The 10-year-old girl who tried to stop a nuclear War

In November of 1982, at the height of the Cold War, Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Manchester, Maine, wrote to the Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and asked him if he was going to wage a nuclear war against the U.S. When an unprecedented response from Andropov arrived, and Samantha received an invitation to visit … Read more

Discovering your husband is a KGB spy

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! The second part of Svetlana’s story starts shortly after her arrival in West Germany with her husband Oleg who is the Chief Editor of the Russian Service of Radio Liberty a CIA-financed station beaming Western propaganda into the Soviet Union. To Svetlana’s horror, Oleg … Read more

From Soviet Latvia to the BBC Russian Service

  Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsBecome a Patron! Svetlana came from a dissident Jewish family opposed to Soviet rule in Latvia. Her parents survived World War 2, but during the Stalin era two members of her family were held in the Gulags. The family never resigned themselves to Latvia’s occupation by … Read more

A British kid transferred to a Soviet school

wwListen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts   Richard was 6 years old when he was uprooted from a school in the United States to a Soviet school 700 miles East of Moscow. In 1988 the Soviet Union was opening up following Michael Gorbachev’s policy of Perestroika and American firms began looking at … Read more

On Tour with The Red Elvis, aka Dean Reed the US Cold War music star

Warning: This episode does cover the subject of suicide. If you need help please use these links: UK Rest of the World Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Dean Reed was an American actor, singer and songwriter, director, and Socialist who became a huge star in Latin America and the Eastern Bloc. … Read more

The Bridge of Spies spy

  On 10 February 1962, Gary Powers, the American pilot whose U2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace, was released on “The Bridge in Spies” in Berlin by his captors in exchange for one Colonel Rudolf Abel, aka Vilyam Fisher – one of the most extraordinary characters in the history of the Cold … Read more

Guarding Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Deputy Führer

Dave Phillips is a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London. The Yeoman Warders have been guarding the Tower since Tudor times. Dave joined the British Army aged 16 into the Royal Irish Rangers. We hear of his early years in the Army in Northern Ireland and his posting to West Berlin. In West Berlin … Read more

The building of the Berlin Wall

From the moment East Germany was formed in 1949, many of its citizens chose to leave to start a new life in the West. By the mid-1950s, the trickle had turned into a flood as large numbers rejected Walter Ulbricht’s Communist paradise. His ‘Workers’ & Peasants’ State’ could not afford to lose the skills and … Read more