Gouzenko Deciphered Part 2

Dr. Calder Walton provides us a peek behind the Iron Curtain.

Interview by Brendan McShane

Posted October 7, 2020

The defection of the Russian cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, in September, 1945, revealed to Canadian authorities a web of Soviet espionage spun throughout Canada, with threads running through atomic military research, Canadian parliament, and across the world – in Washington DC, London, and Moscow. Seventy-five years later, we can observe how this single defection sent ripples and cracks throughout the global military and political landscape.

Dr. Calder Walton, the Assistant Director of the Applied History Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, grants us a peek behind the Iron Curtain, describing the intentions, perspectives, and practices of Soviet spying coordinated by Stalin and his officers. He explains how the various Western nations responded to the knowledge of these spying rings revealed by the Gouzenko defection.  Dr. Walton explains how the first Cold War defection has relevance that extends across the West, the world, and to the present day.

Listen to the whole series

Gouzenko Deciphered

Evy Wilson, the daughter of Igor and Svetlana Gouzenko, remembers her parents’ stories on the 75th anniversary of their escape to Canada — the first Cold War defection.

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