Internationale Reaktionen - offene Briefe, Mails und Zuschriften aus aller Welt
Sehr geehrter Herr Bundespräsident,,
Wie jetzt überall mit äußerstem Befremden diskutiert wird, hat das Jugendamt in Nürnberg ein 15-jähriges Mädchen zwangsweise in die Psychiatrie bringen lassen, weil sich die Eltern weigerten, sie in eine öffentliche Schule zu schicken, in der sie offensichtlich nicht die Leistungen erbrachte, die ihrer von Fachleuten nachgewiesenen intellektuellen Fähigkeit entsprachen.
Als Erziehungswissenschaftler möchte ich Ihnen dies einfach zur Kenntnis bringen, was bei uns zunehmend „Mode“ wird und an den Totalitarismus der jüngsten Vergangenheit erinnert. Ich wende mich aber auch an Sie mit der Frage, ob Sie gewillt sind, in diesem Fall einzugreifen, der sehr stark an die Methoden in der ehemaligen Sowjetunion erinnern. Da hat man auch die Psychiatrie mißbraucht, um Menschen „zurechtzubiegen“.
Daß so etwas in Bayern geschieht, ist enttäuschend, wundert mich aber nicht mehr, denn es gab bisher mehrere Fälle – wenn auch nicht dieser brutalen Art! – in denen das Elternrecht flagrant übertreten wurde. Der Bayerische Ministerpräsident wurde schon mehrmals in der Vergangenheit gebeten, sich für das Elternrecht einzusetzen, wenn es zu Konflikten mit Schulbehörden kam. Auch in anderen Bundesländern mehren sich die Fälle, wo Eltern sich dagegen wehren, ihre Kinder in Schulen zu schicken und dort „Programmen“ ausgesetzt zu sein, mit denen sie nicht einverstanden sind, die aber auch aus pädagogischer Sicht oft unhaltbar sind.
Sie wissen als Bundespräsident um dieses primäre Recht der Eltern, die Erziehung und Bildung ihrer Kinder zu bestimmen: Es steht in der Universalen Menschenrechtsdeklaration der UNO , Artikel 26/3 (verabschiedet im Mai 1948, ratifiziert auch von der Bundesrepublik Deutschland!).
Der Staat hat hier KEIN primäres Recht, sondern nur ein „sekundäres“. Insofern sind unsere Schulzwangs-Gesetze unhaltbar! Es ist höchste Zeit, daß wir (wie in vielen anderen Ländern, zB auch in Österreich) eher einen „Bildungszwang“ gesetzlich verankern, der den Eltern diese primäre Verantwortung überläßt, auch auf die Gefahr hin, daß sie (es werden ohnehin nur wenige sein!) andere Vorstellungen von Bildung haben, als man gemeinhin als „politisch korrekt“ sieht.
Die Gefahr, daß staatliche Instanzen ihre Kompetenz mißbrauchen und – wie in totalitären Staaten! – ideologische Motive statt Grundrechten und humanwissenschaftlichen Argumenten als Entscheidungskriterien benützen, ist zu groß, als daß wir Beamten (und Richtern!) da freie Hand lassen.
Ich möchte Sie ermutigen, ja, dringend bitten, sich dafür einzusetzen, daß das Mädchen in Nürnberg umgehend in ihre Familie zurückkehren kann, und daß in Deutschland endlich das Elternrecht konsequent respektiert wird.
Ein erster konkreter Schritt wäre, das „Homeschooling“ zu erlauben! In USA hat man damit schon lange beste Erfahrungen gemacht. (Das kann ich persönlich bestätigen, da ich 26 Jahre in USA gelebt und im Bildungswesen gearbeitet habe.)
Es geht hier um mehr, als einen Einzelfall! Wenn wir es wirklich ernst meinen mit dem Erhalt unserer „christlich-abendländischen Kultur“, dann müssen wir diesen Eingriffen in die Freiheit und Grundrechte der Bürger mit aller Entschiedenheit entgegentreten.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen:
Prof. Dr. Hans A. Schieser
DePaul University Chicago
The Honorable Horst Kohler
President of the Federal Republic of Germany
11010 Berlin, Germany
Dear President Kohler:
I have been more disturbed from hearing about the shocking persecution of Melissa Busekros and homeschooling in Germany than any other news issue I have heard about Germany in many years.
Obviously Germany has not learned much about human rights or human freedom since World War II.
If one refers to your 2005 speech at the 60TH Anniversary of UNESCO, it does not appear that Germany implements the ideals of "respect for human dignity" and "cultural diversity" you eloquently proclaimed in that address.
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." This statement in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is no philanthropic aspiration. It has the force of law. All political action must be judged by whether it helps people to lead their lives in dignity." (Your speech.)
Yes, the world public does "care about the plight of individuals" and we see Germany stamping the homeschoolers into the ground with the JackBoot of the State for no sufficient reason.
"We respect human dignity because we respect people's freedom to decide for themselves what they want to make of their lives." (Your speech.) Do you? Germany?
"We need to safeguard diversity." (Your words.) For Melissa Busekros, also?
As the State brutally snatches Melissa Busekros from her family and puts her in a psychiatric ward simply for pursuing her studies at home as millions in other countries do with good success?
The latent inclination towards human persecution and government tyranny apparently remains just below the surface in the German mindset and character, and has only been thinly disguised as 'enlightened' or 'educated', or even 'global'.
The world would hope for better signs of respect for human dignity, differences, and freedom of religion from Germany after the atrocities they committed in the 1930's-1940's trying to make the entire population conform to the shape of their governmental Jackboot State, especially after your lauded address to UNESCO.
The Busekros family are obviously smart, clean-living, responsible people.
These are just the kind of people who are the most likely to become the most creative thinkers and productive members of German society.
These are just the kind of people who will endeavor to explore new areas of thought and discovery and possibly approach problems from a slightly fresh perspective and find new breakthroughs that will provide Germany with the cutting- edge brain power that would allow them to remain technological leaders in the world. ("Breakthrough" requires that one does something differently than it was done before in order to advance the knowledge base.)
These fine people should be protected and rewarded for their display of diligence and personal responsibility, not persecuted and suppressed by the German Jackboot State!
Homeschoolers in the United States are providing some of the best prepared students and future workers in our society. They tend to have a better work ethic and higher ethical standards than others which employers are finding very appealing in today's dissipated, rock-music youth culture.
Homeschooling in the United States has proven positive in every way and provides more individual attention for students who need it, which allows them to succeed even to excellence.
Germany loses much respect in the world by this shameful display of neo-Nazi religious and human persecution, especially when you make such grand claims for the opposite in world forums.
Also, psychiatric diagnoses are totally subjective and cannot be empirically measured for accuracy in any way. It is unjust abuse for governments to sentence or detain citizens on the basis of such non-scientific, imaginative, politically-motivated accusations. Because of their arbitrary and subjective nature, ‘psychiatric diagnoses’ should be outlawed worldwide in the name of impartial justice and human rights.
The world remembers that German psychiatrists murdered countless thousands of German children because they did not measure up to the "Ideal" of the State long before the mass murder of Jews or others. Psychiatry has a dark history and a poor reputation if one examines the true record.
I hope you will begin to implement the concepts you proclaimed in your UNESCO speech and correct the abuse and persecution of Melissa Busekros which she is experiencing because she is "a special and unique individual" (you condoned ) and chooses "to decide for herself what she wants to make of her life" (you condoned). And she was doing this respectfully and diligently until the Gestapo ripped her out of her home and traumatized her for not being a cookie-cutter person manufactured by the German Industrial State.
And to the world it looks "wrong, bad, and ugly" that Germany is psychologically abusing Melissa Busekros and her family in this way for the benign activity of home schooling.
When we hear this kind of heavy-handed persecution coming out of Germany we think:
"Deliver us from Germany, Someone!" ( Again! )
With alarm and dismay,
Madam Chancellor; Mr. President; Ladies and Gentlemen:
I hope that I may be permitted a brief self-introduction before coming to the substance of this correspondence. I am an American by birth and a Frenchman by derivation. I have worked, attended school, and done military service in Europe, including two years in central Germany. I have studied the German language while in school in Switzerland, improved my knowledge at the US Defense Language Institute and used it while assigned to Frankfurt/Main. For as long as I have had opinions on this subject, I have considered myself a friend of Germany and the Germans. All this by way of asserting that I am not the kind of foreigner who ignorantly considers all Germans to be brutal goose-stepping "krauts" or "Boches."
