Curonian
About Curonian 3 Articles
The humble creator of this podcast - living in Riga, Latvia, and trying to give you the best that I can.

11 Comments on Episode 1 – The Beginning of the End

  1. Just listened to the podcast. Fascinating. There was a culture of black market trading. I guess it’s everywhere, but for an average person was it an everyday trade in the USSR? How secret did it have to be? Did people use encrypted communication?

  2. Well, basically, it worked through personal connections: you want to buy jeans? Go to a party with someone who knows someone, and get the person a few bottles of vodka…it was word of mouth through connections. And, of course, there were some people in your local community to whom you didn’t talk about this. And they tended to get a lot of…weird gifts now and then. Lingo? Well, the people who were doing this were called: “Farcovschiki” but that’s about it.

  3. Duration: 1:01:21 | Size: 30.14M

    I think something is wrong with the download linked file. I’ve tried multiple times and the 30.1 mb file is only 32:55 in length rather than over an hour as described.
    I wouldn’t be fussed except Itunes no longer has episode 1 available and I want to download the whole first episode to listen to it in transit rather than just play it on the website.
    Thank you.

    • Heyhey. We checked on this. The problem seems to be with downloading from mobile devices for some reason, so while fix this, download on your computer and transfer to your mobile device. Or, try a different player, as we’re on multiple things, for some reason – google us up and take a look. The Interet is not optimized for us, Latvians, and many solutions are simply unavailable or very expensive. 50$ mean much more to me, than you. But we’re doing our best. Thank you for listening. 😃

  4. a naive summary account of Jewish otkazniki/refyusniki lies about the USSR. Interestingly, Khrushev, 30 plus years after his death, is still feared of.

  5. Korolev (not Korolevsky) has served 2 years in harsh conditions where he has lost most of his teeth etc.
    Only after that period he was moved to a “Sharashka” (a gulag for intelligent workers, i.e Tupolev).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Korolev#Imprisonment

    I came here because I heard you talking on challengingopinions.com and I felt you were very informative and trying to be as objective as possible. I’m history nerd myself, originally from Latvia, and really like your podcast. But these small inaccuracies lessen the authenticity (at least for me). I hope you won’t take this as an insult, and I understand that fact checking every anecdote is impossible, but as I really like and respect what you do, I felt I had to give this input.

    Thank you and keep on the good job!

    • Firstly, thank you for writing in to us! Secondly – I meant Korolev in that episode, I was super worried and inexperienced back then, and must’ve mispronounced the name or something. We get better later, I promise. Maybe I should really re-record at one point? 😀 And…yeah, enjoy the show.

  6. Wow I’m really glad I found this podcast. I needed to beef up my cultural awareness and understanding of Eastern European countries and people from that area. I work with colleagues born and raised in the Baltic countries, an area I know so little about. I’ve felt sometimes challenged in communicating with them because of our cultural differences. The first 15 minutes of this episode really opened my eyes. I’m learning so much. I look forward to enjoying more episodes. I hope listening will help me in building stronger relationships with my teammates. Thank you so much for your work, it is much appreciated.

    • Whoops. Meant to post this under Episode 2 The Soviet Army. Oh well, the sentiment still applies.

  7. Well done!

    If you ever visit the US, consider paying a visit to one of our Latvian diaspora schools! The upper classes (7th/8th grades) would benefit immensely from even a single brief lecture like yours. We are sorely lacking in any materials that can teach them what it was really like under Soviet occupation.

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