How to search / Data description / Record Groups / Glossary / Archival Review / Guide / About the project

A dictionary of terms and detailed explanations regarding the functioning of state security organizations facilitates the interpretation of published data.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | W | Z


MOB stands for “mobilizacyjno-obronny” ("military and defence"). This abbreviation was used when registering people approved by "C" division units for admission to work covered by state secrecy. In the index cards concerning such persons, their personal details were usually accompanied by the notation "authorised for secret work" or "authorised for MOB work", "secured for MOB work", together with the correspondence log number assigned to the letter from the institution requesting the person's authorisation for access to official and state secrets.


Martwa skrzynka (Dead-letter drop-box) a mode of operative work involving the creation of a fictitious correspondence address for the operative needs of the Security Service (SB), usually by setting up a post office box or poste-restante account.


Materiał "W" (“W” material) any material (letters, postcards, parcels etc.) obtained by clandestine postal control measures. See praca “W”.

SEE ALSO Dokument "W":,


Materiał wstępny (Initial material) 1. "elementary (residual) information not verified enough to launch an operative case". 2. [Internal Military Service (WSW)] – "information indicating the likelihood of preparing or carrying out criminal (hostile) activity"; the documents gathered were collected in the initial material dossier. If it was determined that the "event or phenomenon" under scrutiny could be related to "criminal (hostile) activity", an operative case or investigation was launched, as appropriate. A initial material review was not set up when the information obtained at the outset gave immediate cause to launch an operative case.


Materiały administracyjne (Administrative material) a formal term introduced in 1985, corresponding to the 1968 and 1974 term "administrative files"; administrative material consisted of "[...] all regulations and documents of the organisational units of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs [...] produced in connection with their activities", not being operative material (2) or personal material (see materiąły operacyjne (2), materiały osobowe).


Materiały obronne (Defence material) a formal term introduced in 1985 covering "[...] any material related to the preparation of the organisational units of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs to act in the event of an external threat to state security and war".

SEE ALSO Instrukcja 1985a,


Materiały operacyjne (Operative material) 1. a general term for all kinds of documentation produced by the Security Service (SB) during its operative activities and procedures; it consisted of both operative procedure casefiles and the documentation included in them. 2. a formal term introduced in 1985, corresponding to the 1968 and 1974 term "operative files"; operative material consisted of documents produced by the SB, Citizens' Militia (MO), Reconnaissance Division of the Border Protection Troops, Vistula Military Units of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Directorate of the Internal Military Service of the military units of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, material relating to all types of operative cases, investigations, personal dossiers and service dossiers of personal information sources, dossiers of persons given an opinion by Security Service, reporting documentation and operative correspondence and normative documents.


Materiały osobowe (Personal material) a formal term introduced in 1985, corresponding to the 1968 and 1974 term personal files (akta osobowe); personal material consisted of personal dossiers of Security Service (SB) and Citizens' Militia (MO) officers, career soldiers of the military units of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, firefighters, civilian employees of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, members of the Volunteer Reserve of the Citizens' Militia (ORMO) and persons with assignments to the Reserve Units of the Citizens' Militia (ROMO).


Meldunek operacyjny (Operative report) the compiled information of an individual operative significance, prepared based on data obtained from a personal information source (OZI), operative technology measures, observation of surveilled persons and correspondence inspection. Formalised operative reports were recorded and entered into electronic systems for operative information; original typescripts of operative reports and their prints were included in operative case files.


Mieszkanie konspiracyjne (secret flat, safehouse) (MK) a flat owned by the Security Service (SB), used exclusively for operative purposes, i.e. primarily for secret meetings between case officers and the SB's most valuable collaborators (but also as confidential workspace of the SB's surveillance units, etc.). MKs were registered based on rules applicable to contact flats (lokal kontaktowy, LK) and holders of letter-drop boxes (skrzynka kontaktowa, SK). Additionally, they were registered by the housing units of the administrative and economic division of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs "in such a way as to ensure the secrecy of their addresses".


Mikrofilmowanie (Microfilming) was the most common form of preserving files by the "C" division units and Division XVIII of Department I of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs. The microfilming consisted of a registration procedure (recording the microfilming in the archive log, microfilm archive log and recording the microfilm archival reference number in the general information card-index (KOI), writing the microfilm archival reference number on the covers of the microfilmed files), a qualification procedure (selecting documents from the file to be microfilmed) and the microfilming itself. Microforms (in the form of cut 8 mm microfilm placed in a jacket or A6 size microfiche) were labelled with a separate archival reference number (microfilm archival log number). As a rule, category "A" and "B" documents with preservation period of more than ten years (archival category) were eligible for microfilming; the "operative value" of the documents and the type of "crime" or subversive activity described in the files were, therefore, to be decisive in determining eligibility for microfilming. In the case of microfilming files of agents, informers, secret collaborators, etc., by design, documents from the personal dossier were microfilmed; the contents of the collaborator’s entire service dossier were not microfilmed, but only certain reports (some of the first and last and some of the more important ones from the period of collaboration). For microfilming the files of former collaborators, the prospective cooperation principle was decisive: files of collaborators with no prospect of cooperation were to be excluded from microfilming. For microfilming of operative case files, it was presumed that the form for opening the case, the summary or characteristics of the case and the order terminating the case were microfilmed. For microfilming pre-trial files (investigation control files), it was presumed that the orders initiating the investigation case, indictment, sentence or order terminating the case were microfilmed. As a rule, redundant documents, "operative technics" documents (i.e. wiretap transcripts, etc.), seized correspondence ("W" document) and "documents of no value" were excluded from microfilming. Information about the microfilming of files and the archival reference number of the microfilm was entered on the appropriate index-card in the general information card index and the archival log.