‘For the freedom of captive European nations’: east European exiles in the Cold War


  • This article presents the long-term research project of the author, currently working under a Fulbright Commission grant.


This article discusses the formation and development of organizations of political exiles from the countries of east-central and south-east Europe in the West, particularly in the U.S.A., during the Cold War. The inclusion of this topic in a wider international context and its comparative research is still fundamentally lacking. The chief aim of the article, therefore, is to provide a basic factual overview, and to outline the general preconditions leading to a comparison of the operation of the anti-communist exile movements. It discusses the political organizations and representatives of a number of individual national exile groups, and explains that their role and standing were essentially derived from changes in international politics. The characteristic view of anti-communist exiles includes internal crises and conflicts, which were often rooted in petty quarrels, personal animosity, arguments about the legitimacy of leading bodies, an absence of charismatic leadership, and the predominance of propaganda in their work.