Travelling E. Europe installing British machinery

We speak with Chris Summers who as a 22 year old was sent by his employers to East Germany in a Ford Escort to install British factory machinery. He provides us with interesting insights into life in the provinces of the GDR. Long term listeners of the podcast will recognise one of Chris’s colleagues was … 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

Mark – Eyewitness to the events of 1989

Mark Baker was a journalist in Vienna who covered Czechoslovakia during the 1980s. In a wide ranging conversations we discuss the events of 1989 with Mark providing some vivid accounts of his experiences and how events were viewed at the time. Now as I’m sure you know some of our fans who are helping the … Read more

78 – Watching Socialism : The Television Revolution in Eastern Europe

Watching Socialism: The Television Revolution in Eastern Europe is an exhibition co-curated by the Wende Museum and British scholars Sabina Mihelj and Susan Reid.  Both the capitalist West and the communist East attempted to leverage TV as a medium that represented modernity and progress during the Cold War. While television was indeed a tool that … Read more

75 – Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe

Today we’re talking to  Alison Lewis, a professor in German at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of several books, including one in German about love and gender in literature during Germany’s reunification and a book in German about the Stasi’s infiltration of the literary underground. We spoke to Alison in episode 71. … Read more

55 – Why Preserve Communist Architecture?

We welcome back Mark Baker from episode 9 where we spoke about his time in 1980s Czechoslovakia.  Mark is a freelance journalist & travel writer living in his adopted hometown of Prague. I really recommend his blog which can be found here. Mark has lived in Central Europe for more than two decades and seeks out … Read more

17 – Eyewitness to the Prague Spring

Welcome to episode 17 of Cold War Conversations In 1968 today’s guest was 15 year old at the same school in Prague as Czech communist leader Alexander Dubček’s son. Jan Čulík provides a valuable eyewitness account of the heady days of the Prague Spring and the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion. He provides some insightful views … Read more

14 – The Prague Spring

Welcome to Episode 14 of Cold War Conversations. Today we have with us Lani Seelinger of Socialism Realised which is an excellent website and learning environment that uses multimedia content as teaching aids about the communist regimes in Europe. Using the Czechoslovak example, they describe the specifics of life in the Eastern bloc. Their material … Read more