Totalitarianism in Europe
- Prague, Faculty of Law, Charles University, February 26, 2013
- Kranj, Slovenia, 17 January 2013
- Bratislava, Aréna Theatre, 17 September 2012
Voices of Freedom - Radio Free Europe in the Cold War Era
- Exhibition concept: Zuzana Jürgens (Czech Center, Munich), Prokop Tomek (Military History Institute, Prague)
- Exhibition texts: Prokop Tomek
- Production: Lukáš Jiřička, Michal Hroza
- Layout: Jaroslav Ježek
- Translation: Coilín O’Connor
- Film interviews and portraits: Nasiba Abbasova, Annelie Bachmaier, Margarethe Barié, Maria Dokic, Patricia Erkenberg, Mariya Heinbockel, Almut Karl, Monika Kindermann, Lisa Kitter, Iryna Lukashuk, Susanne Paul, Thomas Rabl, Maria Romanski, Sandra Szczesniak, Annik Trauzettel, David Wenig (Students of the Honours Master’s Programme East European Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Regensburg) led by Ruth Schneider and Raoul Eshelman
- Organiser: Czech Centres – Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes – Honours Master’s Programme East European Studies (LMU/UR) – Collegium Carolinum
- Thanks to: Petr Brod, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Leszek Gawlikowski, Ludmil Janev, Jenny Keiser, Nina Kozlowski, Aleksander Menhard, Renata Rosenbusch, Kristina Váňová, the Monument of Karel Čapek, RFE/RL – Archive of the Russian desk
Opening of the Exhibition (Sofia, 5 April 2012)
On 5 April 2012 was held the opening of the english version of the exhibition “Voices of Freedom-Radio Free Europe in the Cold War Era” at the Czech Center in Sofia, Bulgaria. The exhibition was inaugurated by the director of the Czech Center in Sofia, Kateřina Churtajeva and the director of the Publishing Department of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Michal Hroza.
The exhibition was prepared through the collaboration of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the Czech Center in Sofia. Within the opening of the exhibition was screened a documentary film Cold Waves which was dedicated to the Radio Free Europe. Author of the film is Romanian director Alexandru Solomon.
Opening of the Exhibition (Bucharest, 12 March 2012 )
On 12 March 2012 was held the opening of the english version of the exhibition “Voices of Freedom-Radio Free Europe in the Cold War Era” at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest. The opening was accompanied by a panel discussion titled Radio Free Europe: its impact and influence on present, attended by Pavel Žáček from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prokop Tomek from the Military History Institute, Slawomir Lukasiewicz from the Polish Intitute of National Remembrance and sociologist from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Bucharest, Oana-Valentina Suciu, in the role of moderator.
The exhibition, which was prepared through the collaboration of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Czech Centre in Bucharest and the Faculty of Political Studies, was part of the film festival One World. After the opening of the exhibition, attended by many members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of cultural and scientific institutions and former staff of Radio Free Europe, was screened a documentary film Cold Waves which was dedicated to the Radio Free Europe. This film was written by Romanian director Alexandru Solomon. The exhibition is held under the auspices of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary and Poland.
Opening of the Exhibition (Kranj, 10 January 2012)
The english version of the exhibition “Voice of Freedom – Radio Free Europe in the Cold War Era” was opened in Gorenjski Museum in Kranj (Slovenia) on 10 January 2012. Exhibition was prepared by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes together with the Czech Center in Munich, Military History Institute, Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität in Munich and Study Center for National Reconciliation in Ljubljana.
The exhibition was opened by the director of Gorenjski Museum Marija Ogrin, the director of Study Center for National Reconcilation Andrea Valič, the director of Editorial Deparment of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes Michal Hroza and the deputy Major of city Kranj Bojan Homan. The exhibition is held under the auspices of the Major of city Kranj Mohor Bogataj and the Ambassador of Czech Republic in Slovenia Dr. Petr Voznica.
Opening of the Exhibition (Munich, 29 June 2011)
The exhibition “Voices of Freedom - Radio Free Europe in the Cold War Era” partly organised by the Institute for the Study of the Totalitarian regimes was opened in Bavarian State Assembly in Munich on 29 June 2011. The Czech Centre in Munich, Military history institute and Ludwg-Maxmilians Universität in Munich also collaborated on the project.
The exhibition was opened by 1st Vice-President of the Bavarian State Assembly Reinhold Bocklet, the Czech ambassador in Germany Rudolf Jindrák, general consul of the Czech Republic in Germany Josef Hlobil, Director of the Czech Centre in Munich Zuzana Jürgens and the 1st Deputy-Director of the Institute for the Study of the Totalitarian Regimes Jan Kalous.
The exhibition is co-sponsored by Czech minister of foreign affairs Karel Schwarzenberg and the Prime Minister of bavaria Horst Seehofer.
Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police
The exhibition “Prague through the Lens of the Secret Police,” organized jointly by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the Security Services Archive, features a selection of photographs and films taken by servicemen of the (communist) Secret Police’s (StB) Surveillance Directorate between 1969-89, as well as complementary explanatory texts in both English and Czech. It has been designed as a travelling exhibition; audiences around Europe and the United States will have the opportunity to view it over the course of the year.
The exhibition premiere took place on April 7, 2009 at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union in Brussels, where it was on view through the end of that month within the scope of the Czech Republic's presidency of the EU Council.
In conjunction with this project, the Institute has released an eponymous book featuring a more comprehensive selection of these never before published photographs taken in the course of secret police during the “normalization” era of hard-line socialist entrenchment after the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia. In addition, the book offers readers a selection of detailed introductory and scholarly texts addressing the nature of the photographs’ origin and related technical details. The entirely bi-lingual Czech-English publication can be purchased online at www.kosmas.cz.
- Exhibition video clips
- Exhibition panels (PDF 3.6 MB)
- Exhibition poster (Brussels, 4/8-29/2009)
- Invitation to the exhibition premiere (Brussels, 4/8-29/2009)
- Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police (eponymous book)
- “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” Exhibition Opens at Harvard University (Boston, November 15, 2009)
- “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” Exhibition Tour Continues with Opening at Harvard University (Prague/Boston, November 5, 2009)
- “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” - Exhibition Tour Continues in Europe and the United States (Prague, October 23, 2009)
- Exhibition of Photographs from the Workshop of the Czechoslovak Communist Secret Police Launches U.S. Tour (Washington, DC, August 20, 2009)
- Premiere of the exhibition Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police and launch of the eponymous book (Brussels, April 7, 2009)
- Prague from the Perspective of the Pathological Powerful (Foam Magazine, issue #22)
- “Secret Police Photos Evoke the Iron Curtain Era” (Archival Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of American Archivists, Jan/Feb 2010)
- Citizen spies, spied-on citizens. An exhibit of Czech secret-police photos from the Communist era, at Harvard through Dec. 21, shows Big Brother as unintentional artist (Harvard University Gazette, news.harvard.edu/gazette, 03-16 December 2009)
- When Prague Spied on Its Own (Roll Call, Washington, DC, September 14, 2009, www.rollcall.com)
On the Cold War Front – Czechoslovakia 1948-1956
The exhibition “On the Cold War Front,” organized by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in cooperation with the City of Prague Museum, opened in Prague on February 24, 2009, where it was on view at the Museum through May 3, 2009.
The exhibition is dedicated to the thousands of unknown fellow citizens who, after February 1948, decided to actively fight from abroad against the Communist power in Czechoslovakia. Dramatic battles of the Cold War took place on the border between East and West in the years 1948-1956. The secret operations of exile intelligence groups have practically been forgotten by now. Today we search for their significance both for the development of our country and for the traditions of the struggle for freedom and democracy.
