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maandag 10 september 2007

KGB Archives

KGB documents stemming from the time when the Baltic was occupied by the Soviet Union can now be read online. A group of historians from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania met in Vilnius some time ago and came with the idea of placing the occupation in the right historical perspective. It took until 2006 to finalize this project, named The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. Now their site, KGB Documents, is online.

In their words: "There were more motives to prepare an online site. First of all, historians from the three countries have always been annoyed by Russian propaganda that there had never been any occupation of any of the three Baltic States. Many historians were tired of getting into polemics with allegedly non-partisan Russian print and broadcast media representatives on the subject. The more so that later the historians’ arguments were presented out of context, and separate comments were used according to the strict scenario useful to Moscow’s propaganda.
Another reason for the appearance of the site was to give students, historians, and all those who were interested, more possibilities to research KGB archives. One more important reason was the appearance of memoirs of KGB workers and their supporters in recent years. The authors of these reminiscences not only tried to whitewash their reputations, but also clearly rewrote modern history. In their publications, they called KGB workers true patriots, and portrayed dissidents, partisans, their messengers and their families as dunces who did not know why or what they were fighting for, and, even more, most of them were portrayed as common criminals. What information does the site carry?
First of all, it will be possible to read about the structure and work of the NKVD–NKGB–MGB–KGB in the Baltic States. Then, there are documents of different KGB departments, which show the differences in their work in the countries. All the documents, scanned from the originals, have descriptions. It will be possible to find them by name, place and date, KGB department, title of the document, and so on.
The descriptions are in English and Russian.
Visitors to the site will find news and articles about research into the work of the KGB. "

For those of you who like the graphical representation of Russia's communist past, you can always check the blog Soviet Posters.

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