Regular Yet Unusual Training Course

Sometimes a material is found during the cataloguing process that has no direct link to the collection being catalogued, but can still provide interesting information and sometimes also an entertaining piece of reading. An example of this is the “List of items necessary for the training course in Zloutkovice on 27–28 September 1979”, placed in the Journal Logbook dating back to 1979, now included in the Department XI (National Economy Security) collection. It probably relates to a short training course or defence training that all officers had to attend in regular intervals. It is impossible to say whether this particular event applied to all employees, but probably only to female employees of Department XI. It is, however, apparent from the archival material that they had a specific sense of humour where possible when fulfilling this “duty”.

It can be seen, for instance, in the list of obligatory equipment, where various items appear, for instance, “apt and fitting garment (the latest fashion hit), the No. 60 uniform, also nicknamed BUNDESWEHR”, and the obligatory fashion accessory – “gas mask” which was to be carried in a “fitting little handbag of khaki colour”. Besides the equipment and the course itself, they apparently also thought of socialising, as can be seen in the final part of the document: “Take some bigger amount of money, as this is the only chance when we, free of our dear partners and almost-partners at least for two days, can enjoy ourselves greatly!” You can see the other required items in the document.

Security Services Archive, Department XI collection, Box 2, Journal Logbook of the commander of Department XI, T, 1979.