The Exhibition “Prague through the Lens of the Secret Policeˮ NOW OPEN

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The exhibition reveals the activity of the Communist secret police in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 80s. The photographs presented in this exhibition reflect the everyday life of dissidents in Czechoslovakia and contact persons in exile of this time.

There were dozens of people who were working as photographers for the Communist secret police to follow “politically undesirableˮ persons and capture the moments and situations of their private life – who did they meet, what did they say, what they ate or bought, etc.

As a result of this an extraordinary documentary material of this time assembled. Most of the photographs were taken in such a way that their author had no idea what exactly was being captured in the shot. The camera was hidden under their coat, in a suitcase or in a handbag. They released the shutter at moments when they felt the “subject” (as the secret police referred to the people they tailed) of their interest was in front of the hidden lens. Consequently, these negatives inadvertently contained many details of Prague during the normalization era that those taking the pictures would have ignored if they had been photographing in a controlled manner with a viewfinder.


The exhibition has been prepared by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in cooperation with the Security Services Archive. The Museum of Occupations opened the exhibition in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Tallinn.

The Exhibition will stay open until January 3, 2016.