Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Czech and German secret services release publication about Prague Spring

ČTK |
18 August 2016

Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) - The Czech and German secret services have released a publication dealing with the work of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) during the reform Prague Spring in 1968, Jaroslav Hrbek, Office for Foreign Relations and Information (UZSI) spokesman, said yesterday.
In it, there are the original documents and so far unpublished photos from the German secret service archives that relate to the Prague Spring and Czechoslovakia's occupation by Warsaw Pact troops, Hrbek said.
The German-Czech documents can be downloaded for free from UZSI's webpage, he added.
Historians from the UZSI helped create the publication along with their counterparts from the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst). It is called Der Bundesnachrichtendienst und der "Prager Fruhling" 1968 (The German Secret Service and the Prague Spring 1968.
"The study presents a comparative look into the environment of the West German BND and the Czechoslovak StB (secret service) which were day-to-day rivals on the battlefield of the Cold War due to the joint state border," Hrbek said.
The document that targets both the professional and lay public is a "contribution for the understanding of how secret services worked on both sides of the Iron Curtain within the framework of the political and social development of the stormy year 1968," he added.
The historians from both services collaborated on the topic for the first time, Hrbek said.
"Using the original documents, they expressed their view of the studied topic," he added.
Period documents in German constitute the core of the publication.
"There was a selection of the documents which present the working procedures within the service in 1968 as well as specific political knowledge and analyses from the year in question," the German historians wrote.
Hrbek said the text of the study was published on the occasion of the anniversary of the events that occurred in August 1968.
According to the document, the two secret services agreed on the collaboration in 2012.
The studies tracks down and by means of the documents complements partial results of the work of a historical commission that explores the history of the BND until 1968.

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