Since the foundation of the Research Centre for East European Studies in 1982, the archive has been a "safe haven" for samizdat ("self-published") materials, i.e. unofficial, uncensored underground literature. The collection contains documents, photographs and pieces of art by dissidents from the former Soviet Union, Poland and the former Czechoslovakia; there are also smaller collections from the German Democratic Republic and Hungary.
In addition to samizdat journals and other documents, the Soviet section contains roughly 500 personal archives. These include the papers of the writers Lev Kopelev and Iurii Trifonov, the philosopher Boris Groys and the performance artist Dmitrii Prigov.
The Central East European section holds extensive materials from the Polish trade union Solidarność and the opposition movement from 1976-1989, along with a large library of the drugi obieg ("second circulation"), postage stamps and posters from the underground.
The Czechoslovakian collection consists of an extensive library of books from the underground Edice Petlice (“Edition Padlock”), documents of alternative art and culture along with papers and materials of the photographer Ivan Kyncl. The Hungarian collection includes, for example, the papers of the writer Györgi Dalos. The GDR collection contains artistic samizdat and the writings of Christian activists.
Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen
Klagenfurter Straße 3
Monday -Friday 10.00am - 4.00pm