Our digital collection of Information Items contains anonymized interviews and reports based on accounts given by defectors and emigrants to Western Europe, or Western travelers returning from behind the Iron Curtain. The interviews were conducted and the reports prepared by Radio Free Europe staff members working in over a dozen field offices from Vienna to Stockholm, and from Rome to Istanbul. The interviews were then submitted to RFE's Munich headquarters, where each piece was checked for accuracy and plausibility, and evaluated by expert analysts from RFE's various national units.
The Information Items provide detailed information primarily on the countries RFE broadcast to: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, and, to a lesser extent, to Albania, the GDR and the Soviet Union. They cover a variety of topics ranging from the situation within the Communist Party to prison conditions, from military questions to chances for emigration and exile, and from the general mood and wages to the reception of RFE broadcasts. The accounts often relate to everyday aspects of life on a very local level detailing, for example, kolkhozes (state farms), town administrations, and factories.
Copies of the Information Items on microfilms will remain available for on-site consultation.