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The Free Europe College (Collège de l’Europe libre)

The Free Europe College (Collège de l’Europe libre) was an American college established in November 1951 by the National Committee for a Free Europe and its educational corporation, the Free University in Exile in New York City Inc. The college was located on the outskirts of Strasbourg, at the Château Pourtales in the village of Robertsau, although the students took courses at the University of Strasbourg. Joseph M. Ursyn outlined the college’s purpose as follows: “This college has a three-fold programme: to make it possible for the youth of the satellite countries to continue their studies, and thus to develop for those countries future leaders who are educated in the spirit of Western freedom; to maintain and safeguard in these young people the links which attach them to the culture and the language of their home countries; and, thirdly, to develop, by means of communal life and special studies, a mutual understanding between these representatives of different nationalities and to form in them a supra-nationalist and European spirit.” In 1951, Royall Tyler became president of the Free Europe College and its French legal entity, the Association de Collège de l’Europe libre, which managed funds between the U.S. and France that were used to operate and maintain the college in Strasbourg. The college’s fellowship program was generously funded by the National Committee for a Free Europe. Robert Woods Bliss was a member of the board of trustees of the Free Europe University in Exile Inc between 1951 and 1958. The college was closed in 1958.

Veronika Durin-Hornyik, “The Free University in Exile Inc. and the Collège de l’Europe libre (1951–1958)” in The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare: Cold War Organizations Sponsored by the National Committee for a Free Europe/Free Europe Committee, ed. Katalin Kádár Lynn (Saint Helena, CA: Helena History Press, 2013), 439–514.

Joseph M. Ursyn, “A European University, The Experiment of La Robertsau,” The Tablet, The International Catholic News Weekly 199, no. 5847 (June 14, 1952): 7.