“This corrects to some extent our picture of history, namely: soldiers from the East escaping to the West,” Köpf recently told The Local.
His book “Where is Lieutenant Adkins? The fate of NATO Deserters in the GDR” traces the steps of western soldiers who crossed the ideological barrier in the 1950s and made their lives in the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Köpf – editor of the English-language monthly “The German Times” – was researching black US soldiers in Germany when he found an interview in an East German newspaper with “Karl Lukas,” an American soldier who had fled to the GDR.
“I wondered how I could find out more about him,” he said. “I went to the Stasi archives authority and placed a request for access to his records. Two weeks later I had a 220-page file on Charles Lucas in my hands.”