bars, American flags, maps, flashlight, etc., and take off at 3:30 p.m. Into Gyor hotel, “Red Star”after dark.

Sunday, Nov. 4: – Awakened at 5.45 by tanks and scores of other equipment including anti-aircraft guns. Town occupied by 7:00. Twenty to 30 tanks stationed throughout the city, two of them in front of the Rathaus right opposite our hotel. Plus anti-aircraft cannon pointed right at our window [,,,]Decided to try to drive out [...] But only got to Moson Magyarovar when stopped by Russian tank roadblock. Turned by to Gyor Hotel that night again, with population disturbed at our being refused exit is very upsetting to them.

Monday, Nov. 5:.Decision to appeal directly to Russians for escort over border [...] Gabor and I to Russians, where we spent two or more hours. Colonel with scar not very happy about us, a Major who spoke German the translator. Asked for my passport and press credentials. Some discussion of Radio Free Europe, but when asked why we broadcast to East I answered probably for the same reason Radio Moscow broadcast to West [...] Ended in fairly cordial atmosphere, we were told to return to hotel and wait. Forbidden to leave, “but you are living in comfort, do what you want inside, find yourself some girls and make babies if you wish.”

Thursday, Nov. 8: -- City slowly returning to normal except no one working.

Friday, Nov. 9: -- By 11:00 seven other newsmen from Budapest join us in hotel. Their cars and all equipment confiscated by Russians at Gyor roadblock. They very upset and scorn us pretty much because of my RFE affiliation, afraid that might get them into deeper trouble.

Saturday, Nov. 10: – At 9:15 p.m. English speaking Russian Major comes to hotel and asks “American to come to Kommandantura HQ.” [...] General reaches into pocket and pulls out black book and asks which of us is Frederick Hier. I so signify. [...] Asks me to sign statement that we were not harmed [...]We agree on statement which something as follows. “We the undersigned (General, Colonel, and Major) agree that Frederick L. Hier has not been held under arrest but merely detained in Gyor under comfortable circumstances in a hotel and due to existing conditions in the area at the time. I F.L. Hier have no formal complaint to make against Russian Military Unit. I sign this statement of my own free will and without external pressure.” There is some slight discussion about RFE again [...]I leave at 11:00 p.m. in a cordial atmosphere and with deep apologies from the General for the inconveniences caused me and my colleagues.
Sunday, Nov. 11: -- At 4:00 p.m. same Russian Major shows up and says we should report, fully packed to Kommandatura where we will get out papers (“Prospuskas”( for departure from Hungary {...] All goes well. Take off for Vienna via Sopron. One tank roadblack just outside of town and a second one outside of Sopron. Had to report to Sopron Kommandatura also, where went through paper formalities again. Told by Russian Major that he’s read our papers and listen to our radio, “Tomorrow to see how you report on what happened in Hungary.”

After a brief encounter with Hungarian border guards, Hier and the others crossed over in Austrian and were in Vienna an hour later. Hier concludes his diary with, “There seems to be no doubt that the fact the General had my name because of the protests lodged by RFE and Joan (his wife) through her many contacts. The case got to Eisenhower, was transmitted to Ambassador Bohlen in Moscow and then undoubtedly back to Russian Embassy in Budapest. Our supposition is that the Russians, over-sensitive in these times to western opinion, did want to make an issue of us – or me, to be more specific.”

Hier published a series of three articles about Hungary in the local newspaper Patent Trader, Mr. Kisco, New York, in December. His article of December 20, 1956, entitled “Soviets can’t crush Hungarian Spirit,” began with:

Vienna – I have just returned from two weeks in Hungary where I saw a nation of eight million rise up, almost to a man, in a cry for freedom.  The cry was stifled and the people beaten down by the force of the Russian army. And yet, when I left, the country was still fighting and the people defiant. Back in Vienna and the glitter of lights away from the clanking of Soviet tanks, one’s only thought can be: “My God, world, help these brave people.” I make no apology for having gone into Hungary as a news correspondent and having come out a missionary.

Frederick Hier left Radio Free Europe and became the European Director of international Rescue Committee (IRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. He would later become active in Dartmouth College activities and was at one time the Director of Dartmouth Horizons program.  Frederick (Fritz) Lorenz Hier died in Cornish, New Hampshire, on August 18, 1999, at age 77.

August 09, 2016

Radio Free Europe and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution: Green Candles

In the three previous posts, we looked at the Free Europe Press balloon/leaflet program “Operation Focus,” and the background and some of the continuing “myths” of Radio Free Europe’s broadcasts. Below we will look at how the 1956 Hungarian Revolution impacted the Crusade for Freedom’s fund raising efforts in the United States in behalf of Radio Free Europe.

Green Candles

Drew Pearson was famed newspaper journalist and Radio Free Europe supporter who was present at the first balloon launching “Winds of Freedom” in August 1951. His nationally syndicated column, “Washington Merry-go-round,” on November 8, 1956, was entitled “Candles in the Windows.” Pearson wrote about a meeting he once had with a Hungarian émigré named Dr. Bela Fabian, who told him,             

The Hungarian people will revolt. Hungary will be the first country to challenge its Soviet Masters.

