Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Hungarian Interior Ministry Propaganda and Education Films
Almost 300 propaganda and education films made by the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior from 1955-1989, for internal propaganda and political training purposes. The most important items in this collection are the films dealing with border protection and state security. The former introduce the viewer to the life of border patrols, as well as the operation mode and functions of the technical device that sealed the border between Hungary and Austria, and which was commonly known as the Iron Curtain. A few dramatized films help the viewer imagine what brutal methods were used to catch and arrest (and occasionally shoot) civilians who tried to cross the state border illegally, and these films show the work of state security forces in minute detail, from the methods and techniques of covert surveillance and forensic investigations to professional secret house searches, and from counter-intelligence actions to recruiting and managing the network of secret agents. The collection also contains films produced for communist celebrations or anniversaries, and a number of episodes from the 1960s and 1970s of the “Blue Light” crime investigation program on Hungarian State Television.