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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 and John Paul Kleiner.
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Hello everyone! Season 4 is coming! We also have a new domain this season - radiogdrpodcast.com. Please do visit us soon to tell us your GDR story! I'll be updating show notes across old episodes so you can the same great content at our new website. Season 4 is coming! Look forward to announcing more details soon. Our ability to bring you stories f…
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In this episode John Paul Kleiner (GDR Objectified blog) speaks with Attila the Stockbroker, an English poet, musician and songwriter with roots in the punk movement and socialist politics. During his forty year career as independent artist, Attila has produced numerous albums and books and performed more than 3,800 shows including many in the GDR …
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In 1952, a 24-year old American soldier defected to the Eastern Bloc in order to avoid a US Army disciplinary hearing and what he feared would be draconian punishment for his involvement in socialist and communist politics in the United States. This decision put his life on an entirely new trajectory, one that left him with a new name, Victor Gross…
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I am truly honored to be joined today by author and illustrator Vesper Stamper who in 2022 published Berliners, a historical fiction about two twin brothers, Rudi and Peter, who end up divided by their views of the GDR and then, quite literally, by the Berlin Wall. This is a must read, guys. Listen as we talk to Vesper about how the theme of "histo…
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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…
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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 …
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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 …
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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 st…
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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 "b…
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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 length…
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Did you know East German artists used their Stasi files as artwork after the fall of the Berlin wall? Ever heard of the Erfurt Women's Artists Group who stormed the Stasi Headquarters in their city? These were jaw-dropping facts I learned when I read Parallel Public - Experimential Art in Late East Germany by our guest today, Dr. Sara Blaylock, Ass…
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I often speak about what a privilege it is to preserve the stories of the past, many of which are disappearing quickly, through this podcast. You our contributors and listeners are truly helping us to advance that mission. In today's episode of Radio GDR, I'm honored to be joined by teacher and author Daniel Burghard all the way from Berlin who wit…
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There is no shortage of recent articles regarding the too long overlooked subject of female directors. While many of these articles are specific to the women directing films today (Patty Jenkins, Kelly Reichardt, Kathryn Bigelow, etc.), there are many more that claim to be comprehensive overviews of the contributions made by women to the art of cin…
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Gay spies and espionage….absolutely one of the most incredible topics you can study about the GDR. On today's episode of Radio GDR, we are going to dive into the topic of LGBT espionage, life and struggle for equality behind the Iron Curtain. We have the honor to be joined by Dr. Samuel Huneke, assistant professor of history at George Mason Univers…
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Venceremos! We will overcome! This one word defined the socialist political movement of Salvador Allende's presidency in Chile and, after the military coup of 1973, rolled off the tongues of Chilean exiles and musical bands who found a new home in East Germany. As many of you know, I have long been interested in the GDR's international relations, p…
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From an outside perspective, it would seem that human rights would be an idea that the East German regime would have had great difficulty reconciling itself with. However, in this episode of the pod, Dr. Ned Richardson-Little, author of The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity, and Revolution in East Germany, explains how the rul…
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This episode seeks to answer a burning question - what does an artist do with a piece of the Berlin Wall? In our last episode, we interviewed Dr. Jim Doti, Professor and President Emeritus of Chapman University in Orange, California (chapman.edu), about how Chapman secured a piece of the Berlin Wall for the university's lovely campus. Today I am ho…
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There are many pieces of the Berlin Wall on display all around the world. How did universities, museums and other places secure these sections of what was once the most intimidating symbol of the Iron Curtain? In this episode of Radio GDR, I have the privilege of being joined by Dr. Jim Doti, Professor and President Emeritus of Chapman University i…
