Monika Krause, Queen of Condoms

Memoir of a Sex Educator in Revolutionary Cuba

Edited English translation of Cuba, mi Infierno y mi Paraíso, Monika Krause’s memoir in original Spanish, with the add of selected texts from Machismo?, No gracias, also by Monika Krause. The edition work was done by Dani (Julian Daniel) and Dictys Jiménez Krause, Monika’s sons.

Regina Anavy (San Francisco) translated from the Spanish.

Published by Ilíada Ediciones.

A champion of women’s and gay rights in Cuba, unknown to many in the English-speaking world

Monika’s recollections and insights, told with humor and heart, healthy detachment and honesty, offer the reader a unique glimpse into the turbulent first thirty years of the Cuban Revolution—and one brave woman’s part in it.

In 1962, at the age of twenty, Monika Krause marries the “youngest captain in the world” and moves from East Germany to Cuba, an island with a different climate, culture, and customs. She soon clashes with Afro-Cuban saints, food shortages, and the macho mentality. Still, Monika is full of idealism and determined to participate in the construction of a new society, made possible by the triumph of the Revolution.

The young mother of two boys experiences the follies of the Cuban educational system, when a whole country is turned into a laboratory for the formation of the New Man. Monika works her way up, becomes a Cuban citizen, and holds important positions in the Federation of Cuban Women.

Monika becomes Cuba’s first Sex Educator, has her own radio and TV programs, and is a strong advocate for women’s rights and a staunch fighter against institutionalized homophobia.

In 1990, exhausted and disillusioned, with her marriage over, and her grown children eager to break free from the rigid ideology, Monika returns to Germany, her country of birth.