October 1998. In the last Cold War spy trial, three US citizens were convicted of being agents for East Germany: Kurt Stand ("Junior"), his wife Theresa Squillacote ("der Schwan"), and James Clark ("der Professor"). Very few Americans had sympathies for Communist East Germany. Spying for it was unthinkable. Why did these three believe they were fighting for a just cause?
This film was 16 years in the making and turned into a unique story about the Fall of the Wall. It interviews the agents, their handler, relatives and friends, framed by one of the last interviews with legendary singer Pete Seeger. It is a spy tale, but not a thriller, a story of lost hope and betrayal, mistakes and misjudgments, idealism and naiveté.
Join us at the GAI for the film and conversation with German journalist Konrad Ege, who covered the 1998 trial.
Konrad Ege, born in Augsburg in 1958, has lived in the United States for 30 years, after coming to Washington with Aktion Sühnezeichen. He writes for several German publications, including Freitag (Berlin) and Evangelischer Pressedienst (Frankfurt). He has worked on numerous documentaries for German public television.
The film is in German and English with subtitles. The screening is co-sponsored by the Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, who will be hosting a companion event on campus.