Green is the color of the peasants’ party. It has become the symbol of freedom, the symbol of protest, or revolt. All over Hungary you will see green candles in the windows. The Soviets can’t stop them.
You will also see the green paint on the walls—slaps of green paint.  It’s a symbol. Your Crusade for Freedom has helped this. Your balloons have helped. They have carried messages, which keep the spirit of freedom alive. They have spread green all over Hungary … the Hungarian people are stirring. They will rise up when the time comes, and then they will look to you for help.

You win nothing in life without risking something, he told me. If you take no risks for friends you keep no friends. If you take no risks for freedom you lose your freedom.

Barnard College and Green Candles

Perhaps based on the Pearson article, Sophomore (second year) students at Barnard College, New York City, sold greeting cards and green candles from December 2, 1956 to December 19, 1956. The green candle was the symbol of  “hope that Hungary and other oppressed nations may become free.” The students asked that each dormitory window on the campus burn a green candle on December 19th. That night the two co-chairman of the drive Jackie Zelniker and Brenda Trishman, as well as Betsy Wolf, president of the sophomore class were photographed lighting a candle. By the time the fund drive ended, $300 had been raised. The money was divided between the International Rescue Committee and the World University Service.

Flight #367 from Budapest

The NBC television network series “Armstrong Circle Theater” aired a drama on November 13, 1956, that was “an actual drama of how a small group of Hungarians escaped to West Germany.” The television show was “Based on research material supplied by the Crusade for Freedom in support of Radio Free Europe and Free Europe Press.”  The host of the program was newsman John Cameron Swayze and one of those who appeared in the program, presumably as a commercial for the Crusade for Freedom, was Monsignor Bela Varga, who was part the first RFE Hungarian language broadcast in 1951.

Crusade for Freedom Newsletter
The December 1956 Crusade for Freedom Newsletter sent out to supporters focused on the events in Hungary. There were photographs and first person accounts of the events in Hungary. The newsletter editorial was “RFE must continue to bridge the Iron Curtain” and began with,

The Soviet Empire is in upheaval.  Long years of oppression and brutality are reaping their harvest...The smiling faces of the Russian overlords have been ripped from their faces...One of the major instruments keeping the truth alive behind the Iron Curtain through these dark years was Radio Free Europe, supported by the American people through the Crusade for Freedom. And today, more than ever before, Radio Free Europe is needed by the people behind the Iron Curtain.

In a press release, published in full in the December newsletter, Joseph C. Grew, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Free Europe Committee, denied in details that Radio Free Europe incited the Hungarian Revolution:

Since the uprising in Hungary, the Soviet press has falsely accused Radio Free Europe of inciting the rebellion … Radio Free Europe and Free Europe Press have performed the functions of a free press for the people behind the Iron Curtain.  It is vital that they continue this work until freedom is regained. It has never been the policy or practice of Radio Free Europe to incite rebellion; instead it has been the policy to keep the hope of ultimate freedom alive and to encourage the captive peoples to seek expanding freedom by peaceful means.

President Eisenhower's Morale Boost

On January 8, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a letter to Crusade Chairman Holman that demonstrated his continuing interest in and support of the Crusade campaigns:

Since the Crusade for Freedom began six years ago, I have wholeheartedly endorsed its concept and its activities. More than ever before, contributing to the Crusade is an effective way for every American 
to reassert his belief in the indivisibility of human freedom, and in the right of peoples, wherever they 
may live, to have governments of their own choosing.

Events of the past several months are dramatic evidence of the profound depths of the spirit of freedom, which motivates the peoples of captive Europe. Soviet military intervention and repression in Hungary, designed to crush the spirit of freedom so bravely shown by the Hungarian people, makes it more vital than ever 
that Radio Free Europe continue to provide all the subjugated peoples with unbiased truth about events in their own lands and in the Free World. These peoples must remain assured that their courageous demonstration of 
mankind’s everlasting love of freedom is not passing unnoticed.

Arthur Page as president of the Crusade for Freedom sent out a letter to Crusade leaders on January 15, 1957, quoting from the Eisenhower letter and adding,        

We of the Crusade more than ever must rise to the increased responsibilities, which 1957 is placing on us. We know now – because of the way in which the American people responded to the Hungarian situation – that Americans will expect much of the Crusade. We must more than fulfill their expectations.

The events of Hungary in October and November 1956 played an important role in the local campaigns: in the materials given to the 1957 Crusade participants there was a letter from RFE’s President General Willis D. Crittenberger: “You may be assured that no broadcast by Radio Free Europe has been designed to incite to rebellion the captive peoples behind the Iron Curtain. Nor has Radio Free Europe ever offered promises of American military intervention.“ 

The Free Europe Press subsequently published the following.

  • A 112-page illustrated book covering all the important events of the Hungarian Revolt—described as a “stirring and factual account of the heroic struggle.”
  • Thrice-weekly newspaper “Magyar Hilap” for Hungarian Refugees at Camp Kilmer, New York.
  • A 48-page handbook for refugees relocating to the U.S. with a dictionary and orientation course on the U.S.