Stefanie Gercke

I return to Africa

Stefanie Gercke
München: Knaur, 1998
460 S.
ISBN 3-426-66031-8
(Original paperback edition)

Henrietta, a 20 years old young German is in love with David, the son of an African Diplomat. To hinder this relationship between their daughter and the young African, Henrietta's parents decide to send her to live in South Africa with her uncle Hans. If the decision of Henrietta's parents has a corrective and punitive character, it fills their daughter, who had always dreamt of returning to Africa, her place of birth, with joy.

But Henrietta's African dream progressively transforms into a nightmare. It is not the Africa of her dreams that she discovers, but a racist Africa where the Apartheid system transforms the white and black South Africans into wolves, one against another. From her first contact with South Africa, the young lady began to question herself about the injustice in which millions of blacks were living in. At the same time she becomes aware of the massive and invading character of the Apartheid system that was extending its tentacles everywhere.

Despite everything Henrietta refuses to compromise and do like all the other whites. She is pursued at the same time by her close relatives (Gertrude, Carla …) and by the South African police regime that suspects her of connivance with an ANC activist called Cuba Mkize. Eight years after her arrival to South Africa, she barely succeeds to escape the South African police mesh and to return to Geneva where her husband Ian, who also left the country clandestinely, rejoins her.

Stefanie Gercke: Ich kehre zurück nach Afrika
(I return to Africa)

This autobiographic novel is actually a critical view of a German on the South African society during the 60s, at the apex of the Apartheid system.More ...