By Kevin A. Stoda, Germany

The German word for both good luck and happiness is “glueck”.

In a famous scene from the Broadway musical and film, Fiddler on the Roof, the tailor, named Motel Kamzoil, presses the main protagonist, Tevya, with his hearts desire. This young tailor, who wishes to marry Tevya’s oldest daughter, states flatly, “Even a poor tailor has the right to some Happiness.”

Tevya is impressed by the thought and finally agrees with the young mans pursuit of happiness, i.e. a life together with his soul mate.

In the weeks before, Maria Victoria M. Baradero and I got married late last year in Kuwait, we had watched the film, Fiddler on the Roof. That particular line –“Even a poor _xxx____ has the right to some Happiness”—is in many a national constitution and in the declaration of universal human rights.

It is a phrase that will remain true for both of us, Maria Victoria and I,—although we have already experienced luck and happiness together (and with many friends in our lives).

Currently, however, we–Maria Victoria and I–remain stranded on two different continents. Just yesterday, the Wiesbadener Integration (Immigration) Bureau turned down our (Maria Victoria’s and my) request to bring Maria Victoria here to Germany on a spousal visa. The grounds for the refusal here in Wiesbaden are not strong at all and indicate that German officials today continue to simply follow procedure without considering logically or without calling into questions the procedures or “due process” which they employ.


Despite what I have written in the past about bureaucrats in America, in Germany, or Kuwait, I do not hold malice against individual officials. I am more tempted to have anger towards the German immigration system, which does not allow for logical and humane consideration of a claim, i.e. in order to pave the way to individual and group happiness. The absence of this logic and humanness is especially clearly missing in my case because the entire continent in which Germany is embedded, i.e. the European Union, would not appear to support the strict and inflexible procedures in place as they are Germany.

That is, if any German civil servant would choose to call in question the current procedures in place in Germany, they would soon be revamped. Here is a good metaphor for the situation in civil service in Germany and elsewhere in 2009:

On my birthday, May 9th , my mother had sent me a funny card. On the cover are two men on board a cruise ship. The man on the left in a blue Hawaiian shirt is looking out to a small island with a single palm tree. On the small island is a man with long hair and lengthy beard. This man has no clothes on and reminds one of Robinson Crusoe. This man on the deserted isle is jumping up and down and waiving his arms wildly—he is quite obviously calling out for help and attention.

A shark is swimming between him and the large cruise ship.

The man with the Hawaiian shirt is drinking a pina colada with a tiny pink umbrella in it. The man next to him on board the ship is bespectacled and is wearing a white cruise ship cap along with a nametag for the passengers to know his rank and title. The cluesless tourist in the Hawaiian shirt asks, “What’s with that guy?”

The ship captain on his right, wearing the red coat, states flatly, “I have no idea. Every month we pass by here, he goes nuts!”

Obliviousness is the constant state of bureaucracy—in Germany or outside of Germany. However, the individuals on board such a mammoth bureaucratic ship should, in fact, be thinking and humane enough to respond to the call for rescue of the abandoned refugee on a deserted isle. Don’t you agree?

Quite obviously, happiness or the right to pursue happiness is not being guaranteed to all in countries and is not in practice in Germany nor across the globe.

Inside the birthday card from my mom was this important reminder: “It’s your birthday. Get all the attention you can.” I have taken that advice and have been sharing Victoria’s and my story on-line in order to get attention for our situation of a divided heaven and earth, i.e. a division which affects our pursuit of happiness on this big blue ball.


In the meantime, my aunt in Missouri has sent me another card this last month. On this card’s cover from my aunt is written: “Congratulations to the Bride and Groom”.

Inside the card is printed:

“With warm congratulations
To a very special pair.
May your day be filled
With happy memories
For both of you to share.

May the coming years continue
To hold the promise of a life
Filled with lasting joy and
Happiness for you.”

My concerned aunt added in her own hand, “I have been waiting until the 2 of you are together to send a card but decided it has been much too long. You may be needing and anniversary card before that happens. (I HOPE NOT).”

I hope not, too, but it has already been six months–and bureaucrats are not yet rising up out of their comfortable chairs to help us (Victoria and I) to obtain our RIGHT TO HAPPINESS.



Stoda, Kevin, “Dear Chancellor Merkel”


Stoda, Kevin, “Just Married”,

Stoda, Kevin, “Marriage, Integration, and Immigration Policy —Modern Bureaucracy Reflecting the Worst”,


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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