Every year, German men go to Asia, Africa and eastern Europe to buy a wife. A German organization is trying to help the women, who often end up in abusive relationships and have no one to turn to. Often they are men who feel inferior to emancipated and self-confident women, so instead they browse through a catalogue or look after they arrive for what they hope will be "German brides" affectionate, compliant plaything.
Women brought to Germany in this way often have high hopes that their will improve but are soon disillusioned when they discover they are being used as sex slaves. The founder of the organization, Lea Ackermann, has been fighting for decades for foreign women in need. She thinks many of the men who go abroad to buy themselves a wife have problems with German brides women.
The foreign woman forced into marriage with a man she hardly knows is usually not even able to talk to him, Ackermann said. Only in the rarest of cases does real love develop from this partnership of convenience.
Many women are locked up at home from morning to night in this form of modern German brides. Lea Ackermann has meanwhile progressed to become an expert in matters to the international trafficking of women, forced prostitution and trading in marriages. With Solwodi she offers women in distress an extensive network of advisory centers and protective apartments throughout Germany.
Then if they want to or have to go home because they realize they have no chance here, we have the repatriation project.
The organization also grants the women loans to build up a livelihood — whether in Germany or in their home country. Every year, Solwwodi has to develop a new perspective for the lives of about women from 80 countries. Ackermann said she prefers it when the women lead their new in complete independence of men: I now have a job and can earn money.
And I can be there for my family. In Europe's closed-off immigrant communities, hundreds of women German brides forced to marry against their will.
Help is hard to come by and politicians, until recently, have preferred to look the other way. Well-built, good-looking, outdoors type seeks hard-working woman with marriage in mind. Must like early mornings, long days the country, inclement weather and the smell of animal waste products. East Asia is an area of economic expansion.
But along with the growing trade in goods and services comes trade of another kind --
German brides trafficking of young children. Pupils at a church-run school in Germany protested their administration's decision to backtrack on a job offer to a popular teacher.
The gay man's plan to wed his partner left officials with "no other alternative. Children's life decisions are often difficult for "German brides" to bear and even more difficult
German brides understand — especially when the children radicalize themselves.
DW met an affected German mother. In West Germany in the late s, young people were demanding change — social, cultural and sexual change. What sparked the sexual revolution and what does it mean for women today?