Inventory of the Eesti NSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee records, 1932-1991

Finding aid prepared by Processed by Lora Soroka
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
(650) 723-3563
@ 2012

Title: Eesti NSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee records
Collection Number: 2012C26
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: Estonian
Physical Description: 17,541 digitized file units
Date (inclusive): 1932-1991
Abstract: Digital copies of correspondence, reports, and investigative files, relating to secret police and intelligence activities, dissident and anti-Soviet activities, and repatriation and nationalism issues, in Estonia. Detailed Russian- or Estonian-language finding aids are available on the Hoover Institution website at .
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Materials note: In Russian and Estonian.
creator: Eesti NSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee.


The collection is open. The digital files may be viewed at a computer station in the Hoover Archives reading room.
Users must sign a use agreement that states (in part), "Researchers will not divulge--in print, electronic, or digital format or over the Internet, or in any book, article, manuscript, commentary, blog entry, or other written material--the names of any individuals found in their research of the Estonian SSR State Security Committee Collection for a period of seventy-five (75) years from the date of the creation of the record in which the name was found to the date of the researcher's public disclosure of the name.... Pseudonyms and allegories that protect the privacy and identity of private citizens may be created and used." The full agreement is available on the Hoover Archives website.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

Quotations from this collection may be protected by copyright law. The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, does not hold copyright to any of the materials in the collection; it is the researchers' responsibility, when necessary, to obtain copyright permission.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] (Digital copy), [Reference code, for example ERAF.140SM.1.1], Eesti NSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee records, Hoover Institution Archives. Originals in the Eesti Riigarkhiv, Tallinn, Estonia.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2012.


Digitized files are received by Hoover in regular shipments, with the contents of a fond potentially spanning multiple shipments. As a result, the fondy listed in this finding aid may be available only in part. Please contact the Archives to ensure availability before you visit.

Location of Originals

Originals in the Eesti Riigarkhiv, Tallinn, Estonia.

Arrangement Statement

The collection is organized in multiple fondy (record groups).

Related Collections

Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and Soviet State microfilm collection, Hoover Institution Archives
RFE/RL broadcast records, Hoover Institution Archives
Lietuvos SSR Valstybes Saugumo Komitetas [Lithuanian KGB] selected records,

Custodial History

The records were first held in the Estonian State Archives (Tallinn, Pagari 1) as the National Security Archives. According to governmental order No. 172 of 19 April 1993 (State Herald 1993, No. 22, article 372, p. 532), they were placed in the Police Archives or corresponding departmental archives within the system of the Estonian National Archives (former Party Archives, Tõnismägi, 16).
The Estonian National Archives registered these fondy with the letters SM (for Internal Affairs) appended to the fond numbers to differentiate them from fondy already existing within the Archives of the Communist Party of the Estonian SSR. The ERAF prefix refers to the Eesti Riigiarhiiv (ERA) followed by an F ( Filiaal, or branch office), even though the archives has no branches.
The documents in the fondy are included in the Estonian State Archives's Archival Informational System (AIS), and since the 2000s the finding aids to them have been open to researchers; viewing documents is possible upon agreement.

Historical Note

The People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) of the Estonian SSR (ESSR) was established by order No. 001067 of 29 August 1940 as a territorial division of the USSR NKVD. From August 1940 through February 1941 operational work was conducted by the State Security Directorate of the NKVD of the ESSR. In February 1941 the USSR NKVD was divided into two commissariats: NKVD and People's Commissariat of State Security (NKGB). In July 1941 the two commissariats were merged again, with the NKVD in charge of operational work.
During World War II the NKVD of the ESSR was essentially abolished. After April 1943 Estonia was again included in the Soviet Union, and the ESSR NKVD was re-established and organized in six structural units, similar to the structure of the USSR NKVD. While restoration of the most essential people's commissariats of the ESSR was completed in February-March 1944, after appointments of people's commissars and commissariat personnel had been approved, the NKVD of the ESSR started taking shape to some extent even earlier, in December 1943, with Lieutenant Colonel Aleksei Ivanov, Deputy Commissar for Cadre, in charge. The NKVD of the ESSR was renamed in March 1946 as the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and in March 1953 it was again renamed as the Ministry of State Security of the ESSR. It stayed under the authority of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs through March 1954, when it became the Committee of State Security of the Council of Ministers of the ESSR. In 1990 amendments that allowed the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the ESSR to operate independently were adopted. In August 1991 the independence of the Republic of Estonia was proclaimed, and the operations of the USSR KGB in the ESSR were officially banned. Since 1992 its operations have been performed by the Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Soviet Union. Komitet gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti.
Estonia--History--Soviet occupation, 1940-1941.
Estonia--Politics and government--1940-1991.
Police--Soviet Union.
Secret service--Soviet Union.


