EPISODE 030 Stephen Vogel Digs Cold War Berlin
Author and journalist Stephen Vogel’s written a definitive and engaging book about the Cold War’s most audacious espionage operation – A clandestine tunnel over 1200 feet long dug into the Soviet sector of Berlin in the mid 50s. The operation collected years of telephone and wire communications from the Soviet forces well after it was revealed to have been compromised in 1956 by British spy George Blake.
We refer to the film The Innocent, a 1993 John Schlesinger movie starring Anthony Hopkins as a brash CIA chief based on a larger than life Bill Harvey. The film was historical fiction, based on the novel by Ian McEwan, but essentially re-enacted that operation capturing the mood and textures of the time. It was also your host’s first acting job. Personally this interview marks an intersection in my interest in Cold War history, my military service in Berlin, and a lasting interest in intelligence operations. The son of a CIA officer, Stephen Vogel shares his connection to the subject matter, the time and place. As it turns out we were there at the same time in the late 80s, early 90s.
Attached are photos of the tunnel site as it looked in 1991.