The Stasi Poetry Circle: The Creative Writing Class that Tried to Win the Cold War

In 1982 the East German Ministry for State Security is hunting for creative new weapons in the war against the class enemy – and their solution is stranger than fiction. Rather than guns, tanks, or bombs, the Stasi develop a programme to fight capitalism through rhyme and verse, winning the culture war through poetry – and the result is the most bizarre book club in history.

I speak with Philip Oltermann the author of The Stasi Poetry Circle. Philip has used unseen archival material and exclusive interviews with surviving members to tell the incredible hidden story of a unique experiment: weaponising poetry for politics.

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I am delighted to welcome Philip Oltermann to our Cold War conversation…

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