Helez is the youngest of our six children. He grew up on the farm in Klosterzimmern. He loves everything that has to do with animals and agriculture. He has also been happy to help from a young age with his father and his two older brothers on the farm. Helez has many friends – both among peers as well as adults of the community – and has always enjoyed and participated eagerly in community activities and festivals.
Helez was 13 1/2 years years old when he was ripped away violently from Klosterzimmern, from our family and his extended family (the community)! With the explanations given that it was done “for the child’s welfare” and that a “non-violent education” should be guaranteed, our son was faced with a lot of violence, which was totally foreign to him before.
On the day of the raid Helez was officially examined medically and although they found nothing unusual with him, he was taken against his will to a special education home for difficult children. Later that same day, he was again medically examined in a detailed way with the result: He is very healthy, has good eyes, and perfect teeth.
Helez felt unfairly treated completely in any case, this will also be several times to the employees of the youth office announced, but no one listened to him. During his investigation, the District Office, he slammed his fist on the table and cried loudly:
This is the greatest injustice ever seen on this planet.
The report of his lawyer, in which among other things, describes his first visit to Helez in the home, depicts a little of the trauma:
(Extract from opinion of the guardian ad litem of 10/07/2013.)
Consulting the competent employee of the Jugendamt (youth welfare) institution:
Lawyer—On questions as to what they have experienced since the absorption of the person concerned, she said that he was very quiet in the first two days, sometimes crying and staring at the floor. He was certainly very sad. He had also slept a lot in these first two days.
We all hoped that Helez` hearing all these false accusations would be finally discover at the district court in Nördlingen, and that he would soon come back home. Since he demanded to be heard in court, he was among the first to be consulted. He described the truth about his family and his home and expressed clearly his desire to return home.
Extracts from the Notes of a Hearing in the Family Court Nördlingen on September 18, 2013.
Court Question: Do you know the background of why the Court has been forced to separate you from your parents?
Helez Answer: For me there is no reason. Home’s totally fine with me.
Court Question: You know that reproaches were raised that children are beaten, and it is said the beating is to be understood here as a disciplinary measure?
(Court Note: Helez is given as an example that the spanking can be described as hit on the bottom with or without rod or as a disciplinary measure)
Helez Answer: I really want to say nothing concerning spanking. But I know that there have been consequences. Looking back I can now see how much this has helped me.
Court Question: Can you please give us an example of that case it was for you consequence?
(Court Note: It was again expressly pointed out to Helez that he if he does not like the question he need offer no answers.)
Helez Answer: For example, when I am gone without asking to the river, that is something dangerous. The consequence was that I was not allowed to go swimming. There were other consequences, but not in a way that you can tell when you do that, then that is what you get for it.
I’ve seen it now, I’m making sure that it is out of my heart that I obey my parents.
Court Question: Do you have one wish? Would you like to say something?
Helez Answer: I liked it back home. I know that I love my parents. I see no reason for this, that I am separated from them.
Why he was further held in the home after voicing to them these statements neither he nor we his parents understand.
The legal process of our family moved in a very protracted, very slow way, because it ran parallel to all the other legal proceedings of the families of the Twelve Tribes. So passed the weeks and months as we meanwhile tried to help our son with all the unfamiliar, terrible to process experiences and impressions with which he was now confronted without having us by his side as his confidants.
Helez told us about his changing teachers and of daily fights among the boys themselves. From a girl from his group, who was often picked upon and had announced suicide threats, to the impressions of rock music, television films with violence and pornography, of the [lack of] respect and the licentiousness of young people in the home and at school. In addition, he told us of the ongoing “cult baiting” against his family. All of these things previously were unknown to him, and their significant impact on him, he had to endure, without having someone around in whom he could confide. Why did the authorities not take the trouble to meet Helez before taking him into custody and why did no one listen to his letters and his wishes?
During the visits of the supplementary nurse or his guardian ad litem, during which Helez repeatedly expressed the desire to go home, he had only reinforced and confirmed in him the feeling that he was not understood by anyone and that justice could not be hoped for.
Also Helez lawyer could not understand what was going on in our son.
My First Time at a Court Hearing
My appointment was at 9 a.m. and I was very exited. My caretaker and I drove together to the court. Once we arrived, a police officer escorted us to the waiting room. I had thought that while we were waiting, my lawyer would talk to me about the court case. Yet all he did was talk to my caretaker about the best weather for motor bicycling etc… I had thought a lawyer to be someone who would help me and stand for me.
But when I was talking to the judge the lawyer also questioned me. I had the impression that both of them were fighting against me.
After the hearing I was a bit relieved, since now the judge knew that I want to go home. I had the impression that the judge didn’t believe anything I said. The Jugendamt said that the reason for taking me from my parents and locking me into an institution was only for the good of the child.
But I must say that I am very angry with the Jugendamt. All they do is: THEY DESTROY THE LIFE OF HAPPY FAMILIES. Without the Jugendamt my life would be so much more beautiful.
Jugendamt? No, thank you!
Taken in part from the following family paper:
Download in German: “Das Schickzal eines Kinder der Zwolf Stamme.”