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Digital Cold War Collection of Encrypted Telex Messages

Digital Cold War Collection of Encrypted Telex Messages

between the Free Europe Committee and Radio Free Europe were enriched with new materials.

Blinken OSA uploaded over 11,000 encrypted telex messages between the Free Europe Committee in New York and Radio Free Europe in Munich, covering the period from 1967 to 1974. In addition to the more than 23,000 messages (from 1960 to 1966) that were already freely accessible, this new set of messages will considerably enrich an important Cold War collection. Originally, the collection came from the Hoover Institution Library and Archive, where it had been stored since the early 1990s. It arrived in OSA in 2014, on a total of 101 microfilm reels which were all digitized recently by Blinken OSA.

Daily exchanges of encrypted messages between the FEC in its New York headquarters and Radio Free Europe in Munich covered a variety of topics, ranging from administrative/financial and human resource matters through engineering/technical issues to political questions, as well as some related to radio programming and directives for Radio Free Europe. Some of the messages are particularly significant because they provide an account of political and historical events which are of interest to a broad spectrum of researchers, such as the Prague Spring or spy scandals that shook the Radios from within. In any case, this digital collection represents a valuable account of the trans-Atlantic communications between two epistemic communities which, although physically separate, were mentally closely linked in planning and conducting information campaigns in the bipolar Cold War setting.