The Youth and School Senator was looking for words to adequately describe the horror. "Outrageous," "shattering," "despising," Sandra Scheeres then said, she did not mind. But they were not exaggerations.
The senator spoke about the so-called Kentler experiment. The horrible idea of the psychologist and social worker Helmut Kentler, with the help of Berlin youth welfare offices pedophile men to give children and young people for care. For decades it went like this.
Scientists investigating the Kentler case and the responsibility of state authorities have submitted an interim report, which was presented on Monday in the presence of Sandra Scheeres. The crucial questions remain, for lack of documents and other hints, unanswered.
Why did not the senate youth administration react?
What personal responsibility do Jugendamt employees have? And who exactly was responsible? Why had the Berlin Senate Youth Administration not responded when Kentler published a detailed communication on his own work in 1988 and revealed the whole cruel problem of his experiment? "Why was this not discussed further in the specialist public? This also puzzles us, "said Meike Baader from the research team of the University of Hildesheim, which has produced the report. This is based on the statements of those affected, other contemporary witnesses and extensive research in documents.
The youth welfare offices were not transparent
The scientists have found, however, that the structures of the youth welfare offices for over 50 years, there was no transparency and a uniform approach to child and youth welfare was not visible. Even an expert ultimately could not explain the exact process. In fact, each district participated. The laws were clear, and the youth welfare law was updated in 1990 again. Nevertheless, until the early 2000s adolescents were cared for by pedophile men. In public discussion, these acts were frequently postponed in the 1960s and 1970s. "But this is a historical shortening," said Wolfgang Schröer from the University of Hildesheim.
The deeds are now barred
Sandra Scheeres wants to learn from the expertise of the scientists – who will present a final report – above all, "if we have to change structures and how to learn from the mistakes". One question, for example, is whether this inconsistent approach to youth welfare continues. Scheeres could not say anything about that, she wants to evaluate the final report first. Even the scientists have no knowledge.
Two victims have filed a complaint against Unbekannt, the Youth Senate Department also, but the prosecutor stopped the investigation, however, because no individual guilt could be found. She could do no more now, said Scheeres. A civil suit would have very little chance of success. The acts are barred.