What is the State Security Archive?

With the approval of Act No. 181/2007 Coll., of 8 June 2007 on the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and the Security Services Archive (hereinafter referred to as the SSA) and on amendments to certain acts, the foundations of a new organisational unit of the state, the SSA, were laid. By this step, the legislators of the Czech Parliament established an administrative office directly managed by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (hereinafter referred to as the Institute) and in the professional activities in the field of archives the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.

The SSA is headed by a Director appointed by the Director of the Institute after consultation by the Council of the Institute. The Archive is an accounting unit and part of the budget chapter of the Institute.

Since 1 February 2008, the SSA has been included in the network of the state public archives of the Czech Republic and fully performs the complex, society-wide tasks defined by law in the field of access to and publication of documents, archival records of the security forces and in the field of archives and records management. The SSA was established as an institution that administers archives and documents resulting from the activities of the Nazi and Communist security forces. The archive ensures their accessibility and publication, provides all-round care of archival materials, their professional and scientific processing. It also enables the public to conduct research on these materials and to carry out its own research and publication activities. The archive cooperates with other public archives and develops relations with scientific, cultural, educational and other institutions in order to exchange experience in professional matters, scientific research and the use of archives.

One of the aims of disclosure of archival files is to reveal as widely as possible the practices of the Communist regime and its role in suppressing human and political rights and freedoms exercised through the repressive security apparatus of the totalitarian state between 1948 and 1989.

Today, the archive makes documents available in research rooms in the Czech Republic, but also allows researchers online access to part of the archive through the electronic research room.