General Physical Description note:
13,182 digitized file units
Scope and Contents note
The Department of Security Investigation was created within the ESSR KGB in 1954. As a result, investigative files of individuals
who violated operational security were recorded in a card catalog and registers. The card catalog of investigative files was
called "investigations in progress," and was maintained through 1992. Investigative files from the ESSR Security Service were
added to the collection from 1940 through 1991, when the Estonian SSR ceased to exist. Then the collection was transferred
to the Information Center of the Police Department and registered there as Fond 129.
State Security investigative files (minus those of persons whose investigation was deemed terminated because of age, death,
amnesty, rehabilitation, expiration of the statute of limitations, or to other unspecified reasons) were eventually transferred
to fond ERAF.129SM, Investigative Files in Process, to complement the other archival fond, ERAF.130SM, that consisted of completed
investigative files. The two collections, fonds ERAF.129SM and ERAF.130SM, form a mutually intertwined archival system. According
to 17 original registers, 13,416 files were transferred. Data in the card catalog arranged alphabetically by personal name
identifies corresponding investigative files. According to the archival record, fond ERAF.129SM included 13,170 items as of
12 October 2010. The discrepancy in the number of files listed and received can be explained by the fact that some investigative
files were incomplete, some files were transferred to departmental archives of the National Archival System, and some investigations
were not finished before transfer; though included in the catalog of fond ERAF-130SM they were physically inaccessible. Physical
transfer of fonds took place after collections were incorporated into National Archives (former Party Archives). Some investigative
files were missing. They may have been taken by the Procurator's Office for rehabilitation or other matters, by the Supreme
Court, or by other authorities. Some incomplete investigative files that could be traced were sent during the Soviet period
to other parts of the Soviet Union, where they remained. With the introduction in 1992 of the Entity Control Act, if materials
from investigative files were removed and sent to the MVD, a corresponding note was made in the registers; such materials
cannot be retrieved. Extensive overlapping numbering of files in fond ERAF.129SM made re-numbering unreasonable; moreover,
it would have broken the link between files and their records in the card catalog and registers.
On 25 May 2000, the operative-informational card catalog was created for study of those convicted for political reasons. On
6 October 2009 the catalog was integrated with the catalog of completed investigative files, fond ERAF 130.SM (ERAF.130SM.2.2),
for a total of 62,040 cards.
The collection includes investigative files, registered in the incoming files registration book of the State Security Archives
and assigned a number. Some investigative files include multiple volumes kept under one assigned file number. The last entry
in the registration book was number 29205, made on 23 September 1991. There was a finding aid to this collection (opis) that
allowed one to search for an investigative file of a particular person. While cases were in the process of investigation and
their files considered incomplete they were placed in this fond (ERAF.129SM). Upon completion of investigation, the files
were transferred to fond ERAF 130SM; as a result, gaps appeared in the files. Some investigative files, according to entries
in the register, were sent to various parts of the Soviet Union. It was not expedient to eliminate those gaps when the State
Archives adopted sequential numbering of files. Besides, the original file registration number provides meaningful information.
File numbers also differ from those in other existing collections. As a result, the initial connection between administrative
data (incoming number in the register) and record indexes was retained. The opis was transferred to the National Archives
of Estonia in 1993, where it was identified as catalog No. 1 of investigative files. In 1994 the collecton was inspected
In 2006 the collection was incorporated into the Archival Information System (AIS). In 2009 the original catalog No. 2 of
investigative files was transferred to the National Archives as Fond ERAF.130.2.1. The organically related collections ERAF.129SM
and ERAF.130SM also included an operational-informational card catalog of files of those arrested for political reasons (formerly
operational security file), thus giving full access to the corresponding investigative files (ERAF.130SM.2.2).
Incomplete investigative files were originally closed according to the Criminal Procedure Code. In political processes, after
the verdict was announced, the file was registered by the ESSR State Security Committee (KGB) and indexed in the card catalog.
Thus the file was registered with the KGB operative account. The collection of incomplete criminal case files (ERAF.129SM)
contains investigative files of individuals in various locations; however, their files were not excluded from the KGB operative
account for security reason. They include files of leading figures of the Republic of Estonia before 1940 (President Konstantin
Pats, Chief of Armed Forces General Laidoner, and other military commanders, such as Colonrl Eduard Ahman and Lieutenant Colonel
Jan Alder; political commissar of the police Eduard Kapsta Pechory, Forest Brothers, etc).
Investigative files contain a master file (main file) and a monitoring file. The latter file belonged to the jurisdiction
of the State Procurator, who was entitled to supervise the investigation process to ensure it was handled in compliance with
procedural rules. The number of volumes in investigative files can vary from one to several dozen. All investigative records
are placed under the same file number, as well as supervisory data; in some cases other items might be included, like a prison
file or additional evidence. In some cases only the supervisory file was preserved, in others only the investigative file.
Investigative files also include: file handed to accused (in the trial) notes, procedural acceptance of the regulations, arrest
warrant, search protocols, property confiscation rules, defendant questionnaire, interrogation protocol, certified medical
statement regarding health condition for physical work, charge summary, exhibits (documents, photos, flags, printed matter),
trial record, court ruling, extracts of minutes of special meeting, final appeal, final appeal on the basis of further investigations,
and certificate of rehabilitation. Supervisory files include documents pertaining to the supervisory process: penalties, injunctions,
prosecution summaries and transcripts of judgments.
Estonian language finding aid to this Fond arranged by personal name is available on the Hoover Archives website and in the
reading room. Digital copies of selected documents of Fond ERAF.129SM are available on a computer station in the Hoover Archives
reading room upon signing a User Agreement.