The War of the Princes: The Bohemian Lands and the Holy Roman Empire 1546-1555

Petr Vorel
Helena History Press, 274 pages

Description:

The War of the Princes

The mid 16th century represents a turning point in the history of Central Europe. The power politics of Emperor Charles V of Habsburg, culminating in the first phase of the military conflict with the opposition within the Holy Roman Empire (1546-1547), after a short time ran up against the effective resistance of protestant princes, who after the subsequent military victory (1552) used diplomacy to force the emperor to accept the Lutheran reformation (1555). After the subsequent abdication of Charles V, the main activities of Habsburg politics within the empire were taken over by his younger brother Ferdinand I., then King of Bohemia. 

Up to now the historiography, which in the case of the central European power crisis of the mid 16th century focuses primarily on the confessional and political dimension of this conflict, has not taken the significance of the Kingdom of Bohemia (nowadays Czech Republic) into consideration in the given contexts. This is the result of the fact that the Bohemian estates did fulfill neither the mandate of their king, nor the requests of the Lutheran German princes for military aid. The relatively strong Bohemian estates army did not in the end participate in 1547 on the Habsburg side even on the Saxon side. 

But why? What really happened in Bohemia at that time? Was it the betrayal of Lutheran co-religionists in the Empire and former political allies on the domestic political scene, or the statesmen’s prudence, that prevented the country’s military devastation? How is it possible that, for the following several decades, after the Estates opposition was suppressed by King Ferdinand in the year 1547, the Kingdom of Bohemia experienced a long period of peace, unusually extensive religious freedom and extraordinary economic prosperity, even accompanied by the transfer of the Emperor’s permanent residence to Prague (in 1583)? Why, for the Bohemian royal towns which were stripped of all their assets and had their political power removed in 1547, does the second half of the 16th century represent a time of extraordinary internal cultural and structural development? Also, the Unity of the Brethren, whose members were expelled from Bohemia in 1547, represented the most important and well-organized political power in the country just half a century later. How is it possible that the Bohemian political elites, weakened by monarchal sanctions in the year 1547, managed to reject the principle of the so-called Religious Peace of Augsburg of 1555 a few years later? Why, instead of politically-enforced confessionalization, commonly applied in the Holy Roman Empire, did the Kingdom of Bohemia offer the already confessionally-broken Christian Europe its own solution: Charter on Religious Freedom (1609)?

This book does not offer any simple solution. Nevertheless, it can contribute to the understanding of the deeper roots of the complicated situation in Central Europe two generations later (at the start of the 17th century), when the Bohemian Estates and the Prague intellectual political centre became (for the last time in its long existence) a driving force of “great” European history.

About the Author:

Petr Vorel: is a Czech historian, who serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Pardubice. He holds a PhD in history and Russian studies from Charles University in Prague where he also serves as an external lecturer. He headed the Association of Historians of the Czech Republic for several years, and serves as editor in chief of Theatrum Historiae, a scientific journal published by the University of Pardubice since 2006. 

Professionally Dr.Vorel deals mainly with Czech history of the early modern period, its nobility and the history of banking. He is considered an expert in numismatic history and was the organizer of an exhibition Thousand Year Tradition of Czech Currency from X to XXI Century organized by the Czech Center of New York. In 2000 he received the Egon Erwin Kisch Award for his book, Lords of Pernštejn.

White and Red Umbrella. The Polish American Congress in the Cold War Era (1944-1988)

Joanna Wojdon

Description:

White and Red Umbrella

The Polish American Congress is an umbrella organization that represents approximately ten million Americans of Polish descent. It was founded in 1944 with the aim of representing the interests of the Polish nation in the view of the Soviet plans to subjugate Poland and at the same time of promoting the Polish American ethnic group in the United States. It is the largest and longest-lasting Polish American organization of it’s kind.

This volume presents goals and everyday activities of the Polish American Congress under the presidencies of Charles Rozmarek (1944-1968) and Aloysius Mazewski (1968-1988) who shaped its image in the Cold War era. It deals with the issues of both the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of the PAC in representing Polish American interests, as a coordinator of various Polish American endeavors, as a lobbying organization, and as an institution providing cultural and social unity for Poles in America. It discusses internal and external factors that influenced the Congress, portrays the personalities of its activists and examines the PAC’s achievements and faults. 

Despite its significance in both the Polish American community and the political clout which it wields, the PAC has not attracted much scholarly attention. This book is based on the research conducted at the Immigration History Research Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the materials of the national headquarters are deposited, and in other American and Polish archives where supplementary materials and holdings of local PAC branches can be found.

