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9/22/2006 7:55:12 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Urgent! UPDATE--Calls Needed to the German Embassy Next Week

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Urgent! Calls Needed to the German Embassy Next Week
(Updated with Contact Info for the German Embassy)

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The German government is persecuting homeschoolers like never before.
Armin Eckermann, president of Schulunterricht zu Hause (School
Instruction at Home--SIH), the homeschool legal defense association of

Germany, states that there are over 40 homeschool families in court in

Germany!

The families are being heavily fined; the parents are being jailed;
the children are being threatened with being seized and placed in the
custody of the state; and families are being forced to flee to Austria

and other surrounding countries.

Here are a few current and frightening situations:

1) The Rudolph family: They are diligently homeschooling their six
children in Hamburg. The father, Andre, was jailed for a week for
refusing to send his children to public school. Like many of the
homeschool families in Germany, they are evangelicals. What is even
more surprising about Andre Rudolph being put in jail for
homeschooling is that he has a degree in teaching! He and his wife
have been fined 840 euros ($1,090) for homeschooling.

After Andre's jail time the authorities tried a new weapon and began
to forcibly take the children to public school each day. Their plan
was take custody of these six children and make them wards of the
state.

One day, however, the authorities came to take the children to school,

but no one answered the door. The Rudolphs fled to another country in
order to homeschool their children according to God's ways.

2) The Plett family: If you recall, last year we asked you to pray
and contact the embassy about the seven Baptist homeschool families of

Paderborn. One of the families, the Pletts, have continued to
homeschool their 12 children. Last week, a female plainclothes police
officer rang at the Platt's house. When the mother opened the door,
other police officers who were hiding in the bushes forced their way
in. The mother was able to inform her husband by cell phone before the

police took her to jail. The husband then fled to Austria with the
children. She was given a 10-day prison sentence and is facing heavy
fines and more jail time.

Of the seven Paderborn homeschool families from last year, two have
fled to Austria and five have enrolled in a Christian school in
Heidelburg. They all still have pending cases against them.

3) Three homeschool families from Saxony have been taken to court and
convicted. One was fined 3,000 euros, one 6,000 euros, and another
10,000 euros.

4) The Bauer family: This family was prosecuted about five years ago
and have exhausted their appeals and have sought review by the Human
Rights European Court that covers all of Europe.

There are now eight cases pending before the European Court, most of
which the SIH organization has brought, along with Ronald Richert, a
renown Constitutional law attorney who has handled some of the SIH
members' cases. The problem with the European Court, is that it all
cases are discretionary: there is no right of appeal. If the Court
decides not to rule on them, the case will not be heard. Another
problem is the Court has no particular deadline of when they have to
decide to take the case or not, so some of these cases have been
sitting for three to four years, with no resolution in sight.

5) The Herrmann family: This family from Baden-Wurttemberg was facing
prosecution for homeschooling their twins who have many medical
problems. They have been forced into hiding and are seeking asylum in
the United States and other countries.

The Maisch family, also from Baden-Wurtemberg, has been convicted of
homeschooling. For the past three weeks they have faced increasing
fines.

Schulunterricht zu Hause (SIH), the legal association that HSLDA
helped establish, is being worn out with defending all these families
in court. They have approximately 150 members in their association
that are all homeschool families, many of whom are underground, and
almost 40 in court.

Appeals have been exhausted time and time again, and money is running
out. The German homeschool families are pleading for your help.

Will you take a moment and contact the German Embassy?

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please contact the German Embassy and give them this message:

"German governments need to make homeschooling legal. Over 40 families

are being prosecuted in Germany merely for teaching their children at
home. These families have been given huge fines, some parents have
been jailed, some have been forced to flee to other countries, and
they are all being threatened to take their children into state
custody. This is deplorable and unacceptable for any free nation to
persecute Christian families who are providing an excellent education
for their children. We ask you to stop prosecuting these families like

the Maisches, the Pletts, the Bauers, the Rudolphs, and the many
others. Homeschooling needs to be legalized in Germany."

This message can be put in your own words, along with a story or
information about the success of your own homeschool.

The German Embassy can be contacted at:

Dr. Klaus Scharioth
Ambassador
German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
(202) 298-4000

The embassy can be e-mailed from its website:
http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm

2. If you want to support homeschoolers in other countries--and causes

such as Schulunterricht zu Hause in Germany--you can make a donation
to the Home School Foundation's international fund. For more
information visit http://www.homeschoolfoundation.org/ .

3. Please pray fervently for these poor families facing incredible
pressure and fear.

We cannot give up. Our brothers and sisters in Germany need us and
have their back against the wall.

BACKGROUND

Homeschooling in Germany has been illegal in Germany for a long time.
In fact, according to some newspaper accounts it has been illegal
since Hitler banned it in 1938. Five years ago we helped establish
Schulunterricht zu Hause as a way for Germans to receive some legal
defense. However, even though the determined lawyers defending the
families have worked for free and many attempts have been made to
battle to make it legal, homeschooling is still outlawed.

We have had tremendous success in many countries in the past to
influence their parliaments to legalize homeschooling and even release

people from jail. When Americans and homeschoolers in other countries
have contacted the German Embassy, officials there have communicated
the thousands of calls back to their national government and it makes
a difference, even in policy considerations.

We have been successful in help legalizing homeschooling in South
Africa and Romania and in stopping bad legislation that would destroy
homeschool freedoms in Ireland, Australia, Czech Republic, and other
countries.

Thank you and God bless you for your willingness to make a difference.


Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel
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