DIVIDED HEAVEN: Revisited in None-too-Different Personal Context

DIVIDED HEAVEN: Revisited in None-too-Different Personal Context
DIVIDED HEAVEN: Revisited in None-too-Different Personal Context

By Kevin Stoda, in Germany

In 1963, the East German author Christa Wolf came of age with her DIVIDED HEAVEN ( Der Geteilte Himmel). In that novel, the Wolf’s title DIVIDE HEAVEN reflected the political and social experience and landscape of East and West Germans in the midst of Cold War Europe. Two years before the novel was published, Erich Honeker had been commissioned to build the Berlin Wall and other monstrous no-mans lands separating many West and East German families and lovers. In Wolf’s novel, the female main character, Rita (like the author Christa Wolf herself) makes a firm decision to stay in East Germany. Her lover, Manfred, however, successfully flees to the West in the early 1960s and sets out to achieve his dreams.

Manfred and Rita’s love relationship, which included barbed wires and walls dividing East and West Germany, was not a world or heaven of either main protagonist’s choosing. The Cold War was pure power politics played out initially in Central and Eastern Europe in 1945–and over the next 4 ½ decades elsewhere across the globe. The Cold War included humanistic and socialistic ideology—while most wars today involving terrorists seem to include ideologies of faiths and traditions—,however, the similarity of this world for cross-border lovers continues to be the same. The heavens and earth of this planet are divided. Moreover, other divisions in the world remain. There is the “Rich North vs. Poor South” division or “Rich West vs. former Soviet or Communist lands” divisions still visible in our economically strapped world of 2009, too.

I have been pondering the title of DIVIDE HEAVEN a lot recently—as ONCE again German bureaucrats have decided to build ever higher and higher into the heavens a wall between I and my wife—that is my lover and my friend, Maria Victoria (Stoda) Baradero, who has lived the last 7 years in Kuwait. I moved to Germany in January 2009 to seek a much better quality of life for my bride of 2008. (Perhaps here or elsewhere in the West, I can raise a family.) It appears fairly clear that once again Germany’s bureaucrats, have put in a lot of extra effort into stopping the flow of third world immigrants into the Mutterland over the past four to five years.

The fact that my wife’s visa has not been processed to date is part-and-parcel of the push to build new walls into the Heavens by German immigration officials.

The separation for my wife and I, however, has only been going on for nearly 6 months—but there is no end in sight to a web-like net or Catch-22 developed by German’s bureaucracy, who snidely claim that their immigration protocol fully based upon the Green Card rules of the USA, i.e. rules of my home country.

Unlike Rita and Manfred in Christa Wolf’s German classic, DIVIDED HEAVEN, my wife, Maria Victoria, never made a decision to stay behind in Kuwait for an endless period as the heroine Rita did. Nonetheless, it appears that currently for the duration in 2009 my wife’s and my heaven is certainly divided by politics of the last decade. This is apparently true whether we see heaven as something metaphorical or if we observe the heavens to include the sky in which jet planes fly from one continent to another. In short, my wife’s visa is in limbo. Just as Christa Wolf in the 1960s and 1970s, I dream and write of a better world or critique the real world on my computer as she did on her aging typewriter in an era when Cold War spies and state security police made her world so melancholy, i.e. a world of divided heavens.

If you or a loved one are (or have been) divided by the world’s arbitrary, religions political, economic, and social walls, speak up and share your story!!! Make your voice known.


“The Quest for Christa Wolf”, http://www.signandsight.com/features/417.html


Stoda, Kevin, “Just Married”,

Stoda, Kevin, “Marriage, Integration, and Immigration Policy —Modern Bureaucracy Reflecting the Worst”, http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/05/marriage-integration-and-immigration.html

Stoda, Kevin, “MY BIG FAT KUWAITI, FILIPINO, INDIAN, & AMERICAN WEDDING: March 8, 2009”, http://the-teacher.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-big-fat-kuwaiti-filipino-indian.html

Stoda, Kevin, “A SET OF DOCUMENTS TO THE INACTION OF STATE DEPARTMENT, CONSULATE & GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN USA CONSULATES—why racism is not fought in Germany by USA consulates while it is in Kuwait?”

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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