- "I was hoping you could enlighten me to the meaning of this envelope I received today. "Dear Miss Valentina. On behalf of the Committee on Admissions your application to the Moscow Institute of Psychics and Technology has been formally accepted." We had an agreement! Anything you wanted in life, I would support you, except one thing!"
- — Kurtz
Doctor Lukas Kurtz, known later in life as Ivan Valentin, is a character mentioned in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies mode. He was a doctor working at Projekt Endstation, known for his work with Ulrich Vogel.
Little to nothing is known about Kurtz' early life, only that he was born in Germany sometime before World War II. What is known, however, is that alongside Dr. Ulrich Vogel, Kurtz was responsible for the development of a proposed particle accelerator known as the "Cyclotron" - leading into the creation and funding of Projekt Endstation. He would work with Vogel, alongside numerous other scientists, chiefly in a facility in Morasko within the occupied Polish territories the Reich had gained.
On March 7th, 1944, at 10:03 pm, Vogel and Kurtz performed the twelfth test of the Cyclotron. During the process, the particle accelerator malfunctioned and opened a localized rift between their world and the Dark Aether. Creatures started coming through the gateway and men close to the collider began to necrotize and turn into zombies. The small outbreak was contained but the Cyclotron was now operating on its own without external source of power.
The necrotized soldiers sparked the interest of Adolf Hitler and the German High Command, with Projekt Endstation being able to separate a material from their corpses that they would name Exo-Element 1 (with Kurtz himself suggesting it be called "Vogelium"). Vogel began work on a decontamination chamber that could reverse the condition of necrotized soldiers, believing they could be used as an undead army for the Reich. On April 3rd, it would be completed and named "Der Weschler" by Kurtz.
- "Teach her. Be there, both of you, when Operation Baldr bears fruit. Finish my work. Make sure the staff clears out. Get to safety. Live a long life and tell Angelika her father loved her."
- — Vogel entrusts the safety of his daughter to Kurtz.
As World War II drew to an end, a contingency plan known as "Operation: Baldr" came into effect - which would send an army into the Dark Aether to summon in case of Germany's defeat. Vogel oversaw preparations of Operation: Baldr, and on January 27th, 1945, ordered all personnel to evacuate the Morasko facility. Vogel would personally task Kurtz with a mission of his own - to raise his daughter, Angelika in his stead. He and Angelika would flee the facility, while Vogel stayed behind to ensure Operation: Baldr's success.
On February 3rd, Projekt Endstation would be discovered by the 8th Guards Army of the Red Army. A week later, a cleaning crew led by NKVD Colonel Pavel Lazarev would send Kazimir Zykov into the abandoned facility to eventually shut down the cyclotron. Kurtz and Angelika would soon be found and captured by the Soviets on February 25th, and Lazarev would personally interrogate Kurtz. During the interrogation, Lazarev demanded he tell where the rest of the Projekt Endstation scientists fled to - or he would harm Angelika. Kurtz reluctantly agreed, but only if he spared Angelika and himself. Lazarev accepted, telling Kurtz he could continue his work for the Soviets and that Angelika would be given a "proper Bolshevik education". He and Angelika would move to the Soviet Union, renaming themselves "Ivan Valentin" and "Aleksandra Valentina".
Life in the Soviet Union and Death
During his time in the Soviet Union, Aleskandra would be considered by the Soviets to be Kurtz' "daughter". However, Aleksandra never truly viewed him as her father, instead constantly referring to him as her "uncle".
At some point in his life, Kurtz took up ownership of a factory which he had Aleksandra work at, refusing to allow her to pursue an academic career after witnessing what happened to Ulrich and his experiments. Unbeknownst to him, Aleksandra would sneak out at night anyway and study books about microbiology, biochemistry, and physics.
On April 25, 1960, at the age of 16, Valentina received a letter stating that she was accepted to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology to Kurtz's despair. Valentina revealed that her father told her to complete his work using the exact words Vogel told Kurtz 15 years prior. Surprised and enraged, Kurtz burnt the acceptance letter. The next day, Valentina brought tea to Kurtz but denounced him for abandoning Operation Baldr. Unbeknownst to Kurtz, Valentina poisoned his tea and he died shortly after with Soviet authorities concluded he died from a heart attack.
Later on in her life, Aleksandra would mention her "uncle" to William Peck. She would falsely accuse him of imprisoning her in his basement, and later lie about his death, stating she slit his throat.