Glavlit

   The “ideological KGB” of the Soviet system was Glavlit, an acronym for Glavnoe upravlenie delam literatury i izdatv (Main Directorate of Literature and the Press). It was founded in 1922 with a Cheka officer as its vice director. By 1970 it had became the regime’s chief censor with a staff of 70,000. Nothing could be released for publication without its imprimatur. Some Western specialists believe that at least one of Glavlit’s deputy chiefs was a KGB official and that the KGB assisted in Glavlit’s annual compilation of its Censor’s Index, a thick volume listing all military, technical, statistical, and other subjects that could not be publicized without specific permission from the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Another of Glavlit’s duties was to ensure that there were no mistakes or misprints in the party press. In the Stalin period, even misprints could cost a printer or an editor his freedom. For example, they made sure that the city of Stalingrad never appeared as Stalin grad (Stalin is a reptile). They also made sure that the publications of enemies of the people disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and that they were never quoted, except to show their errors. Glavlit worked closely with the KGB’s Fifth Directorate (Counterintelligence within the Intelligentsia) in monitoring the illegal publication of anti-Soviet material. Authors whose material was rejected by Glavlit for political or ideological reasons were reported to the KGB and were kept on a watch list.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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