The Picnic That Ripped Open The Iron Curtain

  In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists did the unthinkable: they entered the forbidden militarised zone of the Iron Curtain – and held a picnic. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Word had spread of what was going to happen. On wisps of rumour, thousands of East German … Read more

The East German Tank Commander

  In the mid-1980s Dag was a T72 tank commander in the NVA, the East German Army and is now a volunteer at the Tank Museum at Bovington in the UK.   Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts He describes his initial tank commander training, the battle readiness of the NVA, and … Read more

Cold War, Warm Hearts – Hitchhiking behind the 1960s Iron Curtain

  In 1966 most of Bridget’s friends, in their early twenties, were settling down with jobs and/or husbands… Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! She, on the other hand, set off alone to travel across Poland relying on the kindness of strangers.  Fascinated by what she experienced she continued to … Read more

Cold War, Warm Hearts – Hitchhiking behind the 1960s Iron Curtain

  In 1966 most of Bridget’s friends, in their early twenties, were settling down with jobs and/or husbands… Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! She, on the other hand, set off alone to travel across Poland relying on the kindness of strangers.  Fascinated by what she experienced she continued to … 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

Across the Iron Curtain in a yellow MG Midget sports car

  Andrew McNeile decided to travel through Eastern Europe in a yellow MG Midget Sports car, a ​car ​that’s ​going ​to ​stand ​out ​no ​matter ​where you are! He recalls his adventures travelling through East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Yugoslavia He talks about the warmth and friendliness of people, challenges with petrol quality, and … Read more

Gunfire in the Woods: A foiled escape and imprisonment in East Germany

This is part two of Henrik’s story. You can hear the first part in episode 307. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode307 It’s the late 1980s and Henrik and his friends plan to escape from East Germany via Czechoslovakia. Henrik provides a very vivid account of their discovery by Czechoslovak border guards in a forest near the Austrian border. He … 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