I mention that sad stereotype because it is receiving a good deal of support lately, and unfortunately that support comes from the recent actions of the Federal and Bavarian governments in the case of home-schooled children in general, and the much-persecuted Melissa Busekros and her family in particular. By now every home-schooling family in the world with an Internet connection is aware of this sinister affair, and the news is beginning to reach other concerned groups - fundamentalist Christians in particular - and to filter into the mainstream media. In short, there is a very narrow interval of time in which the German government can, if it acts quickly and decisively, prevent a catastrophe in its relations with the rest of the world, and with its own people as well.
The authorities mentioned earlier, acting under the power of a statute promulgated under National Socialism, have taken a girl away from her family to punish them for the sole "crime" of schooling her at home. In other words, the exercise of a fundamental human right has been treated as an offense. Worse, the responsible parties, far from recognizing and rectifying their error, have resorted to pseudoscience (again, reminiscent of Nazi-era doctrine) to justify their acts - diagnosing Miss Busekros as suffering from the hitherto-unknown syndrome of "school phobia" and forcing her to undergo psychiatric "treatment." Further compounding their offense, they have resorted to arguments justifying their acts that tie them even more closely to the logic of tyranny: society, it seems, has an interest in the uniformity and conformity of education that overrides any right to choice held by the individual family. This argument is transparently specious - I refute it here only because responsible persons in positions of authority have asserted it, apparently in all seriousness. Society is after all a collection of individuals; if those persons, individually, have no right to choose the medium and content of their children's education, then it is clear that the State's education apparatus cannot reflect any collective input from those powerless parents. Instead, it is transparently and obviously the State's interests that are embodied and asserted over all others by its education system, which is thus better termed an indoctrination system.
Education is the single greatest force in the formation of a person. Indeed, it is unpleasant to imagine what the modern German nation would be like if National Socialism had survived long enough for all those educated under the old systems to die off. To place schooling under the absolute control of the State, allowing no alternative, is therefore the complete nullification of liberty. If we are not free to choose what we shall be, if we cannot inculcate our own values in our children, then all statutory and constitutional freedoms are of no value or effect. Any State that can control what we ARE has no trouble deciding what we DO.
Over the years from 1945 until the fall of the USSR and the reunification of Germany, hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, myself included, stood guard side-by-side with Germans in central Europe, believing that we were defending a free republic against the threatened onslaught of a militant Socialist power. Words fail me in expressing my disappointment upon discovering that the régimes on either side of that border - superficially so different - neverless preserve the same false philosophical underpinnings. My disgust is shared by every American and European with whom I have discussed this matter. Please permit me to remind you that many of the young soldiers who patrolled the border in decades past are now men and women of stature and influence; they can be counted on to give voice and substance to their anger, and in a way that will harm - perhaps for a very long time - Germany's standing in the civilized world and her relations with her allies.I urge you to consign this Nazi relic to the trash heap, and to cease your persecution of homeschooling parents and their children. It is not yet too late... but it soon will be.
F. Marc de Piolenc
Master Sergeant, United States Army (Retired)
Dr. Klaus Scharioth
Dear Dr. Scharioth,
We have been following news of the treatment of German homeschoolers. Now there is this terrible situation concerning Melissa Busekros. We are shocked to hear of the Busekros' homeschooled daughter Melissa being removed from the custody of her parents and being placed in a child psychiatric unit. This is an outrage that hearkens back to the Nazi era. We cannot believe a free nation would put a homeschooled child in a psychiatric ward for 'school phobia.' The attack on the homeschool families throughout Germany must stop.
We are a homeschool family in America with a daughter who has special learning needs. She has had these needs met through the one-on-one, loving attention of her mother with the help of the abundant materials available to homeschoolers. We are raising her to love God, respect authority, and be a good and productive citizen. Are these not worthwhile goals within any society? Germany makes a grave mistake if it views Christian homeschool as "counter" to its culture. More likely, these homeschool families will contribute to their beloved homeland if allowed the opportunity, instead of being driven into exile.
Please relay these sentiments to your government. Homeschoolers love their countries. They will teach their children to do so if given the chance.
The Chambers Family
In the United States of America we enjoy the freedom to educate our children as we see fit. We must comply with the state and their rules. This is a small price to pay for the freedom that is entitled to us by God Almighty.
My husband and I have been home schooling our 8 children for more than 12 years.
Our 3 oldest sons are all in college now. The 2 oldest are honors students at Catholic University of America in Washington DC. The 3rd is attending a community college in NY State. Our oldest daughter went to high school this year after being home schooled for 10 years. She is a straight A student.
