That Jeffrey Schevitz ’62 (“His Secret Life,” May issue) could not see (or perhaps “accept” is the better word) the obvious ideological and physical rot that the German Democratic Republic (GDR) represented reflects willful blindness. From 1983 to 1986, I served in a U.S. military unit that performed liaison with and reconnaissance of Soviet forces in that country. In those years I continuously traveled through the country, communicating not just with Soviets but also with rank-and-file East Germans encountered in the field. If Schevitz did not detect the discontent of the population outside the Socialist Party ranks or the antipathy toward the 350,000-man Soviet force that occupied its country — the GDR was the USSR’s pet child — he must have permanently engaged in selective listening and self-delusion. It appears that, remorseless, he still does. The Germans have an appropriate term for such individuals that Schevitz, no doubt, knows well: betonköpfer (those with heads made of concrete).
Regrettably, Schevitz is not the only modern Princeton alumnus/a accused of taking the path of espionage for a country ruled by an inimical regime. Marta Rita Velazquez ’79, who was accused of spying for Cuba and fled the U.S. to avoid prosecution, is another (her indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice was unsealed in 2013). She appears to be residing in Sweden, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S. for the crimes that she allegedly committed.