My father was a Stasi spy…

Werner Stiller’s spectacular defection to the West in 1979 inflicted one of the Cold War’s most serious blows to the Stasi. At the time he was working as a case officer for the Main Directorate for Reconnaissance, the Stasi’s foreign intelligence division, where he was in charge of scientific espionage in the West. We speak … Read more

Experiencing the Cold War via virtual reality

  How can we go beyond the films, books, and photos to learn more about the Cold War?  Films are certainly evocative and certainly inform but how can we go beyond that and immerse ourselves to see what it felt like to be there. The two technologies of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality may allow … Read more

An American teaching English in East Germany

  Susan Morrison is Professor of English at Texas State University.  In the late 1980’s she taught in Rostock in the former GDR and then lived in West Berlin but frequently crossed back into the East to teach and meet friends.  In this episode we talk to her about her experiences and her impression of … Read more

A British Journalist under Stasi Surveillance

      In this episode we talk to Mark Brayne again in a wide ranging chat about his career as a Reuters & BBC journalist including details of his Stasi file, his time in the Soviet Union, Hungary & Poland as well as the perils of editing analogue tape in a non-digital age. Among … Read more

US Army Intelligence Analyst

  Bill was a US Army Intelligence Analyst. In 1986 he was assigned to Order of Battle Branch, Soviet Section where for three years he studied the Warsaw Pact armies working closely with the US Military Liaison Mission in Berlin which led to a transfer there in November 1989 Stationed in Potsdam he became an … Read more

A UK Journalist in the Soviet Union & the GDR

    Mark Brayne studied in Moscow 71-72, travelling the country with fellow UK students and spending silly amounts of time in the bathhouses with salted fish and very poor quality beer. He returned in 1974-75 as Reuters trainee journalist where he became very close to Andrei Sakharov, the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb … Read more

Alan – Working in the GDR & The USSR

  Welcome to Cold War Conversations – if you’re new here, you’ve come the right place to listen to firsthand Cold War history accounts. Do make sure you subscribe in your podcast app so you don’t miss out on future episodes. Alan Baker worked and studied in the GDR and the USSR from the 1970s … Read more