Home schooling works and should be legal everywhere.Most children that are taught by their parents at home are better students and get better grades than their counterparts that attend school outside the home. It is a crime to treat such a beautiful ,loving family the way the German government has. The government has done more damage to Melissa and her family than home schooling ever could.
I will pray that the government in Germany realizes their mistake before more damage is done to innocent and caring families whose interest in their children's education is of such great importance.
Lyndonville, NY, USA
Thank you for your stand on this case of homeschooling in Germany. Someone or some organization needed to let their voice be heard regarding this tragic situation. I homeschool my two children in Ontario, Canada and have great freedom to do so and am so thankful for this freedom.
The German authorities scare me! In Ontario if you are providing adequate education to your children than there are no questions asked. It is a right and a freedom. I question myself so much on how well I am teaching them and whether they should go to school this year etc. I am my greatest critic. I have principals and teachers in my family that greatly respect this educational system and love their grandchildren just the way they are and enjoy very much to be around them. They feel that it is our family, our business and our decision. They watch us, help us and share their opinions which we appreciate so much. But we feel alot of freedom
The German policy on this issue is "insane" in my view. They are controlling their society to the extreme and I wonder in what other areas this need to control may they spread. Who the heck do they think they are? I am very troubled by this situation and can assure you that the family will never forget it and it will shape Melissa's for life forever. Germany is not acting like "a cradle" nation that protects it's children but instead it polices them and the government's policies will drive people out of this great nation. I am very sad after reading this story. Unfortunately, I do think of the Nazi era after reading this story and wonder what lessons have been learned from the past ?
Thanks for your courage and your great sense of sound judgement!
May you have alot of support . I am one of your supporters over-seas.
Port Rowan, Ontario, Canada
Da ich selbst Deutsche bin und meine 2 Kinder in Phoenix seit 8 Jahren mit Erfolg unterrichte, bin ich von den gewaltsamen und ungerechten Massnahmen in Deutschland seit 2 Jahren zutiefst getroffen.
Es ist sehr schade mitanzusehen, wie die Oeffentlichkeit (Polizei, Gericht, Schulwesen) sich auf opferbereite Eltern stuerzt, die sich fuer eine positive Erziehung ihrer Kinder einsetzen und ihrem Kind die besten Ausbildungsmoeglichkeiten bieten wollen, um das Kind so normal und gesund wie moeglich aufwachsen zu lassen. Es ist bitter mitanzusehen und unbegreifbar, dass die Polizei, das Schulsystem und das Gericht unberuehrt bleiben, wenn es sich um Drogen und Alkoholmissbrauch, Gewalttaten, und psychischen Druck in den Schulen handelt und niemals irgend eine Familie in einer derartig grausamen Weise zur Rechenschaft gezogen wird (Ich bin aus Heidenheim an der Brenz, in der Mordtaten zunahmen). Muessen sich da nicht die Verantwortlichen fragen, welche Art von Staatsbuergern sie in ihrem zukuenftigen Land haben wollen: verantwortungsbewusste, sozialengagierte, gottesfuerchtige Menschen oder oberflaechliche, egoistische, respektlose Einzelwesen?
Bevor weitere Zugriffe dieser Art auf aufopfernde Eltern niedergehen, moechte ich all denen, die einen Einblick in homeshooling bekommen wollen folgenden Vorschlag machen:
Hiermit lade ich alle Politiker, Polizisten, Richter, Schullehrer, und sonstige Interessierte. herzlich zu uns ein, einen Homeschooltag bei uns mitzuerleben, bevor sie ohne Wissen eine Familie und einen Menschen zerstoeren, fuer den es, Gott weiss es, einen guten alternative Weg zu Persoenlichkeitsbildung und Schulausbildung gibt. Die Schule als Institution ist nicht fuer alle geschaffen und wird nicht jedem Kind gerecht, da wir Menschen unterschiedlche Individuen sind, mit unterschiedlichen Ansspruechen, Lernwegen und Lernfaehigkeiten.
