About the project

About the project

Timeline

Timeline

Dictionary

Dictionary

Resources

On-line resources

Legislation

Legislation

Articles

Articles

About the project

The purpose of this bilingual Czech-English website run by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience is to present the structure and function of the Communist security services to the international public, media and institutions. The example of former Czechoslovakia was chosen, with an emphasis on the period 1969-1989.

The security services were an important element of the Communist dictatorships in the Soviet Union and the entire Eastern bloc. After the fall of the Communist regime, their records were gradually de-classified and made accessible for the public to study in most post-Communist countries. It is not possible to gain a complete understanding of the history of the second half of the 20th century without an understanding of the functioning of the totalitarian secret services.

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is convinced that a good knowledge of the totalitarian history of Europe is essential for a better grasp of the current events in post-Communist societies. At the same time, it will help to support a strengthening of democracy which needs to be resilient against any possible future tendencies toward a return of non-democratic forms of government.

What you will find here:

  1. A complex visualisation of the structures of the Czechoslovak secret services dealing with foreign countries (1st Directorate of the ministry of interior, foreign intelligence) and with the so-called “inner enemy“ (10th Directorate of the ministry of interior) in the period 1969-1989 on a timescale, including a visualisation of the main residenturas around the world
  2. An online dictionary of terms used by the totalitarian regime and its secret services
  3. A guide to important websites and search engines related to the totalitarian secret services 
  4. An overview of current legislation and court decisions regulating the access to records of the totalitarian secret services in selected countries of the former Eastern bloc
  5. Articles on the activities of the secret services of the totalitarian regime (not only) in Czechoslovakia presented in cooperation with the internet monthly MINULOST (“the past“) published by the Centre for the Documentation of Totalitarian Regimes

This website was created by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience in cooperation with the Centre for Documentation of Totalitarian Regimes (CZ), the Ján Langoš Foundation (SK), with special thanks to the Institute of National Remembrance (PL), the Embassy of Estonia in the Czech Republic and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Contributing authors: Peter Rendek, Petr Blažek, Radek Schovánek, Jan Kalous and Martin Slávik

Graphic design and programming: © Peter Rendek

Translations: Neela Winkelmann, Andre Swoboda

Online launch: November 2015

Literature and sources used for the project:

  • Former electronic study room of the Office for Foreign Contacts and Information ÚZSI (CZ), Security Services Archive (CZ), Archive of the Nation’s Memory Institute (SK), Archive of the Centre for the Documentation of Totalitarian Regimes (CZ)  
  • abscr.cz, ustrcr.cz, upn.gov.sk, web FOIA CIA
  • magazines Paměť a dějiny (“Memory and history“, CZ), Pamäť národa (“Nation’s Memory“, SK), Securitas Imperii (CZ)
  • Andrew Christopher, Mitrochin Vasilij: Neznámé špionážní operace KGB - Mitrochinův archiv, Leda 2008
  • Andrew Christopher, Mitrochin Vasilij: Operace KGB a studená válka, Leda 2008
  • Andrew Christopher, Gordievsky Oleg Antonovič: KGB Důvěrná zpráva o zahraničních operacích od Lenina ke Gorbačovovi, 1994
  • Vasiliy Mitrokhin: KGB Lexicon: The Soviet Intelligence Officer's Handbook, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 2002
  • Churaň Milan: Encyklopedie špionáže, 2005
  • Dvořáková Jiřina: Historie a vývoj československého civilního zpravodajství se zaměřením na rozvědku (1919-1990), ÚZSI 2014
  • Frolík Josef: Špion vypovídá, Index, 1975
  • Ludvík Vlastimil: Malá sestra (Československá špionáž 1968 - 1990), Praha 1991
  • Ondřej Koutek: X. správa SNB – útvar Státní bezpečnosti určený pro boj proti tzv. vnitřnímu nepříteli, Securitas Imperii č.14, ÚDV, 2006
  • Roewer Helmut, Schäfer Stefan a Uhl Matthias: Encyklopedie tajných služeb ve 20. století, 2006
  • Žáček Pavel: Menší sestra I., Brno, Prius 2004
  • Žáček Pavel: Nástroj triedneho štátu – Organizácia ministerstiev vnútra a bezpečnostných zborov 1953–1990, UPN, 2004
  • Žáček Pavel: ŠtB na Slovensku za „normalizácie“ – Agónia komunistickej moci v zvodkách tajnej polície, Ministerstvo spravedlnosti SR, Bratislava 2002