Having served briefly (Dec. 2020-Jan. 2021) as Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President and having been before Voice of America (VOA) Polish Service chief in the 1980s and VOA acting associate director in 2005/2006 in charge of central programs, I wanted to repost my 2019 Silent Refugees website’s article on how early VOA managers, editors and journalists lied about Stalin’s crimes and repeated Soviet propaganda. Fortunately, VOA no longer repeated such Soviet disinformation during the Cold War, and dropped all restrictions during the presidency of Ronald Reagan on reporting on communist human rights abuses. To their great credit, neither Radio Free Europe (RFE) nor Radio Liberty (RL) ever censored news about the Soviet Gulag, which the Voice of America occasionally did even as late as the 1970s.
A Soviet-instigated plan to kill an anti-communist woman journalist in the early years of the Cold War was linked to her attempts to tell the story of thousands of Polish children who in 1940-1941 had been deported with their families from eastern Poland to Siberia and Central Asia where many died from brutal treatment. The assassination plan was revealed in 1953-1954 by a defector to the West from communist-ruled Poland and was never carried out.