A Hungarian childhood in Cold War Romania

    Zsolt Akos Pall was born in a small town in the Hungarian speaking part of Romania.  Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts For ordinary people, life in Romania in the 1980s was very hard and it could be even worse if you were a part of the Hungarian Szekler minority … Read more

A Cold War childhood in Albania

Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it … Read more

Born into a family of Canadian Communists

Fred Weir was a third-generation red diaper baby from Toronto and a long-time member of the party. His uncle, trained at the Lenin School in Moscow in the 1920s as an agent of the Communist International, the Comintern and spent many years in the USSR. Fred had visited a few times, had studied Russian history … Read more

Emanuela – a Cold War Romanian Childhood

    Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts   Emanuela Grama was born in the mid-1970s’ in a small provincial town in Eastern Romania. She proved us with a great insight into life in the Romanian provinces during the 1980s.  Emanuela lived in a small two-bedroom flat and tells of her parents … 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

Drea – A Czechoslovak childhood

Drea Hahn was born in Czechoslovakia in 1980 in Teplice. Her mother was a secretary and her father was an engineer but refused to join the communist party and this was a source of tension in Drea’s family. She was partly raised by her grandparents and her grandmother shared stories about growing up in “the … Read more

Advanced English studies in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s

Vadim was at school in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s. He attended an Advanced English Studies School where all subjects were taught however, the focus was on English. He provides us with insights into the setup of Soviet education as well as the school life, teaching methods, and pop culture. We hear how the … Read more

A Childhood under the eye of the Secret Police

      At 2 a.m. on 10 March 1983, 12 year old Carmen Bugan was home alone after her father had left for Bucharest. That afternoon, Carmen returned from school to find secret police in her living room. Her father’s protest against the regime had changed her life for ever. This is her story. … Read more

Eva – A Czechoslovak childhood

Born in Communist Czechoslovakia, Eva Caletkova has written an honest and unflinching account of her childhood in Bratislava. Eva’s parents were Catholics, and the communist regime began to persecute the Catholic Church right from the start in 1948. They had to hide their faith from anyone outside of their home. Eva provides us with an … Read more

Czechoslovak hockey star defects to Canada

  Vashi Nedomanský is the son of Czech former legendary ice hockey forward Václav Nedomanský aka “Big Ned”  who is best known as the first hockey player to defect to North America to play. Vashi provides us with vivid descriptions of the 1969 Ice Hockey World Championships where the Czech National Team faced  the Soviet … Read more