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Massive police raid at the Twelve Tribes Community in Klosterzimmern, Germany
In the early morning of September 5, 2013, the German police raided the homes of our families in Klosterzimmern (86738 Deiningen) and our home at the Georg-Ehnes-Platz 2, 91637 Wörnitz. The parents and their children were still in bed at the time.
The children were between the ages of 1½ to 17 years old, and five infants between the ages of 2 and 7 ½ months. They were taken away from their parents without their consent by a massive force of dozens of police officers and social workers. The parents were informed that their children would be taken to unknown places and given to unknown foster families. Any attempts by parents to contact their children were rigorously denied. The mothers of infants are still with the babies, but their custody also is temporarily denied.
The Nördlingen district court issued a preliminary order for the temporary withdrawal of custody based on its perception of a very high immediate risk to the mental well-being of the children. The only legal facts in this decision, however, are that the parents of the children are part of the faith of the Twelve Tribes. What is the legal basis in this? People cannot be found guilty based on their association with a religious faith. Will we be treated differently from any other citizen simply because of our beliefs?
No specific evidence was produced against any individual affected.
Obviously, the court considered it irrelevant to first get an accurate picture of the children and their well-being. The court’s decision came without any warning. The police and the youth welfare office presented us with a fait accompli, with all their “facts” pre-arranged. A previous visit by the judge never took place.
A court hearing on the charges shall not take place until September 13, 2013. What is going to happen to the children until then?
We have now lived in your vicinity for some time, dear citizens of Wörnitz and neighbors in the Ries valley. We call on you to give your opinion on the allegations – surely you have seen us and our children stroll through the village. What impression do you have of our children and their well-being? Were they happy? Were they respectful?
If you have anything you want to say, even to the German officials, you can use the following link to contact us, and we can provide the needed information: Contact Us
~From your friends in the Community of the Twelve tribes in Klosterzimmern & Wörnitz