Declassification of the archives of the former intelligence services of Polish MIA (Scandinavian issues).

Dr Witold Bagieński

The Archive of the Institute of National Remembrance is the only Polish institution where the documentation of the former communist security apparatus is kept. It contains files of various units of the Security Service and military services, including those of foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence. Until recently, some of them were still classified. They were stored in the so-called IPN “Restricted Collection” and were inaccessible to researchers and journalists. As a result of political decisions taken by the Polish authorities in June 2017, the “Restricted Collection” ceased to exist and the files contained therein were almost entirely declassified.

From the point of view of research on intelligence operations during the Cold War, also in Scandinavia, the documentation of the former Department I of the Ministry of the Interior (foreign intelligence) seems to be particularly important. In spite of the considerable damage done during Poland’s transformation to democracy in the years 1989-1990, quite a number of valuable files have survived. These are both files of personal sources of information (including secret agents) in Poland and abroad, files of foreign stations (residenturas) and also those of targeted people and institutions. Documents produced by the analytical and information department of the intelligence service are particularly valuable. Here you can find a very extensive collection of intelligence information processed by the Polish communist services during the Cold War, also those related to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Among the declassified files there are even the personal files of sc. “illegals”.

Karl Lorentz Kleve