<Welcome to Episode 3 of Cold War Conversations where we hear about the strange world of football in East Germany and even if you are not interested in football it’s a fascinating chat.
Craig McCracken runs the website, Beyondthelastman.com, described as 20th century football writing and nostalgia in a skilled and cultured groove.
One of his areas of interest is football in the GDR and from our conversation you’ll realise he is a fount of knowledge from BSG Rotation Babelsberg to FC Hansa Rostock and all stops between.
We talk about the nefarious activities of Stasi Chief Erich Mielke and his favourite team, and we cover the only competitive game where the GDR played West Germany in the 1974 World Cup. Craig also describes a Stasi chase through the bazaars of Istanbul to stop player defections and a suspicious death of a former GDR player in West Germany.
I’m delighted to welcome Craig McCracken.