08 Feb 18

It was in the archives of Duke University, in 1957, where native Berliner Karl M. von der Heyden discovered the answer to a question that had plagued him since his youth: What had his parents known about Nazi atrocities? As many “Kriegskinder” would later discover about their parents, they knew a lot but revealed little. In his book Surviving Berlin: An Oral History, von der Heyden offers a gripping firsthand account of his journey as a youth in Nazi Germany to his young adulthood in the American South, where the mistreatment of African Americans echoed scenes from his German youth and prompted him to act.

A former co-chairman of the American Academy in Berlin, Karl M. von der Heyden discusses Surviving Berlin with American Academy president emeritus Norman Pearlstine, who then moderates a discussion with Academy alumna Kira Thurman and historian Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann.