Jun 28, 2022
Gay spies and espionage….absolutely one of the most incredible topics you can study about the GDR. On today's episode of Radio GDR, we are going to dive into the topic of LGBT espionage, life and struggle for equality behind the Iron Curtain. We have the honor to be joined by Dr. Samuel Huneke, assistant professor of history at George Mason University and author of the riveting book States of Liberation - Gay Men Between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany. In the book, Huneke traces the path of gay men in East and West Germany from the violent aftermath of the Second World War to the thundering nightclubs of present-day Berlin. Following a captivating cast of characters, from gay spies and Nazi scientists to queer politicians and secret police bureaucrats, States of Liberation tells the remarkable story of how the two German states persecuted gay men - and how those men slowly, over the course of decades, won new rights and created new opportunities for themselves in the heart of Cold War Europe. Relying on untapped archives in Germany and the United States as well as oral histories with witnesses and survivors, Huneke reveals that communist East Germany was in many ways far more progressive on queer issues than democratic West Germany.
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