As one of the greatly affected mothers of the children taken into state custody in Germany, I stand here today and appeal to your heart and conscience. 70 years ago Sophie Scholl spoke her heart. Her legacy was, “The law changes; the conscience doesn’t.”1 Please listen to our side!
Our children, including my now nine year old son Noah, have become a means to an end2 — a conspiracy against our faith and life in the community of the Twelve Tribes. It’s a nightmare that goes on every day.
Without any warning, without ever having had personal contact with social services, my son has been kidnapped – in the truest sense of the word – and taken away from me. Together with forty children of our community, including six guest children, Noah was brought to the District Office to Donauwörth. Since no one knew them, the school psychologist – who has known and appreciated our children for seven years – was called to identify them. He was obviously in shock and even apologized in tears to one of the young people for this tragedy.
I gave up my career as a midwife, so that I could turn my whole heart to my son and my friends with whom I share this precious life. I have always made sure that there was a lack of nothing for Noah — that all of his needs were taken care of. I have included my son in everything and we had a lot of fun and a good time together. He was not left to itself. I gave him limits. He was a happy child, social and open-minded in dealing with other children and adults. Noah grew up free and unencumbered. My wonderful, healthy son and his integrity are proof of the non-violent education he has enjoyed up to the time of the taking into care.
We as a community and I as a private person, respect the authority and the laws of this country. I agree with the content of § 1631 para. 2 of the Civil Code. I condemn all violence against children decided. What have I done that you have applied the hardest of all measures — applicable in a country where freedom of religion and freedom of speech is supposedly? Require the German and Bavarian law:
The mere membership of parents in a small religious community that does not belong to the mainstream … — what some call a sect, is not a legitimate reason to deprive them of custody.
Less than 5 months prior to the taking into care describes Mr. Kanth, Head of the Youth Office Donauwörth in Spiegel Online, said about our children:
… We see there happy, well-behaved children who cling to their parents. We have no recourse to take them from their families …
There were undergoing medical examination, both before and after the taking into care, found no signs of physical or emotional child endangerment.
With three other children of our community Noah was placed in a children’s home in Augsburg on 05 September 2013. He arrived there having been torn, uprooted from his home, and suddenly deprived of everything familiar.
My child had a happy home and a mother who loves him dearly. Noah knows where he belongs — not in a children’s home and not in a foster family, in which he has been almost 3 months after another pain of separation.
This is an extract from Besorah Schott’s statement about what Noah witnessed in the home:
On the way to home Noah cried a lot. He wanted to go back to his mom… When we arrived at the home, we were escorted to an office to introduce us to the home manager. Although Noah was completely in shock, he told enthusiastically about his home with his Ima [Hebrew for mother].
He in no way gave the impression of a frightened, abused child! Noah’s expression changed from one day to the next.The once cheerful boy was now very sad and had a depressed spirit. He often cried and wanted desperately to go home.
Days passed and Noah suffered terribly from the separation from his mother. It was important for him at home to practice the songs on his guitar and play. He consoled himself and always very much…lacked the attention and good care of his mother that he had experienced at home.
A teacher of twelve children could never replace Noah loving and caring mother.Since he has missed the attention that was been given him at home with his mom, he tried to find consolation in other things, such as watching TV, listening to music, or playing football. Still, he could not be satisfied. He wanted just to go home, where he was happy and had experienced safety and security. His greatest desire did not change, he wanted to go home!
Six weeks after the raid I could see Noah for an hour for the first time in the district office Donauwörth — exactly where the children had been placed immediately after being taken into custody. This visit took place under close supervision.
The trauma of the raid was repeated for all of us, as the children had to get into the car again after our meeting. The teachers and home manager were very surprised about the strict rules, and let us know that they had never seen anything like it. The ultimate goal is always the return of children to their parents. In our case apply different standards? Is the youth welfare office entitled to deprive us of our children and to educate them?
Normally it is required of the courts that they take fastest action to avoid irreversible damage to the family life of those affected. However, our case runs now over a whole year through. The damage inflicted on us and especially our children is so immense that I wonder if he will ever be remedied. My son is overwhelmed with extracurricular activities (material things) and meticulously planned holidays. 4 – 5 times a year. An absolute reality shift! What single mother could give their child these things?
Noah has no time to think of me in the midst of all the distractions. His child’s soul suffers and cries for help. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that the youth welfare office pursues a clear agenda — namely the goal of getting Noah away from me and our life. I’m his mother!
Can one ever silence the language of the heart and destroy the bond between us? How long must we and our children carry with us the indescribable pain of separation? How long do our children have to wait until they can finally go home? When will we be heard? When will this horrific nightmare come to an end?!
- See the post, “The Law Changes, the Conscience doesn’t,” as well as related posts about the White Rose. ↩
- This is exactly what the White Rose resistance movement railed against about in their first pamphlet, quoting the words of Friedrich Schiller: “In the Spartan code of law the dangerous principle was promulgated that men are to be looked upon as means and not as ends – and the foundations of natural law and of morality were destroyed by that law…” They cried out that the state can never make men a means to an end, but their voice was not heard. Nor is it today. ↩