189 episodes

Real stories of the Cold War told by those that were there. We're capturing the unknown stories of the Cold War before they are lost...

Cold War Conversations Ian Sanders

    • History
    • 4.7 • 206 Ratings

Real stories of the Cold War told by those that were there. We're capturing the unknown stories of the Cold War before they are lost...

    Philippe - A French soldier in Berlin (189)

    Philippe - A French soldier in Berlin (189)

    The French Forces in Berlin were the units of the French Armed Forces stationed from 1945 until the end of the Cold War-era in West Berlin according to the agreements of the Yalta Conference and Potsdam Conference. 
    The troops were the French counterparts to the United States' Berlin Brigade and the United Kingdom's Berlin Infantry Brigade in the city. 
    Philippe was stationed in Berlin from 1972 to 1973 with the French army for his military service. He did not volunteer and was not too happy at first, but started enjoying life outside of the “Quartier Napoleon” as it was called, near the Tegel airport.
    His role was in Signals intelligence and during the day he listened to FM radio transmissions of the East German Army as well as the Soviets (GFSA). 
    If you are enjoying the podcast, you can help me to keep producing these episodes by a small monthly donation via Patreon, plus you will get the sought after CWC coaster as a thank you and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history. 
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a financial contribution is not your cup of tea, you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us and sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome Philippe to our Cold War conversation…
    There’s further information on this episode here.   https://coldwarconversations.com/episode189/
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode, visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated – goodbye.
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 55 min
    A Czechoslovak family's escape to Austria (188)

    A Czechoslovak family's escape to Austria (188)

    We continue Drea Hahn’s story with her family’s escape to Austria and the realities of being a refugee.  
    In 1986, under the pretext of a “ski trip” to Yugoslavia Drea’s family escaped to Austria. We hear about the sadness of being unable to tell anyone they were leaving and how her relatives were summoned to the police station to be detained for questioning. They didn’t communicate with anyone at “home” until 1989 or 1990 because it was too dangerous.
    Once, in Austria, there was no certainty that that Drea’s family wouldn’t be handed back to Czechoslovakia as Austria was neutral and the government was keen to stay on good terms with their neighbours.
    Drea’s family were in Austria for about 2 years living in a single room with a shared bathroom.  We hear from her about the challenges of life as a child refugee in rural Austria.
    In 1988 permission was granted to emigrate to the US and we hear of their elation when they arrive.
    Extra info, photos and videos are here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode188
    If you are enjoying the podcast please leave a written review in Apple podcasts or share us on social media. By telling your friends you can really help us grow the number of listeners.
    Now I need help to continue to track down these unknown stories of the Cold war and ensure they are preserved. If you can spare it I’m asking listeners to pledge a small monthly amount per month to help keep us on the air (larger amounts are welcome too) plus you can get a sought after CWC coaster as a monthly financial supporter of the podcast and you bask in the warm glow of knowing you helping preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/

     I am delighted to welcome Drea Hahn back to our Cold War conversation…
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode, visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations on Facebook.
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 59 min
    Drea - A Czechoslovak childhood (187)

    Drea - A Czechoslovak childhood (187)

    Drea Hahn was born in Czechoslovakia in 1980 in Teplice. Her mother was a secretary and her father was an engineer but refused to join the communist party and this was a source of tension in Drea’s family. 
    She was partly raised by her grandparents and her grandmother shared stories about growing up in “the Protectorate”, the name given to the area of Czechoslovakia occupied by the Germans in World War 2. 
    Drea tells of a typical Czech childhood – her school friends,  fond memories of school trips, and summers at their chata (country house).
    A more sinister side of life was getting in trouble for being a chatty kid and being cautioned with the phrase “walls have ears”.
    Extra info, and videos are here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode187/
    If you are enjoying the podcast please leave a written review in Apple podcasts or share us on social media. By telling your friends you can really help us grow the number of listeners.
    Now I need help to continue to track down these unknown stories of the Cold war and ensure they are preserved. If you can spare it I’m asking listeners to pledge a small monthly amount per month to help keep us on the air (larger amounts are welcome too) plus you get a sought after CWC coaster as a monthly financial supporter of the podcast and bask in the warm glow of knowing you helping preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    I am delighted to welcome Drea Hahn to our Cold War conversation…
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode, visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 50 min
    An evening with Kim Philby (186)

    An evening with Kim Philby (186)

    Ben Brown is the writer of A Splinter of Ice, a play that portrays the meeting in Moscow in 1987 of one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, Graham Greene and his old MI6 boss, Kim Philby, one of Britain's most notorious spies... and a traitor. 


