Borderlands and Battles: A Finnish Town’s Cold War Story

Timo takes us to the remote Finnish border town of Kuusamo. He paints a vivid picture of a childhood overshadowed by his grandparent’s memories of their home lost during World War II and their proximity to the Soviet Union. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts As a child, he was fascinated by … Read more

A traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States

In this deeply personal episode, Norbert, vividly recounts his traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron!   He describes the struggles of his parents amid food shortages and the poignant decision of the family to leave everything behind for an … Read more

Jack’s dramatic Cold War escape across the fortified Inner German border

Jack Wesolek was born in East Germany in 1966. His grandfather was a member of the Red Orchestra, a Communist Anti-Nazi resistance organisation in Germany during World War 2. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! He later became Chief of the Signals Service of the Volksmarine, the East German Navy. … Read more

Cold War Polish childhood near Wroclaw

Tom lived in the town of Jawor in western Poland in an area that had been part of Germany until the end of World War 2. He describes how his grandmother settled in this area and the strangeness of taking over formerly German houses and apartments. Tom’s grandfather on his mother’s side was a Communist … Read more

Growing up in the East Germany’s Valley of the Clueless

Henrik was born in the late 1960’s near Dresden in East Germany. The area was sarcastically known as the Tal der Ahnungslosen  or Valley of the Clueless, as the area generally was not able to receive TV  from West Germany from the mid-to-late 1950s. He describes his childhood growing up in a Uranium mining area. … Read more

The 10-year-old girl who tried to stop a nuclear War

In November of 1982, at the height of the Cold War, Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Manchester, Maine, wrote to the Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and asked him if he was going to wage a nuclear war against the U.S. When an unprecedented response from Andropov arrived, and Samantha received an invitation to visit … Read more

A British kid transferred to a Soviet school

wwListen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts   Richard was 6 years old when he was uprooted from a school in the United States to a Soviet school 700 miles East of Moscow. In 1988 the Soviet Union was opening up following Michael Gorbachev’s policy of Perestroika and American firms began looking at … Read more

A Cold War escape from Czechoslovakia

We return to Dirk’s story from episode 278 with a move to East Berlin following his mother’s divorce from his father. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Dirk finds school life more relaxed where pupils are allowed to wear Western clothing and to speak more openly, even questioning their teachers about the … Read more

Growing up in the Stasi town

Dirk lived in the town of Bernau about 15 miles from East Berlin. Just outside Bernau was Wandlitz the residential estate of the East German leadership. As a result, Bernau had one of the highest densities of Stasi facilities in East Germany. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Dirk shares … Read more

On Tour with The Red Elvis, aka Dean Reed the US Cold War music star

Warning: This episode does cover the subject of suicide. If you need help please use these links: UK https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/ Rest of the World  https://findahelpline.com/i/iasp Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Dean Reed was an American actor, singer and songwriter, director, and Socialist who became a huge star in Latin America and the Eastern Bloc. … Read more