Damit sich der Weg/Flug lohnt, hier kurz ein Ueberblick ueber die Bildung meiner Kinder in der 8. und 10. Klasse:
Beide sprechen und schreiben fliessend Deutsch und Englisch, ausserdem erhielten sie seit 4 Jahren Privatunterrricht in Franzoesisch. Zusaetzlich wurden alle Hauptfaecher wie Mathematik, Wissenschaft (Biologie, Chemie, Physik), Geschichte und Geographie unterrichtet. Sie erlernten und spielen Klavier (Stufe 7 und 8), Trompete und Zugposaune, Sopran und Altblockfloete und sind mit allen Instrumenten oeffentlichaufgetreten. Beide sind in unterschiedlichen Schulbands und im Kirchenorchester, ausserdem seit Jahren im Glockenchor der Kirche. Sport umfasste: Fussball, Basketball, Volleyball, Eislaufen, Schifahren, Badminton, Yoga, Skigymanstik, Schwimmen und Gruppensport. Kunstunterricht wurde ebenfalls jedes Jahr unterrichtet. Beide Kinder sind aktive Mitglieder in der Kirche, die die Kirche in Ihren vielfaeltigen Aufgaben unterstuetzen. Sie haben bei verschiedenen Institutionen mitgeholfen, die sich um einkommensschwache Familien oder Obdachlose bemuehen (Essen kochen, Essen sortieren, Essen austeilen, Spielzeug ausgabe).
Die jaehrlichen staatlichen Tests, die wir freiwillig durchfuehren, fielen immer zwischen 95% und 99% aus. Alle Buecher, Unterlagen, Kurse und Tests wurden von uns komplett seit 8 Jahren selbst bezahlt und wir erhielten dafuer keinerlei staatliche Unterstuetzung.
Glauben Sie nicht, dass ich diese Aufgabe hier im Ausland leichten Herzens uebernommen habe. Das war ein langeuberlegter Gedanke, eine Herausforderung mit der ich nicht gerechnet habe, die meine Kinder an mich stellten und die mich meine gesamte freie, persoenliche Zeit in den vergangenen 8 Jahren gekostet hat. Ich hoffe, dass diese investierte Zeit sinnvoll von mir geplant und ausgefuehrt wurde, damit aus meinen Kindern zufriedene, einsatzbereite, verantwortungsbewusste, positive rechtschaffene, christliche Menschen werden, auf die sich ein Staat stuetzen und stolz sein kann.
Phoenix, AZ 85044 USA
Research supports home learning as a viable and perhaps preferred option to public education. Please do your research as opposed to making cruel and uniformed choices regarding the youth of your country.
With great concern,
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC Canada
As an American citizen who is of German descent I am appalled at what is happening to Melissa Busekros. I have 30+ years of working with children and teens who have various learning disabilities, phobias, etc. To take a child from their family in the absence of physical, emotional or sexual abuse is traumatizing to that child. Family Court, and the Child Psychiatry Unit of the Nuremberg Clinic have now created a host of psychological problems with this young girl. I am proud of German ancestry. We have German college students frequently to our home. I listen to them about the guilt and shame they unfortunately carry about what Germany did during WWII. I encourage them to be proud of their country. Then I read something like this and I wonder as this news gets out if the people of Germany realize by allowing a judge, social workers, and a psychiatrist to make a barbaric decision such as this…what it does to the image of Germany in the world’s eyes.
This is not psychiatry, and it is not befitting the entire field of social work. What are the standards of practice for psychiatrists, and social workers in Germany? Will this lack of professional training, and judgment be reported to the appropriate medical boards, and licensing boards in Germany? Even the most severely mentally ill adults and children are not treated this way in many countries. Will these "profesionals", and I use that word loosely be sanctioned? These kind of actions will only set the mental health field in Germany back,increase distrust, and suspicion for the people of Germany of mental health professionals. Their actions have just made it more difficult for those who are in domestic violence, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse families...to seek help. How can this be allowed?
I am personally contacting officials in our country’s senate and House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. to contact the U.N., and hopefully to use influence to right this grievous wrong. I am also contacting people I know who have relationship with government officials in England, and ask for help in intervening.
This course of action, unless there is substantiated sexual, physical or emotional abuse will only cause more problems that this young girl has now! I do hope there is a system in Germany that will result in the parents being able to file a malpractice suit so they can collect damages for harm caused to their daughter, and the family. It will be costly to this family and their daughter to now get the needed help to repair the trauma caused by a system that is supposed to help.
I hope you will be able to motivate people to take steps of change. This will only bring shame to a country such as Germany in the world’s eyes. It will only fan beliefs that are underneath the surface that Germans are like the evil of one man during those years of WWII. Unfortunately these actions are way too similar to tactics that wounded many people. I know this is not reflective of Germans as a whole…but not every one sees people in that way.
I hope you are able to make a difference.
Dr. Earl R. Henslin
Earl R. Henslin Psy.D., B.C.E.T.S.
Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress
Diplomate in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress