Ralph – A prisoner in an East German jail

This is the third and final part of Ralph Hänel’s story of his life in East Germany. In this episode, we hear his time in the Stasi prison in Cottbus which with its dark red brick façade was often referred to as the ‘Red Misery’. It’s a chilling insight into Stasi prison conditions and the … Read more

Ralph – Arrested and interrogated by the Stasi

Ralph Hänel continues the story of his life in East Germany. We hear of Ralph’s arrest by the Stasi and subsequent interrogation for 10 months. Ralph describes in some detail the arrest and his early days of imprisonment. He also details the techniques used to try and make him break and the pressure the Stasi … Read more

Ralph – DJing and Kung Fu in East Germany

Ralph Hänel tells some unique, strange and funny short stories about childhood and youth in East Germany. We talk about the experiences of his parents in the closing stages of World War 2, his schooling, and how he became a DJ, winning a trip to the Soviet Union. Ralph is a great raconteur with virtually … Read more

Book giveaway – A Question of Time

James Stejskal was my guest in our Special Forces Berlin episode. He has now written a fiction book based on his experiences. Berlin, 1979. When the CIA’s most valuable spy is compromised, the Agency realizes it does not have the capability to bring him to safety. If he cannot evade the dreaded East German security … Read more

US Army Intelligence gathering in the unified Germany

    We continue the story of Bill, a US Army Intelligence Analyst with Combined Analysis Detachment-Berlin (CAD-B) from episode 127. Germany has now been re-unified and Russian troops have withdrawn from East Germany. Bill tells us of the little known story of continued US Army involvement in intelligence gathering alongside the German security services, … Read more

1962 Berlin fiction – author interview

In this bonus episode we talk again with Paul Grant, author of “Coercion” the fourth book about the Schultz family who live in Berlin.  His books are set at the end of the Second World War and the start of the Cold War. Coercion, is set in 1962 against the backdrop of the Berlin Wall … Read more

I was a deep cover KGB spy – Part 2

This is part 2 of our chat with Jack Barsky who spent ten years as an undercover KGB agent in the United States. He is the longest surviving known member of the KGB illegals programme that operated during the Cold War. In this episode we talk about his first days in the US, his mission … Read more