Mother jailed for breaking Nazi Law: teaching her children

Last Thursday the German police arrested Katharina Plett, a homeschooling mother of twelve. Yesterday her husband fled to Austria with the children. Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since Hitler banned it in 1938.  

The Plett family belongs to a homeschooling group of seven Christian families in Paderborn.

The Catholic website and the Brussels Journal, thus far the only media to carry the story, reported that a female plain-clothes police officer rang at Katharina Plett’s house on Thursday around 11:00 am. When she opened the door other police officers, who had hidden themselves, forced their way in.

Mrs Plett was allowed to change, but a police officer followed her into her bedroom in case “she would arm herself and shoot us all”. The woman was able to inform her husband by mobile phone before the police brought her to Bielefeld.

The authorities later informed her husband that she has been imprisoned in Gelsenkirchen. Apparently she has been given a ten day prison sentence. When Sedlaczek rang the Gelsenkirchen prison authorities to get confirmation of Katharina Plett’s whereabouts, he was told that no information would be given. A written request for information has so far not been answered either.

While it is chillig to the marrow that German policey on education and the basic rights of families are still literally Facist, equally appalling is that the German mainstream media have not written anything about this case.

Yesterday, Katharina’s husband fled with their children to a Christian family center in Wolfgangsee in Austria. A homeschooling couple from Hamburg has also fled to Wolfgangsee. Their case was covered by the media.

In Austria parents are entitled to homeschool during a one year trial period, after which the authorities decide whether the parents are allowed to continue homeschooling or not.


7 thoughts on “Mother jailed for breaking Nazi Law: teaching her children

  1. German education and family policy might not be the best, but compared to what your country accomplishes in this field we are still doing a good job!

  2. I think what is at issue here is not the merits of state education, but rather, does the state have the right to tell parents how to bring up their children?

    Who’s kids are they anyway?

    And far from being nazi-obsessed, I think it is a terrible law that controls personal freedom and the institution of the family. It begs the question – why is this law still there?

  3. if the merits of state education is not at issue her, why bother and write that “German policy on education and the basic rights of the family are still literally Facsist”. What’s the point of this?

  4. As I said, becasue it begs the question – Why is this law still there?

    Presumably the German government’s social policey isn’t meant to be a hold over from the Nazis, so why has this law been left in place?

    It is demonstrably facist, as was it enforcement on this poor mother. Facism wasn’t started by the Nazi’s and no one is obsessed, it’s just calling a spade a spade.

  5. 1) Nazi-law has been fully abrogated by the German constitution. If this law still exists then this must be because it it was found reasonable.
    –> it is certainly not a Nazi-law (although I can see that from a journalitic standpoint your version sounds better)

    2) Compulsory education/schooling is not completely unreasonable. The problem with home schooling is how do you controll standards? How can you guarantee a certain teaching quality?
    Education in Germany is subject to the federal states (counties, or “Laender” as we call them). This means that such a law by the German government is not likely to exist in a binding manner, anyway.

    3) The German education/school system is -unlike the English or American one- quite ok. As a Catholic who supports the German (well, Bavarian) conservative party -which btw very much fosters the autonomy of parents re the way they want to bring up their children- I cannot see a reason for homeschooling. We have few of the problems British schools might have (good teaching standards (we teach grammar!), less violence, no fees, much less PC-obsession etc). This might be different in other parts of Germany (because of the different systems and legislation), but in general I’d say, it’s ok.
    (I would probably prefer homeschooling was I to bring up my children in a different country)

    4) There are still possibilities for homeschooling, it just means you have to fight German bureaucracy 😉 As you can see, there are not many cases anyway. So few, that the newspapers don’t report them.

  6. Access to public schooling is the right of all people, not the obligation. I am NOT in anyway saying German education is sub-standard, but it is not the place of the state to determine what children need to know/think/do/eat or say.

    It is the obligation of the parent to act as final moderator of everything there children come into contact with. Yes, if German education is up to the stadards you say it is, then children OUGHT to go to school and there should be no need for them to be home schooled.

    My point is: it is not the place of the state to over-rule parents. Parents do not need to justify how they teach their children to anyone, least of all to a bureaucracy.

  7. Pingback: Nazi law sees children dragged from home « The Recusant Cricket Club

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