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We Radio GDR hosts all agree on this simple truth - our favorite interviews are of you the listeners and members of the Facebook group. Jeff Myers joined the group in January of 2022 and has proceeded to post some of the most captivating photos of his trip to the GDR in 1987. From pictures of old East Berlin to Trabants to an eerie "teaching assist…
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In 1952, a 24-year old American soldier defected to the Eastern Bloc in order to avoid a US Army disciplinary hearing and what he feared would be draconian punishment for his involvement in socialist and communist politics in the United States. This decision put his life on an entirely new trajectory, one that left him with a new name, Victor Gross…
  continue reading
 
In our first interview of season 3, we speak with Michael Califra, author of "No Man's Land," one of our favorite works of fiction about life in divided Berlin. Michael lived and worked in Germany, mostly in Berlin, from 1986 to 1998 where he crossed between East and West many times. When he first considered writing about Berlin, it was still divid…
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Welcome to Radio GDR Season 3! Join Steve Minegar, Shane Whaley, Anke Holst and John Paul Kleiner as we talk about what we’ve been up to, what we’re learning and what we look forward to sharing in this season. Our ability to bring you stories from behind the Berlin Wall is dependent on monthly donors like you. Visit us at https://www.eastgermanypod…
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In this episode of Radio GDR our host John Paul Kleiner (gdrobjectified.wordpress.com) interviews Debby Pattiz about the unusual semester she spent in the GDR back in 1988 as a Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, USA) student at Wilhelm-Pieck Universität in Rostock.Oleh John Paul Kleiner
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What do you do with a hundred thousand idle spies? By 1990 the Berlin Wall had fallen and the East German state security service folded. For forty years, they had amassed more than a billion pages in manila files detailing the lives of their citizens. Almost a hundred thousand Stasi employees, many of them experienced officers with access to highly…
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Thanks to Tim Mohr for taking time to speak with John Paul Kleiner (GDR Objectified blog) and Prof. Ed Larkey (University of Maryland - Baltimore County) about his book Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Tim's book is well worth a read and you don't have to be into punk music to enjoy it. Thats a wrap for …
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In this episode of Radio GDR - the East Germany podcast, we are joined by Patrick Hoffmann, assistant director, pedagogue and historian at Borderland Museum Eichsfeld, one of the more than 20 museums along the former Inner German Border Founded in 1995, the museum sits at the border crossing point Duderstadt-Worbis, which is about 190 kilometers we…
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From being raised by a World War 2 veteran who spent time in a Soviet prison camp to having of view of the Berlin Wall from her apartment to meeting westerners like Celeste and her family who she finally visited in California after the wall fell, Adelheid has quite a story to tell!Oleh Steve Minegar
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This episode of Radio GDR, the East Germany podcast, lives up to Paul Harvey's famous expression, "and now you know the rest of the story." In episode 24, Shane Whaley interviewed Eric Friedman who, as a 10-year old boy in 1988, accompanied his mother Celeste Barber, a teacher in the English Department at Santa Barbara City College in California, a…
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A conversation with author Michael Wagg. In The Turning Season, he goes in search of hidden histories and footballing ghosts from before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He revisits the 14 clubs that made up the 1989 DDR-Oberliga, East Germany's top flight. From Aue in the Erzgebirge mountains to Rostock on the Baltic Sea, this quirky account of his wh…
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John Paul Kleiner chats with the author of Bowling for Communism: Urban Ingenuity at the End of East Germany. Andrew Demshuk. Bowling for Communism illuminates how civic life functioned in Leipzig, East Germany's second-largest city, on the eve of the 1989 revolution by exploring acts of "urban ingenuity" amid catastrophic urban decay. Andrew Demsh…
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John Paul Kleiner and Dr Ed Larkey return to Radio GDR/The East Germany Podcast for part 3 in our series on East German Pop Music. In 1971, East German leader Ulbricht is out and is replaced by Erich Honecker Our experts discuss how music listening in East Germany evolved and changed in the 1970s including The Red Woodstock Festival of Political So…
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In this episode of Radio GDR East Germany podcast, Steve Minegar speaks with Dr. Claudia Sandberg. a film scholar and filmmaker at the University of Melbourne in Australia and a colleague of Katrin Bahr. Born in the GDR and raised watching DEFA films, Claudia’s research focuses on migration and mobility in European and Latin American film, Cold War…
