The denouncer’s dilemma

Many of the spontaneous letters of denunciation sent to the PIDE were anonymous. Whether the denunciation was ‘genuine’ or instrumental, their authors were obviously keen to avoid any direct contact with the secret police. But by making an anonymous denunciation, the denouncer in effect gave up any claim to a ‘reward’ for his/her deed. TheContinue reading “The denouncer’s dilemma”

In this unusual ending to an anonymous letter of denunciation sent to the PIDE in January 1962, the denouncer threatens to take up the case directly with Salazar should the ‘suspect’ escape his due punishment. He needn’t have bothered. As a rule, the PIDE valued any information sent to it ‘from below’, and thoroughly investigatedContinue reading

Emigrants and the PIDE

One particular type of denunciation, not infrequent in the PIDE Archives, are the denunciations made by Portuguese emigrants (in this case in France) against other Portuguese emigrants, usually accused of having emigrated illegally or of spreading ‘blasphemies against Dr. Oliveira Salazar [sic]’. Often these letters were rooted in personal rivalries. But they usually contained anContinue reading “Emigrants and the PIDE”

A prospective ‘application’ to become a PIDE informer (1962)

Another example of how poverty and material necessity contributed to fashioning the relations between society and the PIDE. In this case, from 1962, the prospective applicant is anxious to demonstrate the kind of information he can provide for the PIDE, and starts by denouncing three of his fellow-residents in the council of Paredes for constantlyContinue reading “A prospective ‘application’ to become a PIDE informer (1962)”

A ‘personal agenda’ denunciation letter

The above denunciation letter was sent to the director of the PIDE delegation in Porto on 28 July 1962. The letter is signed but, on demand of the archivists of the ANTT, I have had to anonymise it before making it public. In it, the author denounces a taxi telephone operator for allegedly being ‘againstContinue reading “A ‘personal agenda’ denunciation letter”

The ‘antifascist’ memory of the PIDE

One of the main features of the ‘antifascist’ memory of the PIDE, as it expressed itself in the immediate aftermath of the 25 April 1974 revolution, was to equate the PIDE with the Gestapo – as in the two publications above. The intended effect was to appropriate the Gestapo’s globalised symbolic capital of evil, conjuringContinue reading “The ‘antifascist’ memory of the PIDE”

A prospective application to join the PIDE (1963)

The relations between ordinary Portuguese citizens and the Salazarist authorities were moulded to a significant degree by the situation of endemic poverty in Portugal, right until the end of the regime. The phenomenon has yet to be studied systematically, but numerous citizens wrote letters to the public authorities in the hope of obtaining some formContinue reading “A prospective application to join the PIDE (1963)”

Representations of the PIDE

Part of my research will look at the way the PIDE was represented in the media, novels, films and documentaries. In the immediate aftermath of the 25 April Revolution, there was a spate of publications from communist and far-left political groups, ususally recounting the memories of the victims of the PIDE. The representations of theContinue reading “Representations of the PIDE”

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started