Sunday, November 08, 2009

GERMANY LIKES TO BUILD WALLS—or Chancellor Merkel, Tear Down Those Walls?

Tear Down Those Walls?

By Kevin Stoda, in Germany

As most readers know, American visa seekers and long-term North American residents in Germany have been facing a lot of trouble in recent years keeping visas for themselves and getting proper visas for their loved ones.

Just today, I learned of an American missionary in Bremen, who was recently threatened with expulsion after it was determined that she, too, did not earn enough money to be allowed to continue to receive a visa in Germany. The woman has already lived in the country of Germany six years.

Even though I earn (or receive as inheritance) over 60,000 dollars this particular year, I have been notified by the Wiesbaden integration office (Auslandsbehoerde) that I earn too little money to bring my Filipino-born wife into Germany to live. Therefore, I feel that there is a strong case for xenophobia directed towards American passport holders in 2009. On the other hand, the xenophobia is certainly more wide-spread than simple anti-Americanism. In other words, Germany has put a great Wall up in central Europe to keep non-Germans out.

This wall-building against feared foreign hordes Central Europe is partially the result of widespread lawlessness and abuses in the visa system and foreign policy of Germany after the Wall opened up in 1989 and when the Soviet Union disintegrated a few years later. During the 1990s, Germany was unusually hospitable to refugees and a particularly group of Eastern Europeans who could prove German ancestry.

This later group is sometimes referred to as “spaet Sielder” (late settlers) or “deutsche Einsieldler aus Ost Europa” (German settlers from Eastern Europe). The Soviet regimes had scattered, for example, German speaking peoples of Volga and Ukraine as far as Kazakhstan and Siberia in the wake of WWII. These peoples made up the last great wave of German integration of the past decade. In short, between the collapse of the wall, the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the Balkans wars of the 1990s, Germany took on several million new residents.

This ten resulted in a severe tightening of border control and in the area of visa regulations in Germany in the first part of this decade. Later, after the Spanish and London train bombings, the noose was tightened further. Now, everyone who is foreign and wants to live in Germany appears to need to earn over 60,000 US dollars per year and must already have family living here.


Wait a second, I have family here in Germany. However, according to the visa offices in Wiesbaden and elsewhere, they do not count.

Yeah, I have a sister, a brother-in-law, and 3 nephews and nieces living in Bavaria right now. However, since my brother-in-law is in the U.S. military, he and his family do not count as family for would-be American settlers or day-laborers in Germany. That is, my immediate family lives in a special economic zone in Germany, i.e. in an area called a military post or military reservation.

This sort of location in Germany is known as living-off-the-economy. By the way, living-on-the-economy is the rest of Germany, i.e. not covered by such special economic zones. These special areas on the reservations or military bases use dollars and have their own commissaries and regulated gas prices.

If one lives on or visits one of these special economic zones from overseas, one is seldom (if-ever) given a visa to work in Germany on-the-economy. In short, teenagers who grow up on such military reserves have no right to live or work outside the reservation. Likewise, mothers who live on such bases have no right to go looking for part-time jobs off the reservation.

In short, through my USA family connections in Bavaria for visa purposes, neither my wife and nor I know visa security in Germany. The Visa offices in Germany treat my sister’s family on the reservation as a non-existent family (who live by definition off-the-economy). Amazingly, though, my sister’s family and many other Americans living on such military reservations find themselves spending a humongous share of their savings in Euros and in the German economy. For example, they go out for a bite of wiener schnitzel at the local restaurants or they travel on holiday into the Alps (to Christmas markets, etc.) or they seek out doctors off-the-post for assistance with childhood and special medical help.

Likewise, even if an American military family would seek housing off the post or reservation, they would get soaked for rent of double the normal price because they would be competing with military subcontractors from the USA, who locate themselves near and around the bases.


Wait a minute—you might ask—do Americans need to acquire German visas before arriving in Europe?

Well, the answer is NO. An American visitor can receive a stamp on arrival.

However, my wife is not American. She was born in the Philippines. So, she is being currently barred from either visiting or living with me in Germany because the local Wiesbaden Integration Office (using bizarre criteria designed to keep most foreigners out) says that 60,000 dollars is too little for a couple to live on in Germany in 2009—although the German economy has had little-to-no inflation this year. ALDI’s, the great supermarket chain, has lowered prices 33 times this year already.

