Cold War Budapest featured on Norwegian TV

Recently, we have been featured again on NRK TV, the public television channel of Norway. We shared with them an exclusive story that tells how good intelligence doesn’t always come from stolen top secret documents.

The story was told to us by one of the very few surviving veteran U.S. foreign service officers, who spent two tours of duty in the Budapest Legation in the first half of the 1950s. (His name we wouldn’t like to reveal.) Spending two tours of duty behind the Iron Curtain was unusual, as it meant serving for fours years straight in hostile territory. A secret meeting of Eastern European mission chiefs in Paris concluded that the two-year rule for the diplomatic staff was “desirable”, while they thought it was “particularly important [to] obtain [the] best qualified personnel from the pool of available Foreign Service officers to serve in Soviet satellite countries. “Those who prove unsuitable for service in Eastern Europe should be quickly removed” - the memorandum stated.

Watch the clip here or on our Facebook, and please do leave a comment if you liked it. And if you are in Budapest, don’t forget to book our walking tour to hear much, much more about this intriguing topic.