As published by the Jewish Telegraph on 30th January 2022. https://www.facebook.com/73371052831/posts/10159104089532832/
Tonight Beth and her supporters will launch a campaign to bring home her 12-year-old twins Sammy and Benjy Schlesinger who are in the sole custody of their father in Vienna, Beth having been banned unjustly from any contact with them In July 2011, the then two-year old twins were suddenly and brutally removed from Beth’s care by order of an Austrian court.
Sole custody was awarded to their father, Dr Michael Schlesinger, despite his having been evicted by police from the family home 18 months earlier and undermining a previous Court ruling for supervised contact.
The dubious custody order dismissed all of Beth’s allegations against the father of violence. In a further irregularity, the order made no provision for contact and it was eight weeks before Beth was able to see her young children again.
Following this, Beth was granted only minimal supervised visitation without any real explanation as to why and thereafter, minimal contact with no overnight stays for four years.
Removing the children from Beth, who had been their primary carer, was based on a discredited psychologist’s report which claimed Beth had reduced parenting abilities.
The Judge in the case, Susanne Gottlicher, admitted that she had been lobbied on behalf of the father by a senior judicial colleague Konstanze Thau. Despite this, Judge Gottlicher continued to rule against Beth throughout the proceedings.
A further court-commissioned psychiatric assessment carried out on Beth by Dr Werner Leixnering overrode all the previous assertions but was simply ignored.
After five years of court hearings, and being separated from her children in Vienna, Beth was isolated, impoverished and deeply distressed. She returned home, to the UK, to study to become a family lawyer so she could continue fighting for her children.
Beth has made every effort to maintain her close bond with her children by continually sending them presents and cards. She calls every week but the father regularly rejects her calls.
Last year, Beth reapplied for visitation and fixed phone calls but Judge Gottlicher denied her all contact with her boys.
There has been a total lack of sympathy from the vast majority of Vienna’s Jewish community and its leadership, or even recognition that children need the nurturing and love of their mother.
Rabbi Biderman, the head of the Chabad school that the children attend, supported the father by submitting a testimony in his favour. It was also discovered that Biderman was forwarding Beth’s private emails on to Judge Thau. Witnesses were also heard behind closed doors without notice to Beth’s lawyers.
Sammy and Benji have been denied their mother’s love, with all the damage this continues to cause.
If you missed tonight’s Facebook Live, it is still available to replay.