I wake up our 15 -year-old guest on the bed next to me. “There’s police in the yard, get up quickly! ” Within minutes, we all meet in the corridor outside the rooms.
It is Yom Teruah – Day of Trumpets, The Day of Crying out!
“All the inhabitants of this house are to assemble right away downstairs in the living room.”
Going to the bathroom to brush her teeth is being refused to my friend. We’re going down. The entire first floor is equipped with armed men and women in uniform. Like a herd of animals we are driven into the living room and are sitting here now.
“Sorry that we are waking you up at such an ungodly hour… ” one of the men in civilian clothes begins, an official of the Youth Office in Donauwörth. S., my little 10-year-old friend (for me she’s like my little sister) is clinging more tightly to her mother. I hold her hand. What do these people have in mind?
“Due to a court order, based on the charges against you because of child abuse, the custody regarding medical care, schooling and residence of the children ..is temporarily taken from the parents of the Community. Therefore we are taking your children now with us. They will be taken to the district office in Donauwörth and brought from there into foster homes and state shelters.”
An official is reading briefly this order, then a letter size sheet is placed on the table. This “paper” is addressed to the “Dear parents” – no names, no personal address – nothing! We are being treated like you would treat a herd.
A heated discussion is kindled: “Where is the court order? You expect us to send our children with you just like this without any mention of names?! You accuse us of serious crimes and do not show us the court documents? Do you know what you are asking? Do you have children? One day you will have to answer your Creator for what is happening here.”
I’m in shock.
Excuuuuse me pleeeeease? What kind of country do we live in? Our children are being taken by force if necessary, and we are to wait until next week to do something about it? “It is a case of imminent danger, that is, all other rights or laws are temporarily suspended.”
The next thing I remember is that we all take our children in our midst and pray for them and cry out to our God, to deliver them and protect them.
“This one as well!” This is C., our guest. She has a written consent of her parents for a longer visit with us. Fearful C. is squeezing my hand tighter.
“That does not matter now. For now we are taking all children. You can show us the letter at a later date.”
“This afternoon there will be a meeting in which all issues can be resolved,” said one of the officials blatantly lying to our face. Such a meeting has not taken place to date, access to the press conference later in the day was denied us. (Still no meeting as of Monday afternoon, September 9, 2013).
The children are taken out of the house, the parents are not allowed to to bid farewell.
We are commanded to stay in the house. With threatened violence by the chief of the criminal police, we are compelled to give our personal details. Pictures are being taken of each adult resident, regardless of whether we have children on our own or not. With a number… only thing missing are ear tags, we are being treated as animals.
Then we lift up our prayers – under guard. We sing with all our hearts to God and ask Him to deliver us. The Jugendamt (Youth Office) officials go on to the next house.
When we are finally allowed to leave the building, I run to the other house. From a distance, I see my sister in the middle of a crowd of policemen and plainclothes officers. “Where is my nephew?” Too late! He has already been taken away. I missed him! I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him!
The 13-year-old B. comes running towards me. She clings to me and we both burst into tears. “Our Father will protect you, you will have to cry out to our God with all your heart! Do not forget that you belong to the same God who parted the Red Sea! and……look out for your younger siblings!” That was all I could say, because B. must get into the car!
“You belong to Yahweh! Do not forget that! We love you so much!” I can still call over to the small T. and S. sitting in the car already. Her mother is still in the car with her, a few hours later however, someone drives her back.
They said, “The little one is old enough to be weaned!” and they took him away from me, she told us.
The door slammed and they’re gone .
I can not longer control myself and burst into loud weeping. My sister comes to me and takes me in her arms, we pray and cry out to our God .
It is Yom Teruah – the first of the 10 days of Yom Kippur, the Day of Trumpets and the Day loud Shouting.