12 November 2015

New Website Launched on the Soviet-Era Czech Spy Service

November 9, 2015

New website launched on Czechoslovak Communist secret service

Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) - The Platform of European Memory and Conscience (PEPS) opened yesterday a new web site on the Czechoslovak Communist secret service StB giving an insight into its structures and work between 1969 and 1989, PEPS executive director Neela Winkelmannova has said.

The interactive pages of iBadatelna, a documentation portal on the StB, are in the Czech-English version. They are to help understand the totalitarian history and its influence on present-day society, PEPS officials told journalists.

The web is both for the general and profesional public, Winkelmannova said.

One has to read the entries. They are quite detailed, targeting the professional public and the decision-makers who have, on the basis of the information, a better idea of how the state structures of eastern Europe ‘tick’, she added.

The portal is to show how the secret services of the Soviet satellite countries, established at a command of the Soviet KGB, worked.

It offers six icons, showing the structures of the StB.

There are also the StB’s branches across the world where Communists had their interests.

There are also specific persons that commanded the branches and their photographs, historian Petr Blazek said.

“It is made in a form correspondent with modern communication means so that the portal could be well controlled from tablets and cell phones,” he added.

Much information from the Czech environment will be new for foreign readers, Blazek said.

“For Czechs, there are new structures thanks to which one can interactively move in time and find out what was done by a specific StB part,” he added.

From the 1960s on, the intelligence played a big role in Africa and South America within the power struggle for influence.

Specific operations were successful if the Czechoslovak intelligence was able to use its reputation from the 1960s, Blazek said.

However, this was not easy after the suppression of the Prague Spring reform movement in 1968 when Czechoslovakia lost its “good name” as a Communist regime, he added.

The work on the web was executed by the Centre for the Documentation of Totalitarian Regimes. The authors drew the information from the Security Forces Archives, the Czech and Slovak national memory institutes and other sources.

All the sources are legally accessible.

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