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New article in Open Access

My latest article on the PIDE, published in Contemporary European History (CUP), is now available in Open Access at the following address:

New articles just out

Two articles of mine have recently been published in academic journals. Both provide an in-depth analysis of some of the issues covered in this blog, and may therefore be of interest to you: Duncan Simpson, ‘Approaching the PIDE “From Below”: Petitions, Spontaneous Applications and Denunciation Letters to Salazar’s Secret Police in 1964’, in Contemporary EuropeanContinue reading “New articles just out”

Portuguese society through the prism of the Ministry of the Interior’s Correspondence Registers (1965)

O retrato da situação social no Portugal de 1965 pelo prisma do Registo de Correspondência Recebida do Ministério do Interior: pede-se casas em bairros sociais e autorizações para emigrar, faz-se denúncias, alista-se na PSP, e até há o inevitável pedido de “colocação na PIDE”. Para a população, despolitizada e envolvida na sobrevivência quotidiana, a PIDEContinue reading “Portuguese society through the prism of the Ministry of the Interior’s Correspondence Registers (1965)”

Prenuptial investigation

One of the most unusual cases of spontaneous interaction between Portuguese society and Salazar’s political police. In this letter received by the PIDE on 7 June 1963, a woman asks the political police to investigate the “moral, civil and political situation” of her husband-to-be. Indeed she senses that there is “something obscure in his life”.Continue reading “Prenuptial investigation”

The PIDE as instrument of private conflict resolution (1961)

The PIDE could also be instrumentalised from below by individual citizens eager to get rid of intrusive ex-lovers. As the above report indicates, this Portuguese emigrant in France wrote to the PIDE to inform it that his ex-companion, who had followed him there against his will, would soon be returning to Portugal for a fewContinue reading “The PIDE as instrument of private conflict resolution (1961)”

Signals of resistance

Those who opposed the New State often found ways to externalize their political views, either publicly or privately, and with varying degrees of subtleness. According to the following denunciation, received by the PIDE in February 1961, this ‘leftist’ suspect kept the portraits of Salazar and Américo Tomás (the then President of the Republic) in hisContinue reading “Signals of resistance”

Cena de tasco

Paradoxalmente, as cartas de denúncia recebidas pela PIDE revelam muitas vezes um Portugal menos cinzento do que é costume realçar. Por exemplo, facilmente se pode imaginar esta cena de tasco onde, o álcool ajudando, Salazar é tratado, entre outras coisas, de ‘filho da p.’ De maneira geral, a PIDE mantinha uma certa tolerância relativamente aContinue reading “Cena de tasco”

Assessing ‘moral standards’

The PIDE did not limit itself to investigating the political ideas of the suspects being denounced. Part of its mission also included assessing their ‘moral standards’. To that end, PIDE agents discretely followed the suspects and sought to obtain information from neighbours or the local authorities. In the case of this ‘leftist’ militant in PortoContinue reading “Assessing ‘moral standards’”