30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Central/Eastern Europe

Dec 11, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 11, 2006 - Twenty-five years ago this week, at 6:00 a.m. on December 13, 1981, Polish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski appeared on national TV to declare that a state of martial law existed in the country. Earlier in the night, military and police forces had begun securing strategic facilities while ZOMO special police rounded up thousands of members of the Solidarity trade union, including its celebrated leader, Lech Walesa.

Oct 31, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 31, 2006 - Fifty years ago today the Soviet Presidium overturned its earlier decision to pull its troops out of Hungary in the face of a popular uprising, yet the CIA--with only one Hungarian-speaking officer stationed in Budapest at the time--failed to foresee either the uprising or the Soviet invasion to come, according to declassified CIA histories posted on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Nov 21, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 21, 2005 - Every work of history is not just a statement about the past, but a reflection of the era -- if not the precise year -- during which it was written. This is certainly the case with the now-declassified 1997 U.S. State Department study of the American effort to end the Bosnian war, the original version of which is now available. On November 21, 1995, the world witnessed an event that for years many believed impossible: on a secluded, wind-swept U.S. Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia agreed to end a war.

Mar 24, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 24, 2005 - The CIA was surprised by Israeli agents' capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, and a subsequent CIA file review uncovered extensive ties between Eichmann and men who served as CIA assets and allies (like Franz Alfred Six and Otto Von Bolschwing), according to the CIA's three-volume Directorate of Operations file and their Directorate of Intelligence file on Eichmann, posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Obersturmbannfьhrer (Lt.

Feb 4, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 4, 2005 - Today the National Security Archive posted the CIA's secret documentary history of the U.S government's relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army's intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals.

Nov 17, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 17, 2004 - Fifteen years ago today, a modest, officially sanctioned student demonstration in Prague spontaneously grew into a major outburst of popular revulsion toward the ruling Communist regime. At that point the largest protest in 20 years, the demonstrations helped to spark the Velvet Revolution that brought down communism in Czechoslovakia and put dissident playwright Vбclav Havel in the Presidential Palace.

Nov 4, 2002 | Briefing Book
Forty-six years ago, at 4:15 a.m. on November 4, 1956, Soviet forces launched a major attack on Hungary aimed at crushing, once and for all, the spontaneous national uprising that had begun 12 days earlier. At 5:20 a.m., Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced the invasion to the nation in a grim, 35-second broadcast, declaring: "Our troops are fighting.

Sep 20, 2002 | News
Generals Jaruzelski, Siwicki, Tuczapski, and 6 other top-ranking Polish insiders of the Soviet military alliance reveal unprecedented details about its functioning and plans against NATO during the Cold War. 350 pages of interviews are made public today on the Zurich-based website of the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP)--an international consortium of scholars dedicated to the study of the historical dimension of European security, www.isn.ethz.ch/php. The National Security Archive at George Washington University is the primary U.S.

Nov 29, 2001 | News
Vienna, Munich, Verona, and other European population and cultural centers were to be “completely destroyed,” according to 1965 Warsaw Pact plans for war in Europe made public today on the Zurich-based web site of the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP) -- an international consortium of scholars dedicated to the study of the historical background of European security, http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php. Found in the Hungarian archives, the documents are vivid reminders of the menace posed by the Cold War nuclear arsenals that Presiden

Sep 25, 2001 | Briefing Book
In stark contrast to the close U.S.-Russian relationship of today, forty years ago serious tensions over Berlin and Germany and the danger of world war clouded Moscow-Washington relations. Fred Kaplan's article in the October 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, "JFK's First Strike Plan," shows that key White House officials and the President himself briefly considered proposals for a limited nuclear first strike against Soviet military targets in the event that the Berlin crisis turned violent.

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