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    Amma Darko  
    Between Two Worlds  
   

SYNOPSIS by AMMA DARKO

It is post war Germany, in the nineteen sixties. The paths of a pretty, blond young German woman, Ursula Reitz and that of a much older African man from Ghana, Jofri Teiko, cross at a Textiles Institute in the small German town of Lauterbach. Against all odds, they fall in love.

Before meeting Jofri, Ursula’s only close encounter with a Black man had been with a Black American soldier after the war. She had been only four years old then. Textiles Technology had also not been what Ursula wanted to study initially. Circumstances had caused her to miss the study of her first choice, which had been Scientific Librarianship. These combined events and coincidences convinced Ursula that she and Jofri were destined to be together. For her, it had been love at first sight.

Jofri’s journey to Germany began with the establishment of the Goethe Institute in Ghana’s capital Accra. It opened the way for Ghanaians to travel to and study in then West Germany. Jofri was one of the lucky few early Ghanaians granted scholarships to study an industry related course in Germany (West).

Both Jofri and Ursula each entered the relationship with a baggage.

Ursula was born during the war, an unplanned and unexpected pregnancy. She had difficult relations with her father. Her mother was supportive but Ursula had to learn at an early age to survive on her own.

Jofri’s baggage was more complicating. He was deeply superstitious. The circumstances of his birth, his family roots and history and his early childhood experiences are all entrenched in superstition. Still a child, he was later adopted by a Presbyterian Missionary couple and brought up in the Christian faith. The manifestation of a clash of his spiritual turmoil and confusion was just a matter of time.

Jofri and Ursula marry after their studies. They come to live in Ghana. They bring forth twin ‘half-caste’ girls……..

This is fiction partially inspired by a true story. The scenes play between Ghana and Germany, from during WW2 through Ghana’s colonial history to her independence and by virtue of their twin girls, being a ‘half-caste’ in both Ghana and Germany.

Against the backdrop of the main story are also the historical links between Ghana and Germany. For instance, the story of Lufthansa Airlines in Ghana and the invitation of the female pilot Hannah Reitsch, to Ghana, by Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah. There is also, the Auschwitz doctor Horst Schumann, who escaped prosecution after the war. He settled in Ghana and devoted his life to caring for and giving free medical attention to the poor. Finally, Anton Wilhelm Amo, whose name Jofri adopts.

There are doses of humor too. How for instance does a pretty, blond daughter in the nineteen sixties break the news to especially the father that the man she had fallen in love with and wants to marry is African?

 The story begins with an old and long retired Jofri's involvement in a car accident. Our introduction to Ursula is in the apartment of one of their twin daughters. The twins, Ania and Nadia have been living in Germany for the past two decades with their mother Ursula. They lived their first eleven years with their father Jofri in Ghana. Ania is packing for her first trip back to Ghana in about two decades. It is in response to the request and desperate plea of a dying and spiritually embattled Jofri. With every little energy left in him Jofri awaits the arrival of Ania to look into her eyes and to hand her an envelope with a newspaper clipping of a young Ursula almost thirty years ago.

 
 
    The literature magazine "The Missing Slate" has published an excerpt of "Between Two Worlds".