Mark Baker is an independent journalist and travel writer who’s lived in Central Europe for more than two decades.
I heartily recommend his travel website
www.markbakerprague.com which is an eclectic mix of stories about his adopted hometown of Prague and stories from when Central Europe was the “Eastern bloc” and he was a full-time journalist trying his best to cover it.
Mark tells an intriguing and compelling story and I urge you to listen right to the end. I hope you enjoy our chat and I welcome Mark Baker. (the drawing is by Stewart K Moore and is a representation of Mark’s Czechoslovak fixer during the 1980s)
Milada – drama film of Milada Horáková, democratic pre-WW2 Czech politician first arrested and tried by the Nazis during the War and then the post-war Communist government for her refusal to cease her opposition activity and leave the country.
Welcome to Episode 8 of Cold War Conversations where we talk about the armoured fighting vehicles of the Warsaw Pact.
Russell Phillips has written several books on Warsaw Pact military equipment and our conversation is an interesting exchange covering the evolution in design, tactics and the deployment of Warsaw Pact armoured forces should the Cold War have turned hot.
It also covers a slightly off topic conversation about saunas and swimming pools in Soviet submarines and Frankie Goes to Hollywood!
<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.
In Episode 7 we welcome award-winning author David Young who has written the Stasi Child – Karin Müller series of crime thrillers set in East Germany in the mid 1970s.
The series begins in 1975 with Stasi Child, David’s critically-acclaimed debut which was an official Top Twenty paperback bestseller in The Bookseller, won the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger for best historical crime novel of 2016, and was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
The second in the series, Stasi Wolf, was published in e-book and paperback in February 2017 and A Darker State was released this year in the UK. Two more novels are under contract, making five in all.
Shortlist’s review of Stasi Child reads “Can’t get enough cold-war Germany after Deutschland 83? This is your latest reading companion”
And The Australian wrote “If you are a fan of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series, this will appeal. Though it’s stylistically more sober than Kerr’s noirish novels, the Berlin background is just as authentically realized. “
I’m delighted to say I’ve read and enjoyed them all!