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February 10, 2015 permalink
Norwegian child protectors took two Michalák brothers from their family and placed them for adoption by two separate foster families. As in almost all child protection cases, the loss of the children led to the breakup of the marriage. The now-single mother is still trying to get her children back. Her contact is limited to 15 minutes twice a year, and in that time she is not allowed to communicate in the Czech language. Czech Republic president Miloš Zeman has likened the actions of Norway to Lebensborn, the Nazi program that seized infants from occupied countries. If they qualified as Aryan under tests by Nazi race experts, the babies were deported to Germany to be raised as Germans.
Zeman makes Nazi comparison in custody case
President compares Norway’s child welfare service to Germany’s wartime Lebensborn program
Prague, Feb 8 (ČTK) — Czech President Miloš Zeman compared the Norwegian child welfare service, which has taken kids from a Czech mother, to the Nazi child-raising program Lebensborn, in a debate on tabloid Blesk’s website, but stressed that this parallel is exaggerated, provocative and means a hyperbole.
He said the children, placed in Norwegian foster families, are to be estranged from their national identity.
The Norwegian authorities took the Michalák brothers from their Czech parents in 2011 on suspicion of maltreatment. The boys have been placed each in a different foster family.
Their mother has almost no chance to see them. She wants the boys to return to her and she turned to the Norwegian court with her claim last year again.
“The boys are in a foster facility similar to Lebensborn. Their mother can meet them for 15 minutes twice a year. She must not talk in Czech to them. In other words, the kids are being estranged from their national identity,” Zeman said.
The Norwegian system raises “young Norwegians,” he added.
Lebensborn was the Third Reich’s program for raising Aryans. The children, born in special facilities, were designed for adoption by German families. The racially pure offspring were intended to populate the occupied areas from which the Nazis transferred the original inhabitants.
Zeman said Norway’s approach has “certain elements common” with Lebensborn. He added, nevertheless, that his statement is a provocation, a hyperbole and exaggeration that will surely trigger an uproar.
Zeman said a week ago he met the Norwegian ambassador to Prague over the Michalák brothers and conveyed his “very critical position” on the case to her. The ambassador told him that the information about the boys’ lives is confidential.
In a situation where neither the Norwegian authorities nor the Czech side have any documents to explain why the boys were taken from their parents, the Norwegian child welfare service is “a state in a state,” Zeman said.
He recommended that the Norwegian court discuss the case again and provide information to the Czech Republic.
Zeman said he had also asked the ambassador to currently inform Prague about the development of the Michaláks case. However, if he heard the ambassador say once again that the information is confidential, he cannot rule out using the Lebensborn parallel in an official conversation as well, Zeman said.
Source: Prague Post