64 episodes

Radio GDR. Life in the former East Germany holds an ongoing fascination for a lot of people. Join us as we learn more about the former East Germany.

Radio German Democratic Republic is a podcast designed to educate and inform on the life and times of East Germany. Radio GDR is hosted by Steven Minegar, Shane Whaley, Anke Holst and John Paul Kleiner.

East Germany Podcast - Radio GDR Steven Minegar

    • History
    • 4.9 • 37 Ratings

Radio GDR. Life in the former East Germany holds an ongoing fascination for a lot of people. Join us as we learn more about the former East Germany.

Radio German Democratic Republic is a podcast designed to educate and inform on the life and times of East Germany. Radio GDR is hosted by Steven Minegar, Shane Whaley, Anke Holst and John Paul Kleiner.

    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Kris Hinz's Reflections on his Father's Time in the GDR and the Country's Legacy Today

    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Kris Hinz's Reflections on his Father's Time in the GDR and the Country's Legacy Today

    Hello everyone, and welcome to yet another incredible episode of Radio GDR. We are on episode 3 of 3 of our listener interviews to round out season 3. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about fellow listeners' interest in the GDR as much as I have. In our final listener interview, I have the honor of speaking to Kris Hinz of Australia, who was adopted from Sri Lanka to a German dad who visited the GDR often to see family. Kris' memories of his father's trips and how they influenced his father's perceptions of the GDR color his own opinions of what the country's legacy is today. Here how Kris reflects on his father's experiences, his view of Ostalgie and how he weighs both the positive and negative aspects of the GDR. We appreciate you being a loyal listener, Kris, and are grateful for your interview as well. Thank you!
     
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 59 min
    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Fred Esposito on His Love for Radio GDR and Why Preserving History is Important

    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Fred Esposito on His Love for Radio GDR and Why Preserving History is Important

    We are interviewing some of our most special listeners this season in gratitude for your amazing contributions to make season 3 of this podcast so special. We are especially grateful to the listeners who financially contributed to this season via our Patreon. One of our contributors, Fred Esposito, has gone above and beyond this season as our lone Interflug member at $35 a month. Thank you so much for your generosity, Fred, as you really made the behind the scenes work for the podcast that much easier. For Fred's kindness, we sat down and talked about what fascinates him about the GDR. Fred and I share the same love for Frederick Kempe's book Berlin 1961. Like me, Fred believes we should do everything in our power to preserve history, which explains his generosity, and through Radio GDR, Fred has gained much knowledge as well as some new friends. Please enjoy my conversation with Fred, who was fundamental to making this podcast happen this year.
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 56 min
    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Neese Family Adventures in Radebeul, Leipzig and Dresden

    Why The GDR Fascinates Me: Neese Family Adventures in Radebeul, Leipzig and Dresden

    I have said this often, but I am so grateful to you all for your continued loyalty to the podcast this season. Most of you all don't know this, but I got this amazing gig when Shane Whaley interviewed me as a listener of the show back in 2020. I love the concept of interviewing our listeners so much that, to color the back half of season 3, I have interviewed 3 of you, the listeners, on why more than 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the GDR still fascinates you.
     
    Many of you have personal connections to the GDR, some of which have been formed in this modern era. My new friend Mark Neese's son studied German and is dating the daughter of a family who once lived in the GDR. Mark is a loyal listener who is excited to share his story about his 2021 and 2022 trips to Radebeul, Dresden and Leipzig where he fell in love with GDR architecture, especially the residence hall in which his son lives as a student at the University of Leipzig. Listen as Mark describes his interest in GDR music and the GDR books he recommends to fellow listeners. Thank you so much for your time, Mark!
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 41 min
    Ralph Hänel, Part III - Opening the Memory Box: Ralph's Corner GDR Museum

    Ralph Hänel, Part III - Opening the Memory Box: Ralph's Corner GDR Museum

    Hello, everyone, and welcome to our third installment of our interview with Ralph Hanel, Kung Fu Master, former Stasi prisoner and amazing storyteller. I am so glad you have enjoyed the first two installments, and Ralph and I sat down for a third interview to talk about the objects he has collected in recent years that remind him of his survival story. Today, Ralph tells us about his Stasi handcuffs, his GDR kung fu certificate, how special PanAm is in his life and about other objects that we really started called his "Corner GDR Museum." This was a really special experience for me, and Ralph has started posting pictures of these objects in the Facebook group. You will really enjoy this episode.
     
