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The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has drawn a steady stream of visitors since it opened its doors to researchers in 2008.
The concrete building in Prague’s Old Town contains the secret files of the Czechoslovakian secret police.
Years - Velvet - Revolution - Friends - Neighbours
For 40 years until the Velvet Revolution of 1989, friends, neighbours and families were forced into spying on each other by the totalitarian regime.
For many in the Soviet satellite state, it led to persecution, torture, forced labour camps – and even murder.
Archivists - Pages - Files - Státní - Bezpecnost
Archivists have been digitally scanning 4.5million handwritten pages from the files of the Státní Bezpecnost (StB).
Last year, they released files on the activities of secret agents and counter-intelligence officers. Among them is a dossier on Jan Sarkocy, a spy dispatched to Britain in 1986 to recruit possible ‘assets’, including Left-leaning Parliamentarians, to the Soviet cause.
Lie - Labour - Attempt - Walter - Mitty
In black and white, it gives the lie to Labour’s attempt to dismiss him as a Walter Mitty fantasist.
The Sarkocy file runs to 1,500 pages. The A4 sheets, typed or neatly handwritten in Czech, detail his three-year mission in London before he was expelled for spying.
Kremlin - Czech - Service - KGB - Spies
He needed to be good – the Kremlin was reliant on the Czech secret service after 105 KGB spies were expelled from London in the Seventies.
London was Sarkocy’s first foreign posting. He was born to working-class parents in a rural town near the Czech-Slovak border, and studied electrical engineering.
Grey - Fortress - Embassy - Notting - Hill
Working at the grey fortress that was the Czechoslovakian embassy in Notting Hill, west London, under the diplomatic cover of third secretary, Dymic’s assignment was ‘to connect and build a contact network to penetrate British intelligence’. Comrade Sarkocy seems to have wasted little time in commencing his mission.
IN the box ‘12801’ is a document entitled ‘Jeremy Corbyn – establishing contact’.
Agent - Sarkocy - Handlers - Mr - Corbyn
Agent Sarkocy told his handlers he met Mr Corbyn among MPs at a social event...
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