Abuse also at private elite school

More and more findings about past abuse in German schools come to light. Sexual assaults also took place at a private school in Hesse. On her own website, the principal of the Odenwald School in Heppenheim admits to years of abuse of charges by educators.

School principal Margarita Kaufmann told the newspaper, "It is a fact for me that sexual abuse has taken place here at least since 1971."The paper wrote that former students reported they were regularly awakened by teachers fondling their genitals and assigned as "sexual service providers" for entire weekends and forced to perform oral sex. Individual educators had left students to their guests for sexual abuse. Teachers would have beaten protected children, supplied them with drugs and alcohol, or failed to intervene in the communal abuse of a girl. As early as 1998, cases were announced According to the school's website, the first accusations against long-time principal Gerold Becker, who led the school from 1971 to 1985, were made as early as 1998. But at the time, the acts had already been barred by the statute of limitations. Kaufmann told the newspaper, "It was an understatement and a gross mistake that the school did not investigate at the time." She herself had been approached again last year by former students who feared the school would again shirk its responsibilities during the 100th anniversary celebration in April 2010. As a result, he says, she had several conversations with ex-students, which gave her a glimpse of the true extent of the scandal. She said she ames at least three teachers were guilty of sexual assaults. From witnesses it had heard the names of 20 victims. According to a report in the "Frankfurter Rundschau", the old school students concerned ame that there were 50 to 100 victims of abuse. According to the school's own statements, it was founded by reform pedagogues and has had a number of prominent students, including former BDI boss Tyll Necker, writer Klaus Mann, Green Party politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit and a son of former German President Richard von Weizsacker.

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Christina Cherry
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