NewsThu Sep 14, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Germany Uses Nazi Era Law to Imprison Mom for Homeschooling; Family Flees to Austria
By Peter J. Smith
PADERBORN, Germany, September 14, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – German police stormed into the residence of a Christian home schooling family, and arrested a mother for homeschooling her children, an offense established since Nazi Germany. Now the woman’s husband has fled with their children to seek refuge in Austria, which allows homeschooling under certain conditions according to the Brussels Journal.
The Brussels Journal reports that Katherina Plett responded to a knock on the door from an undercover police woman Thursday morning at 11:00PM. Once the Baptist woman opened the door, police officers, hidden outside the house, stormed into her home and arrested her for the crime of homeschooling her children. The female officer insisted that she watch Mrs. Plett as she changed her clothes claiming, “She would arm herself and shoot us all.”
German police then hauled Mrs. Plett off to Gelsenkirchen jail, where she is serving a 10 day prison sentence for exercising her right to be the primary educator of her children.
However, on Monday, Mrs. Plett’s husband gathered their children and fled to Austria, finding asylum at a Christian family center in Wolfgangsee, Austria. Another homeschooling family from Germany has also taken refuge after a Paderborn court ordered the seizure of their children.
The sudden arrest of Katherina Plett has also evoked a growing realization that the ghosts of Nazi Germany have resurged, as German authorities have cracked down on homeschooling families (mostly Christian), who have no intention of letting the German schools indoctrinate their children with anti-Christian values.
In January 2005, a mother and father were each sentenced to six days imprisonment in Westphalia after they refused to pay the fines for having forbidden their children to attend a Christmas school play of Grimm’s fairytale “King Thrushbeard”, which they considered blasphemous.
The arrest of Mrs. Plett came as the latest act in struggle between 7 homeschooling families in Paderborn and the local education board of the county. According to the board’s director, Heinz Kohler, “The parents’ right to personally educate their children would prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society.”
The Paderborn homeschoolers had asked to set up a private school, however the authorities dismissed the proposed compromise as a cover for homeschooling maintaining, “The living room is not a class room.”
Manfred Müller, governor of Paderborn country, has also justified charging homeschoolers with “High Treason,” saying “the obligation to attend school is a civil obligation that cannot be tampered with.”
According to the Brussels Journal, Landrat Müller threatened to charge Hermann Stücher, a 68 year old man giving aid to these families with “High Treason and incitement of the people against the authorities (Hochverrat und Volksverhetzung), the same charge used by Nazis to squelch any resistance to their absolute power. Stücher had called on all Christian parents to withdraw their children from German public schools, which he says are dominated by “neomarxist activists propagating atheist humanism, hedonism, pluralism and materialism.”
The Brussels Journal says Mrs. Plett still suffers imprisonment in Gelsenkirchen jail for advocating her parental right to educate her own children, and remains divided from her family. Mrs. Plett may not understand English, however those who wish to send a letter or postcard of support may contact her here:
Frau Katharina Plett
c/o JVA Gelsenkirchen
Tel.: 0209/ 4021-0
Also, those who wish to respectfully convey their outrage at the totalitarian persecution of Mrs. Plett, her family, and Germany’s homeschoolers may use these contacts to contact German embassies in the US and Canada:
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
The embassy can be e-mailed from its website: http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm
Christian Pauls, Ambassador
German Embassy – Canada
1 Waverley Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0T8
Tel.: 613-232-1101 Fax: 613-594-9330
Email: [email protected]
LifeSite readers may also respectfully voice their protest with the Landrat (Governor) of Paderborn.
Landrat Paderborn: Mr. Manfred Mueller [[email protected]] (county official)
See story on another homeschooling family that fled Germany after the father was jailed:
Home-school family in Germany flees after father jailed By Jean-Baptiste Piggin