Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Ambassador Alfred Puhan
PUHAN: Except for a trip or two on missions like the study of the takeover of HICOG by the State Department and the changing of this from a military to a civilian operation, I remained in New York until I left the Voice of America in 1953.
Q: What was the general purpose of your study of the takeover by HICOG from office?
1949: Member Of Mission Studying Personnel Requirements For RIAS in Berlin
PUHAN: I was a member of that mission. The idea was to see what would be required in the way of civilian personnelthe war was overwhat was required to run, to supervise, the German radio, the American information station, RIAS, in Berlin. And I don't have too many recollections of that, but I remember we were over there and looking into this. This was aboutwhat? 1949, I would say.
Q: Did you have anything to do with making the recommendation as to how the HICOG information program would be structured? Was there any part of your study which was involved in that?
PUHAN: Speaking of myself personally I don't know whatI can't remember what contribution I made. I was a member of a delegation. It was headed by higher ranking officials than I, but I was a fairly aggressive young officer and no doubt I made some suggestions. But I don't remember what they were or whether they were acted upon or not.
Q: When you left VOA then did you leave the information side of the program completely? Or did you stay on in other aspects of it?
PUHAN: Well, I stayed with the Voice of America until 1953. Now, in 1952, Foy Kohler, a fine Foreign Service Officer and the last director before the onslaught by McCarthy, Senator McCarthy, said to meI was at this point Program Director, one of three jobs below the Director of the Voice of America: Program Director; Technical, George Herrick; and Evaluations, Leo Loewenthal. So I had a big operation. I had 900 people, hiring and firing, setting up desks like the Russian desk and so on, the Persian desk. But I had reached a point where I probably could not, well, most likelyI shouldn't say probably, most likely couldn't go any further.