Meanwhile, according to a Middle Eastern newspaper, the population of Germany has sunk again. “Germany’s population shrank for a sixth straight year in 2008, according to official data published on Wednesday. The number of people in Western Europe’s most populous country now stands at 82.06 million people, down 160,000 from 82.22 million in 2007, the statistics office said in a statement. The number of births and deaths in Germany last year was roughly unchanged compared to 2007, with around 690,000 births and about 845,000 deaths.”

With continued draconian measures against would-be immigrants, such as my poor wife, in 2009 the state of German, Central & Western Europe’s most populous one, now has its lowest population total since East and West Germany unified in 1990.

It appears now, in 2009, that the only way to gain legal residence in Germany these days is to come here illegally and apply. Thousands of Turkish and Eastern Europeans do so regularly. Then, after paying a fine, they proceed with their true European rights before the courts.

However, this sort of land-crossing option is not possible for North Americans nor Filipinos—especially if they adamantly do not want to break immigration law and face expulsion nor arrest.


Tomorrow, Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, will meet with Hillary Clinton, Michael Gorbachev, and other world leaders to commemorate the opening of the Berlin and East German borders on November 9, 1989—20 years ago.

That was a joyous time.

Families who had not been able to see each other easily for decades were able to cross the East and West German borders at will.

Unification was soon in site.

Please, Chancellor Merkel, tear down the wall run by both the foreign ministry and at the various integration offices (Auslands- und Visumbehoerde) in Germany, run by the Interior Ministry.

Otherwise, years from now, people will remember Germany in this very decade not as a unified growing and positive example of global integration (and global unification)—but as a walled fortress hostile to new blood and peoples, i.e. a country which shrank into oblivion and never really learned to accept the needs of others knocking at their door seeking family unification, employment, and justice.


(1) German Retail sales need to increase in order to supplant the declines in the losses on the global economy in the 2008 to 2014 period, but a decrease in in-grown purchasing power due to smaller population and smaller demands related to smaller demographics throughout Germany is not helpful.

(2) More information on German and Japanese demographic issues can be found here:

(3) Another reason for outbound migration from Germany is discussed here:

(4) According to the website below, “An investigation carried out in 1978 revealed that since 1820 over 6,978,000 people emigrated to the United States from Germany. This amounted to 14.3 percent of the total foreign immigration during this period.” In short, no country sent more peoples to live in America than did Germany.

“In 1829, Gottfried Duden, a German visitor to America, published his book, Report of a Journey to the Western States of North America. The book providing a very attractive account of German immigrant life in America. As well as describing spectacular harvests, Duden praised the intellectual freedom enjoyed by people living in America. The book sold in large numbers and persuaded thousands of Germans to emigrate.”´

It was in this waive that Friedrich Stade (Stoda), my great, great, great grandfather arrived in America.

“The failed German revolution in 1848 also stimulated emigration. Over the next ten years over a million people left Germany and settled in the United States. Some were the intellectual leaders of this rebellion, but most were impoverished Germans who had lost confidence in its government’s ability to solve the country's economic problems.”
Many other Germans left to live in other parts of continental Europe and into the open space of the Ukraine and Russia. Later, some of these same Russian and Ukraine Germans settled in the plains of the USA and Canada. I went to a Kansas college founded by such immigrants.

“Others left (Germany) because they feared constant political turmoil in Germany. One prosperous innkeeper wrote after arriving in Wisconsin: "I would prefer the civilized, cultured, Germany to America if it were still in its former orderly condition, but as it has turned out recently, and with the threatening prospect for the future of religion and politics, I prefer America. Here I can live a more quiet, and undisturbed life.´”

I wanted to bring my wife to live in the peace and quiet of Germany after living in the Middle East most of the past decade. I had expected to show her around Germany and Europe, but AULSAENDER VERBOTEN is the rule if one doesn’t come from certain nationalities or races.

Again, I ask: “Frau Chancellor Merkel, TEAR DOWN THE BUREAUCRATIC AND ANTI-FOREIGNER WALLS NOW this November 9, 2009”



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