    Graham Greene never divulged any details of the meeting and Ben’s play imagines what might have been. We discuss the play, as well as how Philby and Greene’s lives intertwined. 


    It’s a story of two men catching up on old times, but with a new world order breaking around them how much did the writer of The Third Man know about Philby's secret life as a spy? Did Philby betray his friend as well as his country..?


    CWC listeners can get discounted £12 tickets to see the play online here using promo code PODCAST12 https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/20/a-splinter-of-ice

    A trailer and other videos are available in our episode notes here www.coldwarconversations.com/episode186/


    If you have listened this far, I know you are enjoying the podcasts so I’m asking for one-off or monthly donations to support my work and enable me to continue producing the podcast. If you become a monthly supporter, you will get the sought after CWC coaster as a thank you and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.


    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/


    If a financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.


    I am delighted to welcome Ben Brown to our Cold War conversation…


    There’s further information on this episode here. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode186/


    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.


    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated – goodbye.


    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 56 min
    Behind enemy lines in East Germany with a US Military Liaison Mission driver Part 2 (185)

    Behind enemy lines in East Germany with a US Military Liaison Mission driver Part 2 (185)

    We return to the 2nd part of Tom Favia’s story with the US Military Liaison Mission which the Soviet Union permitted to operate in East Germany, ostensibly for monitoring and furthering better relationships between the Soviet and Western occupation forces. The British & French also had missions as did the Soviets in West Germany. 

    Part 1 is here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode183/
    As you would expect there are some incredible incidents that Tom shares with us including one with a drunk Soviet Major who tries to defect. Tom was with USMLM when the Wall opened in Nov 1989 and describes the uncertainty of the time with Soviet soldiers selling parts of tanks and munitions. 
    If you have listened this far, I know you are enjoying the podcasts so I’m asking for donations to support my work and enable me to continue producing the podcast. If you become a monthly supporter, you will get the sought after CWC coaster as a thank you and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a financial contribution is not your cup of tea, you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us and sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome back Tom Favia to our Cold War conversation…
    There’s further information on this episode can be found here. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode185
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode, visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations on Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated.
    Radio GDR If you are interested in East Germany we can highly recommend our friends over at Radio GDR. Please leave a review. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a written review.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 45 min
    Ethel Rosenberg (184)

    Ethel Rosenberg (184)

    Ethel Rosenberg is a controversial figure and generates 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) provides a more nuanced view of Ethel that is not just about innocence and guilt but of a talented singer and mother of two children, betrayed by her family and the American judicial system. Aged 37, in 1953 she becomes the first woman in American history to be executed for a crime other than murder.
    Whatever your views about Ethel Rosenberg this episode will detail more of who Ethel was and how the American judicial system was manipulated to ensure her conviction. 
    Anne’s book is available on these links.
    UK listeners  https://amzn.to/3wGZD1z
    US listeners https://amzn.to/2TObJra
    If you’ve listened this far, I know you are enjoying the podcasts so I’m asking for a small monthly donation to support my work and allow me to continue producing the podcast. As a monthly supporter, you will get the sought after CWC coaster as a thank you and bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a financial contribution is not your cup of tea, you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us and sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome Anne Sebba to our Cold War conversations...

    There's more information as well as a book giveaway in the episode notes here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode184/
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode, visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations on Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. 
    Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/coldwarpod)

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
206 Ratings

206 Ratings

dlhansen ,

Cold War history from all kinds of angles

I stumbled upon this podcast after searching for Cold War reared shows. After listening to one episode I was hooked. The number of guests this show has and their stories is just incredible. Learning about how people lived through the Cold War is fascinating and this show explores it all. If you’re at all interested in this time period this show is for you.

tylrkd ,

One of a kind podcast!

Hats off to you for making such an incredible show and finding such interesting stories to tell! I love it!

Creasy15 ,

Great Episodes, Great Guests

Ian continually finds fascinating new tales to tell from the Cold War. I thought I already knew quite a bit before I started listening to his podcast but every episode brings new understanding and new insights. I am a huge fan and support him on Patreon as well. Keep up the great work Ian.

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