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KGB Surveillance in the Soviet Baltic Republics: Documentary Evidence and Coping with the Past Symposium

Event time: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:00am to 5:30pm
Location: 
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE ), 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

In December 2018, the National Archive of Latvia began publishing online information left by the KGB in Latvia after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. This has caused quite an uproar as the files contain both the code names and real names of individuals who were possible KGB agents in their own homeland of the Latvian Soviet Republic. Among the some 4,000 people named are a former prime minister of independent post-Soviet Latvia, a supreme court justice, a former foreign minister, and other well-known public figures. The KGB files left in Latvia are more extensive than those left in Lithuania, and much fewer are available in Estonia, but all three societies are still left with the challenge of coping with a legacy from the Soviet period (1940-1941; 1944-1991) that involves Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians collaborating with the Soviet state security agency – the KGB – to spy on their fellow citizens. This one-day symposium will bring together scholars and archivists who have worked with KGB documents left behind by the Soviet state security apparatus in the three now-independent countries of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, with an emphasis on documents from the 1960s to 1991.

The event is sponsored by European Studies Council and Baltic Studies Program, MacMillan Center, Yale University; and the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund
Faculty Host: Dr. Bradley Woodworth (University of New Haven & Yale)
Location: Luce Hall, Rm 203 | 34 Hillhouse Ave.
Saturday, February 29, 2020
9:00 Coffee & Welcome by Bradley Woodworth, Baltic Studies Faculty Coordinator, Yale University
9:30-11:10 am Panel I: KGB documents in Latvia
Ainārs Bambals, National Archives of Latvia on “Documents on KGB Surveillance in Soviet Latvia”
Gints Zelmenis, National Archives of Latvia on “KGB Surveillance in Latvia from the 1960s to the 1980s: Records and Research Possibilities”
Chair: Douglas Rogers, Professor of Anthropology, Yale University
11:10-11:30 Coffee
11:30 am-1:00 pm Panel II: KGB documents in Estonia
Meelis Saueauk, Estonian Institute of Historical Memory (Tallinn) on “KGB Documents in Estonia: What We Have and How We Have Used Them”
Ivo Juurvee, International Centre for Defence and Security (Tallinn) on “On the KGB Heritage in Estonia since 1991”
Chair: Aniko Szucs, Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Yale University
1:00-2:00 pm Lunch
2:00-3:30 pm Panel III: KGB documents in Lithuania
Kristina Burinskaitė, Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania on “A portrait of KGB agents: secret collaborators speak about their collaboration with the KGB”
Ramona Staveckaitė-Notari, Genocide and Research Centre of Lithuania on “KGB documents and partisan activities in Soviet Lithuania: current discussions and the case of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas”
Chair: Bradley Woodworth, Yale University / University of New Haven
3:30-4:00 Coffee
4:00-5:30 Panel IV: An all-Baltic perspective and views from Ukraine
Andriy Kohut, Director of the Security Service of Ukraine Archive on “KGB Archives in Ukraine: Access and Description of the Holdings”
Edward Cohn, Grinnell College on “The KGB’s Struggle with Anti-Soviet Activity among Youth in the Baltic Republics”
Chair: Claire Roosien, Lecturer of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University

Open to: 
General Public