    Ralph, we're so grateful to you for telling your stories.
    You MUST listen to Ian Sanders' three part interview of Ralph before listening to these. They will absolutely set the context for these episodes, and are MUST LISTENS. 
    Episode 1 - Ralph – DJing and Kung Fu in East Germany
    Episode 2 - Ralph – Arrested and interrogated by the Stasi
    Episode 3 - Ralph – A prisoner in an East German jail
    Read Ralph's short stories using this link
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Ralph Hänel, Part II - "Can I borrow your baby?", Stasi Handcuffs and the Book of Poison

    Ralph Hänel, Part II - "Can I borrow your baby?", Stasi Handcuffs and the Book of Poison

    Welcome to another incredible episode of Radio GDR. Judging by your extremely positive reaction, you thoroughly enjoyed part 1 of our three part interview with Ralph Hanel, Kung Fu Master, former stasi prisoner and an incredible survivor. Now it's time for part 2 - listen how Ralph confronts his past when he discovers how his ex-girlfriend oddly "borrowed" a baby in his name after they broke up, what stasi handcuffs did to his wrists when he was in prison, and how he became an actor and even played a role as an East German general. We even hear about the book of poison - you'll have to listen to the episode to find out about that interesting nugget. Ralph's story of survival inspires me, and I hope it does the same with you.
    You MUST listen to Ian Sanders' three part interview of Ralph before listening to these. They will absolutely set the context for these episodes, and are MUST LISTENS. 
    Episode 1 - Ralph – DJing and Kung Fu in East Germany
    Episode 2 - Ralph – Arrested and interrogated by the Stasi
    Episode 3 - Ralph – A prisoner in an East German jail
    Read Ralph's short stories using this link
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 1 hr
    Ralph Hänel, Part I - My Father and the Stasi Lawyer

    Ralph Hänel, Part I - My Father and the Stasi Lawyer

    Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Radio GDR. This is your host Steve Minegar, and the next three episodes will truly be a humbling and eye opening experience for all of us. On the Cold War Conversations podcast, our good friend Ian Sanders interviewed Ralph Hänel, Kung Fu Master, actor and just plain wonderful guy, about the lengths he went to learn martial arts behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany. In an attempt to leave for the west, Ralph was arrested and spent several years in a Stasi prison in Cottbus known as the “red misery.” Ralph relays this incredible story over three episodes on Cold War Conversations, which I highly recommend you listen to before consuming this series of episodes - see the links below. Ralph is an amazing storyteller and approached me to relay even more of his tragic but triumphant tale. Inspired by objects he has collected that have reminded him of moments in his life, Ralph tells us in this first episode about his father’s possible involvement in the Stasi, the lawyer he may have arranged for his son to get out of prison, and the psychological torture the Stasi inflicted on him and his mother. Just wait until you hear about how Ralph got his Kung Fu certificate into East Germany, the messages he snuck into a hole in his tooth and his Stasi handcuffs (I won’t give too many spoilers away). Ralph, we appreciate these stories very much.
    You MUST listen to Ian Sanders' three part interview of Ralph before listening to these. They will absolutely set the context for these episodes, and are MUST LISTENS. 
    Episode 1 - Ralph – DJing and Kung Fu in East Germany
    Episode 2 - Ralph – Arrested and interrogated by the Stasi
    Episode 3 - Ralph – A prisoner in an East German jail
    Read Ralph's short stories using this link
    Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at  https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/p/support-the-podcast/ to contribute. For the price of a Berliner Pilsner, you can feel good you are contributing to preserve one of the most important pieces of Cold War history.
    If you feel more comfortable leaving us a review to help us get more listeners, we appreciate it very much and encourage you to do so wherever you get your podcasts or at https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/reviews/new/.
    For discussions about podcast episodes and GDR history, please do join our Facebook discussion group. Just search Radio GDR in Facebook.
    Vielen dank for being a listener!

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

dtrian124 ,

Keep up the great work!!!

This one of the only programs that truly covers the DDR in all aspects. Please keep up the great work!!

mfreel ,

Tremendous!!

This is a tremendous podcast with great content, great hosts and interesting guests and subject matter. A fascinating historical topic. I thoroughly enjoy it. I watched the documentary From Us to Me because of this and loved it! It has also opened other doors for me. I highly recommend this podcast. Great work. Please keep it coming!!

Goldieschlager ,

Pleaseeeee keep going

I just found this show and am so happy to find that I’m not the only one interested in the DDR history!! Thanks for incredible content and great audio quality.

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