From October 19th until November 12th, Radio Free Europe‘s (RFE) Hungarian broadcast recorded around and during the 1956 Revolution can be listened to online, exactly how it was aired 63 years ago minute by minute, HVG reported.
The Hungarian broadcast of RFE’s 1956 program that was aired on shortwave, through foreign transmitters, was recorded at the repeater stations, and has been preserved thanks to the German government’s examination of the radio’s role in the revolution, launched after the events.
After the inquiry, however, the footage, consisting of 60 tapes, was concealed in a basement for decades, until it was rediscovered in the 90s, transferred to cassettes, and digitized.
In the framework of the First University Radio in Pest’s (Első Pesti Egyetemi Rádió- EPER) voice memorial project dubbed “SZER56” (derived from the radio’s Hungarian name: Szabad Európa Rádió), people can hear (once again) these recordings. The recordings were restored, digitized, and published by the National Széchényi Library (OSZK), which EPER then restored to the original broadcast session.
The footage includes four days that preceded the outbreak of the Revolution, making it the only available recording that preserved the 50s’ “every day” shows. Moreover, this would be the first time the public can hear this outstanding piece of media history. In addition to political broadcasts, the recordings include radio plays, musical compositions, and even quizzes.
The “broadcast” will be available from Saturday on eper.elte.hu or here and here.
featured image: illustration; via Fortepan