A photojournalist in Cold War Eastern Europe

  During the 1970s and 1980s, Arthur Grace travelled extensively behind the Iron Curtain, working primarily for news magazines. One of only a small corps of Western photographers with ongoing access, he was able to delve into the most ordinary corners of people’s daily lives, while also covering significant events. His remarkable book Communism(s) A … Read more

A Hungarian childhood in Cold War Romania

    Zsolt Akos Pall was born in a small town in the Hungarian speaking part of Romania.  Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts For ordinary people, life in Romania in the 1980s was very hard and it could be even worse if you were a part of the Hungarian Szekler minority … Read more

Escaping from Cold War Romania

    Zsolt Akos Pall was 17 when he decided to flee Cold War Romania for a better life in the West.   It’s a heart-warming story of the generosity of strangers. Young Zsolt finds compassionate border guards, gets lost in Vienna and has incredible luck wherever he turns as he negotiates the iron curtain … Read more

Emanuela – a Cold War Romanian Childhood

    Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts   Emanuela Grama was born in the mid-1970s’ in a small provincial town in Eastern Romania. She proved us with a great insight into life in the Romanian provinces during the 1980s.  Emanuela lived in a small two-bedroom flat and tells of her parents … Read more

A Childhood under the eye of the Secret Police

      At 2 a.m. on 10 March 1983, 12 year old Carmen Bugan was home alone after her father had left for Bucharest. That afternoon, Carmen returned from school to find secret police in her living room. Her father’s protest against the regime had changed her life for ever. This is her story. … Read more

Reporting the 1989 Romanian Revolution

      Mark Brayne worked as a Reuters & BBC journalist during the Cold War. This time we are in Romania in December 1989 where riots, street violence and murder in several cities over the course of roughly a week led the Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu to flee the capital city on 22 December … Read more

The Strange World of Romanian Cold War Football

In this episode, we hear from Craig McCracken about the strange world of football in Cold War Romania and even if you are not interested in football it’s a fascinating chat about Cold War Romania. Craig runs the website, Beyondthelastman.com, described as 20th century football writing and nostalgia in a skilled and cultured groove. He … 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

60 – Working at the British Embassy in Bucharest

  In this episode we speak with Colin Munro who has had an extensive career with the British Diplomatic Service. Today we speak about his time as Head of Chancery in Bucharest, Romania between 1981 to 1982.  He provides a vivid view of a country initiating a policy of total repayment of the foreign debt … Read more