National Institutions Responsible for the Investigation and Archival of Communist Crimes


The European Network of Official Authorities in Charge of the Secret-Police Files

(Composed of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia)

Short text about the network (from the website of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance)

A Reader on their Legal Foundations, Structures and Activities of the Network 


 Committee for disclosing the documents and announcing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the State Security and the intelligence services of the Bulgarian National Army (Комисия за разкриване на документите и за обявяване на принадлежност на български граждани към Държавна сигурност и разузнавателните служби на Българската народна армия)

Czech Republic 

Security Services Archive (Archív bezpečnostních složek) and The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů) 

Body responsible for prosecution/investigation:
Office for the Documentation and the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism (Úřad dokumentace a vyšetřování zločinů komunismu) 


The State Archives

Estonian State Archives
Maneezi 4
Tallinn 15019
Phone: +372 693 8111, +372 693 8000

Body responsible for prosecution/investigation:
Over the last 15 years the Security Police has investigated crimes against humanity committed under the occupation regimes of both the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany. Background information (the Security Police website). 

Estonian Security Police
Toompuiestee 3
10142 Tallinn

Further National Institutes:
The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory
The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory was established by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in 2008 in order to provide the citizens of Estonia with a thorough and objective account of the status of human rights during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. 

Estonian Institute of Historical Memory
Tõnismägi 16
10119 Tallinn
Phone: +372 693 8525 


Organizations/institutions which deal with the archives of the secret police:
Office of the Federal Commissioner (Die Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR (BStU)). Legal basis of the BStU

Regional representatives:
• Berlin: Landesbeauftrager für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR des Landes Berlin Homepage (in German)
• Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Landesbeauftragte für Mecklenburg-Vorpommern für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR Homepage (in German)
• Sachsen: Sächsischer Landesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR Homepage (in German)
• Sachsen-Anhalt: Landesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt Homepage (in German)
• Thüringen: Landesbeauftragte des Freistaates Thüringen für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR Homepage (in German)
• Brandenburg has no regional representative for the time being. Please contact the regional representative of Berlin. 

Body responsible for prosecution/investigation:
The committed crimes in the context of DDR injustice were prosecuted and investigated according to the German legal system. However, some Bundesländer built special units within the Offices of Public Prosecution like the “Schwerpunktabteilung zur Verfolgung der Unrechtstaten des DDR-Regimes auf Bezirks- und Kreisebene” in Brandenburg in the nineties. These special units don’t exist any more since 3 October 2000 when the statute of limitation for certain crimes of the so called DDR injustice (DDR Systemunrecht) entered into force. Only serious crimes, especially murder, can still be prosecuted. (See speech of Dr. Erardo Cristoforo Rautenberg, Attorny General of Brandenburg, 2003). 

For further information see:
Die Strafverfolgung von DDR-Unrecht. Fakten und Zahlen. By Klaus Marxen, Gerhard Werle, Petra Schäfer. Ed. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und der Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-021699-2 


Organizations/institutions which deal with the archives of the secret police:
Historical Archive of the Hungarian State Security (Állambiztonsági Szolgálatok Történeti Levéltára)- national archive established by the Act No. III of 2003

Address: 1369 Budapest, Pf.:367, Hungary
Phone: +36 1 478-6020

Body responsible for prosecution/investigation:
There is no specific body responsible for prosecution/investigations of communist crimes in Hungary. 

Further national institutes:
Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution – public foundation

Address: H-1410 Budapest, Pf.: 218, Hungary
Phone: +36 1 322-5228

OSA Archivum – Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University
Address: 1051 Budapest, Arany J. u. 32, Hungary
Phone: +36 1 327-3250


The Totalitarian Consequences Documentation Center (Totalitārisma seku dokumentēšanas centrs)

The Totalitarian Consequences Documentation Centre (TSDC) was established according to the Latvian Supreme Council of the Bureau’s decision of 16 April 1992. From 1992 to 1995 it operated under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and from November 6, 1995 it operates under the Constitution Protection Bureau.

The TSDC functions are:
• Provide for Latvian KGB document preservation and collection;
• To prepare documents for individuals on the facts of collaboration with the KGB;
• To assist in rehabilitation and, in special services, to prepare the case papers for the prosecution of criminal acts;
• To provide information on the cooperation of individual with the KGB and the Latvian security institutions;
• To gather the documents that allow people who were repressed, persecuted and spied on to be politically, legally and morally rehabilitated.

Additionally a significant share of the TSDC’s work consists of political, legal and moral damage assessments caused by the KGB to the Latvian state and its citizens. TSDC research projects collaborate with the Latvian Historians Commission’s (LVK) study of totalitarian regimes and their repression in Latvian and several other organizations such as the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and the Latvian War Museum.

Address: TSDC, a/k 286, Riga, LV-1001
Phone: +371 67227778
TSDC director: Zinta Ābola


Organizations/institutions which deal with the archives of the secret police:
Archives of the secret police are kept at the Lithuanian Special Archives (Lietuvos ypatingasis archyvas) 

Body responsible for prosecution/investigation:
The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (Lietuvos gyventojų genocido ir rezistencijos tyrimo centras):

“General Regulations: The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania is a state institution which investigates all manifestations of genocide and crimes against humanity, the persecution during the Soviet and Nazi occupations, and the armed and peaceful resistance to the occupations. It also gives juridical evaluations of the perpetrators of the reprisals and genocide, and immortalises the memory of the freedom fighters and genocide victims.” 


Institute for National Remembrance (Instytut Pamięci Narodowej) 

The Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (IPN) was established by the Polish Parliament on December 18, 1998 with a special bill. The Institute is headed by the President whose post is independent of the state authorities. The President of the IPN is elected for a five-year term. 

The Institute started its activities on July 1, 2000.
The headquarters of the Institute of National Remembrance is located in Warsaw. There are also eleven Branch Offices of the IPN, established in the cities where Appellate Courts are located, and seven Delegations throughout Poland. 

The Institute of National Remembrance was created to address issues which are considered essential to the legislative power in Poland, primarily to preserve the memory of: 

• The losses which were suffered by the Polish Nation as a result of the World War II and the post-war period;
• Patriotic traditions of fighting against occupants, Nazism and Communism;
• Citizens’ efforts to fight for an independent Polish State, in defence of freedom and human dignity; 

And to fulfil: 

• The duty to prosecute crimes against peace, humanity and war crimes;
• The need to compensate for damages which were suffered by the repressed and harmed people in the times when human rights were violated by the state. This is the expression of belief that no unlawful deeds of the state against its citizens can be protected by secrecy or forgotten. 

The Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation (IPN) has been established to fulfil the abovementioned mission. On the basis of the statute constituting the IPN, Communist crimes are understood as the deeds performed by officials of the Communist state in the period from September 17, 1939 to December 31, 1989, whose activities led to repress individuals and groups of people or to broke human rights in another ways. Crimes against humanity are understood mainly as crimes of genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948, as well as other forms of persecution and oppressions by official agents which were directed against people who belong to a given political, social, racial, religious or nation group. In accordance with the principles conveyed in the international law, no statutory limitation shall apply to war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, whether committed in time of war or in time of peace, irrespectively of the date of their commission. 

The IPN is responsible for gathering, assessing, disclosing and custody of the documentation created between July 22, 1944 and December 31, 1989 by Polish security agencies. The documentation would also include records regarding the Communist, Nazi and other crimes committed against Polish citizens in the period from September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1989, as well as political repressions carried out by officials of the former Polish investigative and justice organs in that time. The documentation concerning the activities of the security organs is also the subject of interest of the IPN. 

The access to the IPN records is granted to foreigners on the basis of reciprocity. 

Another major responsibility of the Institute is to investigate Communist and Nazi crimes as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity and peace. The IPN investigates crimes against people of Polish origin, as well as Polish citizens of other origin and other citizens who were harmed in the Polish territories. 

Finally, the IPN is in charge of public education and has been engaged in research regarding the 1939-1989 period, as well as dissemination of the research results in the form of publications, exhibitions, seminars, etc. 

The activities performed by the IPN while fulfilling its mission must take into consideration the need to protect personal data of the repressed. 


The goals of the Institute are carried out by the following four departments: 

Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation
Office for Preservation and Dissemination of Archival Records
Public Education Office
Vetting Office 


Organizations/institutions which deal with the archives of the secret police and the communist past in Romania (as well as some which deal with prosecution):
1. The National Archives of Romania

Address: Bd. Regina Elisabeta nr. 49, sector 5, Bucureşti, C-050013
Fax: 021/312 58 41, 021/313 18 38
The project “Online communism photo collection”
Contact details for the project above mentioned:
National Archives of Romania:
The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania: 

2. The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER)

The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania (IICCR) merged with The National Institute for the Memory of the Romanian Exile (INMER), thus resulting in a new institution, namely The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER). 

Address: Str. General David Praporgescu nr. 33, sector 2, Bucharest, postcode 020968
Phone: +40 21 316 7565 / +40 21 316 7557
Fax: +40 21 316 7552
Email address: 

3. Consulting Presidency Committee for analysing the Communist Dictatorship in Romania – indicative translation (Comisia Prezidenţială pentru Analiza Dictaturii Comuniste din România CPADCR)
Final report of CPADCR, 2006 

4. The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance
(Sighet) / The Civic Academy Foundation

Address: 132 Calea Moşilor , 1st floor, sector 2 Bucharest
Postal Address: Piaţa Amzei, No 13, Bucharest, Sect. 1
PO 22-216, Romania
Phone/Fax: +40 21 312 58 54;
Phone: +40 21 312 98 52


Nation’s Memory Institute (Ústav Pamäti Národa) 

The principle task of the Institute in the present time, from among the multitude of duties, prescribed by § 8 of Act 553/2002 Coll., is the disclosure of documents about the persecutions, carried out by the Nazis’ or communist security agencies, to individual applicants. In cooperation with the Public Prosecution Office, it works out and files charges against these crimes. 

Ústav pamäti národa (Nation’s Memory Institute)
Námestie slobody 6
817 83 Bratislava 15
Slovak Republic
Phone: +421 2 593 00 311
Fax: +421 2 593 00 391


Organizations/institutions which deal with the archives of the secret police:
The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia (description of the fond – in Slovenian), according to Regulation about handing over of materials from archives of the former National Security Service (Ur.l. RS, nr. 50/2007 – in Slovenian only). 

Body responsible for the prosecution/investigation:
In Slovenia Prosecution/investigation of communist crimes follows the “normal” legal procedure – it’s done by the police and the State Prosecutor’s Office. 

Other bodies:
At ministry of justice there is a Sector for Redressing of Injustices and for National Reconciliation. 

The police established a special working group for investigating the postwar mass killings, as part of Project Reconciliation (SPRAVA), which is part of the criminal police. At the beginning of the nineties there was a special parliamentary commission of enquiry on post-war killings. There is as well a governmental commission for the registration, exhumation and arranging of the concealed gravesites, which was established in 2005 (at Ministry of labour, family and social affairs).


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