From 1979 until 1991, around 20,000 contract workers from Mozambique were employed in the GDR. Their stay, limited up to four years, was supposed to give them the opportunity to gain an education and work experience, so that on their return they might contribute to build up an independent socialist Mozambique. This was not the reality — far from it. The “Madgermanes” — a neologism of “mad germans” and “made in Germany” — as they were referred to in Mozambique, came back to a country completely devastated by civil war. Their work experience wasn’t put to any use, and their salary which was held back by the government was never paid out. Birgit Weyhe illustrates this little known narrative in her graphic novel and gives those who were affected a voice to speak for themselves.
Birgit Weyhe was born in Munich in 1969. She spent her childhood and youth in East Africa and returned to Europe only as an adult. She was awarded the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung Comic Book Prize and the Max-and-Moritz Prize for Madgermanes.