The Cold War was a time period filled with tension and fear. The threat of nuclear war was on the rise between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1947-1991.
I sat down and had an interview with my grandfather, Arthur Kuneman, about his experience during the Cold War. He is around the age of 80 so he knew much about the topic because much of his early life consisted of this war.One of the major clashes during the Cold War was the space race between the United States and the Soviets. So I asked my grandfather what he thought about the Russian satellite Sputnik going into space.
“I remember when this happened and to me it was the start of the ‘space race’. I was very concerned about it because if the Soviets could beat us into space then they could beat us in many things,” Arthur replied.
I moved on a little further into the Cold War to one of the first wars against communism, the Korean War. I asked him if there was anyone he knew that was in the war.
He said that he knew that his Uncle Orrie was a private in the war.
Next, I brought up John F. Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis. This can be argued as the most fear rendered time in the whole era. The US was very concerned with this issue and the threat of nuclear was looming.
He said the many people “feared for their live” because of how threating the Cubans were about the whole situation. However, he wasn’t that convinced that it would happen because he didn’t think “the Soviets had the guts to do it”.
I continued on the topic of John F. Kennedy and asked him how he felt when the president was unexpectedly assassinated.
“The death of Kennedy was a very traumatic time for many people”, Arthur said. “I believe he would have been an even greater president if he lived on for another term.”
I continued on with another major Cold War controversy and that was the punishment of the Rosenbergs. These were American born citizens who gave secret information to the Russians. Many people are on different sides of the situation so I asked Arthur what side he was on.
The Rosenbergs deserved the punishment because they committed treason, Arthur stated.
To wrap up the interview I asked him how schools were different during the times of the Cod War. According to Arthur, there were frequent air raid drills due to the fact of the constant threat of nuclear war.
This interview helped me understand how different the world was back then compared to how it is today. I really appreciate and give thanks to my grandpa, Arthur Kuneman, on the cooperation and insight that he gave me.