Fond ERAF.129SM - ENSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee lõpetamata uurimistoimikute kollektsioon (Incomplete investigative files of the ESSR State Security Committee) 1932-1990

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.

Fond ERAF.132SM - ENSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee filtratsioonilaagri toimikute kollektsioon (Records of filtration [temporary detention] camps) 1944-1991

General Physical Description note: 4,233 digitized file units

Scope and Contents note

Fond ERAF.132SM includes records of temporary detention ("filtration") camps containing personal data, some confiscated correspondence, and information about the transfer of detainees from one camp to another. The "filtration" camps were established in various regions of the Estonian SSR after Soviet troops entered the territory of the republic in the course of World War II. The individuals detained in camps were checked and "filtered" by the USSR state security institutions. Files of checked and "filtered" individuals in the camps were gradually accumulated in the Department "A" (Archives) of the Committee of State Security under the Council of Ministers of the ESSR from 12 December 1956 through 11 December 1991. During this time 10,040 files were registered in the collection. A significant part of them was either destroyed upon expiration of their retention period, or sent to other regions of the USSR. Though there appears to have been a directive to destroy the records of filtration camps in the 1970s-80s, for unknown reasons they were not destroyed.
As of May 1991, records of filtration camps included more than 4193 files, 8965 index cards, and registers in seven volumes. Eight files, numbers 10041 to 10049, were added to the collection by the Police Archives from 7 February through 11 August 1992. While some records had been sent to other regions of the Soviet Union and destroyed, entries for these files were not removed from the registers. Thus a large number of entries in the registers referred to files that were missing by the time the Police Archives gained physical custody. As a result, the Police Archives created a new register in four volumes, preserving the original numbers of extant files in a new index. A card catalog accompanying the files was arranged alphabetically by personal surname and included a reference to the corresponding file. In 1991 the card catalog was revised so that only cards for extant files remained.
The records were arranged in chronological order starting from 1956. Each file is listed in the order it was created. The number of files in the fond was originally based on the number of entries in the register rather than the number of extant files. Some files were sent to other areas of the Soviet Union, and some were destroyed after their retention periods expired. Some of the files sent to other regions of the USSR might still be held somewhere in Russia, though no data is available on whether they were preserved or destroyed. If the file was subsequently destroyed or sent away the entry was not removed from the register. Upon transfer of the fond to the Police Archives, new registers were created that listed only extant files. The files were included in the Estonian State Archives's Archival Informational System (AIS) in 2006.
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 documents of Fond ERAF.132SM are available on a computer station in the Hoover Archives reading room upon signing a User Agreement.

Fond ERAF.134SM - ENSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee eriinspektsiooni materjalide kollektsioon (Records of the Special Investigation Department of the Committee of State Security (KGB) of the ESSR) 1940-1958

Physical Description: 104.0 digitized file units

Scope and Contents note

Fond ERAF.134SM includes materials relating to special investigations of employees of the Estonian Committee of State Security, 1944-1948, conducted by the Department of Internal Investigation according to departmental directives and instructions; statistical accounts; lists of destroyed documents; and correspondence. Personnel departments of state security institutions were responsible for surveillance of various aspects of employee activities. The Department of Internal Investigation was organized to perform surveillance of state security personnel.
No finding aid existed at the time the materials were collected. After the collection was transferred to the Police Archives a finding aid to 104 files was compiled in November 1992. The documents in this fond were included in the Estonian Archival Informational System (AIS) in 2000.
A detailed Russian-language finding aid is available on the Hoover Archives website and in the reading room.

Fond ERAF.140SM - ENSV Riikliku Julgeoleku Komitee kirjavahetuse kollektsioon (Correspondence of the Committee of State Security of the ESSR) 1989-1991

Physical Description: 22.0 digitized file units

Scope and Contents note

Fond ERAF.140SM includes correspondence of the Committee of State Security of the Estonian SSR relating to reports of KGB officials, complaints and petitions of citizens, rehabilitation of individuals and compensation for damage resulting from punitive actions imposed on them by security institutions.
The finding aid to the collection was created by the Police Department Archives staff. The documents in this fond were subsequently included in the Estonian Archival Informational System (AIS) in 2000.
A detailed Russian-language finding aid is available on the Hoover Archives website and in the reading room.