Perhaps the greatest failure of the German Federal Judiciary

Anyone who watches the TV series “Glauben” until the end will shake their head in disbelief and inevitably ask themselves if all this isn’t just a fantasy after all. But no, “Glauben” is actually based on real events, in a court case that ruined the lives of dozens of people and went down in legal history as perhaps the greatest failure of the German judiciary.

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“The essence of these actions has been the failure of all social and legal institutions, the press and the public,” says lawyer and author Ferdinand von Scherach, who is behind the series (Fox, starting Wednesday, December 1, 8:15 p.m., as well as the broadcast service RTL+). Believe is working on so-called worm experiments. With fictitious characters, but close to the events that shocked Germany in the 1990s – first because the crimes with which the accused was accused seemed so outrageous, and finally because it turned out that these crimes were not presented at all.

At the time, 25 men and women were charged in three operations. They are said to have sexually abused 16 children, including children, together. According to the allegations, the defendants were said to have filmed their actions, at the time when there was talk of a pornographic episode.

How do we explain the scandal?

Trials lasted from 1995 to 1997, many of the defendants were imprisoned for two years, even one of the alleged perpetrators died during this period – she collapsed in the courtroom and died the next day. And in the end it was clear: “This is what Chief Justice Hans Lorenz said at the beginning of his verdict in the third session of the trials. We have to apologize to all the defendants whose long ordeal is coming to an end.”

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How can the German judiciary have charged 25 absolutely innocent people with the most heinous acts and detained them – for a crime that never happened? The impetus for these actions was a custody battle between two parents who wanted to obtain a divorce. At one point there was an allegation of sexual abuse, authorities investigated – and came across more and more children allegedly abused. Although they reported the violations, but only after they were properly interrogated by investigators. The questions asked of them were suggestive, and the children were rhetorically trapped in admitting something that never happened.

Broken families, destroyed livelihoods, financial hardship

Added to this is a complete failure to eliminate. A child was allegedly abused, even though he had not been born at the time of the crime. The purported evidence was discarded by experts, and pediatricians found traces that weren’t even there.

Judge Lorenz summarized the trials at Deutsche Richterzeitung in 1999: “Many of the defendants had been in custody for nearly two years, their children in homes.” “Destroyed families, destroyed livelihoods, material hardships, children believed to have been sexually abused, some still detained, and parents fighting an often desperate battle to regain their lost honour.”

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Read more after the announcement

During the trial, the victims of the alleged abuse were housed in homes. The long separation from their parents led to the destruction of many families and the breakup of marriages. Some of the children lived in a house with the sympathetic name “Spatzenest”. Its founder and director was sentenced to six years in prison in 2011: he sexually assaulted several of his subjects.

RND / Teleshow

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