Joanna Wojdon is an associate professor at the Institute of History, University of Wrocław (Poland). The history of Polish Americans after WWII is one of her major research interests, alongside the history of education under communist regime. Her research in the Polish American archives was possible thanks to the Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship (2003) and Fulbright Senior Award (2014).

Agents of Liberation: Holocaust Memory in Contemporary Art and Documentary Film

Zoltán Kekési
Translated from the original Hungarian by Reuben Fowkes
Co-published in cooperation with the Central European University Press
180 pages, about 40 color still photos from films, 2015 

Agents of Liberation

The book explores representations of the Holocaust in contemporary art practices. Through carefully selected art projects, the author illuminates the specific historical, cultural, and political circumstances that influence the way we speak—or do not speak—about the Holocaust. The book’s international focus brings into view film projects made by key artists reflecting critically upon forms of Holocaust memory in a variety of geographical contexts. Kékesi connects the ethical implications of the memory of the Holocaust with a critical analysis of contemporary societies, focusing upon artists who are deeply engaged in doing both of the above within three regions: Eastern Europe (especially Poland), Germany, and Israel. The case studies apply current methods of contemporary art theory, unfolding their implications in terms of memory politics and social critique.

Stigmatized: A History of Hungary’s Internal Deportations during the Communist Dictatorship

( Megbélyegzettek: A kitlelepítések tragédiája)

Kinga Széchenyi
Interviews translated by Katica Avvakumovits
Including first person interviews

About the Author:

Kinga Széchenyi, educator, writer, and sculptor graduated from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest Hungary in 1970. She then taught at Toldy Ferenc Secondary Grammar School, and later became a teacher trainer for Eötvös Loránd University. She translates English and American literary works and psychology publications.

Széchenyi researched the internal deportations of the Rákosi dictatorship and published Megbélyegzettek, the Hungarian language edition of Stigmatized (Krater Kiadó, Pomáz, 2008). She has given lectures on the internal deportations at conferences and at institutions in Hungary, the USA, and Transylvania, Romania. The second edition of the Hungarian work was released by Helikon Publishing in June of 2015.

She studied sculpture at Dési-Huber Art School, Budapest, and makes plaquettes and statuettes. Her János Bolyai and Gyula Farkas plaquettes are given as awards for mathematicians at international conferences. Her large Bolyai plaquette is on a memorial tablet in Marosvásarhely, Transylvania. 

She was awarded the Silver Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic for her achievements in education in 1998.

Description:

Stigmatized

“We do not like to remember but must remember… we must recall these events to be able to fight against future dictatorships.” These are words Kinga Széchenyi uses to introduce her work dealing with the internal deportation and attempt at eradication of Hungary’s upper and professional classes by the Hungarian communist regime at the height of the Cold War. 

This meticulously researched and very personal volume, recounts in detail the history of the internment or as it is most often referred to, the internal deportation, in Hungary of Hungary’s aristocracy and professional classes during the era of Mátyás Rákosi, 1947-1953. Hungarian history under Rákosi’s leadership was hallmarked by dictatorial control and atrocities of an unprecedented scale after he and his fellow communists consolidated their power in 1947. 

Rakosi and his cohorts were Hungarian Communists indoctrinated and trained in the Soviet Union during the interwar period and returned to Hungary at the end of World War II by the Soviet Union. The Hungarian communists quickly assumed total control of the nation, then occupied by Soviet troops, as was the case in the other countries of Central and East Europe. The Hungarian regime under the leadership of Rákosi exercised total, dictatorial control while they themselves were puppets of the Soviet Union. 

In a proletarian dictatorship some strata and groups become enemies, or scapegoats. In Hungary’s case it was those people who still had private property, or had it until 1945, or were earlier in high-ranking civil or military positions, and those whose ideas differed from communist ideology. The leadership in power tried to convince the population at large of the above mentioned groups’ guilt, and they served as scapegoats for the regime. The Rákosi period was characterized by house searches, wire tapping, arrests, people going missing, purges, show trials. Many people were imprisoned, sent to internment camps, forced labor camps, many thousands were deported. 

Just as in the Soviet Union, instead of a system of liberty and equality, the Hungarian dictatorship became a brutal and oppressive regime. The first part of this book details the atrocities of the Rákosi dictatorship and includes extensive research based on documents and archival materials that now can be found and accessed but are far from complete. Documents exist which illustrate the actions preceding the internal deportations and how the deportees were listed; the author also provides evidence of the legal justification the authorities fabricated to justify their actions and all repressive restrictions imposed on the deportees. 

