Iran’s deal with the members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany survived Israeli, Republican and Arab criticism over an endless nuclear-themed summer. As the fight continues, the debate can only be improved with a deeper historical understanding of the difficulties the nations have in friendship, spying and deal-making in the nuclear age.
Conveniently, “Deutschland 83” — a well-reviewed, little-watched summer series on SundanceTV — serves up three lessons from the early Reagan years for today’s nuclear politics in the form of an edutaining spy thriller.
Inspired by Soviet fears that NATO was planning a nuclear attack in the early 1980s, “Deutschland 83″ spins a tale about a young East German border guard shanghaied by his aunt, a member of the Stasi, East Germany’s version of the KGB, into impersonating an aide-de-camp to a West German general. The series follows the young spy’s struggles against the Stasi’s morose humanity, which combines with its outsized power over the lives of others into a bumbling logic that threatens to bring about nuclear war.
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