Galus Australis, 25.10.2012

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),
London, England.


Galus Australis, 25.10.2012 — 1 Comment

  1. I just posted a comment on the Galus Australis page with Beth’s story on it. I’m going to repost it here, where it’s easier to see. My remarks re “above posters” refer to people who commented on the article on the Galus Australis site.

    “It was asked above why this report was published in Australia when the scene of all the action in the case of Beth and her twins is Vienna, Austria. There seems to me to be a logical reason for this: it is a very common phenomenon in Australia for children to be taken from their primary carer – usually the mother – by the courts and given to abusive fathers. In fact the Family Court of Australia is an extremely controversial institution for this very reason and should probably be replaced by a tribunal made up of experts on child development and behaviour, as well as domestic violence and child abuse. Judges with no training in these fields are obviously not the right people to be making decisions which will negatively affect the lives of both parents and children. I am not aware of the situation in Austria, where I happen to live, but Beth’s case leads me to question what some of the posters above have taken for granted, ie that family courts act in the children’s best interest. In many countries, this is simply untrue and we know from women’s movements in many western countries what agony ignorant judges are causing. Anybody who is not informed about this could start by looking at STOP EXIT’s page on Facebook to find out more. “Courtroom facts do not lie.” This is a joke and the poster particularly naive.

    After getting to know Beth, I can tell some of the posters here that she is anything but unbalanced (have you met her too?). In fact she is a delightfully normal young university graduate, mother and teacher of English to speakers of other languages. Dr Werner Leixnering, a renowned child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist in Austria, has assessed Beth – my feelings after meeting her were confirmed by the result of his testing. She is definitely not unstable and anyone who declares that she is has apparently not met her but merely heard lies about her from dubious sources.

    The children are clearly the most important people in this whole extraordinary affair. Their lack of speech must be especially peturbing at the age of 4. Twins often start talking later, as do boys, but for them to have been pronounced “retarded” makes one wonder what maltreatment they have been subjected to since their unjustified removal from their mother. The children in the “before” photos have sparkling, intelligent eyes but the ones in the “after” pictures and video look markedly different, more like neglected street kids with dirty marks on their clothing, unkempt hair and masses of missing front teeth, like boxers. A parent radiating the love that Beth exudes does not have children like these poor little boys appear to have become.

    So what has happened in Vienna for this human catastrophe to have taken place? It is easy to locate the father using names of local public teaching hospitals and Google. He seems to be a hospital intern. But he is described in the article above and on as an intern back in 2006. That’s a long time to be an intern, so somewhat mysterious to me. Then there is the psychologist who claimed Beth is paranoid and apparently more. But why a psychologist? In Austria they are not qualified – unlike a psychiatrist – to diagnose psychiatric disorders, only problems related to psychology. And why was there an intervention by the original judge so that another, who is a member of the Vienna Jewish community, could take over the case? I am not Jewish, have nothing to do with this community and hardly dare to suggest that there must have been very obvious bias in Beth’s court hearings. But one can scarcely conclude anything other than that the whole thing must have been a Jewish conspiracy against a young Jewish woman who was a newcomer in town, in other words, an appalling travesty of justice. The Austrian judicial system cannot be proud of this.”

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