The Scriptum.cz web archive provides access to various non-commercial and online Czech exile and samizdat periodicals. This is a unique collection of works that are often not accessible anywhere and are constantly being refilled.
Alexandru Șoltoianu Collection at National Archive of Mol...
Alexandru Șoltoianu Collection at National Archive of Moldova
This collection comprises various documents (including trial records) relating to the activities of Alexandru Șoltoianu, a well-known oppositional figure in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) in the late 1960s and 1970s. Closely linked to the Usatiuc–Ghimpu–Graur group, Șoltoianu pursued a parallel project of creating a mass nationally oriented anti-Soviet political party known as National Rebirth of Moldavia (Renașterea Națională a Moldovei), to be based upon a broad network of student associations. Șoltoianu’s case files are currently held in the National Archive of the Republic of Moldova (ANRM). These materials were transferred to the ANRM from the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive).
The Foreign Croatica Collection is the largest collection of books and periodicals published by Croatian authors in foreign countries. The Collection includes publications in many languages covering numerous issues on Croatia and the Croatian people, including those related to the socialist period. It is the most important collection in Croatia containing books by Croatian émigrés banned during the time of socialist Yugoslavia.
Film Notations of European Solidarity Centre are biographical interviews, conducted with democratic opposition activists and creators of independent culture in socialist Poland. They are first-hand testimonies of people who organised illegal gatherings, demonstrations, art exhibitions, film screenings, literature circulation etc. Collection includes rare interviews that cannot be seen anywhere else.
Jiří Lederer Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation...
Jiří Lederer Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Jiří Lederer (1922-1983) was a Czech journalist and publicist, one of the most prominent journalists during the "Prague Spring" in 1968. In the 1970s he participated in the work of the Czechoslovak opposition and was one of the first signatories of Charter 77. During the 1970s he was imprisoned several times. In 1980 he went into exile. The collection mainly contains materials and notes from the period around the Prague Spring.
Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation is an archival collection created in the Vjesnik newspaper publishing enterprise from 1964 to 2006. It includes about twelve million press clippings, organized into six thousand topics and sixty thousand dossiers on public persons. Inter alia, it documents various forms of cultural opposition in the former Yugoslavia, but also in other communist countries in Europe and worldwide.
In 1963 the painter and graphic artist Roger Loewig was arrested following his first privately organised exhibition in East-Berlin. Throughout the regime, Loewig denied socialist realism artistic forms of production, while his artworks were considered subversive. After almost one year of imprisonment, Loewig was released in the GDR with the support from the Protestant Church from West Germany. Loewig’s release on three years probation could not be prevented. It was only 1972 that the artist could leave the GDR and settled in West-Berlin. Following his death in 1997, Loewig’s private fine-arts collection was bestowed by the Roger Loewig Association. This was founded in 1998 in Frankfurt Oder. Since 2000 the fine-arts legacy of the artist is preserved by the Federal Foundation for Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship. This aims at facilitating the scientific documentation and preservation of Loewig' artistic legacy. The literary and biographical works are currently on hold at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
The archival fund of the Slovak Office for Press and Information (Slovenský úrad pre tlač a informácie, SÚTI) stored in the Slovak National Archive in Bratislava, contains a wide range of material dedicated to mechanisms of ideological control over mass media during the years 1968 to 1988. The collections of journalistic analyses and various forms of media assessments are especially significant for research in the field of cultural opposition. The fund enables an undistorted overview of critical reports of media accomplishments, those which did not conform to the new, “consolidating” principles. The SÚTI fund thus demonstrates not only the gradual establishment of a new ideological orientation of the Czechoslovak Communist Party but also indicates its questionable adoption by official press bodies.
Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History ...
Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History Archives
The Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History Archive is part of the large archival legacy of Karl Laantee, an émigré Estonian religious activist, and announcer with the Voice of America radio station.
The Jan Patočka Archives (AJP) studies and interprets the philosophical heritage of the Czech philosopher and dissident Jan Patočka (1907-1977). AJP is led by Patočkaʼs pupils and is a unique institute working with Patočkaʼs original texts and also with the attendees of his lectures.
Ivan Medek Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation C...
Ivan Medek Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Ivan Medek (1925-2010) was a prominent Czech music publicist, a signatory of Charter 77 and a founding member of VONS. In 1978 he went into exile, where he founded the Press Service and worked with Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. This collection contains unique documents from his exile activity.
Polish Underground Publications Collection at Polish Libr...
Polish Underground Publications Collection at Polish Library POSK in London
Located at the Polish Library of the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in London, Polish Underground Publications collection contains serials, books, and brochures published clandestinely by Polish opposition groups from 1976 to 1990. This is one of the largest collections of Polish independent publications worldwide and outside Poland. It documents the pluralistic character of anti-communist opposition in People's Poland and testifies to the richness, diversity, and magnitude of underground publishing in People's Poland.
The Libri Prohibiti’s collection of Czech exile monographs and periodicals contains over 8100 publications including the complete works of many publishers. More than 940 titles of Czechoslovak exile periodicals, some of them complete editions, are part of this collection as well.
The ‘Office of the President of the Republic’ collection was a constituent part of the former archive of J.B. Tito and today comprises a separate unit within the Archives of Yugoslavia. It contains materials that were created in connection with the activity of the president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, who was at the helm of the state from 1945 to 1980. The collection is exceptionally rich in material relevant for the study of all aspects of Yugoslav history, and also contains documents relating to opposition activities during the time of his rule.
The “Sixtiers Museum” Collection is located in a small museum in Kyiv, Ukraine in a building belonging to the Ukrainian political party Rukh. Nadia Svitlychna and Mykola Plakhotniuk founded this museum as way of honouring and documenting the struggles of a cohort of Soviet Ukrainian dissidents during the 1960s-1980s. Included in the permanent exhibition are paintings, graphics, sculptures, embroidery and other artworks produced by artists affiliated with the sixtiers movement. The museum also displays the poems, letters and literary works of the writers in their midst, as well as their typewriters, handcrafted items made while in the GULag, or clothes worn while living in exile, like Svitlychna’s own camp uniform. Also figuring prominently are posters for events and exhibitions organized by this group. The guided tour is a moving, concise rendition of their struggle, aimed at the museum’s target audiences, young students, scholars, and the general public.
These materials depict the lives of a dynamic group of Soviet Ukrainians engaged in a principled creative and ideological struggle with the Soviet regime in the 1960s and 1970s. They were poets, artists, graphic designers, historians, doctors, and even a Soviet army official, all of whom became deeply involved in human rights activism under late socialism. Many were members of large Soviet institutions—like the Ukrainian writers and artist unions, the Literary Institute in Kyiv, the Soviet armed forces. The Soviet government’s ideological retrenchment after Khrushchev transformed these dissidents, who had worked hard to try and reform the system and make it more humane, into individuals in open conflict with the authorities.
The Libri Prohibiti’s collection of foreign samizdat monographs and periodicals contains mainly Slovak and Polish samizdat literature. Russian samizdat and periodicals from the former German Democratic Republic are marginally represented.
Vytautas Skuodis (1929-2016) was a Lithuanian scientist, Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. From 1979, he was a member of the dissident organisation the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1978, he initiated and edited the journal Perspektyvos (Perspectives), the most recognised underground publication among the Lithuanian intelligentsia. The Vytautas Skuodis collection holds various manuscripts of Skuodis’ monograhs, a PhD dissertation, articles, lectures, letters, reviews of diploma works by students, notes, memoirs and diaries. These documents are relevant to the topic of cultural opposition, because they reveal personally the involvement of Skuodis and other people in anti-Soviet activities.
The collection shows the life, work and activities of the Lithuanian historian Rimantas Jasas (1929-2002). Jasas never called himself a dissident. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he did not speak much about his involvement in underground (samizdat) literature, and saw himself only as a professional historian. The files in the collection show his close ties with the dissident movement, especially with the Soviet dissident and political prisoner Vytautas Skuodis (1929-2016). Jasas was involved with the samizdat journal Perspektyvos (Perspectives), the most highly thought-of publication by members of the intelligentsia.
The personal collection of Croatian philosopher and sociologist Rudi Supek contains documents and photographs that testify to Supek's intellectual activity, which had been prevented in some phases of his life. Supek was the editor of two critically-oriented Marxist journals, Pogledi and Praxis, and as one of the main protagonists of the Korčula Summer School of Philosophy, he expressed views that did not align with those promoted by the Communist authorities. Supek's disagreement with the practices of the communist regime stemmed from his understanding of the position of intellectuals in society and his stance that there is no socialism without democracy. This collection also illustrates Supek's work as one of the pioneers of the environmental movement in Yugoslavia.
Part of a civic and ethical project with no equivalent in any of the other former communist countries of Europe, the Museum collection of the Sighet Memorial is an extraordinary site of memory, both individual and collective, of Romanian communism seen from the perspective of the victims of the regime. The Museum collection of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Resistance includes an impressive number of documents, photographs, letters, newspaper collections, books, manuscripts, albums, and various other objects illustrating both the repressive dimension of the communist regime in Romania and the reaction of Romanian society to that regime, in accordance with the vision promoted by the Civic Academy Foundation through the intermediary of the International Centre for Studies into Communism.
The Eastern Archive, initiated in 1987, is a collection of testimonies gathered from former Polish citizens, repressed by the Soviet Union after the 1939, imprisoned, resettled, etc. Their remembrance was excluded from the official view of the past during the communist era. At the end of the Polish Peoples’ Republic it became possible to make it more public.
The collection illustrates Adrian Marino’s intellectual evolution as a historian and literary critic who chose to pursue his activity outside the institutions controlled by the communist regime. The Marino Collection includes books, original manuscripts, and the author’s correspondence, which reflects a critical perspective on Romanian literary life in the period 1964–1989.
Peroutka, Ferdinand. Inaugural Speech in the RFE, 1951. T...
Peroutka, Ferdinand. Inaugural Speech in the RFE, 1951. Typescript
Ferdinand Peroutka, who represented the democratic past of Czechoslovakia, and mainly the First Czechoslovak Republic, became the director of the Czechoslovak section of Radio Free Europe (RFE) in New York on 6 April 1950. The Czechoslovak service of the RFE began its regular broadcasting from Munich on 1 May 1951 with the famous phrase “This is the voice of Free Czechoslovakia, Radio Free Europe.” One of the first speakers was also Ferdinand Peroutka, who stated, besides other things: “One magazine would mean little in a country where freedom reigns. But one free magazine, one radio station in a dictatorial regime – that is a revolution, because such a system is based on the fact that only the government can speak and nobody can answer back, that anyone can be charged, but nobody can defend themselves. However, once even a fraction of freedom enters that rigid and artificial system, from anywhere, once it is again possible to set argument against argument, once it is no longer possible to act without criticism, once there is a place to call untruths into question, then this whole proud system quavers.”
The Literary Archives of the Museum of Czech Literature possesses a mimeograph copy of the typescript of this speech.
The Mihai Moroșanu Private Collection comprises various materials relating to the anti-regime activity of Mihai Moroșanu, one of the most famous Moldovan dissidents of the Soviet period, well-known for his staunch criticism of the regime and for his strong nationally oriented views. The collection consists of a number of personal files, interviews, photos and judicial materials relating to Moroșanu’s case, spanning the period from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Due to his uncompromising resistance to the Soviet regime, Moroșanu is one of the very few authentic dissident figures in the Moldovan context.
Collection of Historical Interviews at the National Széch...
Collection of Historical Interviews at the National Széchényi Library
The Collection of Historical Interviews is one of the most significant oral history collections in Hungary. It is a mixed collection of life story interviews that were done with the intention of creating materials for oral history narratives, and a lot of the archived interviews were conducted during the production of historical documentaries beginning in the 1960s. The latter usually cover one aspect or chapter in a person’s life. The materials constitute a particularly useful source for the study of the history of Hungarian television. However, the scope of the collection is such that it contains a lot of references to figures of the cultural opposition. The history of the collection itself represents a narrative of nonconformist cultural practices.
The collection consists of material about violations of the rights of national minorities and deportees, and people persecuted for anti-Soviet activities, as well as documents about samizdat publications and the persecution of believers.
Václav Havel Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation...
Václav Havel Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Václav Havel (1936-2011) was an important Czech playwright and essayist, a critic of the communist regime, one of the initiators of Charter 77, a founding member of VONS (The Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted), a political prisoner and later president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. The collection consists mainly of materials of his dramatic creation and its dissenting effect.
The collection contains material about Sergei Soldatov, one of Estonia's most notable dissidents, who was culturally most active when living in exile after 1981. There are different types of documents and photographs in the collection, which describe not only Soldatov's life, but also the activities of dissident movements in the Soviet Union. Soldatov also used this material in his numerous books, which he published himself.
The art collection of Indrek Hirv consists of works by artists who continued the spirit of art from before the Soviet occupation. Many of them were persecuted, and later they did not obtain official recognition. Some became reformers of art, who resisted the Soviet discourse and Socialist Realism. Although some works in this collection depicted directly forbidden subject matter, like prison camps and prisoners, resistance to the Soviet regime is expressed mostly through the style.
Intelligence Files of the State Security Service for Croatia
Intelligence Files of the State Security Service for Croatia
The collection contains approximately 68,800 intelligence files produced by the State Security Service of the Republic Internal Affairs Secretariat of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, the civilian security and intelligence service in Croatia in the period from 1946 to 1990. The Service monitored all persons whose activities were assessed as a threat to the state's political and security system. A significant number of files pertain to members of religious communities, political émigrés, participants in the Croatian Spring, as well as other political and intellectual dissidents.
The digital collection of the Oral History Center contains more than 2000 interviews with twentieth-century witnesses, which are divided into different themes and topics, thus presenting a unique collection of professionally created interviews and memories, many of which are related to the theme of cultural opposition.
