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Very honored Herr Landrat Rössle,


Landrat (County Chief) Stephan Rössle


I hope you are able to take the time to read this letter. It is concerning the Community in Klosterzimmern, which is the cause of many heated debates in the last few months.

I myself lived there until 2009 and have been living in foreign countries since then. The intention of this letter is not to express my anger at what has happened, but rather to give you more insight concerning these events.

The reason I write you personally is that I think that you have a “key position” in this conflict. At the moment this situation seems “bogged down.” Firm, even fixed fronts have formed with a (seemingly) insurmountable gap between them.

This gap will remain till one day understanding comes because at the moment the two sides are talking past each other.

The problem is that the cantonal parliament assumes that the children are being mistreated in the Community, which is not the case, and which I and my four by now grown up children can testify. Abuse is not the same as needed correction with a little willow rod on the bottom.

And this is exactly where the problem starts.

For thousands of years it was an instinctively known, God-given right for parents to discipline their children. In all the cultures on earth a father who loves his son and corrects him in this way when it is needed raises him up to be a person who grows up with a good conscience. Thus he learns to judge his own selfish traits.

This is written in many places in the Old and New Testaments of every Bible, of which there are millions on German bookshelves. (Proverbs 13:24 and Hebrews 12:4-11, for example.)

Now I am fifty-six years old, and used to go to a school near Stuttgart, where till the fourth grade a little stick was used to discipline us children whenever it was necessary. This was till about 1968 and I always respected my teacher because he was just and fair. He only used a stick when we admitted our trespass.

However, we also had other teachers. One of them, for example, without warning us, and red-faced with anger, hit us in the face with his hand. I could never respect him because I instinctively knew that he didn’t love me, but rather was angry.

So HERE, in this example from my own life in German schools of not so long ago, you can see the difference between correction with love and abuse.

So then the German government came up with, first in 1968 the prohibition of corporal correction in schools, and finally in the year 2000 the law to ban it at home, too. That might have been justified in cases of real abuse, but not in the case of correction in love. UNFORTUNATELY MEN WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE DID NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE TWO AND MADE THE SAME JUDGMENT FOR ALL.

Now, on to my story: in 1972 we started to deal with drugs and pornographic materials in school and during break time we stole whiskey from the store next door. Additionally, there was increasing violence and biker gangs.

In short, where previously was order, when the spanking stopped, hell broke loose. In 2009, the dramatic shooting at Winnenden took place, where my little nephew was nearly shot. Obviously, there are stories and statistics of how much this is happening all around the world.


March 11, 2009, Winnenden. When asked why he was killing people, the seventeen-year-old replied (to the driver of the car he had hijacked): “For fun, because it is fun.” (“Aus Spaß, weil es Spaß macht.”)

Thus, there are now hundreds of thousands of Christians who still correct their children in Germany to this day with love, when they need it. Actually the above-mentioned law does not spell out the punitive measures to be taken, but still these people who respect the word of God must do so under fear and secretly.*

The reason for this is that the German Jugendamt lumps together those people with drunken fathers in anti-social families with loving, self-controlled parents. And this is completely wrong.

Where does the state get the arrogance from to criminalize a God-given right, which is correction in love, and bring it down to the same level with a truly criminal act?

This is actually where the responsibility, the functioning of the Jugendamt, should begin: to differentiate between true abuse and our God-given right as parents to instruct and discipline our children.

And this is why I am writing you now, because as far as I know you are the chief of the Jugendamt. I hope you can understand what I am trying to say with this.

These children are now going through nearly a five-month-long nightmare and don’t want anything else than to go back to their loving parents. Even right after the Raid of 5 September 2013, it was publicly noted that these were not abused children.

The manner in which the Jugendamt functions in this area in Germany needs to be corrected. It has too much authority and misuses it in abundant, different cases. I hope you are willing to question this obvious injustice and bring it to an end.

It is understandable that this brings the responsible people many sleepless nights because God wants to speak to them through their conscience. This is just what you said in a recent newspaper article.

County Chief Stefan Rössle  says: “We must insure that no crimes happen.** My staff have weighed this very thoroughly. They are personally affected by those fates and have sleepless nights.” {Die Seite Drei newspaper, “Mit Aller Gewalt,” by Stefan Mayr, January 15, 2014.}

The unlimited authority of the Jugendmant, unique among such organizations in the whole world, has its roots in Nazi Germany and in the (defunct?) GDR, or East Germany. There is no free country in the world where a social services agency has such a position except in the Scandinavian countries. Those countries have the highest rate of crime and highest rates of violent assault in the world.

The Raid on Klosterzimmern was the greatest of this kind in post-war Germany, which in the Third Reich such raids against minorities such as the Bruderhof Community, were common practice. As the Gestapo said back then, the Jugendamt says now: “The children are not to be brought up this way.

For this reason, in 1949, the Allies “made” Germany accept a constitution (the Basic Law). Because of our unfree past, we never understood the true function of this constitution. It should actually protect us from laws being applied in unjust ways, for example against religious minorities. This is called Jurisprudence, the wise application of the law.

Only a legalistic, tyrannical, and totalitarian state has legislation outlawing religious minorities by leaving them no room to exist. The result of this will be perversion, step by step, in all the levels of society. This basically means that good is called evil and evil good. Such a society will be brought to stumble by our Creator, just as has been shown by many examples throughout the history of mankind.

We as believers respect the state, but when it hinders us from obeying our highest authority, which is God as He is revealed through His Word, we must obey God rather than men.

I hope, Mr. Rössle, I have been able to pass on a little understanding through this letter. We pray for you and all the responsible ones in positions of authority.

Ulrich Fingerle


*    And these children grow up to be more peaceful and law-abiding as a recent study — one highly critical of parental discipline of children — had to ruefully admit. See “The God of our Making” for more on the Pfeiffer and Baier study of 2012.

**  Note the justification for the heinous Second Raid of December 9, 2013, of preventing further crimes. It is particularly “striking”, one could say, because the mothers and children were already in custody, in a state-run institution under strict oversight. IF THE JUGENDAMT CANNOT PREVENT CRIME AND ABUSE IN THEIR OWN FOSTER-HOMES, WHATEVER ARE THEY DOING IN ANYONE ELSE’S HOME?