Tags

, , ,

Our Story

In the year 2001 we bought the beautiful Bavarian farm, Klosterzimmern. Even before we moved here, we set out to answer the questions of our future neighbors in a public discussion. We desired to counter the understandable suspicion that came towards us who might appear as something new and strange.

Welcome_KlosterzimmernDuring the twelve years that we have dwelt here, we have made an effort to be good neighbors and to cultivate friendly relationships with both surrounding towns and farms. We ran a restaurant in Nördlingen for several years and opened up a farm store in the middle of our property. For the past six years we have opened our village and our hearts to all who wish to get to know us at the annual Hoffest. {See the website of the Hoffest for photos from 2008 through 2013.}

HerzlichWillkommen

Invitation to the 2013 Hoffest

2011_Hoffest2

Happy crowds at the 2011 Hoffest watching the children’s play.

Due to the dictates of our conscience and our faith, we train our children in God’s ways. This is why we do not send them to public school. From the beginning, we sought dialogue with the different offices and the school authorities to find a solution for our conflict of conscience with the national laws. We respect authority and want to support the laws of this country, but in this case it collides with our faith. So we found ourselves in the same predicament as the Apostle Peter who responded to the authority of his day when his obedience to God was challenged: “I must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

In the years 2002 – 2004, after many visits to the authorities, two opposing fronts crystallized. Our conviction of conscience and our faith clashed with the German laws. We received fines, were called to court, our property was seized, and our bank accounts attacked. Then, shockingly, our children were forcibly brought to school by 100 policemen under the command of the county chief. Finally the parents of the school-aged children were sentenced to be put in prison. Seven of the fathers were actually jailed.

YehezkelBeingReleased

Release of one of the fathers!

We endured all these situations in faith, praying in hope that Germany would provide a place for our life. Miraculously, our prayers were answered. The people in the Ministry of Education and in the local school authorities changed. Suddenly, we met people who had decided in their hearts to find a way within the rigid structure of the law for us to train our children. They made a way for us to exercise our faith, in accordance with the German fundamental law.

So in 2006 our little private school was founded. In the following six years we developed an increasingly positive relationship with the school authorities. We found a way to work together so that the authorities could execute their obligation to supervise our training without interfering with our faith and our child rearing. Two times a year our children were tested by a teacher and psychologist to evaluate their academic progress. These evaluations were very satisfying for the officials as well as for us. Our children who had come to know the testing teacher were eager to show what they had learned, and the teacher enjoyed the enthusiasm with which our children learned.

VisitBySchoolOfficials2

Visit of the school officials

In 2010 we then decided to have our oldest children pass the final exam, not so much for their personal careers, but to prove that our school did not lag behind the academic standard of the public schools. The results of the exam were to our and the official’s contentment. Everything was actually going just fine…

2010_Quali

Youth’s classroom during the Quali (2010).

…until a disgruntled former member made it his personal goal to avenge himself of perceived harm by bringing trouble upon us. A negative article in a magazine shed a bad light on us, and since then we have been scrutinized with much suspicion. The same officials with whom we had a friendly and open relationship for many years, and who had gotten to know our children and observed their behavior, were suddenly being pressured to not believe or trust us any more. This was very difficult for us.

We wanted to answer the justified questions about the published accusations and had several meetings with the authorities. We consented to the examination of the physical and psychological health of our children. We regretted it afterwards, because these examinations violated the dignity of our 42 children and youth between 1 and 17 years old. They had to undress in front of a state doctor. We later agreed among ourselves that we would not agree to such an examination again.

It was our heart to be understood and to prove that the accusations were not true, but the more we sought to explain ourselves to the suspicious officials, the more our statements were misunderstood and twisted. All ex-members were traced down and interviewed by the police. Even though all investigations have failed to prove any of the accusations to be true, we are still being pressured by police and state security, and accused to have inflicted dangerous bodily injuries on our children. Further, the custody of our children is in question.

Do we have to endure all of this just because of some negative press? What really happened in the government? Why don’t the years of reports, of excellent relationships between us, our children, and the educational officials not matter anymore? How much more proof of no harm done to our children can they get than what they have gotten?

The Raids on Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz

police surrounding the location

September 5, 2013 at Klosterzimmern

Now, after the spectacular raid of September 5, 2013 on our Communities in Germany, when thirty-three of our children were seized by the Jugendamt (youth offices), followed by oceans of bad publicity, the truth remains: our children were never abused, they were well-educated, and they were happy…when they were living with their parents. As of this writing, seven of those children have been released to their parents by the courts, and one youth of eighteen returned on his own volition. We pray constantly, night and day, for their safety and their return.

Many of them now, in the public schools of Germany, no longer have a violence-free education, as the law mandates, because the schools themselves are violent, as our school never was.

What police can we call to rescue our children from the schools?

Please, what is their phone number?

 

See Set Free to find out who the released captives are.

See, “Really, a Violence Free Education?” Part 1 and Part 2.