Little-known histories from Central & Eastern Europe that changed our world...
Heard of how The Rolling Stones played for the Communist Party? The bear who fought in WWII? Or the man who single-handedly created an entire language?
Each episode of our narrative podcast tells incredible stories that all have one thing in common: the Eastern West.
Meet Marian Marzyński, a child holocaust survivor who dissects the past with his camera.
In 1967, Marian was a popular TV show host and filmmaker in Poland. But then a seemingly faraway military clash sparked an unexpected conflict within the Polish communist party that led its Jewish members to be accused of anti-Polish sentiments.
How a Czech puppeteer and his puppets took on Nazi Germany.
In 1938, Hitler's forces marched into Czechoslovakia, a country that had only gained its independence two decades earlier. A puppeteer named Josef Skupa was ready to fight back with the help of Spejbl and Hurvínek – a father son duo of wooden puppets. All three were destined to become household names in the Czech Republic, a country that takes its puppets seriously...
Hear the testimony of one of a handful of people left who experienced the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp through adult eyes.
Back in 2019, we got the chance to interview Anastasija Gulej. She was 95 at the time, living a happy life in one of Kyiv's suburbs. If you didn’t know her, you’d never tell be able to tell that she wakes up every day with the horrors of her past. Her past as an Auschwitz-Birkenau inmate.
‘Romania today is possibly the only European country where you can bump into a witch at the supermarket.’
As a child, Clara learned that witches could make anything happen. As a grown-up, she had a few questions about it all and decided to knock on a witch’s door. But interviewing a witch turned out not to be so simple...
In the summer of 1976, the late Polish film director Andrzej Żuławski, responsible for infamous cult classics such as The Devil (1972) and Possession (1981), was given a green light to shoot the most expensive film ever made in Poland. On the Silver Globe was meant to be a massively ambitious science-fiction epic set on the Moon, showing the birth of a new civilisation, and produced without the benefit of modern special effects. But things didn’t quite go to plan.
After the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east in 1939, many thousands of Polish families were deported to Siberian forced labour camps. There they not only faced bitter cold but constant hunger. Then Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, and the families that were now allowed to leave. In many cases, only their children made it all the way to safety in Iran. Polish orphans were scattered around the world and a group of 700 would end up travelling to the small island on the other side of the world.