Intelligence materials from Soviet archives (on the example of German and Austrian issues)

Peter Ruggenthaler

This paper presented by Peter Ruggenthaler will deal with an overview on the basis of common research projects with Russian archives in the last 25 years. These projects dealt with several aspects of the Cold War in Europe, the role of Austria and Soviet foreign policy. Even when these projects did not deal mainly with the topic "intelligence", these works showed how and to what extend it is possible to get access to sources about Soviet intelligence and its services. For example, a common project with the FSB archives has revealed more than 100 files on Austrian citizens, captured and arrested between 1950 and 1953 because of "Anti-Soviet espionage", sentenced to death and shot in Moscow. Another project on the Red Army in Austria brought first insights in the activities of the inner troops of the NKVD on Austrian territory in 1945 and also activities and documentation in NKGB/MGB activities. These results were published in two major volumes, an English edition is on the way. Another project about the "Prague Spring" in 1968 or the meeting between Kennedy and Chrushchev in Vienna in 1961 provided first insights on intelligence-related actions and were also published in major volumes (in German and Russian; English versions have  been published in cooperation with the Davis Center at Harvard University).
The speaker has led several of these Austro-Russian research projects, like on the Crackdown of the Prague Spring in 1968 or on “The Kremlin and the revolutions of 1989”. His monograph “The Concept of Neutrality in Stalin´s Foreign Policy” was published in the Harvard Cold War Studies book series. For this study he has also used KI intelligence reports, which for example clearly show, how important espionage in Paris was after 1951 (after the "Cambridge Five" in Great Britain had been compromised) and how Stalin was briefed on Western policy toward Western Germany etc.

Karl Lorentz Kleve