Documentary “Lügde’s Children

DrThe name of the small town of Lügde on the border with Lower Saxony in North Rhine-Westphalia has become synonymous with one of the largest and most heinous cases of child abuse in Germany in recent history. For many years, Andreas F. and Mario S. were raped. More than thirty children in a camp in Logde. In September 2019, the Detmold District Court sentenced the two men to thirteen and twelve years in prison, followed by remand. The educational work was far from over. Because “Lügde” is also one of the biggest official failures of recent times. Although many departments had troubling findings about Andreas F. early on, he and his friend Mario S. From switching, ruling and raping without disturbing for a long time. Among other things, the Libby County Sheriff’s Office has not pursued several indications of a primary culprit since 2016; There were also serious wrong decisions and omissions at the two youth welfare offices dealing with the case in Hameln in Lower Saxony and Detmold in North Rhine-Westphalia.

At the beginning of 2017, F. From the ground at the camp site “Eichwald”. These circumstances alone make it clear: it was the duty of the youth welfare offices to monitor V. But this did not happen. V. managed to use his adopted daughter as a “decoy” for several months in order to get access to more children.

Inspired by the documentary: After sentencing the perpetrators, the judge seeks to have a conversation with some of the children.

Inspired by the documentary: After sentencing the perpetrators, the judge seeks to have a conversation with some of the children.

Photo: Mona Eng and Michael Meisner/ZDF

Special interest channel ZDFinfo set itself the task of showing the scandal in as many of its terrible sides as possible. “Lügde’s Children – Everybody Looks Away” is the name of a documentary series produced by Spiegel-TV consisting of four films of 41-46 minutes in length, which can be seen respectively in the linear program on Fridays from 8:15 p.m. The most recommended thing about the Lügde Marathon, however, is to use the media library at your own pace and, if necessary, selectively (the loops are available for two years). If you’re afraid of the long distance, you should at least watch Episodes Three and Four.

Horror is hard to capture in pictures

Capturing Lügde’s horror in television images is a difficult task, even if for reasons of victim protection. For legal reasons, there are also no records of the perpetrators’ interrogations or many witnesses. The four authors of the documentary series try to compensate for this visual deficiency with various tricks. There are (unfortunately always the same) images of drone flights over Lügde or the camp site used, the graphics for key scenes are more convincing, the actors also give sometimes unsympathetic testimonies from youth welfare workers and police officers, and it was part of the camping shed. Made in a studio, where Andreas V. lived, it was recreated. Another trick is to alternately introduce Janet Koenig and Erol Camisley from the “Lippische Landeszeitung” as narrators reporting on their research. On the one hand, it’s convenient, as the two exemplify how important local journalism can be when a seemingly perfect “on-site” scientist comes out of the joint. In the end, however, countless detectives cleared the case – despite all the sometimes glaring mistakes of the police.

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