The Picnic That Ripped Open The Iron Curtain

  In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists did the unthinkable: they entered the forbidden militarised zone of the Iron Curtain – and held a picnic. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Word had spread of what was going to happen. On wisps of rumour, thousands of East German … Read more

Cold War, Warm Hearts – Hitchhiking behind the 1960s Iron Curtain

  In 1966 most of Bridget’s friends, in their early twenties, were settling down with jobs and/or husbands… Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! She, on the other hand, set off alone to travel across Poland relying on the kindness of strangers.  Fascinated by what she experienced she continued to … Read more

Cold War Vienna

    Austria was occupied from 1945 to 1955 by the four victorious powers and like Germany was divided into four occupation zones.  The Soviet , American, British and French occupation zones , divided Austria into four zones. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Like Berlin, Vienna was located deep in the … Read more

Across the Iron Curtain in a yellow MG Midget sports car

  Andrew McNeile decided to travel through Eastern Europe in a yellow MG Midget Sports car, a ​car ​that’s ​going ​to ​stand ​out ​no ​matter ​where you are! He recalls his adventures travelling through East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia He talks about the warmth and friendliness of people, challenges with petrol quality, and … Read more

Escaping from Cold War Romania

  Zsolt Akos Pall was 17 when he decided to flee Cold War Romania for a better life in the West.   It’s a heart-warming story of the generosity of strangers. Young Zsolt finds compassionate border guards, gets lost in Vienna and has incredible luck wherever he turns as he negotiates the iron curtain as … Read more

Terrorism in the Cold War

I talk with the writers and editors of  Terrorism in the Cold War a new two volume book that uses a wide range of case studies including Polish Military Intelligence and Its Secret Relationship with the Abu Nidal Organization and Gladio – Myth and Reality: The Origins and Function of Stay Behind in the Case … Read more

A Czechoslovak family’s escape to Austria

We continue Drea Hahn’s story with her family’s escape to Austria and the realities of being a refugee. In 1986, under the pretext of a “ski trip” to Yugoslavia Drea’s family escaped to Austria. We hear about the sadness of being unable to tell anyone they were leaving and how her relatives were summoned to … Read more