The Institute and Archive Receive a Joint Visit from the Ambassors of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of South Africa

Prague, December 2, 2009

– The directors of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and Security Services Archive, Pavel Žáček and Ladislav Bukovszky, welcomed two esteemed visitors in one day at the institutions they run. The Ambassors of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of South Africa, R. Loeckx-Drozdiak and Celie-Sandra Botha respectively, whose visits resulted from their own requests, familiarized themselves with the work of the Institute and Archive and, after posing several questions, reviewed the work sites of both institutions. The digitization of archive materials, especially microfiche, and the method of making archival materials accessible in the research rooms elicited the most questions. The Ambassor of the Kingdom of Belgium R. Loeckx-Drozdiak remarked in conclusion that she wished to return to discuss in more detail the topics that had captured her interest, primarily the opportunity to gather information obtained by the communist foreign intelligence service on the Kingdom of Belgium and examine surveillance data on the Belgian Embassy in Prague. “I had not anticipated that it would be possible to accomplish so much in less than two years. I am very surprised by all that you are doing, and hope that I will have the opportunity to be of help with international cooperation,” added Celie-Sandra Botha, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa in the Czech Republic. Her colleague from the Kingdom of Belgium expressed interest in one of the Institute‘s key international activities, the establishment of a European Platform of Memory and Conscience. “Europe has unfortunately had too much experience with totalitarian regimes, and it is necessary to constantly remind ourselsves of this fact, so that it never happens again,” added R. Loeckx-Drozdiak.