Religious sisters in Speyer apparently abandoned children in the home to several clergymen for sexual abuse over the years. Perhaps it is even a matter of murder to cover up the scandal, as a verdict of the Social Court of Darmstadt shows.
The scandal had kicked off the Speyerer bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann on Thursday with an interview in his church newspaper, in which he ames that the former vicar general and Offizial Rudolf Motzenbacker was guilty of abuse.
The Darmstadt verdict from May describes over many pages the dramatic childhood of a Mainz native from precarious circumstances, born in 1957, who after various stations finally ended up at the Speyer children's home of the Niederbronn sisters at the age of five and a half. He calls the time in Engelsgasse a "time of constant abuse". Extrapolated 1.000 times he had been raped.
Systematic abuse began at the age of ten
According to the accounts, the systematic abuse began at the age of ten or eleven, when he was an altar boy in the imperial cathedral. The priest described in the verdict as the main perpetrator, by whom Motzenbacker is probably meant, who was also his confessor, had repeatedly taken him to his apartment and had penetrated him anally and orally there. He had to kneel on a kneeler so that the prelate could more easily perform sexual acts on him.
Once or twice a month he had to visit the priest. As a pretext for encounters, for example, help in the garden had to be used. The nuns had "really dragged" him to the meetings. Sometimes, according to the verdict, other priests also joined in; once three clergymen abused him at once. During these "sex games" there had been multiple and simultaneous sexual intercourse with him. In addition, the victim also reported psychological and physical abuse, such as being locked up in a cold cellar and being beaten, during an expert interview. The nuns would have "hit with everything" they could get their hands on. This had occurred mainly before and after rapes.
Gang rapes every three to four months
Friends and politicians also came to so-called sex parties, which took place every three to four months – between three and seven men between 40 and 60 years of age. During these "gang rapes", other boys and girls were also present. Literally the description reproduced in the judgement: "There had been a room in which the nuns had served the gentlemen with drinks and food, in the other corner the children had been raped. The nuns would have earned from it. The gentlemen present would have donated generously."Afterwards, the linen sheets were bloody when the children's sexual organs were torn open. Most of the children involved at that time are dead today. Many would have killed themselves.
Alleged murder of girl who had been raped
As a formative incident, the victim, who speaks to journalists but does not want to see his name published, cites his contact with a girl a year younger than him, who became pregnant after such a sex party. He had been with him to the police and other authorities, but had been portrayed everywhere as a liar. Two weeks later, he had missed the girl at dinner and had been looking for her. Finally he had found it hung up in the attic. He did not believe in suicide because there had been no ascension at the site. He suspected, the verdict says, that the girl had known too much. He will never forget the face of the dead girl, he was inwardly broken by it.
Experts have no doubts about the testimony
Several experts and the court have no doubts about the credibility of the man and ame that he has given "authentic information" and "experienced it himself". Even the fact that neither the authorities nor the public prosecutor's office know anything about a hanged girl does not shake the credibility: "It is unclear whether and how this death was documented and reported at all; moreover, it can be amed that no further investigations were carried out in the case of a 'suicide'."
The whole story came to light because the man wanted to claim help under the Victims' Compensation Act. The court investigated. The contribution of the Niederbronn sisters to the clarification of the cases in court can be considered modest. Her abuse commissioner let it be known that today there were no longer any documents on the whereabouts of children in Speyer. Sisters who had previously worked in the home closed in 2000 could not confirm the plaintiff's allegations. For the rest, "the contact with the plaintiff had been terminated".
Other victims confirm statements
However, other victims essentially confirmed the statements of the plaintiff and incriminated Motzenbacker. The diocese of Speyer, which said it had passed on its information, including indirect allegations of murder, to the public prosecutor's office in Frankenthal, paid the man 15 euros in recognition of his suffering.000 euros.
A total of four victims have reported to the diocesan abuse commissioner in connection with the Speyer children's home. The criminal cases are now time-barred. An expert opinion for the court, meanwhile, confirmed that the man "would suffer repeatedly throughout his life from psychopathological symptoms to a clinically relevant extent as a result of the abuse experiences".