The US-Ameri­can Victor Gross­man was called up to the US Army in 1952 during the Korean War. Statio­ned in West Germany, Gross­man fled the McCar­thy-era perse­cu­tion of leftists by swim­ming across the Danube into the Soviet zone of Austria. He then lived in the DDR for 37 years, where he worked, married, became a father, and studied — he is the world’s only holder of degrees from Harvard Univer­sity and Karl Marx Univer­sity in Leip­zig. He became a free­lance jour­na­list and author in East Berlin, where he still lives, writes books and sends out his monthly “Berlin Bulle­tins”. From 1965 to 1968, Gross­man also direc­ted the Paul Robe­son Archive at the Academy of Arts on the world-famous Afri­can-Ameri­can actor, singer and active free­dom fighter.


He descri­bed his eventful life in an English-language auto­bio­gra­phy: “Crossing the River: A Memoir of the Ameri­can Left, the Cold War, and Life in East Germany”; he coll­ec­ted his thoughts on the DDR and the poli­tics of today in: “A Socia­list Defec­tor: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee”.

Two inter­views were filmed on the 8th and 30th of Octo­ber, 2020.