FreeMediaOnline.org Truckee, CA, USA, October 01, 2010 — For those interested in the history of U.S. international broadcasting, Richard H Cummings, author of Cold War Radio: The Dangerous History of American Broadcasting in Europe, 1950-1989 and the soon-to-be published Radio Free Europe’s ‘Crusade for Freedom’: Rallying Americans Behind Cold War Broadcasting, 1950-1960, has published a highly informative article in Historytimes.com on the 1953 defection to the West of Polish secret police (the Ministry of Public Security of Poland) officer Józef Światło and his subsequent interviews broadcast back to Poland by Radio Free Europe (Radio Wolna Europa) and the Voice of America. These interviews, detailed the use of torture and other crimes of the communist secret police, in which Światło was himself involved, and greatly embarrassed the regime in Warsaw.
Most of the radio interviews with Józef Światło were aired by the Polish Service of Radio Free Europe, but he was also interviewed by the Polish Service of the Voice of America. Richard H Cummings quotes from the article by Gene King, VOA’s program director, who wrote in 1955: “We give the U.S.S.R. and the Soviet-controlled areas about 76 1/2 hours daily. Despite all efforts to prevent, The Voice of America does get through. We have conclusive evidence of that. Josef Swiatlo, former head of the Communist secret service in Poland, tells us that The Voice of America is the most effective instrument employed by the free world in combating the spread of communism and in keeping hope alive in the hearts of the peoples behind the Curtains. He reports having attended sessions of the Polish secret police where the topics of discussion were The Voice of America and how to keep the Poles from listening. Nevertheless, according to his report, the broadcasts are heard; and they are effective. We have literally thousands of similar reports. Practically all escapees and defectors, in fact, report having listened. And that goes for the U.S.S.R. as well as Communist China and the satellites.” (“The Hollywood Quarterly, 1945-1957“)