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Victor Grossman: From Harvard to East Berlin, via Jacobin


Victor Grossman, veteran journalist who’s lived in Germany for nearly seven decades, and author of the autobiographical A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee, was recently interviewed by Julia Damphouse and David Broder of Jacobin magazine, who asked Grossman about the successes and darker aspects of the GDR, his own experience as an American on the “wrong side” of the Cold War divide, and what legacy the twentieth-century left has for the recent resurgence of socialism in the United States:

This new book offers more of a political perspective on the GDR itself. Why did you think it important to write about these experiences?

The first book I wrote was published in East Berlin and talked about my life in the United States right up until the first days of my defection to the GDR in 1952. It was called The Way Across the Border. The funny thing is, some people in the GDR bought it thinking that I was talking about going in the other direction — they thought it would help them jump the Wall from East to West….”

Read the interview at Jacobin

A Socialist Defector

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