Share Your Memories

What role did the BBC play in your life at this time, and to what extent did it shape your perception of Cold War events? Share your thoughts and ideas here.
Newsnight, Thursday 9 November, 1989 22:30. Peter Snow presents the programme on the day the Berlin Wall was breached.

What do you remember about the Cold War? 

Divided in two, the Cold War split the world between the socialist and capitalist blocs. How did these divisions shape people between the end of World War Two and the start of the 1990s?

What role did the BBC play in your life at this time, and to what extent did it shape your perception of Cold War events?

Was the BBC a lifeline, a potential source of danger, or did you view its output with scepticism?

Tell us your thoughts and ideas by filling in the form below.

You can also contribute to the Re-Connect / Re-Collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods Cold War Project.

Your memories

I was born in April 1956 in Hungary and my parents fled the country between Christmas and New Year and escaped to Austria. As I was a baby they could not take me with them so I was left with my Grandparents who brought me up until the age of 9 when I joined my parents in England. I have very vivid memories of my Grandparents listening to the BBC Hungarian broadcast. They felt that was the most balanced news channel out of the three, the other two were Radio Free Europe and Radio America. They had to have the volume very low and even in the summer the windows were closed when they listened as listening was punishable and there were informers everywhere so they had to make sure they were not over-heard by the neighbours or people in the street. We never talked about it either with anybody else and I learnt very early on to keep quiet as it could get the people I love in trouble. They held the BBC in very high esteem and were grateful for the information and the broadcasts as it enabled them to know what was really going on. I in fact worked at the Monitoring Service for a very short time but I realised the work was not for me so I left but it was a very valuable experience in all sorts of ways.

Aniko Ingham, Bromsgrove


Back in 1988, I was in the middle of my two year military service in the Soviet Union. Once we were assigned to escort a military cargo from Riga to Odessa. While sitting on a freighter's platform in the middle of the night I was hunting for some music on a short wave portable radio. Suddenly I came across the BBC Russian service. It was surreal to hear that voice from the West while gazing into clear starry night. The voice was fading in and fading out, interleaving with a loud rumble of the freighter.

Kas Stucinskas, Epsom


I recall the night of the wall coming down from being in the West and the response from many West Germans at that time. (Police Chiefs, Military and Civil). Also was in the East Berlin soon after and met with the People and Soviet Service Personnel. I still have a small collection of items from this period and some stories. Can contact me if interested in these and further information.

Chris, Edinburgh

Share your memories: The Cold War

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