Ethel Rosenberg

  Ethel Rosenberg is a controversial figure with polarising views varying from an innocent mother caught up in Cold War hysteria to a willing and ruthless accomplice to her husband’s Cold War espionage betraying secrets to the Soviets. Anne Sebba’s new book “Ethel Rosenberg – A Cold War tragedy” (“An American tragedy” in the US) … Read more

Checkmate in Berlin: The Cold War Showdown that Shaped the Modern World

    In 1945 the Soviet Red Army captured Berlin.  For the next four years, a handful of charismatic but flawed individuals – British, American and Soviet – fought an intensely personal battle over the future of Germany, Europe and the entire free world. Checkmate in Berlin tells this exhilarating, high-stakes tale of grit, skullduggery, … Read more

Yuri Gagarin – the first human in space

9.07 a.m., April 12, 1961. A top-secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile – originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead – and blasts into the skies. His name is Yuri Gagarin. And he is about to … 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 Germany has now been re-unified and Russian troops have withdrawn from East Germany.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

Détente – the chance to end the Cold War

    Today we speak with Richard Crowder, the author of “Détente – the chance to end the Cold War”. Help support the podcast by buying the book here Between 1968 and 1975, there was a subtle thawing of relations between East and West, for which Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev coined the name Détente. The … 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

I was a deep cover KGB spy – Part 1

  If you’ve seen the TV drama series, “The Americans” you’ll be fascinated by this episode. Albrecht Dittrich was an East German graduate student and a true believer in the Communist cause when he was recruited by the KGB in 1970. He spent ten years as an undercover KGB agent in the United States. He … Read more

Robert – The anti Cold War activist

Robert Perschmann describes himself as an anti-Cold War activist. His political views started to form while serving in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War period where he saw first hand the toll on the US military and the racism prevalent in the American South. An interview with a Soviet journalist which was broadcast … 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