This dossier consists of the State Security file on Sevdalina Panayotova, created in the early 1970s. It shows how the state observed and persecuted critically minded members of the intelligentsia, even when their actions had hardly become public. It is also evidence of dissenters’ strategies to create room for critical thought, based on social networks and private spaces.
At the beginning of the 1970s, Sevdalina Panayotova became the center of a group of people with dissident inclinations. The group included former fellow students from Sofia University and colleagues from the March 8 Factory, where she worked as a librarian at that time. They read forbidden literature (such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Cancer Ward, Thomas Mann's A Sketch of My Life, Nikolay Raynov’s Mysticism and Faithlessness, and others), discussed the mistakes of socialism from a philosophical and socio-political point of view, and criticized the nomenklatura and others. Sevdalina Panayotova tried to establish a literary and philosophical workshop in the March 8th Factory and worked out a plan for the topics to be discussed. In parallel, she had two of her closest friends take a survey among their colleagues on Youth and Socialism. The idea was to write a critical account of the situation of Bulgarian youth, which was to be exported to the West (on a ship) and published there. For this purpose, she contacted a sailor from Burgas.
In 1972 the State Security opened a so-called “Terrorist Operational development case” against a close associate of Sevdalina Panayotova, Georgi Konstantinov Georgiev. Georgiev had been "sentenced to death in 1953, commuted into 20 years' imprisonment, as an organizer of a terrorist organization that committed various bombings, including the one in the 'Park of Freedom' on 3 March 1953, at the Stalin's monument..." (according to the State Security file).
Sevdalina Panayotova was then also put under surveillance by State Security. Sevdalina Panayotova and Petar Peev were accused of being anarchists. Some months later, in July 1973, Georgi Konstantinov Georgiev emigrated from Bulgaria. Petar Peev was sentenced in September 1973 to the forced labor camp in Belene for 3 years as “an irrepressible enemy of the people's republic and socially dangerous".
Sevdalina Panayotova was subjected to day-to-day pressure from the State Security including a search of the apartment and a series of interrogations for "reading and disseminating literature directed against the socialist system". State Security accused her of “conversations in which you expressed slanderous information about the public and state system”. In September 1974, she was detained for 14 days as “accused under Art. 108”, i.e. “Anti-government propaganda and agitation, spreading defamatory claims and literature affecting the state and public order”. Further on, the file reads: "It was found that Sevdalina Panayotova did not commit any criminal activity because of which she was released on 18 January ”. However, because of her "bad influence" on the youth, State Security found "it expedient [for her] to be expelled from Sofia". Thus, Sevdalina Panayotova was forced to move with her family to the small town of Chepelare in the Rhodope Mountains. Due to a lack of evidence, her investigation was terminated in the spring of 1974.
All quotations are from the file "Investigation Case No. 6965 Anarchists", Central Archive of the Commission for the Disclosure of Documents and Declaration of Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens to the State Security and Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian People's Party Army (CRDOPBGDSRSBNA), Arh. No II sl.d. 6965; III raz. 32666r.
- Sofia ulitsa "Bigla", Bulgaria
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The collection contains a draft of the Czechoslovak-German Treaty: the Good Neighbourhood and Friendly Cooperation, of May 1991, for the negotiations between the Czechoslovak president Václav Havel and the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The final version of the treaty was signed in 1992. The draft is extensive, containing 72 pages and is provided with Gruša´s comments written with pencil. Gruša proposed to replace the order of some paragraphs, to reformulate the passages concerning especially different rights of both nationalities with a goal to unify their rights, etc. The unique document is in Czech and German, and illustrates the negotiation process between these two countries as well as Gruša's own views and opinions.
This document is a part of the Draganović’s never completed nor published manuscript. Its topic is the suffering of the Croatian people at the end and immediately after World War II, popularly known as the Bleiburg tragedy.
The document contains several sections: "Death Marches," "Extradition of the masses," "Cemeteries," and "Camps." It explained the situation in Croatia at the end of the war in May 1945 and clearly states that the aim of the manuscript (future book) is to document and describe the crimes committed by the communist authorities against Croats. Draganović raised the question of the purpose of even organising death marches. He assumed that Partisan movement in 1945 did not have sufficient support from the Croatian population and that therefore the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) decided to intimate and break the Croats and cripple any further resistance. In the "Death Marches" section, he covered the “death marches” and presented the testimonies of survivors. The purpose of the death marches was “to show them what will happen to those who dare to oppose communist rule.”
The chapter on "Extradition of the masses" deals with the extradition of captured, mostly Croatian soldiers and civilians. The Allies extradited them to the Partisan authorities. The emphasis in this chapter is placed on the responsibility of the British military command for the crimes committed by the Partisans.
The chapter “Cemetery” tells the story about the obliteration of cemeteries and graves of enemy soldiers who were considered “occupiers” and “enemies of the people” by the new communist authorities. It shows the “Yugoslav communists’ intention of staging a complete and radical reckoning with the enemy immediately at the end of World War II” (Geiger & Josipović Batorek, 2015: 316).
The chapter “camps” deals with the existence of the prison camps which the new government formed for the people they considered enemies. Draganović mentioned 28 known camps throughout Yugoslavia, mostly in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and described the treatment of prisoners and their living conditions.
The document includes some inserts: four sheets with data and testimonies which Draganović added to the already written text.
Draganović's work was totally unacceptable to the Yugoslav communist authorities because it revealed their criminal activities immediately after World War II.
The use of the material is limited because it contains personal information that is subject to the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act (Narodne novine 106/2012).
- Zagreb Trg Marka Marulića 21, Croatia 10000
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- LV-1050 Rīga Raiņa bulvāris 7 , Latvia
A painting by Paul Kondas called ‘Drezden’. It was painted presumably in 1960. According to the name, one might think that it depicts the bombing of Dresden by the Allies in 1945. In fact, it depicts the bombing of Tallinn by the Red Army on 9 March 1944. The Estonia Theatre, the Charles Church, and St Olaf's Church, in Tallinn, are all recognisable. Kondas painted on one of the light rockets the exact date of the event: 9 March 1944. The actual meaning and essence of Kondas' historical paintings (as he called them) was known only to a narrow trusted circle. These paintings were not known by the public. Mari Vallikivi noticed the exact date of the bombing on that painting only recently. Since Paul Kondas had no contacts with political dissidents, they were not aware of his work. The retired and eccentric schoolteacher was also not interesting to the authorities; besides, he was very careful, and was always ready to propose a completely different explanation to his paintings.
Today, we could say that people who lived under the Soviet regime or are familiar with the period would easily understand the painting. For those from outside the former Soviet Union, and also for the younger generation in Estonia who did not live in Soviet times, there is a greater need to explain the painting, because it is hard to understand why it was impossible to talk about things which were known to everyone. Mari Vallikivi stated that she does not always explain the political message of the painting to children.
The painting is probably widely used, but unfortunately the Kondas Centre does not have control over the usage of Kondas' paintings.
From the inception of the painting, it belonged, like the other paintings, to Kondas himself, until 1985 when he died. In 1986, the Museum of Viljandi bought it.