Based on accusations of abuse, more than 40 minors of the Twelve Tribes community in Klosterzimmern were taken into state custody, two years ago. The children of Klosterzimmern were brought to the administrative district office in Donauwörth and were examined immediately by medical officers. Despite intensive search, no signs were found that confirmed the accusations or justified the governmental measure1.
The official speakers at the following press conference, knew about these results of the examination, when they portrayed this measure from the state’s point of view. However, the media representatives that were gathered, were not informed about the results of the examination by the medical officer. On the contrary, they described a real horror scenario, that one would expect based on supposed reliable sources.
Also countless conversations were mentioned, in which they tried to make the parents distance themselves from spanking. In the meantime social workers (youth welfare agents) have admitted themselves that these never took place. What did happen was a horror scenario, but certainly not there where it was expected and thoroughly searched for, on the bodies and souls of the children that were taken into custody. The horror scenario happened in the rooms of the administrative district office Donauwörth, when the children realized that they were not going to be released to go home, as they were promised on their drive there, but would be brought to foster parents and foster homes. Those who were involved speak of horrible scenes and screaming.
The mass seizure on September 5, 2013 was a historical event in the history of the Republic of Germany. Before 1945 such collective measures against ethnic or religious groups were known as ‘kin liability’ (or clan guilt, sippenhaft2). What happened on September 5, 2013 in Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz is extremely alarming to international law.
According to international penal code it fulfills the facts of genocide, especially in light of this, that except for generalizations, neither the request of the Jugendamt (youth welfare office) nor the court order to withdraw custody for the children of the community of the Twelve Tribes, assign any specific wrongdoing to a specific person or family.
Par. 6 of the international penal code identifies such an act as genocide3:
Whoever, with the intention of destroying a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group completely or partially, (…) transfers a child from the group to another by force…
In the meantime experts who have been ordered by the family court in Nördlingen have also come to the same conclusion in their psychological examinations, as the medical officer did on the day of the violent seizure:
The children were safe with their parents
The head of the family court, Mr. Beyschlag, made it clear at the press conference on Sept 5th, 2013 in the administrative district office in Donauwörth, that the family court can act quickly.
Even though there is an absolute requirement of rapid action in custody proceedings, one must wonder, how this statement makes sense after two years of court procedures. The unusually long procedure was reprimanded several times and seen as alarming by the higher court. By this, new facts are being created through the estrangement of the children, which should cause any cognitive human being to consider.
The impression is growing, that after two years the “Jugendamt” (youth welfare) and the family court are still desperately trying to find evidence, to justify their initial requests and decisions. For this reason the children also are being influenced massively and adjusted against their parents, their religious convictions, and way of life. So that is how they try to get negative statements about the child training in our community.
During two years of procedures before the Bavarian courts, we found out, how little the German state is willing to abide by their own rules and what place of value basic rights, the right to live together as a family without state interference, and the right to freedom of religion and conscience have in our country. Unfortunately we must come to the conclusion that we can no longer live a life in responsibility before our Creator here.
So we “break camp” in this country after 20 years of our presence, to find a new home in the Czech Republic and other European neighboring countries. We hope to make homes for families there again, where we can live our peaceful and communal life according to God’s word undisturbed. The governmental actions towards the communities of the Twelve Tribes in other European countries, that also came about at the instigation the Federal Republic of Germany, give us hope for that.
In the end of 2013 the German officials informed all other countries in which the Twelve Tribes dwell about the accusations of child abuse. The officials in each country started being active in response to that. But even though there were the same accusations, they proceeded as democratic constitutions intend to:
In England the youth welfare contacted all the families, visited them at home and eliminated any concerns in their conversations with the parents and the children.
Even though France responded to the accusations with a massive action as well, they put importance on treating each family individually. The only custody procedure that was started after this action was cleared up in a speedy procedure and the children could go back to their parents after two weeks.
In Spain the procedure was treated with utmost discretion for the wellbeing of the children, and so no information was passed on to the media or third parties.
Through the visits of the Czech officials it became clear that it is still normal for parents to raise their children to obedience and respect there.
Still we will continue to pray that something can change in Germany, so that the Twelve Tribes can live here again in the future, just as it is possible for us to live in other constitutional countries.
- This was publicly admitted by the head of the Jugendamt, Herr Kanth, a fact lost in the flurry of negative publicity – which continues unabated to this day – about the Communities of Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz. ↩
- Sippenhaft is clan guilt. According to Wikipedia it refers to the principle of families sharing the responsibility for a crime committed by one of its members. Practiced by totalitarian regimes such as Communist Russia and North Korea and also by socialist regimes such as National Socialist (Nazi) Germany. ↩
- According to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2, genocide is to “d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;” and “e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group,” thereby, with regards to the Twelve Tribes in Germany, accomplishing “c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;” not to mention the second part of “b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.” ↩