Deportation left its unforgettable mark on its victims for a lifetime. In 1953, after Stalin’s death, Rákosi’s power was reduced in an attempt to show “collective leadership” within the party. Due to the so-called Clemency Law of July 1953, the deportees were released. However, the internally displaced citizens were not allowed to return to their original residences, there was no restitution of property then or later. They were under police supervision for a very long time, some of them until the political changes in 1989–90. For decades they were discriminated against when they applied for jobs or wanted to continue their studies; they were unable to rid themselves of the “class enemy” stigma.

In the second part of the book the deportees themselves recount their experiences. These personal reminiscence bring alive the private tragedy of the internal deportations caused by the Rákosi era leaders and their subordinates. There are victims who even after many years are unable to process and be at peace with their internment and its consequences. These memoirs illustrate the long-term impact of the internal deportations not only on individuals, but the tragedy of the loss of its intellectual and professional classes to Hungarian society at large. 

In addition to giving a general overview and illustrating the process of the deportation, the assembled documents provide valuable first hand evidence of the tyranny of the party state and of this tragic period of Hungarian history.

21st Century Hungarian Language Survival in Transylvania

Judith Kesserű Némethy: New York University, Editor

Contributors:

  • Noémi Fazakas – Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Târgu-Mureș, Romania 
  • Rita Fóris-Ferenczi – Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Orsolya Nádor – Károli Gáspár University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Attila Z. Papp – Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Janos Péntek – Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
  • Krisztina Sárosi Márdirosz – Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Târgu-Mureș, Romania 
  • Borbála Zsemlyei – Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Description:

21st Century Hungarian Language Survival in Transylvania

The book examines the present-day situation of Hungarian as minority language in Romania. It is an important addition to the study of the Hungarian language in the Diaspora that should be of interest not only to linguists and sociolinguists but to historians and political or social scientists, educators, and dialectologists as well. The problems presented, albeit referring specifically to the Hungarian language in Romania today, have parallels across borders and across all languages spoken by minorities. 

Survival of minority languages, be it Quechua in Peru, Irish in the United Kingdom, Spanish in the United States or Hungarian in the Carpathian Basin, depends on historical, geopolitical, and sociolinguistic factors. To a large degree it also depends on the politics of the governing majority country, whose regulations have repercussions on all aspects of education, work environment, and cultural and social life. In fact, in the course of the twentieth century, after Hungary was dismembered following the 1920 Treaty of Trianon and one third of its population became minorities of neighboring countries, their use of Hungarian has been greatly weakened by unrelenting restrictive or even punitive policies on the part of successive governments. Today, political and social pressure, coupled with the passage of time and globalization, threatens to endanger the very existence of the Hungarian language outside of Hungary, and with it the minority’s national identity as well. 

Multilingualism and cultural diversity are at the core of the European Union’s linguistic political discourse, and instruction in minority languages is an important part of it. Yet although the social and ideological environment has drastically changed since the fall of the Communist regimes, the goal of achieving multilingualism, and especially that of minorities reaching full bilingualism in both their mother tongue and the majority language, is facing nearly insurmountable obstacles. In fact, where nationalist linguistic ideology drives homogenization, the EU has been unable to implement its policy of protection of cultural diversity, with lethal consequences for the minorities’ survival, as citizens equal in rights and opportunities to the members of the majority.

The six essays in this volume, written by Hungarian academics living in Transylvania and Hungary, deal with historical, political, educational, legal, social, and linguistic aspects of minority language survival in Transylvania. They also point to the tools that make possible the reversal of the trend toward linguistic and cultural assimilation, tools that could also open the path toward a healthy multicultural and multilingual coexistence. The essays are preceded by an introduction with an overview of majority-minority relations today and their governance through international covenants. It delves into the history of Transylvania within the history of Hungary, delineating the forces that contributed to the make-up of its population and shaped the interaction among its ethnicities. It finally expands on the situation of Transylvanian Hungarians as minority since the end of World War I to this day. Five maps illustrate the ethno-geographical changes of the Hungarian population in the Carpathian Basin since the fifteenth century to date.

Orsolya Nádor’s essay, “East Central European Traditions Shaping Language Policy and Language Instruction,” is a historical review of the evolution and status of the Hungarian language since the Middle Ages, both in majority and minority situation. The author analyzes the role of linguistic ideologies in shaping the attitude towards majority and minority policies leading to linguistic conflicts in East Central Europe. Through a review of international language laws, we come to the question of survival of the minorities in a homogenizing nation-state ideology. 

