Betrayed by comrades

Liz Kohn has been researching Alice Glasnerová, who was imprisoned as part of the early Cold War Czechoslovak show trials known as the Slánský trials. These were among the most notorious show trials of the 20th century, with the prosecution and sentencing to death of Rudolf Slánský, general secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist party, and … Read more

Cold War number stations

  You might remember listening to short wave radio during the Cold War and coming across weird transmissions of metallic voices reciting random groups of numbers through the ether.  These are number stations, shortwave radio stations characterised by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which were being sent to spies operating in foreign countries. Number stations were … 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

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