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The family of González Serrano Rodriguez

I‘m Hispanic and my wife is American. We do not live in Germany; our home is Spain. I have a senior position in a Spanish company that operates in the field of solar technology. My company has a contract with the German company of the Community of Twelve Tribes. I had worked for three months in Germany and lived during this time in the Community in Wörnitz [a community of Twelve Tribes]. Because my wife was expecting a child during this time, we signed up to there to get a birth certificate.

Shortly before our return to Spain I was the victim of government crackdown on the Twelve Tribes communities, and my three children were taken away from my wife and I and put into state custody!

Our children were 5 and 3 years old at the time. They are American citizens. They are not Germans and they spoke only Spanish and English. Now they are staying with a German family and are being incorporated forcibly into German society. In the meantime, I can hardly talk to my children — because they only speak German.

During one of our visits, our three-year-old son said at the outset that he would now come home with us. In the course of an hour he repeated this again and again. He began to cry. I took him on my lap, comforted him, and told him how happy we would be take him home…but that we still had to wait. He did not understand that. When our visiting time was over, he still sat on my lap and refused to go along with the foster mother. The two women who supervised us came now and tried to end the crying, and with all their might pulled the child out of our arms. My son Yakol would not let go of my arm and screamed all the way to the car. The pain was almost unbearable for both of us.

We are charged by the Jugendamt (youth welfare office) with abuse of our children and with breaking their will. My children have never experienced abuse until they came into the care of the Jugendamt and were separated against their will from their parents. The Jugendamt breaks the will of the children. They are guilty of what they charge us of.

We are still waiting for the court to return to us the custody of our children. At each visit, our children ask again the question: What did the judge say?One big disappointment for our now six-year-old daughter was to hear that the little Argentine child, who was also taken in the raid, had been returned to his parents and allowed to go back home.

Why him and not me?” she asked.

He is not a German,” I told my daughter.

And I’m not German,” she replied.

Yes, that is true indeed!” was all I could say.

The Jugendamt is planning to send our daughter to the new school year in a German public school where until the fifth grade no English is taught. We were told that is due to the fact that our children are housed in an exclusively German-speaking foster family and so to lose their native language is totally irrelevant. It was “only for a short time

Six months ago we submitted a complaint and requested that our children be assigned to an English-speaking teacher. To date, nothing has been done in this direction.

We have been through several court hearings and a ton of paperwork with the German Jugendamt, but without any success. Our children are now almost a year kept separate from us! To this day we do not understand what has put us under this heavy load.

There is no evidence against me and my wife that we had done something wrong with our children. The medical examination on the day of the raid showed that my children were healthy and without any signs of abuse.* We have always loved our children and cared for them.

We hope that we can teach our children the language and culture of their parents, their grandparents, and all their other relatives. We have considered that we were in Germany as guests and have been very shocked at how unjust and cruel the German state is with us.

We do not know how we can get out of this terrible nightmare in which we find ourselves. We want to return to our homeland, where we have our permanent residence and where we can live in peace with our children.

Read more about the Serrano family.

*Read “My Fellow Citizens” for more about this and a link to the September 6, 2013 newspaper article stating it (in German).

Read more about the Jugendamt.