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. The exhibition premiere took place on 7 April 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


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