My friend the Bridge of Spies spy Part 1


In a riveting episode that peels back the layers of Cold War espionage, we sit down with Burt, an artist who unwittingly befriended a man better known as Colonel Abel, the infamous Bridge of Spies Spy who was exchanged for shot down US U2 pilot Gary Powers.

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Burt knew Abel as Emil Goldfuss but his real name was Willie Fisher from Newcastle Upon Tyne in England. Fisher was a Soviet agent deeply embedded in the fabric of New York City’s bustling art scene.

Burt’s tale unfolds in a studio building exclusively for artists, where he first crossed paths with Fisher in an old-fashioned elevator—an encounter that would mark the beginning of an unexpected friendship.

Burt reminisces about their shared moments, from the peculiar request for a cup of turpentine to late-night discussions surrounded by the haze of cigarette smoke. He reflects on the nuances of their bond, the fatherly figure he saw in Fisher, and the mutual need for companionship that transcended the spy’s professional obligations.

Episode extras here

Part two here

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