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RFE Provides 40 Years of Tapes For Polish Archives

Warsaw, June 28 (RFE/RL) -- Officials from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty formally turned over copies of Polish-language tapes from the past 40 years to the Polish State Archives.

The tapes contain 15,000 reels worth of material dating to the early 1950s, when Radio Free Europe first began broadcasting into Communist-ruled Poland. Much of the material is considered to be of historical significance and is now accessible to the Polish media.

A statement by U.S. President Bill Clinton, read at today's ceremony in Warsaw, referred to the broadcasts as "a record that documents a proud march toward democracy."

Clinton's statement said the broadcasts reflected the role of RFE as a beacon "during some of the darkest hours of contemporary Polish history."

The original versions of the broadcasts will remain in the possession of RFE/RL. Among the 300 people attending today's ceremony were RFE/RL President Kevin Klose and former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.