In “Educational Policy Concepts in the Carpathian Basin,” Attila Z. Papp outlines the main changes in Hungarian minority education in the four countries housing today the largest Hungarian minorities: Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and the Ukraine. The author contextualizes minority education policies by reflecting on challenges related to major demographics, educational statistics and institutional development processes.

Rita Fóris-Ferenczi and János Péntek aim to present the Hungarian sub-system of Romanian public education in their essay “Hungarian Public Education in Romania, with Particular Attention to the Language(s) of Instruction.” The authors make the case for the Hungarian minority’s specific situation within the Romanian educational system, in view of their sheer numbers and historic traditions. In Transylvania where they have lived as an indigenous community for 1,000 years, Hungarians constitute nearly 20% of the population. Therefore, they consider it their basic right to study in their native language, but are confronted by a system that does not support the development of high level bilingualism.

Noémi Fazakas’ paper “The Hungarian Language in Transylvania: Its Existence in the Diaspora and the Possibilities of Revitalization” portrays the complexities of bilingualism and of language shift and maintenance, as well as the possibilities of revitalization. She examines the level of endangerment in three distinct types of demographic and linguistic situations of Hungarians in Transylvania: the compact territory of the Székely lands, the island situation, and the diaspora of Northeastern and Southern Transylvania. Based on a thorough theoretical backdrop, Dr. Fazakas studies the possibilities of reversal of language shift and revitalization through the implementation of minority linguistic rights as part of the basic human rights.

Krisztina Sárosi-Márdirosz’s “The Official Register of the Hungarian Language Used in Transylvania” is a sociolinguistic study of the impact of Romanian upon the official register of the Hungarian language as it appears in the audiovisual media, specifically in official, administrative and political discourse. While current legislation allows the use of the minority language when its percentage is of at least 20% of the population, the official register of the Hungarian language is underdeveloped, and users encounter many problems while trying to translate laws, acts and documents from Romanian. Based on a two-year extensive monitoring of the Hungarian electronic media in Transylvania, during which specific errors, inconsistencies and problems of translation were analyzed, Dr. Sárosi-Márdirosz identifies the tasks related to problems of translation derived from an imbalanced bilingualism. Her conclusion is that these can be solved, provided that a conscious expansion of journalism instruction in Hungarian is implemented by Romanian universities and adopted by the media. 

In “Language Use in the Hungarian Electronic Media in Romania,” Borbála Zsemlyei follows up on Dr. Sárosi-Márdirosz’s theme by presenting the characteristics of the Hungarian language use of reporters and correspondents of the Hungarian electronic media in Romania. The goal was to determine the extent to which reporters and correspondents follow standard norms, the mistakes they tend to commit, and the most common language phenomena. The analysis covers all substructures of language: pronunciation, morphology, lexicology and semantics, syntax, and stress, even including pragmatics, and presenting, with numerous examples, the influence of Romanian over the Hungarian phrases. The paper concludes that mistakes are linked not only to foreign influence, but also to poor competence in Hungarian, denoting the strong influence of the bilingual context of which it is part. It is from this reality that a policy of language planning must be built in order to maintain and revitalize the Hungarian language in Romania.

Night and Fog: The Collected Dramas and Screenplays of Danilo Kiš

Translated and with an introduction by John K. Cox

Description:

