I arrived in the U.S. in 1957 at age 17 and almost immediately set out to continue the education I had started in Europe and obtained B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in European and Russian History at New York University at night. I taught European history at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC from 1968-2006. In addition, I led several programs, including the university's faculty and staff development center and headed Appalachian’s Faculty Senate and the UNC system’s Faculty Assembly.
I taught at several other institutions, including for ten years in the S.C. Governors School at the College of Charleston, for seven years in the Summer Institute at Palacki University, Olomouc, the Czech Republic, and one semester at North Ossetian State University in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia.
Since my retirement, I continued to publish and present widely both nationally and internationally. My Der Vater und die SS [The Father and the SS, 2007] is now out of print; it explored my relationship with my father, an SS-officer. The struggles during the 20th century of the women in Italy and Germany whom I call my mothers, is a historical exploration of their courage, steadfastness and care for their families and me. It is titled In the Face of Evil (2014). My novel, A Perfect Portrait (2016), highlights the joys and difficulties of a talented young woman in the eighteenth-century Germanies to become a professional artist. The first poetry book (2019) features a selection of my then most recent poems. They range from the personal to the political. In 2020, I made available An Immigrant in the 1960s. Finding Hope and Success in New York City. The title says it all. My most recent book of poems, Listen to Rarely Heard Voices (2022), is all about nature, including the one "outside," human beings as part of it, and the troubles some of us impose on others of us.
He received a Dr. h. c. from Appalachian in May 2014.