The entirely bi-lingual English-Czech exhibition covers the following main themes: the inception, development and structure of foreign intelligence resistance and its organizers, goals and results; the various ways in which couriers (or “agent-walkers”) crossed the borders and the technical and operative measures taken against them; personalities from among the couriers and the technical equipment they used; concrete cases of persecution of Czechoslovak citizens who contributed to the couriers’ activities; the security apparatus structures of the State Security Service (Státní bezpečnost – StB), the National Security Corps (Sbor národní bezpečnosti – SNB) and the Border Guard Service (Pohraniční stráž – PS) which the foreign resistance had to face; period propaganda and reactions on the part of the regime.
- Press release: On the Cold War Front - Czechoslovakia 1948–1956 (Prague, November 3, 2009)
- Press release: Opening of the Exhibition “On the Cold War Front” (Prague, February 24, 2009)
- Exhibition brochure (PDF 2.9 MB)
- Exhibition catalogue (PDF 7.5 MB)
Soviet Secret Services in Czechoslovakia
Under the auspices of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and in cooperation with Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance and the Institute of Historical Studies of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the November 19-21, 2008 Prague conference “NKVD/KGB Activities and its Cooperation with other Secret Services in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-1989 II” attracted scholar-presenters from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the UK and the USA, as well as significant contributions from local scholars and an attendance of over 100.
Over the course of three days, participants engaged in a series of five panels, addressing the following over-arching themes: Archives of security services of Central and Eastern European countries; Establishment of the security apparatus in Soviet satellite states after WWII; Central and Eastern Europe as a starting point for intelligence infiltration into Western societies; Development of cooperation of the NKVD/KGB with satellite intelligence services; and Operations of Communist intelligence services, joint operations managed by the KGB.
The accompanying bi-lingual Czech-English mini-exhibit, on display at the conference entrance in the Wallenstein Palace chambers of the Czech Senate, mapped out the Soviet Secret Services in Czechoslovakia through six detailed panels: Agreements with “friends”; Negotiations with the KGB; Operative cooperation between the KGB and Czechoslovak State Security (StB); the KGB and the StB’s joint efforts; Study in the USSR; and Disinformation and active measures.
- Exhibition panels 1–6 (PDF 21.6 MB)
- Panel 1: Agreements with “friends” (PDF 3.6 MB)
- Panel 2: Negotiations with the KGB (PDF 3.3 MB)
- Panel 3: Operative cooperation between the KGB and the StB (PDF 3.4 MB)
- Panel 4: The KGB and the StB’s joint efforts (PDF 3.5 MB)
- Panel 5: Study in the USSR (PDF 3.2 MB)
- Panel 6: Disinformation and active measures (PDF 4.8 MB)
- Conference catalogue (PDF 368 kB)
Test of Courage – Stories of Underage Political Prisoners
The Department of Exhibitions and Education of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has organized a testimonial exhibition thematically focused on the political persecution of adolescents during the early years of the Communist regime. The theme, which has yet to attract significant attention from the historical community, maps the fates and resistance activities of four groups that came into being in 1948-49 and which were made up primarily of those active in the Scouts or Sokol organizations as well as members of families persecuted by the regime – entrepreneurs and farmers. Content-wise, the exhibition centers around the study of archival materials preserved in the Security Services Archive and in Department IV of the Czech National Archive, as well as testimonies of living witnesses, largely from the Litomyšl region. The curator’s aim was to present information about an interesting group of political prisoners, as well as to call attention to their hitherto marginalized position in society.
The exhibition premiere took place in the building of the Alois Jirásek Gymnázium in Litomyšl on December 15, 2008. It then moved to Prague, where it premiered as part of the Mene Teke Festival against Totalitarianism and Injustice on February 23, 2009. Finally, it opened in Brno’s Cloister of the Minorites on March 19, 2009 – thus completing a tour of the three main places where the events addressed in the exhibition took place, and where until today a majority of the witnesses live. While the exhibition panels are in Czech only, a detailed companion exhibition catalogue is available in both Czech and English versions. In addition to the material on view in the panels, the catalogue contains a more thorough analysis of individual cases and a wider offering of photographs and documents.
The exhibition came into existence with the material support of the civic association Post Bellum and in cooperation with the Regional Museum in Litomyšl.