I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

21 September 2013

German Homeschooling Case - The Wunderlichs Update

Hibiscus - photo by A or J Stahl
I did want to go ahead and update on the Wunderlich case, which was heard yesterday at the court in Darmstadt. If you have not already seen my first post about the Wunderlichs, you can see that here.

There was to be a rally held by supporters, and from the news I was hearing on the radio; around 30-40 people had come to show their support.

From what I understand, there are more photos at the Wunderlich's support site. There is a less than 2 minute long video from the Hessischer Rundfunk.  It does show the protestors on the Mathildenplatz, and basically shortens the article I've already quoted below to a sound-byte.

Rally photos:

Photo by A.Stahl, Policeman at the court

Photo by A. Stahl, Protesters, take 1

Photo by A. Stahl, Protestors, take 2
The signs say:

  • Homeschool is a human right!
  • We Support the Wunderlichs
  • Be Kind to the Wunderlichs
  • Children belong with their parents; not to the goverment. Let them go.. [can't read the tail end of this one]
  • Please end the nightmare of the Wunderlich Children
  • 2013 = 1938
  • OUR CHILDREN DO NOT BELONG TO THE STATE! (I see two of these) 
  • Children as state's property...[I can't read all of this one sign]
  • Care and raising of children is a natural right of the parents. Grundgesetz Art. 6, Abs.2 [from the German Constitution]
  • [There's a lady in a shirt that is turned, I can't see all of it]
  • Homeschooling instead of educational socialism and nationalization of children!
  • Good Government Don't [can't see the rest of it]

This letter is not yet translated from the Wunderlich's page, so I will go ahead and translate for those who are following the blog, but do not speak German:

 Plea from the Wunderlichs

Dear friends and acquaintances,

Thursday, 19 September (at 13.30 hours) in Darmstadt, we have our first closed session social services summary proceedings hearing about our four children who were taken into [child protective services] care.

We would be happy if this information would be disseminated and on that day many supporters show up [outside the court]. In front of the District Court, on the Mathildenplatz, is a 50 × 150m wide public park, which is ideal [for supporters] to show thir banners.  Normally such negotiations are not public, but this can change. The more support, the better.

As we had already thought, it took the child service office a few days, to send us a bill of costs for residential care. So, it turns out that it costs 4,939.00€ per child, per month. The State always tries to recover all the costs from the the parents. (Of course one must pay these in installments) In this manner, social services takes families like us in their sights to destroy. If we are lucky and our children are returned to us on the 19th of  September, we will still have 13,829.20€ to pay for the residential care [of our children]. This is also a scandal.

Dirk and Petra Wunderlich

News I found prior to the hearing:
The case of the Wunderlich family (see the coverage in Der Spiegel with over 300 comments in the FAZ and in Der Welt) has occupied me as a Swiss father and home schooling in recent days. Also, Die Freie Welt, Idea, katholisches and have also reported [on the story]...
Die Freie Welt: Homeschooling – der Litmus-Test für Demokratie [Homeschooling -- the Litmus Test for Democracy]

News about the hearing:

The four children of Christian home-school parents were... allowed to return to their family ... The parents ... want to send their children to school in the future. They had previously forbidden their offspring for religious reasons and taught the children themselves instead. ...the authorities ... put [the children] into state custody. Before the family court, the parents had, however, shown discernment and agreed to regular instruction, said a court spokesman...Deutsche Evangelische Allianz e. V. - Deutschland: Hausschulkinder sind wieder daheim [Germany: Homeschool kids are back at home]
 Strictly religious parents ... have recovered their four children back from state custody. They would have shown on the Thursday before the family court in Darmstadt discernment and agreed to their children's schooling ... Their lawyer had announced a give in shortly before the hearing.
Focus Online: Schulbesuch verweigert: Eltern haben ihre vier Kinder wieder [Homeschool Parents have their four children returned to them]
...In the vicinity of the court, a group of about 20 adults and almost 15 children had gathered at the start of the hearing. The protesters are like the parents, and criticized compulsory education in Germany harshly...
HR Online: Familiengericht entscheidet - Schulverweigerer-Kinder dürfen heim
[Family court decision: Homeschool children allowed home again]

* Please note that I am only allowed to quote so much of these articles, even with translating them into English. You can get the gist of most of the story by using It is not always ideal to do it this way, but if you haven't any knowledge in the language referenced, it's a start and it's better than being completely in the dark.