34 – Samy – The Life of a West Berliner

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Welcome to Episode 34 of Cold War Conversations – I do hope you are enjoying the content.

Please leave reviews on itunes, or alternative podcast platforms and share us on social media. It helps raise the profile and helps us get new guests.

Today ee talk with Samy who as a native West Berliner describes growing up in the city during the 1970s and 80s.

He describes in detail the difference between West Berlin and West Germany, including its position as a “special political entity”, how the death penalty in West Berlin was only abolished in 1989 and how as a child he was obsessed with Spy movies, spy books, and Cold War activities.

Before we go further I’d like to thank all our Patreons who donate monthly to support the podcast further and get access to some exclusive extras. Luke Wooller is our latest Patreaon who pay as little as a $1 or a £1 a month to help keep us broadcasting and expanding the show.

Just click here.

Ok so back to today’s episode – Samy also talks about the battle between the East and West German Sandmännchen resulting in victory for the East.

Samy joined the Red Cross post Cold War but discovered some interesting remnants of preparedness in case of another Berlin blockade including some top secret locations.

I’m sure you will enjoy his account and I am delighted to welcome Samy to Cold War Conversations.

Samy’s recommended Films for a taste of West & East Berlin.



West Music:
East Music:




In 1988, a group of young people occupy the Lenné Triangle, a plot of land that lies right by the Wall, in an attempt to stop a motorway being built there. Although the site is in West Berlin, it is actually the property of East Berlin. The occupation makes a tourist attraction of what was once just a wasteland.

Not long after the young people arrive, the Lenné Triangle is handed back to the West and several hundred police officers begin clearing the site. They fire teargas and use water cannons, and the squatters retaliate by throwing paving stones. A lot of the protestors manage to flee across the Wall to East Berlin, where they are given breakfast and later allowed to take the U-Bahn back to the West.




Episode 2 – Berlin during the Cold War and Signals Intelligence

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Welcome to Episode 2 of Cold War Conversations where we start with a fascinating eyewitness account of Berlin during the Cold War.

Michael K Ferris  lived in Berlin as a child of US Airforce personnel in the 1960s and 70s and then subsequently joined the US Airforce himself and worked in Signals Intelligence during the 1980s.

In a wide ranging chat, we talked about life for American families and their kids in Berlin during the Cold War and also about the challenges of signals intelligence in the heart of East Germany at tail end of the Cold War. We also talked about the Stasi spy in Michael’s unit, Kennedy’s visit to Berlin, Baader Meinhof attacks on US Forces, Soxmis and much more.

Our guest’s unit was described by the Commander in Chief US Airforce Europe as “his eyes and ears to the East.”

We welcome Michael K Ferris

Links to videos we talked about:

Counterpoint TV Series set at Templehof Airfield


Documentary on Stasi Spy Jeffrey Carney


Video of the remains of Marienfelde Monitoring Post


The Same Sky – TV Series


Berlin Enclaves



The Legend of Rita (fictional drama film of Baader Meinhof terrorist crossing to the GDR)


Reagan at Checkpoint Charlie 1982


Berlin Historical Maps


Game Set and Match



Talking Heads




Amazon UK  – Looking Down the Corridors: Allied Aerial Espionage over East Germany and Berlin, 1945-1990

Amazon US


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