Sunday, June 14, 2009

„Ehemalige Heimkinder“ – UNSERE GEMEINSAME SACHE in Englisch, damit auch der Rest der Welt endlich genau darüber Bescheid weiß

Im Forum »Politics.ie« [ in Irland ] @ http://www.politics.ie/foreign-affairs/73801-german-association-former-childrens-home-residents-demand-25-billion-euro.html

Martin Mitchell – verfaßt Sonntag, 14. Juni 2009, um 07:36 Uhr ( in Dublin, Irland )

Former Children's Home Residents in Germany demand 25 billion euro in compensation

The German Association of former Children's Home Residents demand 25 billion euro in compensation

Heimkinder fordern 25 Milliarden Euro hpd [ @
Heimkinder fordern 25 Milliarden Euro hpd ]

( Translated from the German press release of Humanist Press Service - hpd - "Menschenrechtsverletzungen" = Human Rights Abuses, dated 2 June 2009, 07:42, Nr. 7315 )

( This is a combined effort of several different translators from amongst the victims themselves - and this English version has also been somewhat expanded upon in comparison to the original German version. )

MAINZ Germany ( hpd ). In preparation for the third session of the »Round Table on "Childwelfare in Residential Institutions [ restricted per government edict to ! ] between 1950-1969"« [ 'Jugendwohlfahrt' / 'Fürsorgeerziehung' / 'Freiwillige Erziehungshilfe' ]«, to be held on 15 and 16 June 2009 in Berlin, the Association of former Children's Home Residents ( VEH ) have set out their political and legal demands.

At the General Meeting of the association in Mainz over the weekend [ 30.05.2009 ], a motion demanding, amongst other things, the creation of a compensation fund of 25 billion Euro was overwhelmingly passed. In addition, the former children's home residents are demanding immediate social security payments taking account of and calculated upon the years of forced labour they [ in clear breach of international law ! ] as institutionalised minors had to perform [ often for years on end and under atrocious, inhumane and often dangerous conditions ! ], and an immediate improvement in the conditions under which treatment is available to the victims for the traumas suffered by many former residents at the time and as a direct cause of the abuse and ongoing ever since.

Experts speak of »a systematic violation of human rights in "residential childwelfare institutions"« in the then "West Germany" in the fifties and sixties [ actually beginning immediately after 1945 and lasting uninterrupted until about 1985 ! ], especially in Catholic and Lutheran institutions in "West Germany". In Ireland and Canada, the complaints of former residents of these selfsame institutions have already led to compensation claims [ and actual payouts ] reaching into the billions.

The German victims’ association, ie. the VEH's legal advisor, Gerrit Wilmans [ of the law firm Vehlow & Wilmans ( Hamburg ) *** ], explains the reasoning behind the compensation demands in Germany: "These demands, though they may seem quite large at first sight, in view of the large number of people affected – the total number of claimants – and the seriousness of the violations and the damages suffered by the victims, which have adversely affected their entire lives, are rather modest. By international standards the demands made are within the normal range in relation to other known individual claims." Monika Tschapek-Güntner, newly elected chairperson of the victims’ association, tells us: "No distinction should be made as to whether this appalling abuse of children and young people was committed in Ireland, Canada or Germany. Any such acts were unworthy of any civilised country and society and should be compensated equally, no matter where they occurred."

The churches should not be allowed to shirk their responsibility !

The executive of the VEH clarified that the full compensation should not be born mainly by the taxpayer. Though the State has badly "failed in its duty of care" towards the victims as "wards of the state" the primary responsibility lays fairly and squarely with the church’s institutional-management of the church organizations and religious orders and with the agricultural and industrial and the domestic and laundry service-provider-conglomerates that profited from the forced labour of children's home residents. The chairperson of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, Herbert Steffen, who led the General Meeting [ on 30.05.2009 in Mainz ], put it as follows: "The churches and their 'voluntary' organisations have received billions of Euros from tax payers over the last few decades. They are proven owners of colossal assets. It would be a scandal, if they were to shirk their responsibility! They are required now to do everything they can to compensate for what happened to these children's home residents whilst in their care."

"A clear signal to the »Round Table«"

The executive of the VEH look forward to the next meeting of the »Round Table on "Childwelfare in Residential Institutions [ restricted per government edict to ! ] between 1950-1969"«, which will be looking at the question of compensation for the first time. "With the clear support of the General Meeting, we have sent an unmistakable signal to the »Round Table«, and now expect that the »Round Table« begin serious negotiation with ourselves and our legal advisors on compensation for former residents", declared VEH's chairperson, Tschapek-Güntner. Sharp criticism was expressed on the behaviour and attidude of the president of the »Round Table«, Antje Vollmer, who [ at the last hearing on 2 and 3 April 2009 ] had refused to admit into the hearings of the »Round Table« the newly elected delegates of the VEH or their legal representatives ( reports hpd ). In cooperation of the Giordano Bruno Foundation, the VEH now intends to exert greater pressure on the »Round Table« in an attempt to make progress in negotiations on compensation funding. The advanced age and the acute need for treatment of the many of the affected makes any delay in these matters totally unacceptable.

On this subject, see also previous reports of hpd ( "Ehemalige Heimkinder düpiert" = "Former residents duped" ), ( "Kindesmissbrauch in Irland. Und Deutschland?" = "Child abuse in Ireland. And Germany?" ), as well as the original documents "Resolution of the Association" and "Notice of Demand" attached to this hpd Press Release @
http://hpd.de/files/Antrag_VEH.pdf and @ http://hpd.de/files/PMVEH0609.pdf [ for those who are fluent in German ].

*** Our legal representatives are the German human rights lawyer Michael Witti in Munich ( Tel.: +49 089/38157075 ) and the law firm Dr. Vehlow and Wilmans in Hamburg ( Tel.: +49 040/65055179 - contact person: Gerrit Wilmans ), and all »victims of this postwar West German institutional child abuse and FORCED LABOUR in institutional care« who are today resident in foreign lands should contact these lawyers immediately. and all »victims of this postwar West German institutional child abuse and FORCED LABOR in institutional care« who are today resident in foreign lands should contact these lawyers immediately.

These highly professional and highly tenacious and dedicated legal eagles with close links also to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and THEIR legal fraternity have been retained by the German victims’ association to represent victims' interests GLOBALLY ( wherever these victims may now be resident ! ) on a "no win, no pay" basis so that they currently work for their clientele "pro bono" and entirely "free of charge".

I hope that our supporter »aggressivesecularist« won't mind my / our trying to improve upon his translation and the slight expansion we have allowed ourselves ( it was a huge task and quite difficult job for us all ).

PS. When first trying to register as a user in this forum I had difficulty understanding what was required of me with regard to the question: "Who is the Taoiseach?" Not being a Gaelic speaker myself, I just couldn't understand what was being required of me. I took me quite a while to work it out.

http://www.veh-ev.info/ , http://www.care-leavers-survivors.org/ , http://www.heimkinder-ueberlebende.org/ , http://www.heimkinderopfer.blogspot.com/ , http://www.vehlow-wilmans.de/Heimkinder.html , http://www.vehlow-wilmans.de/FragebogenzumHeimaufenthalt.html

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