Cold War | Wilson Center

Cold War

Atomic Condominium: The Soviet Union and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1958-1970

For all the discord that has historically characterized U.S.-Soviet and later U.S.-Russia relations, limiting the further spread of nuclear weapons has been reliably common ground. Since the mid-Cold War, both powers have remained staunch champions of nuclear nonproliferation, even as relations between them have grown increasingly fraught elsewhere. How should we account for this joint campaign against new nuclear powers?

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, the United States government unleashed covert operations intended to weaken the Soviet Union. As part of these efforts, the CIA committed to supporting Russian exiles, populations uprooted either during World War Two or by the Russian Revolution decades before. No one seemed better prepared to fight in the American secret war against communism than the uprooted Russians, whom the CIA directed to carry out propaganda,
espionage, and subversion operations from their home base in West Germany.

West Germany and Israel: Foreign Relations, Domestic Politics, and the Cold War, 1965-1974

Bringing new evidence and analysis to the changes in a fraught historical relationship, Carole Fink will discuss how West Germany and Israel moved in almost opposite directions after 1965: The FRG, the world’s third largest export economy, launched a series of independent diplomatic initiatives in Europe and the Middle East, while Israel, after its 1967 military victory, became increasingly isolated and dependent upon the United States. Yet the two countries remained closely connected by shared security concerns, personal bonds, and the recurrent evocations of the German-Jewish past.

Auschwitz’s Cold War Shadow: Eva Kor’s Life and Josef Mengele’s Death

FUGITIVE: Josef Mengele, from left,  Nazi Party membership application, Berlin, 1937; German passport photo, Buenos Aires, 1956; Argentine identity card, Asuncion, Paraguay, 1959 Images courtesy San Diego State University Network TV News Research Archive.

By age 85, Eva Kor had lived 75 years after suffering the most horrible moment of her life: the gruesome medical experiments forced on her and her 10-year-old twin sister, Miriam, by a Nazi doctor at Auschwitz, the German World War II death camp.

Acting Independently: The Vietnam War and the Roots of Sweden’s Foreign Policy

Image: Swedish leader Olof Palme demonstrates against the war with the North Vietnamese ambassador to Moscow during a a torchlight march, February 1968. Source: Public Domain. Arbetarrörelsens arkiv, via WikiCommons.

From roughly the mid-1960s until the fall of Saigon in 1975, Sweden publicly opposed the United States’ war in Southeast Asia.

28 Newly Translated Documents on Chernobyl, 1973-1991

Image: A helicopter sprays a decontamination liquid nearby the Chernobyl reactor in 1986. Source: IAEA Imagebank #02790036, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Call for Papers - Cold War Voices: Stories, Speech and Sound, 1945-1991

Cold War Voices: Stories, Speech and Sound, 1945-1991

Calls for Papers


Department of Historical Studies University of Bristol, UK

22-23 January 2020