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Forum for Freedom of Religion in Europe

Police Raids in Nördlingen and Wörnitz – 41 Children Hauled off, Search Warrant was “Faxed in Later”

polizei-razzia bei 12 staemmen

Klosterzimmern: 5 September 2013

FOREF—”On September 5th, 2013, in the early dawn, around 30 police emergency vehicles pulled into Klosterzimmern, the property of the “Twelve Tribes” in Nördlingen, Bavaria. Since on that day the community was keeping a holiday1, the morning gathering, which usually would be at 6 o’clock, took place later and most community members were still sleeping. A 23-year-old brother in faith who was milking the cows shortly after 6 o’clock, was the first one to see the massive presence of police. He asked the officers what was going on and asked for a search warrant. Rather than showing it to him, they threatened to arrest him if he “continued to resist.” The police surrounded the entire property only to storm the celebration hall where they were suspecting the morning gathering. Instead they found an empty hall.”

A most threatening and blood-curdling effect


Yakol & Chemdah Gonzales Rodriguez Serrano, Ye-eseyah Wetjen, Ma’aminah Pingen.

Shortly after, the inhabitants of every house on the property were woken from their sleep. The officers ordered the completely perplexed community members to gather in one of the living rooms. According to their own words the more than 100 officers equipped with battledress, truncheons, and pistols had a most threatening and blood-curdling effect on parents and children alike.

Johanna and friend mourning

Police and Jugendamt at Klosterzimmern. Miriam Stark and her sister.

No evidence found

Since the members of the “Twelve Tribes” had insisted on seeing a search warrant, this was faxed in at 8 o’clock. After the children had been led away, the police was searching for evidence on site in order to subsequently justify the order to seize the children by the Jugendamt.

“Yet to no avail. The doctors who medically examined the children that same day, did not find any evidence of acts of abuse.”

Background to the Raid

The background of the large-scale operation: On August 16th, 2013, Sabine Rieder, the “sect commissioner” of Sekten-Info NRW2 along with the RTL reporter Wolfram Kuhnigk got the District Court of Nördlingen involved in order to take action against the “Twelve Tribes.” Shortly before, a local head of a Jugendamt also was initiated into the operation.

camera-pressureRTL Reporter Wolfram Kuhnigk with Jugendamt leader Herr Kanth.3

(Screenshot of RTL report of September 9, 2013.)

As early as two weeks later, on September 1st, the District Court decided to have the children of the religious community in Klosterzimmern and in Wörnitz taken by means of a police raid and put into state care.”

Authorities rely on anonymous reports!

sabine riede - sekteninfo nrw Sabine Riede – Protestant „Sect Expert“ and FECRIS Member.

Even though there was no evidence proving sustainable physical or psychological damage in the children of the religious community, interim custody was collectively transferred from the parents to the Jugendamt. After all, the authorities preferred to rely on an anonymous report of a supposed ex-member that Kuhnigk(!) mailed in August 2013 and which was published on the website of Sekten-Info NRW, rather than on careful sociological studies about the religious community of the “Twelve Tribes”.




  1. Yom Teruah, the Day of Shouting or Day of Trumpets (September 4, 2013)
  2. Sekten-Info NRW is a member organization of FECRIS, see also the comprehensive expert study about FECRIS.
  3. To Kuknigk’s left is Sabine Riede of Sekten-Info Nordrhein-Westfalen, one of many state-funded anti-cult groups!