According to a report from the Home School Legal Defense Association, four children, ages 7 to 14, were forcibly taken from their Darmstadt, Germany home by armed police at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013. Their parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, have been told they will not see their children anytime soon and were not told where they were taken.
Legal documents reveal that no allegations of abuse or neglect, including educational neglect, have been made. According to HSLDA, attendance—and not learning—is the object of the German law.
Darmstadts family court judge, Koenig, signed the order on August 28 authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s children by force “against the children” if necessary because the children had “adopted the parents’ opinions” regarding homeschooling and that “no cooperation could be expected” from either the parents or the children.
In the report from HSLDA, Dirk Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events:
“I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it."
“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he said. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”
“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said—‘It’s too late for that.’ What kind of government acts like this?”
Over the past four years, the Wunderlichs’ moved from country to country in the European Union looking for a place where they could freely homeschool their children. Although they found refuge from homeschool persecution, Mr. Wunderlich was unable to find work, and last year the family had to return to Germany.
To communicate with German authorities on this issue, see the contact information on the HSLDA website.