Propaganda War against the USA behind the Iron Curtain

The Communist government of Hungary had all the propaganda tools at their disposal to manipulate the public throughout the Cold War: all the newpapers, all the public radio channels, printing presses, news agencies, and later television. They used it on a daily basis to attack the “imperialists” – most of all the United States and the United Kindom – and even Communist regimes not loyal to Moscow, like Yugoslavia.

Communism, propaganda, 1951, USA, Hungary, diplomacy, cold war, private tour, Budapest, Hungary
“…with such statements, President Truman himself proves that the goal of the US policy is to overthrow the current democratic government, and restore the old, antipopular reactionary system in Hungary” – Bácskiskunmegyei Népújság (a Communist party paper), November 27, 1951. Sounds familiar?

This newspaper clipping, published in November, 1951 in one of the rural newspapers of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (MDP), shows a long list of complaints by the Rákosi-government about U.S. attempts to interfere in Hungarian matters , to undermine peace, to incite sabotage and conduct espionage in order to overthrow the “democratically elected” Hungarian government.

While some of these accusations were at least partly true – the US did secretly encourage industrial sabotage and employed covert intelligence officers in the country, but definitely did not want to undermine the fragile peace – in effect statements like this were a bunch of lies: starting with, of course, that the Hungarian government was not the least democratic and could only reign through terror.

The US tried to counter this propaganda (which few Hungarians believed anyway) through the propaganda of their own: the illegal radio broadcasts of Radio Free Europe and Voice of America, while the British had the BBC World Service. The Communist government of Hungary of course tried to jam these broadcasts, and punished any Hungarian who was caught listening to such forbidden broadcasts.

Come to one of my private tour, and learn more about the raging propaganda war of the 50s. You can book a tour on this site or by sending an email to the historicaltoursbudapest@gmail.com address. Looking forward to see you!

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