Shows
Episodes
Oops, no results. Check out what we have on All Shows.

History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Martha Dodd: The American Soviet Spy and Hitler’s Would-Be Lover Who Dreamed of a Communist World

00:00 42:52
More Ways to Listen
However you tune in, don't forget to subscribe so you'll never miss an episode.
In 1933, Martha Dodd, a 24-year-old aspiring writer who had already had several affairs and a failed marriage embarked with her family to Berlin, where her father was America's ambassador to Hitler's regime. Within a few weeks, she was romantically involved with Rudolf Diels, the first director of the Gestapo. Dodd was so celebrated by the Nazi elite that some believed she could become Hitler's wife (the two met but nothing came of it). She soon soured on the Nazis after witnessing their brutal anti-Semitism, but became involved with Boris Vinogradov, an agent of the Soviet secret police. Over the next several decades, Dodd's life was a whirlwind of spying, communist recruitment in America, and eventually, permanent exile.

Dodd was a dreamer who believed in the power of communism to right the wrongs of an unjust. But after decades abroad (first in Mexico, then in Prague) she ended up disillusioned with the promises of the Soviet Union. Her story is one of what happens when you cast your lot with a movement that ends up losing its political and ideological battles.
August 11, 2020
Share this episode
See all episodes
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
Home Shows About Us Contact Us What is a Podcast? Advertise With Us