KGB Documents Online Collection
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.
Vilnius Didžioji gatvė 17, Lithuania 01128
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Name of collection
- KGB Documents
Provenance and cultural activities
The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (LGGRTC) launched the project to publish KGB documents online at www.kgbdocuments.eu in 2006. The aim of the project is to publish documents to oppose a process that is understood by the LGGRTC as the whitewashing of history by Russian propaganda. The project involves collaboration by historians from Baltic countries, and it sees the international society of the EU as its audience. Therefore, the LGGRTC tries to select documents that could thematically and geographically encompass a wide range of KGB activities.
The website kgbveikla.lt was started in 2011. It is worth mentioning that the appearance of this internet portal was seen by its founders as a kind of solution to problems relating to the lustration process of ex-KGB collaborators. According to Burauskaitė, the idea to publish online documents at kgbdocuments.eu came to her personally. In 2011, there were many various considerations that the law of lustration could not solve problems because of the limited number of documents left by the KGB in Lithuania. Secondly, it is difficult to claim legally that a person was a secret KGB informer, even if documents show it quite clearly. As is pointed out by Burauskaitė, the situation looked desperate. Suddenly, the idea came to her that the LGGRTC should disseminate these KGB documents openly, and give society the possibility to know what kind of documents the KGB had about a person's collaboration. By the end of 2015, the website held information about 980 secret KGB informers. Although the main role of the website is to disseminate material about KGB collaborators, these documents are accompanied by a huge number of digital copies of KGB files about its activities in ideological counter-intelligence and other spheres. In 2015, only 73 new KGB files were posted. Thus, we could say that the LGGRTC does a job that could be done by the Lithuanian Special Archives itself. But the archive does not do this work. This could show the division of institutional responsibility in dealing with the KGB and the Soviet past.
Description of content
The collection holds a large amount of KGB files that are published online. So far, these two websites, www.kgbdocuments.eu and www.kgbveikla.lt, are the largest source of KGB material available online in the world. Many interesting documents are published about cultural dissidents. An easy and user-friendly system of navigation allows everyone to search for and find files of research interest. For example, at www.kgbveikla.lt the search words ideologinė kontržvalgyba (ideological counter-intelligence) result in a list of more than 280 KGB files that are available to download from the website. One problem is that the Lithuanian version (www.kgbveikla.lt) is much bigger than the international version www.kgbdocuments.eu, and even though many documents are in Russian, the website's Lithuanian design limits an international approach to these files.
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Burauskaitė, Teresė Birutė
Date of founding
Place of founding
Vilnius Didžioji gatvė 17, Lithuania
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Creator(s) of content
- Burauskaitė, Teresė Birutė
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
- No publications
Author(s) of this page
Burauskaitė, Teresė Birutė, interview by Grybkauskas, Saulius, October 12, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection