Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through Anthem Press and JSTOR. This collection of essays addresses institutions that develop the concept of collaboration, and examines the function, social representation and history of secret police archives and institutes of national memory that create these histories of collaboration. The essays provide a comparative account of collaboration/participation across differing categories of collaborators and different social milieux throughout East-Central Europe.
They also demonstrate how secret police files can be used to produce more subtle social and cultural histories of the socialist dictatorships. By interrogating the ways in which post-socialist cultures produce the idea of, and knowledge about, “collaborators,” the contributing authors provide a nuanced historical conception of “collaboration,” expanding the concept toward broader frameworks of cooperation and political participation to facilitate a better understanding of Eastern European communist regimes.
Edited by Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth and James Mark, the essays are framed into three parts – Institutes, Secret Lives and Collaborating Communities and include topics such as the Stasi Records of the former GDR; memory in Latvia, Slovak and the Czech Republics; Tito and intellectuals 1945-80; entangled stories with the Former Securitate; Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia and priest collaboration in Slovak Catholic memory after 1989.
“This excellent volume marks a genuine breakthrough in our knowledge about the everyday lives of the people who made up the secret police, of their motivations and their experiences. It challenges binary visions of the past and powerfully highlights the complexity of the term ‘collaboration.’ Ultimately, it makes a case for the human factor in the history of the repressive state.”
Ulf Brunnbauer, Director, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany
Table of Contents
Frameworks: Collaboration, Cooperation, Political Participation in the Communist Regimes
Part 1: Institutes
Chapter 1: A Dissident Legacy, The ‘Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records of the Former GDR’ (BStU) in United Germany
Chapter 2: In Black and White? The Discourse on Polish Post-War Society by the Institute of Polish Remembrance
Chapter 3: The Exempt Nation: Memory of Collaborationism in Contemporary Latvia
Chapter 4: Institutes of Memory in the Slovak and Czech Republics – What Kind of Memory?
Chapter 5: Closing the Past – Opening the Future. Hungarian Victims and Perpetrators of the Communist Regime
(Péter Apor and Sándor Horváth)
Chapter 6: To Collaborate and to Punish. Democracy and Transitional Justice in Romania
Part 2: Secret Lives
Chapter 7: ‘Resistance through Culture’ or ‘Connivance through Culture.’ Difficulties of Interpretation; Nuances, Errors, and Manipulations
Chapter 8: Intellectuals between Collaboration and Independence. Politics and Everyday Life in the Prague Faculty of Arts in Late Socialism
Chapter 9: Tito and Intellectuals – Collaboration and Support, 1945–1980
Chapter 10: Spy in the Underground. Polish Samizdat Stories
Chapter 11: Entangled Stories. On the Meaning of Collaboration with the Former Securitate
Part 3: Collaborating Communities
Chapter 12: Finding the Ways (around). Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia
Chapter 13: ‘But Who is the Party?’ History and Historiography in the Hungarian Communist Party
Chapter 14: Forgetting ‘Judas’. Priest Collaboration in Slovak Catholic Memory after 1989
Chapter 15: Informing as Life-Style. Unofficial Collaborators of the Hungarian and the East-German State Security (Stasi) Working in the Tourism Sector