The Latvian National Archives have published the first part of a document trove of the former Soviet secret police - the KGB
The Latvian National Archives have published the first part of a document trove of the former Soviet secret police - the KGB - that was discovered at the time when the USSR collapsed.
Available at https://kgb.arhivi.lv/, the archive includes alphabetic and statistical card indexes, the dossiers of recruited KGB agents, the KGB employees' phonebooks, as well as materials on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Latvia.
The idea for this project was born a long time ago but was not finalised until 2016. The project aimed to make public KGB documents from the years of the occupation of the countrie.
There were more motives to prepare an online site. First of all, historians 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.
According to Latvia's state bulletin, the index spans some 4,300 out of about 25,000 KGB agents active in the period from 1953 to 1991, but it mostly concerns agents active in the late 1980s.
It's clear that the archive is incomplete. For days, black smoke was seen rising from the chimneys of the KGB building before it was overtaken by pro-independence forces as the USSR fell.
The index cards have the name, surname, year and location of birth, address, workplace, nationality, education, code name and other information on KGB recruits.
Archives related to communist party management are to be published next year.
First published on: https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/society/first-batch-of-latvias-kgb-archives-published-online.a303704/