Night and Fog

This volume of translations represents the entire dramatic and cinematic ouevre of the Yugoslav writer Danilo Kiš (1935-1989). The seven dramas and screenplays are accompanied by a historical introduction by the translator, John K. Cox, who has also translated two of Kiš’s novels (The Attic and Psalm 44) and a volume of his short stories (The Lute and the Scars). Written mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, the themes of the works in this anthology vary widely. Of the seven translations in Night and Fog, two address classical literary themes, one is a dramatization of part of Kiš’s own A Tomb for Boris Davidovich, and the others explore personal and political conflicts during the Holocaust and the first decades of socialism in Tito’s Yugoslavia and Hungary. What they have in common is Kiš’s ear for precise language, telling detail, epistemological and narrative anxiety, and, in most of the pieces, his eye for the personal costs and often lethal emotional turmoil of individuals in communist and fascist systems. As readers work their way through the torturous and unsatisfying workings of the characters’ memories, they are also exposed to many seldom-discussed details of life in Tito’s Yugoslavia from the split with the Cominform in 1948 to the student uprisings of 1968. Many people who knew Kiš consider A Wooden Trunk for Thomas Wolfe to be his finest play; it is the chronicle of the intense relationship of two men, one broken by Hitler’s death camps and the other by Stalinism, as they wrestle with their own physical infirmities and artistic impotence. Night and Fog, the translator’s favorite, originates in the same milieu—the multicultural region of Vojvodina between Belgrade and Szeged— as Kiš’s other autobiographical writings about the childhood of a young male character named Andreas Sam. But in this play a twenty-something Sam tracks down a married couple in Hungary who had been teachers in his wartime home town, and their three-way sparring over contested memories transitions slowly from nostalgia to bitter awareness of lies and collaboration. The Mechanical Lions is a must for anyone who has read A Tomb for Boris Davidovich; this stage version of the main story in Kiš’s path-breaking eponymous short story collection leads through terrain familiar to readers of Darkness at Noon and A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Written with vintage Kiš wryness, spareness, and emotional force it bounces around through time and place to tell the story of the Soviet purges in the 1930s, and honor and historical truth join Old Bolsheviks and international activists on the secret police’s hit list.

In Search of the Budapest Secession: The Artist Proletariat and Modernism’s Rise in the Hungarian Art Market, 1800–1914

by Jeffrey Taylor, Assistant Professor of Arts Management, Purchase College, State University of New York 

Distributed by Central European University Press: Budapest and New York

Description:

In Search of the Budapest Secession

This important work by American historian Jeffrey Taylor, who spent the last two decades in Hungary and earned his PhD at Central European University in Budapest, serves to detail the nineteenth century origin of the art market in a Central European nation as its economy was shifting from total dependence on agriculture to a mixed industrial/agricultural model during the Industrial Revolution. The creation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867 provided Hungary with a measure of equality with Austria, initiating a period when the social and cultural development of Hungary and its newly emerging professional and merchant classes provided a new marketplace,which while bourgeois in nature nevertheless brought “art” to a greater portion of the population. Taylor provides us with a fascinating history beginning in eighteen-hundred of the art market of Hungary, of the rise of modernism and its conflict with traditional elements. This book is a valuable addition to the history of European art of the 19th century and one which gives us an insight into the commercial aspects of the art marketplace which have not been explored by previous scholars. 

The Editors

The art market of Hungary began in Pest ( Buda and Pest were not joined into one city until 1873) around 1800 in the shops of booksellers who also dealt in maps, sheet music, and prints. The sale of paintings first began to appear in the form of the Pest Art Union, and then in the Kunsthalle model. By the late 19th century, however, the art market operated in a salon system which proved incapable of absorbing the rapidly expanding capacity of artist production. The population of artists in Budapest grew at a rate of approximately 7% a year in the last four decades preceding World War I. The vast over-production of artists and artworks produced a mad scramble for new retailing models as alternative salons, private galleries, studio exhibitions, salon des refusés, one-man shows, and groupings with aesthetic agendas all competed for the public’s attention. Secessions followed upon secessions, and the art politics of the period divided in to three camps, only one of which was Modernist in orientation, and they increasingly found themselves losing control of institutions to a stylistically stagnant, egalitarian-oriented artist proletariat. Therefore, by the early 20th century the more progressively-inclined artists began to turn towards the new commercial gallery models as the most successful venue for their work.

German War — Russian Peace: The Hungarian Tragedy, The wartime memoir of Hungarian Minister Antal Ullein-Reviczky

Translated from the original French by Lovice Maria Ullein-Reviczky
Introduction by Tibor Frank

Description

German War Russian Peace


The book contains the wartime memoirs of Antal Ullein-Reviczky, first published in French in 1947 in Switzerland as Guerre allemande, paix russe. Le drame hongrois. This is the first English edition of his book, translated from the French original by Lovice Mária Ullein-Reviczky. His memoir is an invaluable source about Hungary’s fate in World War II. Ullein-Reviczky’s work was based partly on the public and private documents he succeeded in saving throughout the war and his long years of exile in Turkey, Switzerland, France, and Britain where he died. Written by a well-informed insider and a shrewd observer, this book remained essentially unknown in the English-speaking world. Antal Ullein-Reviczky s memoirs represent an important source of the history of Hungary from German war through Russian peace.

