As published on the daas torah blog.
These are extracts from Susanne Gottlicher the “impartial” judge’s report concerning her personal “investigation”This visit took place in 2015 after the mother reported her concerns about the Filipino nanny who the children were often left alone with for the whole of Shabbos while the father worked. Furthermore, she could barely speak German or English.The judge however was satisfied there were no concerns and shortly after the visit, she awarded Schlesinger full and final custody.
When we arrive, in addition to the father and the two boys, the father’s sister, Martina Schlesinger,
and the nanny are present.
We are greeted heartily and asked to come in. I introduce Ms Andesner and the father urges the
children to shake hands with us. We are ushered into the living room. The rooms I see are neat and
tidy but not sterile. The flat looks as if it is lived in and does not resemble the showroom of a
We sit down on the couch in the living room, where I again discuss the purpose of today’s visit:
the (recent) youth welfare office (Jugendamt) report made no mention of the mother’s accusations
regarding the nanny. The latter is introduced to us and sits down in an armchair beside the couch.
She is a woman in her fifties who does not speak perfect German but with whom I can easily
I am given an explanation as to how the nanny came to the Schlesinger family:
They got to know each other in a park where the family often goes. The Schlesingers noticed how
the nanny was getting on with an Italian child she was caring for – a boy from an Italian Embassy
family. The nanny was so sweet with the boy that the twins’ aunt went up to her and asked if she
might not have time to take care of Sammy and Benji as well. The nanny has now been with the
Schlesingers for four years. She nodded as she heard this, confirming it…
…The father explains the following to me regarding the boys’ teeth:
When the boys came into his custody, they had objectively proven bad teeth and this fact was
common knowledge. At that time, teeth had to be extracted. The gaps in the teeth were provided
with temporary replacements….
…In the course of the conversation, the boys proudly show me and Ms Andesner the gaps in their
teeth: they are already so big that new, permanent teeth are on the way…
The father explained that the children love going to therapy and really enjoy it. They are very fond
of their occupational therapist, Ms Martina Muckler, and her approach of working through
pleasure and play is the most effective for success in learning and therapy.
In reply to my question, he answered that he would of course not subject the boys to unnecessary
…Later, Benji goes and gets some pastries from the plate we have been offered. His father tells
him in a friendly manner to take a plate….afterwards, he comes in with a soft toy that looks like a
snake. It resembles a folded strap that is straight at first but when tapped against the lower arm,
rolls into the shape of a wristband. It is covered with fabric and has a snake’s head at the top. He
lets his snake eat from the pastries. We join in the game and when it is over, the snake is allowed
to drink from my glass of water…
…The accusation that the father acted violently on the occasion of a court hearing and pushed the
mother on the steps of the court is absolutely untrue….
The father again praises the nanny and states, “There is no one else outside the family circle that I
would trust to take care of the children without hesitation.”
In this atmosphere, it is described how the nanny still comes in the morning to assist the father
before work, and how she does the housework and sometimes cooks. She is no longer there in the
afternoons or evenings, except perhaps two or three times per week, when the father is on night
duty in the hospital.
…Our house visit lasts one and a quarter to one and a half hours. My impression is that of a nice,
caring family. …