Can you imagine how a young a mother would feel to have her only two children ripped away from her by the police and handed into the “care” of her ex-husband? Can you envisage her innocent children, twin boys then aged only two, trying make sense of what is going on, calling for their mother day and night with no one to listen to their piercing cries?
You may be forgiven for thinking I would be talking about a developing country or war torn nation, but you would be wrong. The horrific scandal of the Schlesinger twins is happening right now in 2012 in Vienna, Austria, an accepted EU country trying to “supposedly” break away from its past atrocities.
You might be forgiven for thinking that local rabbis would intervene and help where they can. Once again, you would be wrong. A local Chabad rabbi has been continuously acting in favour of the father having sole custody of the children and being an obstacle in the visitation rights of the mother to see her children – how does that seem justified?
Beth Alexander, a young girl originally from Manchester, England, moved to Vienna in 2006 when she married an Austrian Jewish trainee doctor. Following the collapse of the marriage, Beth lost custody of their then two-year-old twins following some very dubious decisions by the judge. Many dayanim and rabbanim in the UK and around the world are quite rightly abhorred at what is taking place in Vienna and are working around the clock to save these children who are currently not in a very good state at all.
How can one sit back and watch these children lose the ability to live their lives to the full? Shouldn’t three-year-old boys be running around enjoying themselves?
If you feel as strongly about it as I do – an educator working with this age group daily – then please don’t be an “armchair” supporter! Speak to your local rabbi and inform him of this dire situation. Maybe he has contacts or is just willing to be vocal and speak out against this atrocity. We don’t want to be sitting here in a year’s time saying we knew about this horrific story but didn’t do anything about it. Think how it must feel not being able to give your child a simple kiss when you wave them off to school each day.
When you put your children to bed tonight just spare a thought for Beth who would love to have the opportunity to even read her boys a story and kiss them good night.
The situation is serious and critical which is why we request you all to sign this petition.
Kayla (full name suppplied),