The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare: Cold War Organizations Sponsored by the National Committee for a Free Europe

Katalin Kádár Lynn, Editor

Contributors:

  • Veronika Durin-Hornyik: Université Paris-Est, France“The Free Europe University in Exile, Inc. and the Collège de l’ Europe libre (1951-1958)”
  • Tibor Frank: Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary“Imre Kovács and Cold War Émigré Politics in the United States”
  • Katalin Kádár Lynn: Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary“At War While at Peace: The History of the National Committee for a Free Europe”
    “History of the Hungarian National Council 1946-1971”
  • Maria Kokoncheva: Altborg University, Denmark“George Dimitrov and the Bulgarian National Council”
  • Jonathan H. L’Hommedieu: Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia, USA“The Baltic Freedom Committees: Policies and Politics of an Exile Community”
  • Anna Mazurkiewicz: University of Gdansk, Poland“The Assembly of Captive European Nations and the Free Europe Committee in the face of Nikita Khrushchev’s US Visits in 1959 & 1960”
    “The Schism within the Polish Delegation to the Assembly of Captive European Nations (1954-1972)”
  • Marius Petraru: Sacramento State University, American River College, California, USA“The Romanian Government In Exile in the United States: 1947-1975”
  • Francis Raska: Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic“History of the Council of Free Czechoslovakia” 
  • Toby Charles Rider: Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA“The Cold War Activities of the Hungarian National Sports Federation”

Description:

The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare


Each of the essays in this volume focuses on an organization or activity funded through the National Committee for a Free Europe, Inc. (NCFE was known as the Free Europe Committee, Inc. after 5 March 1954) during the war of ideas and ideals in which the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged that came to be known as the Cold War. This US government sponsored organization existed between 1949 and 1971 and was but one aspect of United States policy arising from the policy of containment and an aggressive stance against Soviet Expansionism. Archival information on the NCFE offers a rich source of information that has not yet been thoroughly mined by scholars. The NCFE’s original charge, as outlined in 3 May 1948 by George Kennan to the National Security Council in a policy paper titled “The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare”, was to wage “organized political warfare” which became the ideological basis for US policy during the Cold War. In large part this effort involved the U.S.-based exiles from the nations of Central and East Europe that had become Soviet satellites after World War II. The NCFE organization was developed and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Policy Coordination. The first chairman of NCFE’s Executive Committee was Allen W. Dulles, and it was operated and funded covertly through American intelligence channels throughout its twenty-two year existence as an ostensibly private, not for profit entity funded by donations from the American public. 

Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Radio Liberty are the two most well known divisions of NCFE, with RFE having the highest profile. As the two radio divisions’ archival records were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University in 2000, those divisions have been the focus of most NCFE-related scholarship. Additional archival material documents the much wider range of Cold War activities which the NCFE established, sponsored and funded, but until now, these have received little attention and research on the non-radio aspects of its operation has been minimal—due in part to the fact that, as of this writing, a portion of the primary archival material relating to the parent organization remains classified. Despite this challenge, each of this book’s contributors has successfully researched an activity or organization sponsored by the NCFE or its later incarnation the FEC or Free Europe, Inc. 

Of primary interest to scholars will be the histories of the Hungarian, Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish and Baltic States national councils or committees, which represented the U.S.-based exile leadership of those satellite nations. These nationalities’ groups and their leaders were intended by the NCFE’s founders to lead the propaganda battle against the growth of world-wide communism. Kennan outlined the mission of the NCFE and the nationalities committees in the following manner “encourage the formation of a public American organization which will sponsor selected refugee committees so that they may act as the focus of national hope and revive a sense of purpose among political refugees from the Soviet World; provide an inspiration for continuing popular resistance within the countries of the Soviet World; and serve as a potential nucleus for all –out liberation movements in the event of war.” The nationalities committees were provided with operational funding for their domestic and international offices, publications and activities as well as funds for salaries to their leadership. However, NCFE sponsorship was not limited to these groups, its organizations numbered well over one hundred and circled the globe, represented not just in the United States but in Europe, Latin America and Asia as well. The major sponsored organizations ranged from the Assembly of Captive European Nations, the Free European University in Exile, the Crusade for Freedom, and the International Peasant Union to various propaganda programs including those that sponsored cultural and sports activities and organizations. The history of the Assembly of Captive European Nations and that of the Free Europe University in Exile, Inc. are addressed in this volume. 

The NCFE and its Cold War campaign of “organized political warfare” activities remains one of the last aspects of U.S. Cold War policy that has not been thoroughly researched, and Cold War scholarship will not be complete until this history is made available. This volume takes the first step in that direction but there is still much more material that is to be uncovered.

Katalin Kádár Lynn
Editor