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On today's episode of the East Germany Podcast, GDR Objectified's John Paul Kleiner and Shane Whaley chat with the Herr Helge Heidemayer, director of the Hohenschönhausen Memorial in Berlin. You will learn: 1) About Hohenschönhausen a) What was Hohenschönhausen? b) Who was incarcerated there? c) What was the prison’s place in the GDR justice system…
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In this episode, our hosts return to look at the broad theme of pop and politics in East Germany. 'So we're looking at ways that East German authorities, the party, the free German youth organization struggled or worked to frame youth culture in a way that was appealing to East German, young people, but also delivered the desired ideological conten…
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Today we chat with the author of Interflug - East Germany's airline, Sebastian Schmitz. This is the first book published in English about Interflug. Don't worry though, you do not need to be an aviation nerd to enjoy this one! In this episode, we ask Sebastian your questions as we learn more about Interflug, her history, her planes, her employees a…
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On this episode of Radio GDR the East Germany Podcast, Steve Minegar explores the lives of East Germans who, in the name of international solidarity and cooperation with fellow socialist countries, worked on behalf of the GDR in Mozambique in the 1980's. He has the distinct pleasure of being joined by Dr. Katrin Bahr, Visiting Assistant Professor o…
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I have always wondered what small-town life was like outside of Berlin in the GDR. In this episode of Radio GDR, Bill Blosen and I sit down to talk about his experiences traveling to Görlitz, a small medieval town on the East German-Polish border. Photos at www.radiogdr.com/30 He went there to visit family as a young man in the 1980s before the fal…
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East Germany Podcast Host Shane Whaley's Amazon Explore review of The infamous Berlin Wall: stories of the Death Strip and a divided city tour. Shane works in the tours and activity industry hosting a podcast for tour operators called Tourpreneur. He is currently reviewing Amazon Explore which is Amazon's foray into virtual Livestream experiences a…
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In this episode, you will hear how Peter Keup's life was made a misery following his family's application for an exit visa. Peter discusses how his life was never to be the same again. How he was treated as a pariah by the East German state, which led to him trying to escape the GDR, getting captured, and spending time in an East German cell. He wa…
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In this episode of the East Germany Podcast - Radio GDR we go on a journey of Rock and Pop Music of East Germany. Our good friend John-Paul Kleiner (GDR Objectified) is in the East Germany podcast host chair for this one. He is joined by Dr Edward Larkey, an expert on GDR music and author of Rotes Rockradio. John Paul turns his hand to DJ'ing as he…
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This episode is dedicated to our friend Neil Tooley who sadly passed away last week. In this episode of we explore the world of East German movies and DEFA, the studio that produced them. I know nothing about East German-made movies so in this episode we are joined by two East German Cinema buffs to find out more. I was delighted when Jeffrey Babco…
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In 1988, a reluctant 10 year old American boy, Eric Friedman moved to East Berlin. His father Frank was granted a Fulbright grant to lecture at Humboldt University. Eric shares his experiences living in East Germany in his memoir The Ghosts of East Berlin, he shares some of those memories with us here on the East Germany Podcast Radio GDR…
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In this episode of the East Germany Podcast, Shane Whaley is joined by Anthony Russell. Anthony shares with us what fascinates him about East Germany. Anthony was so fascinated by the GDR that he chose to live for a year in Rostock as part of his Germany degree. He also discusses his favorite books written about the GDR as well as TV shows and movi…
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In this episode of the East Germany Podcast, Shane Whaley is joined by Cold War Conversations Podcast Co-Host James Chilcott. James shares with us what fascinates him about East Germany. James tells us how he visited the Fulda Gap as a schoolboy and was photographed by East German Border Guards. He also discusses his favorite books written about th…
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In this episode of the Radio GDR Podcast, Jordan Heyburn talks about his passion for collecting East German stamps. He also shares tips on how you can get started with your very own DDR Stamp collection. This is the first in our DDR Collectors Series. Do you collect something GDR related? Let us know, we would love to chat with you on the Radio GDR…
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