A daughter’s 18 year search for her Cold War CIA pilot father

In 1961, members of the Alabama Air National Guard secretly took part in the failed invasion of Cuba by U.S.-backed Cuban exiles known as the Bay of Pigs. This was a covert attempt by the United States to overthrow the Soviet-allied Cuban government of Fidel Castro. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome … Read more

Arrested by the KGB and taken to the Lubyanka prison

Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! This second episode turns to TRIGON, the code name for Alexandr Ogorodnik. He was an official in the Soviet Embassy in Bogota, … Read more

The first female CIA officer in Cold War Moscow

Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Her story begins in Laos during the Vietnam War where she accompanied her husband John, a CIA officer. She describes their life … Read more

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

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

Tales of a West German football supporter in the Soviet bloc

You will remember Karl-Heinz from our episode  218 where he talked about being a signaller on the West German destroyer “Hamburg” in the late 70s. Today we follow his post navy life as a travelling supporter of football club HSV Hamburg where he followed them all over the Soviet bloc talks about watching them play Dynamo Berlin … Read more

Helping the Refuseniks

    Refusenik was an unofficial term for individuals—typically, but not exclusively, Soviet Jews—who were denied permission to emigrate, primarily to Israel, by the authorities of the Soviet Union and other countries of the Eastern bloc. The term refusenik is derived from the “refusal” handed down to a prospective emigrant from the Soviet authorities. Eric … Read more