By Peter J. Smith

Melissa BusekrosERLANGEN, Germany, April 30, 2007 ( – German authorities have decided to leave 16 year old German homeschooler Melissa Busekros and her family in peace for now reports the International Human Rights Group (IHRG).

  In a letter to the family’s attorney, the Erlangen Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office), which was responsible for seizing Melissa from her home in February – affirmed that they were going to “de-escalate” the situation and allow Melissa to remain with her family as long as the Busekros family would continue to dialogue with the authorities.
“This is a great victory for the Busekros family, but the situation is not completely resolved,” said Joel Thornton, president of the IHRG. “We are considering it a significant half-time lead, but not the final win.”
  Last Monday, Melissa Busekros decided on her own initiative to return to her family on her 16th birthday making a daring trip in the dead of night and arriving on her doorstep at 3AM. Under German law, Melissa Busekros is entitled to far more rights after turning 16, allowing her to determine her own custody and freely choose to live with her family. (

  Although Hubert and Gundrun Busekros are relieved that the Government may finally leave them and their daughter in peace, IHRG reports that threats of state action still remain over their heads. While the Erlangen Jugendamt may finally have decided to save face on the situation, the fact is the Busekros family received nearly identical assurances in the past. The Judgendamt – an organisation created by Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler in 1939 to enforce his 1937 ban on home schooling and to control families politically – made similar statements before it plunged the Busekroses into a nightmare stretching across 3 months that began when police officers whisked away their daughter in a dramatic raid.  

  Moreover, an activist court may take action on the basis of two conflicting psychiatric evaluations of Melissa Busekros and her “school phobia.” Prior to Melissa’s arrest, a state-appointed psychiatrist gave her a poor evaluation judging her to suffer “school phobia.” Afterwards, a positive evaluation was performed by a psychologist at the clinic where she was being held by German authorities.

  Although neither of the two evaluations on record give the Jugendamt the legal authority to seize Melissa, the Busekros’ attorney Dr. Hildebrant has already asked a higher German court to recognize the findings of the new evaluation and remove any basis for seizing Melissa again.

“The bigger battle is to continue to pray for and support this family so the government does not come back in and take her back,” Thornton previously told “We don’t want this to become a half-time moment, where everyone takes a breath and we start all over again.”

  Melissa Busekros’ violent seizure from her family by police forces in February for the crime of home schooling brought greater international attention to the plight of Germany’s persecution of home schooling families. Many of these families still face enormous persecution including punishing fines and loss of custody of their children by German authorities.

  To contact the mayor of Erlangen:
  Mayor of the Town of Erlangen
  Dr. Siegfried Balleis
  Rathausplatz 1
  91052 Erlangen
  Fon: +49 [0] 9131 86-0
  Fax: +49 [0] 9131 86-26 92
  Mail: [email protected]

  To write the Busekros family:

  Busekros Family
  Schallershofer Straße 72a
  D-91056 Erlangen

  To contact the German embassies in Canada and the United States:
  In Canada:

  German Embassy
  1 Waverley Street
  Ottawa, ON, K2P 0T8
  Tel.: 613-232-1101 Fax: 613-594-9330
  Email: [email protected]  

  In the US:

  German Embassy
  4645 Reservoir Road NW
  Washington, DC, 20007-1998
  (202) 298-4000
  The embassy can be e-mailed from its website:

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