Petru Negură’s private collection includes a wide variety of materials (interviews and archival documents) related to the activities of the Moldavian Writers’ Union (MWU) from the early Soviet period to the late 1950s and early 1960s. The collection focuses on institutional history and on the relationship of Moldovan writers with state power.
Eginald Schlattner Collection at Teutsch Haus Sibiu
Eginald Schlattner Collection at Teutsch Haus Sibiu
Persecuted under communism, Eginald Schlattner emerged after 1989 as one of the most successful writers of the German community in Romania. His personal collection, which contains books, manuscripts, letters, photos and video recordings, reflects his troubled relations with the communist regime.
The Libri Prohibiti’s collection of Czech samizdat monographs and periodicals contains over 17 500 units from Czech samizdat publishers from the 1950s to the 1980s, and more than 440 Czech samizdat periodical titles.
Two letters from Mykhailyna Kotsiubynka to Zina Genyk-Ber...
Two letters from Mykhailyna Kotsiubynka to Zina Genyk-Berezovska, 1971.
The year 1971 was a difficult one for the Ukrainian sixtiers movement. in November 1970, Alla Horska-the artist known as the "soul of the sixtiers movement-was found dead, killed by blunt force trauma to the head in her father in law's apartment. She had gone there to retrieve a sewing machine and never returned. In a series of letters Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska wrote in 1971 to her friend in Prague-Zina Genyk-Berezovska-we learn more about the circumstances surrounding Horska's death, in particular its impact on her close friends and colleagues, most of whom had been under surveillance for a number of years and/or had been arrested and imprisoned. In a letter from January 13, 1971, Kotsiubynska writes that Horska's death was "so wild, so frightening, so unexpected" that it left their community shaken. She goes on to say that Alla's husband Viktor Zaretsky suspected that something had gone wrong but could not bring himself to enter his father's house alone. He asked Nadia Svitlychna to go to Vasylkiv and find out what happened. Svitlychna did go, together with Yevhen Sverstiuk. Horska was discovered dead in her father-in-law's house, while the latter was found on train tracks near Fastiv, decapitated and also dead. After a quick forensic analysis, the authorities determined that these gruesome deaths were the result of a domestic dispute and closed the case. Kotiubynska processes the revelation that Horska had been killed by her father-in-law. Although many people did not believe this version of events, Kotsiubynska writes, with some sadness, that there were no concrete facts pointing to another assailant, adding that even those closest to Alla--Zaretsky and Svitlychna--did not seem to doubt the official version of events. Lamenting her own expulsion from the Institute of Literature, she adds: "By the way, the Ukrainian Artists Union reinstated Alla after her death. Perhaps, I too should die?"In a letter dated June 28, 1971, Kotsiubynska writes again about Horska, this time indicating that there was a new version of what happened. The consensus had shifted, a reevaluation of the evidence suggesting that both Horska and her father-in-law had been killed by an unknown assailant who had not been identified. Alla Horska's murder remains unsolved and unresolved to this day.
Three letters from Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska to Zina Genyk ...
Three letters from Mykhailyna Kotsiubynska to Zina Genyk Berezovska, July-December 1965
Mykhailyna Khomivna Kotsiubynska and Zina Genyk-Berezovska became acquainted in Kyiv during a visit by the latter to the Ukrainian capital in 1964. They became fast friends, Kotsiubynska’s letters accounting for more than a third of the letters sent to Genyk-Berezovska. The letters are now held and the T.H. Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv, Ukraine. The entire correspondence is the byproduct of a close female friendship, one that was deep and forged during a difficult time. The three letters sent in 1965 show that these two were under surveillance, as their letters were often lost, or more likely confiscated in transit. Kotsiubynska's letter from July 30, 1965 asks why there has not been any word from Genyk-Berezovska. Kostiubynska was particularly aggrieved because she had sent an important letter in which she wrote among other things about the death of a close relative and Kotsiubynska's adoption of her four-year-old daughter. Genyk-Berezovska wrote back sometime later, prompting Kotsiubynska to write a letter on August 21, 1965, underscoring how important this correspondence was to her and asking Genyk-Berezovska to write more frequently. The letter from September 30, 1965, opens with "Zinochka, my dear bumble bee!" Kotsiubynska asks why she has not heard from Genyk-Berezovska and wonders whether she is ok. Kotsiubynska writes that she misses Genyk-Berezovska greatly, especially given what is happening in Ukraine at this time. In Aesopian language, Kotsiubynska explains that things are not going well and that one of their friends has been arrested. "Things are not fun for us right now. Our friend, who has not written you for so long, will not be able to write you again for some time. And it is not his fault." She also asks whether Genyk-Berezovska received an earlier letter, presumably in order to ascertain whether it might have been intercepted by the state security services. When one reads back letters sent between these two women--especially those written in the late 1960s and early 1970s--one can feel the stresses of not being able to communicate regularly and with any certainty. This weighs heavily on Kotsiubynska, who is also under pressure and surveillance from the authorities. In May 1966, she asks Genyk-Berezovska if she has received a letter from Ivan, referring to Svitlychny, who had been released on April 30, 1966 for being "socially harmless." Apparently, his stature and popularity had been so great and the protests against his arrests so numerous, that the authorities opted to release him. The following year, Kotsiubynska wrote two letters that were only ten days apart--July 5 and july 15. In the first, she tells Genyk-Berezovska that she has been fired from her job and expelled from the Communist party. In the second, she says simply "this year has worn me down completely." Through their correspondence, one senses the immense psychological pressure facing literary scholars and human rights activists in Ukraine at this time, though one would also have to read Genyk Berezovska's responses in order to have the complete picture.
Bratislavské listy [Bratislava Papers] was a Christian-political samizdat created from 1988 to 1989, with 4 published issues. The Collection of Bratislavské listy Editorial Office was created in 2002 by the newly established Nation’s Memory Institute, an institution governed by public law that is focused on research and the collecting of documents from socialist era. This collection contains not only published issues of Bratislavské listy, documents such as correspondence, manuscripts, and personal notes of authors dealing with topics discussed in Bratislavské listy, but also unique original appeals to the Czechoslovak President signed, among others, by Alexander Dubček, Martin M. Šimečka or Ján Langoš.
The Zina Genyk-Berezovska Collection at the T.H. Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv is crucial for understanding the transnational networks underpinning cultural opposition in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora community in Prague. The latter was largely composed of anti-Bolshevik émigrés that had fled to Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, after their failed attempt to establish the Ukrainian National Republic amid the chaos of the First World War. Genyk-Berezovska was born and raised in this community, studied Slavic languages and literatures at Charles University in Prague, later teaching and translating Ukrainian literature into Czech. Through personal connections, Genyk-Berezovska was also deeply involved in the cultural renaissance in Soviet Ukraine known as the sixtiers movement.
In addition to the more than 800 letters Genyk-Berezovska received from her many correspondents in Ukraine, her archive contains her own works as a scholar of Ukrainian and Czech literature, translator, and prominent community figure, as well as those of her husband Kost’ Genyk-Berezovsky, a philologist who taught Ukrainian at Charles University in Prague. Their family archive served as a repository for materials about prominent members of the Ukrainian émigré community in Czechoslovakia, including the Ukrainian sculptor Mykhailo Brynsky, the Czech writer František Hlaváček, the Ukrainian chemist and statesman Ivan Horbachevskyi, and Petro Krytskyi, a former colonel in the Ukrainian National Republican army, among others. This unique collection highlights both the transnational and the intergenerational dimensions of Ukrainian cultural opposition to communism.
The collection illustrates Alojzij Šuštar's theological and pastoral work as a priest and archbishop who led the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Ljubljana despite the restrictions on freedom imposed by institutions under the communist government’s control. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts, Šuštar’s published articles and his correspondence and polemics, which demonstrate his critical stance toward Slovenia’s communist regime in the late years of the regime and in the period of transition to democracy.
Kazys Boruta (1905-1965) was a famous Lithuanian novelist, poet and translator. The Kazys Boruta collection holds various documents: his diaries, correspondence and manuscripts. The documents illustrate the situation of the writer in Soviet Lithuania. The government tried various means to control and restrict the writer’s creative initiatives. During the period of Stalinism, Boruta was arrested, accused of collaborating with bourgeois nationalists, and imprisoned. After he was released, he had problems publishing his work.
When Michal Šufliarsky began to collect these items in 1969, his philosophy was that "what is forbidden is good." He worked as an employee of Czechoslovak television in Bratislava in the field of film and television production. His small private collection contains samizdat, recordings of Western music, photos of everyday life during communism, and unique recordings of student events. The activities of Mr. Šufliarsky are a good example of individual rather than political activism.
Iljko Karaman Collection of Court Records on Censorship
Iljko Karaman Collection of Court Records on Censorship
The Iljko Karaman Collection is an archival collection established in 1949 by the Zagreb Deputy Public Prosecutor, Iljko Karaman (1922-2010), who deposited the collection at the Croatian State Archives in 1992. The collection includes unique material related to state censorship practices in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Independent State of Croatia, the People’s Republic of Croatia and the latter Socialist Republic of Croatia until the 1980s.
Serke, Jürgen. Escape to the Madhouse, in German, 1981. C...
Serke, Jürgen. Escape to the Madhouse, in German, 1981. Copy of article
The German journalist and writer Jürgen Serke (b. 1938) dealt with persecuted and silenced artists. At the beginning of the 1980s, he was researching a book about life and work of Polish, Russian, East German, and Czechoslovak poets and writers living in exile. Thus, Jürgen Serke, accompanied by photographer Wilfried Bauer and Czech poet in exile, Jiří Gruša, visited Blatný in Ipswich in October 1981. Then, Serke wrote a report about Blatný and his life in exile entitled “Escape to the Madhouse” (Flucht ins Irrenhaus), which was published in the West German magazine Stern in December 1981. The following year, Serke’s book “Expelled Poets” (Die verbannten Dichter), which also included the report about Ivan Blatný, was issued. Serke’s article about Ivan Blatný in Stern found an echo. After its publication, Ivan Blatný received many letters and gifts, mainly from Czechoslovak emigrants. Some people also came to Ipswich to visit Blatný personally. Then, in 1982, British and Norwegian televisions made a documentary film about Ivan Blatný. Hence, Jürgen Serke, or specifically his article, “Escape to the Madhouse”, significantly contributed to the rediscovery of this almost forgotten exiled poet.
The Ivan Blatný Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature contains Blatný’s copy of Serke’s article.
The collection commemorates the life and historical documents collected by György Krassó, who was a significant figure of the Hungarian democratic opposition in the 1960-1980s. In his political dissident, Krassó was the founder of the Hungarian October Free Press Information Bureau in London. Its documents are a rich source on the late socialist period and the regime change in Hungary.
This private family collection presents a personal perspective on communist rule. It includes materials which describe the point of view of the family whose member was deemed "an enemy of the people" by the socialist state. The life paths of the creators of the collection highlight the different stages and transformations of the communist regime: the fate of the family of Dimitar and Marika Stoyanov is an example of the repression of members and supporters of opposition parties, characteristic of the 1940s and 1950s.Dimitar Vasilev Stoyanov was an anarchist, convicted three times by two regimes because of his political convictions. He spent more than 6 years in forced labor-educational camps under communism (in 1945 and 1948-1953).This collection was created by Dimitar’s wife, Marika, and his son, Vantzeti Vassilev. The materials show the restrictions faced by the immediate family and relatives of people classified as politically "unreliable" or as "enemies of the people". Due to his "untrustworthy" origins, Vantzeti Vassilev was pressured by State Security to become an informant. As a form of personal resistance, Vantzeti Vassilev started writing the autobiographical book Semenata na straha [The Seeds of Fear] in the early 1980s. Seeing little future in Bulgaria, he left for Serbia to reach Italy, continuing on to the US in 1988, carrying with him a copy of the yet-unpublished book, part of the collection. The collection shows resistance in the form of a conscious "escape into oneself" through
The private collection of historian Gábor Klaniczay (1950-) includes written, visual, and audio sources from the 1970s and 1980s. These sources all concern the alternative, underground cultural trends, art, music performances, and political oppositional movements of the period. The almost entire series of the samizdat publications from Hungary also constitute an important part of the collection, as do the leaflets and posters from his trips to Paris and New York.
Augustinas Janulaitis was a famous Lithuanian national activist, an active member of the Social Democratic Party, a lawyer and historian. In 1945, he became dean of the Faculty of History at Vilnius University, and later a member of the Academy of Sciences. The Augustinas Janulaitis collection, which is kept in the Wróblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, holds various manuscripts of Janulaitis' work, and documents relating to his career and life in Soviet Lithuania. His letter to the president of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences reflects the difficult situation in 1946, when he was attacked by the Soviet authorities for bourgeois nationalism. To students, he was an example of an intellectual and a scholar of interwar independent Lithuania.
Commission for Ideological and Political Work of People's...
Commission for Ideological and Political Work of People's Youth of Croatia (1945-1962)
The Commission for Ideological and Political Work of the People's Youth of Croatia (1945-1962) was crucial in the development of young people regarding their guidance and education based on socialist values. The Commission worked under the aegis of the Communist Party, and its primary task was to monitor all activities that were opposed to the regime. Therefore, the numerous documents in this collection encompassing the period from 1945 to 1962 show different oppositional aspirations and activities of young people in Croatia in the immediate post-war period up to the beginning of the 1960s.
The Zoltán Rostás private collection stands out as something unique in the context of the Romania of the 1980s and an extraordinary example of a passion that developed in the grey zone of tolerance permitted by the regime into a profession after the fall of the regime. The oral history interviews recorded by the owner of the collection, which capture not only societal changes but also the cultural diversity that still existed in the Bucharest of those years, contradict the official homogenising vision of the party-state and constitute documents of social history without parallel in the period in question. This collection also preserved the memory of the school of sociology that was destroyed by the communist regime and, after 1989, it made a decisive contribution towards the institutionalisation of oral history in the academic world of Romania.
Vons.cz is a unique digital collection of archive materials related to the VONS association, which aimed to track and publish cases of political prisoners and other people persecuted for political reasons. All digitized archives are accessible on the web.
Everyday Life in Southwest Bulgaria during Socialism
Everyday Life in Southwest Bulgaria during Socialism
This fascinating collection sheds insight on generally unknown moments of everyday life in southwest Bulgaria during state socialism, including: the experience of and resistance against collectivization; experiences reflecting the religious policy of the communist regime (e.g. towards Muslims) and others elements of everyday life. The collection is one of the first created by the Balkan Society for Autobiography and Social Communication - Blagoevgrad (BSASC). It mainly consists of oral histories and photographic documentation, which aim to share ordinary people's experience of socialism.
Aurel and Emil Cioran Collection at ASTRA Library Sibiu
Aurel and Emil Cioran Collection at ASTRA Library Sibiu
The collection portrays the life and work of two Romanian intellectuals separated by the Iron Curtain, the brothers Aurel and Emil Cioran. While Aurel Cioran experienced imprisonment and then lived in Sibiu, Romania, his brother lived in Paris from 1941, where he became an internationally known French essayist. The collection comprises original manuscripts, correspondence, books, photos, and personal documents from the period 1911–1996.
The collection illustrates Zvonimir Kulundžić's intellectual work as a journalist, historian and literary critic who chose to pursue his activity independently outside of the institutions controlled by the socialist government. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts, the author's published articles, his correspondence and polemics, which reflect a critical standpoint toward Croatia’s institutional historiography and literature in the period from the 1950s to the late 1980s.
The Istrian Fighter Digital Collection is available at the University Library of Pula website. It is the collection of the first Croatian youth journal Istrian Fighter/IBOR, which was published in Pula from 1953 to 1979 (with two minor interruptions). The journal was published by the Istrian Fighter Literary Club with the objective of preserving the Croatian language in Istria. The journal developed a reputation as a critical media in the 1970s, covering more and more cultural, local and social themes whose tone was not well-received by the socialist authorities, so the financing of the journal was cancelled in 1979 after which it ceased publication.
Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee Collection (...
Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee Collection (1953-1962)
The collection holds much valuable information on the policy of Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee towards various manifestations of cultural opposition. The documents also reflect the situation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia, whose main goal was to preserve the Lithuanian cultural heritage. The documents cover the period of liberalisation, i.e. de-Stalinisation, in Soviet Lithuania.
The website brings together reproductions of, and information about, Slovak samizdat journals in the period from 1982 to 1989 that are registered in UNESCO's "Memory of the World" list. Specifically, it contains Christian samizdat in Slovakia, which are relatively little known, and provides information about their production and the organization of groups that issued samizdat. Several dozen Catholic samizdat are freely accessible.
Samizdat Collection of Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Samizdat Collection of Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
This unique collection of samizdat literature (1972-1989) contains samizdat books by Czech and Slovak authors whose works could not officially be published in socialist Czechoslovakia, as well as a collection of samizdat periodicals and individual texts.
Jan Zahradníček Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
Jan Zahradníček Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
The Jan Zahradníček Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature is an important resource documenting the literary and Catholic opposition to the communist regime in post-war Czechoslovakia. It includes Jan Zahradníčekʼs poetry manuscripts, written illegally in the 1950s, in Pankrác Prison.
Ideological Commission of the Central Committee of the Le...
Ideological Commission of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia (1956 - 1965)
In the collection of the Ideological Commission of the League of Communists of Croatia (IC LCC) (1956-1965), a number of documents illustrate the IC LCC's view of ideologically inappropriate occurrences in cultural creativity (art, literature, film), the media (the press, radio and television), education and science in Croatia. This commission had the task of monitoring, analysing and directing overall activity in these areas, issuing its directives and establishing staffs in all major institutions and organizations. In this way, it also reacted to ideological currents that did not align with the accepted direction, and it thereby became the deciding factor in cultural policy in Croatia.
Samizdat Collection at Petőfi Literary Museum (PLM)
Samizdat Collection at Petőfi Literary Museum (PLM)
This collection is one of the most important samizdat collections in Hungary. The Museum's Library and Archive started systematically to collect samizdat materials in the 1980s. The materials were kept in closed stacks not available to the public until 1989. The Museum held one of the first exhibitions on samizdat in Hungary after the change of regimes.
This collection expresses the artistic tendencies in the last decades of Polish reality under socialist regime. It includes a huge number of graphics, posters, paintings and drawings, as well as some items produced by opposition members held under detention.
Blatný, Ivan. Old Addresses, in Czech, 1979. Typescript
Blatný, Ivan. Old Addresses, in Czech, 1979. Typescript
In 1977, English nurse Frances Meacham began to collect Ivan Blatný’s manuscripts of poems. She also sent some poems to Josef Škvorecký, a Czech writer living in exile in Toronto, Canada. Škvorecký decided to publish Blatný’s poems and thus, the collection of poems Old Addresses (Stará bydliště) was issued by the Czechoslovak exile publishing house Sixty-Eight Publishers in 1979. The collection was compiled during years 1978 and 1979 by Czech poet Antonín Brousek, who emigrated to West Germany in 1969. In accordance with Josef Škvorecký’s request, Brousek intentionally did not include multilingual and “modern” poems. On the contrary, he chose rather lyrical poems that resembled Ivan Blatný’s texts from the beginning of the 1940s. Josef Škvorecký justified this decision stating that their clients (readers of books issued by the publishing house Sixty-Eight Publishers) are usually “elder emigrants, who already had preconceived notions about poetry”. Although Old Addresses did not reflect Blatný’s modern style, the issue of this collection in 1979 was crucial. It resulted in better knowledge of Blatný and his work in exile, and Blatný was rediscovered by Czechoslovak readers, mainly those in exile and dissent circles. This book circulated in Czechoslovakia, where it was disseminated through illegal typescript copies. As Czech literary historian Jiří Rambousek stated later, it “created a small literary sensation.” Thus, it was not surprising that Old Addresses was also published by the Czechoslovak samizdat edition “Czech Expedition”. Moreover, it encouraged Blatný himself to continue in his literary work. Since 1989, this collection has officially been published in Czechoslovakia, and later in the Czech Republic, four times (1992, 1997, 2002 and 2014).
The Museum of Czech Literature possesses a copy of the typescript of the collection Stará bydliště (Old Addresses) with handwritten notes.
Petko Ogoyski - one of the few living artists who survived socialist prisons and labor camps, was an important figure in the Bulgarian cultural opposition against the communist regime. As a member of the Bulgarian Agrarian People’s Union-Nikola Petkov (BZNS-Nikola Petkov) and poet/writer, Ogoyski was imprisoned twice (1950-1953 and 1962-1963) by the socialist state for writing “hostile” poems, texts and aphorisms and for “conspiracy”.
The Tower-Museum was established as a private initiative of the family Petko and Yagoda Ogoyski. The exhibition is partly a national and local ethnographic one, including household appliances, costumes, and weapons from the 19th and 20th centuries. At the same time, this was a way to circumvent the censorship of the communist regime. Among the ethnographic materials, Petko Ogoyski kept and preserved evidence from the periods of his imprisonment in six prisons and two forced labour camps; as also notes, books and poems written by him during and after the discharge from prison.
The materials of the Tower Museum have been collected by Petko Ogoyski since his first imprisonment in 1950. It took more than 10 years to build the museum in the late 1960s. The collection became institutionalized in 1973 when the Ogoyski family donated it to the community centre “Napredak” [“Progress”] in the district of Chepintsi, Sofia.
The Mērija Grīnberga Jr (1909-1975) collection is a testimony to the rescue by museum employees of cultural values threatened by both the Second World War and by political change. It is also a testimony to the persecution and distrust of members of the 'old' Latvian intelligentsia in Soviet Latvia, despite their sometimes desperate attempts to accommodate the political demands of the regime.
Manuscript magazines at the Estonian Cultural History Arc...
Manuscript magazines at the Estonian Cultural History Archives
The collection of manuscript magazines at the Estonian Cultural History Archives reflects the samizdat activities of writers and other cultural figures during Soviet times. It was formed in the 1990s after several donations, mostly from Jaan Isotamm. Nevertheless, the ‘almanac movement’ had numerous authors, outsiders as well as those recognised by the authorities whose works are now available in this collection. The collection contains manuscript magazines, poetry written in refugee camps, and material about religious movements and groups dealing with esoteric issues, etc. It also includes underground almanacs from Soviet times. These handwritten journals were not censored, and contain literary essays and poems, as well as socio-critical writings.
This collection contains the files of the State Security Service of the GDR that are preserved and administered by the Federal Commissioner for Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR (BstU). The surveillance records of the secret police represent a singular body of sources that offer unique glimpses into the cultural opposition to the GDR. The destruction of large numbers of these documents could only be averted in 1989/90 owing to the spirited actions of “Civil Committees”.
The collection Printer Krumpholc contains documents published during 1970s and 1980s on a secret press located in the basement of the home of Jan Krumpholc (1927-2010) in Radíkov, near the Czech city Olomouc. Mr. Krumpholc was a political prisoner, and his collection therefore offers valuable insight into the work of a persecuted oppositional figure. In 1950 he was sentenced in a show trial to imprisonment for 25 years for the offence of treason and being an enemy of the Republic. In 1969 he was released due to an amnesty. His secret press had a manual duplicating machine, on which religious and other prohibited literary works were copied. Various other printed papers were copied as well, including those dealing with violations of fundamental human rights in Czechoslovakia.
Commission on Religious Matters of the Vinkovci Municipal...
Commission on Religious Matters of the Vinkovci Municipal Assembly (1963-1993)
The records of the Commission on Religious Matters of the Vinkovci Municipal Assembly in the State Archives in Vukovar (at present situated in the Archival Collection Centre in Vinkovci) is a part of the archival fund of the Vinkovci Municipal Assembly covering the period from 1963 until 1993. The collection contains materials that testify to the local oppositional activity of different religious institutions from the area under the jurisdiction of the Vinkovci Municipal Assembly and also to the state control over them.
The periodical Auseklis (Morning Star) was a samizdat magazine published in 1987-1988 by the human rights group Helsinki-86, and was the first independent periodical in Soviet Latvia. It was distributed by volunteers outside official distribution networks.
This ad-hoc collection mainly consists of documents separated from the fond of judicial files concerning persons subject to political repression during the communist regime, currently held in the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive). It focuses on the case of Zaharia Doncev, a Moldavian worker who expressed his opposition to the Soviet regime in May 1955 by writing and distributing four “anti-Soviet” leaflets at the Chișinău railway station and in the surrounding area. Doncev’s case represents the first recorded instance of a nationally oriented oppositional message in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) in the post-Stalinist period. This case should be linked to the early context of Khrushchev’s Thaw and to the impact of the partial liberalisation of the regime on certain Soviet citizens.
Ferenc Erős’s interview collection includes in-depth interviews with second-generation Holocaust survivors. This project was one of the first which seeks to revive suppressed memories of the Holocaust and the effects of the psychological strategies used to grapple with these memories and the ways in which trauma are transmitted within families.
The Polish Underground Library was set up in 2009 in collaboration with the The Karta Center Foundation in Warsaw. It is comprised of Polish underground and exile publications, Polish flyers, posters, sound and visual recordings that are part of the Libri Prohibiti’s collections.
The Memory of Nations is an extensive online collection of the memories of witnesses, which is being developed throughout Europe by individuals, organizations, schools and institutions. It preserves and makes available the collections of memories of witnesses who have agreed that their testimony should serve to explore modern history and be publicly accessible. The collection includes testimonies of communism resistance, holocaust survival, artists of alternative culture and underground and many others.
The collection includes documents (archival material) stored in the archive of the "Commission for the Disclosure of Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens with the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian People's Army", commonly called "Commission for Dossiers" (Comdos) in Bulgarian.
The collection documents developments among the Bulgarian intelligentsia during the communist regime through the perspective of the secret police and reveals their strategies of observation and persecution of critical intellectuals.
The collection consists of documents pertaining to Hristo Damyanov Ognyanov, a leading figure of the Bulgarian democratic opposition in exile. The collection is located at the Central State Archive in Sofia. Hristo Ognyanov (born 1911, died 1997) was a writer and journalist. He was part of different Bulgarian exile communities, in Austria, the USA, and West Germany. He worked for Bulgarian émigré publications and contributed to The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. In Germany, Ognyanov (often published under Christo Ognjanoff) became a member of EXIL-PEN. He was co-founder of the Petar Beron Bulgarian Academic Society (BAS “Petar Beron”), which sought to unite Bulgarian exile intellectuals. This collection is an important source of information about the Bulgarian cultural opposition in exile, their international connections and network, and their contacts with opposition groups in Bulgaria.
The collection was established in the period from 2010 to 2016. It includes personal memories and materials of members of the Turkish minority of Bulgaria, who today live in different countries, most of them in Turkey. The collection sheds light on the life of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria and their responses to the contradictory politics, in long periods - discriminatory and assimilatory, of the socialist state.
Documents of Moldavian Union of Cinematographers (MUC). F...
Documents of Moldavian Union of Cinematographers (MUC). Fond P-2773 at AOSPR Moldova
The present collection comprises a series of archival materials relating to the activities of the Moldavian Union of Cinematographers (MUC). It covers the period from the early 1960s to the late 1980s. The materials in this collection were selected from Fonds No. P-2773 (Uniunea Cineaștilor din Moldova), which is currently held in the Archive of Social-Political Organisations (AOSPRM) of the Republic of Moldova in Chișinău. The collection files mainly focus on a number of professional congresses of the MUC and national conferences of cinematographers, with a special emphasis on the 1960s, early 1970s, and late 1980s. These materials are revealing for the uneasy relationship of the local film industry with the Soviet authorities, highlighting the internal dynamics and competition within the organisation, but also the ideological pressure exercised by the regime.
Gheorghe Muruziuc Collection at SIS Archive Moldova
Gheorghe Muruziuc Collection at SIS Archive Moldova
This collection focuses on the case of Gheorghe Muruziuc, a person of working-class background who expressed his opposition to the Soviet regime by raising the Romanian flag on the factory where he worked, in June 1966. This was the first instance when the Romanian flag was displayed in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) after June 1940.
Croatian State Security Service Collection on Religious C...
Croatian State Security Service Collection on Religious Communities
The collection belongs to the group of the most relevant archival resources for researching the communist regime’s relationship with and repression against religious communities in Croatia, and their organisations, priests and other religious officials. It contains documents collected or produced by the State Security Service of the Republic Internal Affairs Secretariat of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, the civilian security and intelligence service in Croatia in the period from 1946 to 1990. Different cultural opposition activities of certain religious communities and their members can be studied on the basis of its documents. Criticism (concealed and public) of communist rule and its social and political system, i.e. the official doctrine of atheism, is especially visible.
Ferdinand Peroutka Collection at the Museum of Czech Lite...
Ferdinand Peroutka Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
The collection of the Czech journalist, dramatist and director of the Czechoslovak section of Radio Free Europe, Ferdinand Peroutka (1895–1978), contains unique sources for the history of the Czechoslovak exile after 1948.
The VONS collection of Libri Prohibiti comprises of documents created by VONS – the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted. The basis of the VONS collection is the archive of this organisation created mainly at the end of the 1970s and in the first half of the 1980s.
The Ion Monoran Collection documents the intellectual profile of one of the leaders of the underground cultural movements in the Banat, who, thanks to his ability to catalyse the action of the crowd gathered in the streets of Timişoara on 16 December 1989, became one of the figures who incontestably made a mark on the Romanian Revolution.
The National Museum-Memorial to the Victims of Occupation “Prison on Lonskogo Street” has a small, but growing, archival collection. A detention facility used by the Polish police, the Nazi and Soviet occupational regimes, and lastly the KGB, this museum-memorial has a storied past. The building was used by regional state security services (SBU) as a prison until 1996. After the local community caught wind of a plan to allow developers to build on the site in 2006, activists mobilized to transform the prison into a site commemorating the thousands of prisoners executed by the NKVD in 1941 as the Red Army fled from advancing Nazi forces, and those incarcerated here in the decades that followed.Curators have amassed 2,000 items since the museum’s opening in 2009. In addition to World War II propaganda from Nazi and Soviet forces, it holds the personal belongings of political prisoners and detainees—letters, personal documents, and samizdat publications used to prosecute dissidents, artists, and human rights activists in Lviv and its surrounding environs in the 1960s and 1970s. The latter is an ad hoc collection of about 50 items described in the rest of this entry, which includes embroidery, rosaries made out of bread, and other materials created by prisoners serving out lengthy sentences in Siberian labour camps under Brezhnev. Situated within the larger context of the museum-memorial’s holdings, these materials about Lviv’s dissidents is important for understanding the Soviet Union’s treatment of its most intransigent opponents well into the Brezhnev era.
The collection consists of two websites run by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania: www.kgbdocuments.eu and www.kgbveikla.lt. Both websites publish KGB documents online. The internet portal www.kgbdocuments.eu is designed for the international reader, and is part of a project with the Baltic countries, whereas kgbveikla.lt is more suited to the Lithuanian theme. This collection shows the attempts by Soviet government institutions to influence the understanding of the Soviet past, and what could be seen as opposition to Soviet rule.
Documents of Moldavian Writers’ Union (MWU). Fond P-2955 ...
Documents of Moldavian Writers’ Union (MWU). Fond P-2955 at AOSPR Moldova
The present collection comprises a series of archival materials relating to the activities of the Moldavian Writers’ Union (MWU) and spanning the period from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. The materials in this collection were selected from Fond No. P-2955 (Uniunea Scriitorilor din Moldova), which is currently held in the Archive of Social-Political Organisations of the Republic of Moldova (AOSPRM) in Chișinău. The collection files mainly focus on a number of Party meetings, writers’ congresses and national conferences which discussed significant issues related to the local cultural heritage, the “language question,” and the relations between the literary milieu and the Soviet regime.
The collection "Only the Forbidden Newspapers Remain in History!" (Stefan Prodev) is one of the many collections of funds of the National Library "St. Cyril and St. Methodius "(NBCM), containing rich and diverse materials for and from the socialist period.
The newspapers and magazines presented in the collection show the possible forms of opposition by journalists and authors; the ways in which questions of freedom of the press were raised; the attempts to circumvent censorship and to rise critical issues on the regime; to develop new insights into artistic and genre diversity.
The Mojmir Vanek collection is a unique collection of materials that relate to the life and activities of Mojmir Vanek. The activities of this distinctive, albeit unknown, Czechoslovak exile was very important for the dissemination of Czech music abroad, as well as his activities within the Society for Science and Art, the Swiss branch of which he presided over for many years. The collection is at the Comenius Museum in Přerov.
Artpool is an archive, library, documentation center and place of research concerning the progressive, non-official trends in Hungarian art in the 1970s and 1980s (including alternative art scenes and groups, underground art magazines, samizdat publications etc.) and contemporary avant-garde tendencies.
Artpool – beside being a research institute - defines itself as an active archive: seeks out new forms of societal activity, takes a formative role in processes, organizes events, documents, archives them and freely distributes information.
Usatiuc-Ghimpu-Graur Collection (National Patriotic Front) at National Archive of Moldova
This collection comprises documents (including trial records) relating to the group known as the “National Patriotic Front,” which are currently held in the National Archive of the Republic of Moldova (ANRM). These materials were transferred to the ANRM from the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive). This group operated in the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) in the late 1960s and the early 1970s as the only significant organisation in the MSSR with a clear-cut and coherent oppositional message.
This unique private collection of Jindřich Štreit, a well-known photographer, curator and collector of largely unofficial 20th-century art, mainly contains the materials of unofficial exhibitions he held in Sovinec, as well as his own photographs and works and photographs of several dozen artists. The exhibitions in Sovinec were unique occasions for exhibitions of these artists who otherwise were not allowed to exhibit in Czechoslovakia, as well as for foreign and exile artists invited by Štreit. Secret police often attended these exhibitions, and on several occasions, the exhibitions were also cancelled.
Vasyl Stus was an iconic figure of the human rights movement in Soviet Ukraine and one of the leading Ukrainian poets of his generation. Volumes of his poetry circulated widely through samizdat in the 1960s-1980s. While conducting searches, the KGB would find his works in the homes of every writer, artist, chemist, and human rights activist, whose activities were cause for concern. As with many writers, Stus’s struggle with the Soviet regime, particularly his brutal incarceration and torture in a Soviet prison camp, which led to his death in 1985, have in many ways overshadowed his human and artistic legacy. The Vasyl Stus Collection at the T. H. Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv was donated by the Stus family after Ukrainian independence in 1991, with the aim of popularizing and making more accessible his writings. These materials include previously unknown works, volumes of Stus’s vast correspondence, as well as fragments of writings that survived his imprisonment in strict-regime hard labor camps in Mordovia and Perm.
The Collection of Lénárd Ödön is a combination of items which would usually be representative of collections on religious resistance under the socialist dictatorship. It is at the same time the outcome of manifest resistance against the dictatorship and a private collection of documents based on Lénárd’s personal research. The trajectory of the collection offers insights into the ways in which archives which had been private were institutionalized after 1989.
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-...
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims
The Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims is an archive collection whose original collector was the priest Krunoslav Draganović, who, relying primarily on the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses, planned to publish a book on the crimes of the Yugoslav communists.
The collection consists of more than 500 recorded interviews with national (Sąjūdis), dissident and ex-Soviet figures, and from the cultural opposition and informal groups, conducted during two research projects in 2009-2015. It is the biggest database of oral history on the Soviet past in Lithuania.
Archive of the GDR-Opposition at the Robert Havemann Society
Archive of the GDR-Opposition at the Robert Havemann Society
The Archive of the Opposition to the GDR, founded by the Robert-Havemann Society, is the largest and most significant amongst the so-called ‘reappraisal archives’. With its impressive collection of personal documents, the Archive offers a wealth of alternative and contrasting source material to that found in state and party files.
Nicolae Dragoș Collection at National Archive Moldova
Nicolae Dragoș Collection at National Archive Moldova
This ad-hoc collection is related to the activities of the first explicitly anti-communist organisation of the post-Stalinist period that operated in the Moldavian SSR, the Democratic Union of Socialists. The materials within this collection focus on the activity of the founder and main ideologue of the group, Nicolae Dragoș, a schoolteacher who challenged the political and ideological monopoly of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under the impact of Khrushchev’s “thaw” and aimed at creating an alternative political movement based on a platform of “democratic socialism.” The Dragoș case files, originally held in the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive), were transferred to the National Archive of the Republic of Moldova in 2012.
The collection illustrates Anton Vovk's theological and pastoral work as a priest and bishop who led the Catholic Church in the Ljubljana Archdiocese despite being persecuted by the institutions under the control of the communist government. The Collection includes books, original manuscripts, the author's published articles and correspondence, showing Vovk's critical stance on Slovenia’s communist regime in the period until his death in 1963.
This ad-hoc collection consists of the work of Binka Zhelyazkova, an emblematic Bulgarian cinema director, as it is preserved in the Bulgarian National Film Archive, plus related materials. Zhelyazkova was among the first generation of professional Bulgarian cinematographers and one of the first female directors not only in Bulgaria, but in general. The collections informs not only about the work of this notable director but gives also insight into the development of Bulgarian cinema throughout the entire period of state socialism.
The collection comprises the films of Binka Zhelyazkova as well as extensive written materials (film documentation, reviews in the press etc.) and photographs. It outlines the contradictory and dramatic cultural situation in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The materials exemplify the pressure exerted on artists as well as of their opportunities of resistance and evasion, of maintaing personal and political integrity, and of creating socially engaged, vanguard cinema.
The collection of “suppressed literature“ is the result of an academic project that questioned the established canon of literary history in the GDR and aims to morally rehabilitate the authors of this suppressed literature. The archive is held by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.
Collection of documents of the Central Commitee of the La...
Collection of documents of the Central Commitee of the Latvian Communist Party
Control of the cultural life in Latvia was one of functions of the Latvian Communist Party (LCP) Central Committee (CC). The collection of documents furnishes rich information about the formulation and implementation of LCP CC cultural policy, about ‘deviations’ from the official path committed by the cultural opposition, and about attempts to use Latvian culture for the political ends of the Soviet regime in 1940-1991.
This ad-hoc collection mainly consists of documents separated from the fonds of judicial files concerning persons subject to political repression during the communist regime which is currently stored in the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive). It focuses on the case of Arsenie Platon, a person of peasant background and an aspiring poet, who was tried and convicted in 1961 for displaying nationalist views and for conducting “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” among his friends and acquaintances. Platon’s “anti-Soviet” opinions were mostly expressed in a series of poems and short proclamations in which he criticised ethnic discrimination against the Moldavians and called for the overthrow of Soviet power. This case is emblematic for less widely known forms of grassroots cultural opposition, falling under the same broad category as the cases of Gheorghe Muruziuc and Zaharia Doncev. Platon’s file includes no further information about his fate after the end of his prison term.
This ad-hoc collection mainly consists of documents separated from the fond of judicial files concerning persons subject to political repression during the communist regime, which is currently stored in the Archive of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova (formerly the KGB Archive). It focuses on the case of Pavel Doronin, an ethnic Russian and a retired worker who was accused of „anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” and convicted in March 1972 to one and a half years in prison, according to article 67, part 1, of the Criminal Code of the Moldavian SSR. Between 1967 and 1971, Doronin produced a series of leaflets criticising the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which he disseminated in Chișinău and sent by post to several Soviet state institutions and factories. He also posted anti-Soviet messages on banknotes (in vanishing ink) and wrote a number of “anti-Soviet” letters and short texts which he sent to various Soviet newspapers. Some of these pieces contained open appeals to overthrowing Soviet power. Doronin’s case is revealing for the forms that individual protest against the regime – mostly based on social and political grievances – took in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The collection commemorates the life and oeuvre of the deeply religious Catholic poet of peasant origin, Gáspár Nagy. His works were repeatedly subject to censorship from the 1970s on, and he became a significant figure of the opposition by the 1980s.
Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee collection (...
Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee collection (1944-1953)
The collection gives much valuable information about the policy of the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee towards the Lithuanian national intelligentsia and the Lithuanian national heritage. The documents cover the most dramatic and repressive period in the history of Soviet Lithuania.
The General Directorate for the Protection of State Secrets in the Press under the Council of Ministers ofSoviet Lithuania (Glavlit) was the main censorship institution in Soviet Lithuania. The collection holds many documents illustrating the censorship of activities by cultural workers, and reflecting the boundaries for content, which was related to Modernism and the Lithuanian cultural heritage.
The collection of Zsolt Csalog (1935-1997) covers his diverse activities as a sociologist (he published on sensitive social issues, such as poverty, discrimination, and forms of social deviance), writer (he focused on the underprivileged and marginalized social groups of the Kádár regime), and a former member of the Democratic Opposition
The collection of the writer Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas holds various documents: notes, correspondence and manuscripts. The documents illustrate very well the situation of intellectuals and writers in Soviet Lithuania. The government considered Mykolaitis-Putinas to be a famous Lithuanian writer, but on the other hand it tried to control his creative work. During the Late Stalinist period, the writer was often criticised by Party officials.