The Live Drop


Berlin Author Bernd von Kostka Duels in the Dark with Cold War History

Ep. 62

Bernd von Koska is the curator of the Allied Museum in Berlin and co-author of Capital of Spies. For almost half a century, From summer 1945 until 1990, NATO and the Warsaw Pact fought an ongoing duel in the dark. Espionage was part of everyday life in both East and West Berlin with spies of numerous nationalities and loyalties. In this conversation Bernd describes the highlights of his book and intelligence activities in Berlin: the success, failures, famous and the infamous to include: the Crash of the YAK28P, The Spy Tunnel, The Meister and James Hall, James Carney, a visit from Marcus Wolf, Benno Ohnes shooting, Dean Reed, Rosenholtz Files and the Berlin Airlift. Capital of Spies (co-authored with Sven Felix Kellerhoff) is a great starter reference to the important intelligence events in Cold War Berlin. Bernd is a Berliner and no stranger to the spy world. Aside from his work at the museum, he’s recently helped produce British drama Spy City on AMC with author William Boyd.  

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Taking a Hard Look at the Five Eyes Agreement with Dr. Anthony Wells

Ep. 59
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McCloskey Deconstructs Damascus Station

Ep. 58
Though this episode was recorded in November of 2021, David's recollections and impressions of the Syrian Conflict are eerily similar to what's happening in Ukraine right now. A former CIA analyst, he's now a spy novelist to keep your eye on. David McCloskey reveals part of his process and some unique elements of craft that he brought to this auspicious first novel. Episode 58From a CBS article by Kate Gibson, here are some links to help Ukranians:Convoy of Hope. The disaster relief group says it's partnering with a local Polish organization to provide meals to refugees entering Poland, as well as to deliver food, water and other basics across the region. Donate here.International Committee of the Red Cross. The Swiss-based organization is supporting the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross in helping those impacted by the war. Donate to the ICRC.International Medical Corps. The first responders' organization has teams inside Ukraine and in the surrounding regions to offer medical and mental health services. Link to contribute.Kyiv Independent. The English-language news site has launched a GoFundMe campaign asking for support.UNICEF. The global group devoted to safeguarding children is working to provide humanitarian supplies to families without safe water or electricity due to the conflict. Contributions can be made here.Voices of Children. The Ukraine-based charitable foundation has been offering psychological counseling, including art therapy, for children affected by war in the country's east since 2015, according to its site. The group is currently helping children and families across Ukraine, including helping with evacuations.