Slovak interior ministry shredded files of communist secret police meant for National Memory Institute

Surrounded by helmeted riot police, a group of protesters show the V sign and shout anti-government slogans on Wenceslas Square in Prague, Oct. 28, 1989. (AP Photo/Dieter Endlicher)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

Under the leadership of Robert Kaliňák (Direction–Slovak Social Democracy), the Slovak Ministry of the Interior shredded the files of more than 800 members of the police and the communist State Security (StB), according to Juraj Šeliga, who belong to Slovak For the People party.

The shredding efforts from the interior ministry concerned the documents of StB members born between 1931 and 1937.

“These files were not only a significant historical testimony to the period of normalization and communist oppression but were also intended to identify who contributed to the maintenance of communist totalitarianism,” said Šeliga.

The Slovak Ministry of the Interior was to hand over the mentioned files to the National Memory Institute, which holds the police records of the communist Czechoslovak Socialst Republic regime, for examination and preservation. However, according to Šeliga, this did not happen.

“Without any respect for the victims of the communist regime, they were arrogantly thrown in the trash and destroyed. Who is to blame? Kaliňák claims that he did not know anything. However, as minister, he was responsible for ensuring that all procedures within the ministry complied with applicable law. However, he did not fulfill this obligation and, as a result of that, there will be an empty space in our history, similar to that in Russia, where the files were also shredded so that it is not accidentally discovered who was an informant or spy,” added Šeliga.

The National Memory Institute filed a criminal complaint in this matter.

“It must be investigated who instructed the shredding and what the motive was. Whether it was a flagrant disregard for the law or an effort to cover the people who cooperated with the StB or other branches of totalitarian power,” said Šeliga.

However, the Slovak Ministry of the Interior stated that it acted in accordance with the law.

“The subject of the discarding and shredding were the personal files of all officers born between 1931 and 1937, meaning not only members of the StB but also ordinary police officers,” said Michaela Paulenová from the press department of the Ministry of the Interior.

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