Germany has been forced to admit that welfare authorities routinely handed over young homeless teenagers to known pedophiles as part of a sickening social experiment.
Under the ‘Kentler Experiment’ in the 1970’s, Berlin’s city-state government financed a secret pedophile foster programme in order to better understand pedophilia.
Irishtimes.com reports: Starting in 1969, Berlin welfare authorities handed over the care of at least three homeless teenagers to Dr Helmut Kentler, a sex researcher from Hanover. He placed the youths with known paedophiles, including one who already had a criminal record for child abuse, believing that it would give troubled teens a social anchor while giving the paedophiles a chance to become caring foster parents.
Berlin’s youth-affairs minister, Sandra Scheeres, didn’t mince her words when she presented the report. “It was a crime to put these people into this kind of care,” she said. “It is simply unimaginable that something like this happened with state oversight.”
The first details of the ghoulish experiment emerged last year, prompting Berlin’s state authorities to commission a youth researcher to review the files and write a report. “The results are sobering,” said Dr Teresa Nentwig of the University of Göttingen.
In most cases the paedophiles were asked to care for 13-, 14- and 15-year-old drug addicts and prostitutes, of which there were about 1,000 in 1970s West Berlin.
But how many children precisely were placed with paedophiles, what ages were they and how much did the city pay the paedophiles? “We don’t know,” Nentwig said at the launch of her report, explaining that city archivists blocked access to crucial data, claiming variously that files were missing, unsorted or sealed for data-protection reasons. “We would have wished for more co-operation in clearing this up,” the researcher said.
Despite the official stonewalling, Nentwig found clues that one of the youths still suffers from the effects of abuse and that two others slid into criminality.
The city government says it has no idea who in West Berlin’s welfare agency agreed to the so-called Kentler Experiment. It has set up a hotline for former participants.
One young man brought into the programme in 1969, named Ulrich, was unable to read or write and worked as a prostitute at West Berlin’s notorious Zoo Station.
Kentler placed him with a known paedophile and later wrote that four years there had taught the youth “how to survive”. Ulrich stopped the drugs and petty crime, the researcher wrote, but remained a “suffering person”.
Kentler, who died in 2008, left papers describing the entire experiment as a “success”, but he admitted that it was clear to all involved that placing youths with paedophiles broke the law.
While Berlin was publicly funding that paedophile programme, many children were being abused at Odenwald boarding school, near Frankfurt.
The school was one of West Germany’s most famous progressive and reformist institutions. It later emerged that a former school director, Gerold Becker, was a paedophile who, along with at least seven other staff members, had abused at least 132 pupils over the three decades between 1965 and 1998.
An investigation was launched in 2010, after the full scale of the abuse emerged, and last year, after 105 years, the school filed for bankruptcy and closed.
Germany’s paedophile past reared its head again in 2013 when links emerged between founding members of the Green Party and West Germany’s Paedophile Movement, which rode the coat-tails of gay-rights groups and lobbied for the decriminalisation of consensual sex between adults and children.
In 1975 a Green Party leading light, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who was a kindergarten teacher at the time, wrote a book praising “erotic games” between adults and young children. In 1981 Jürgen Trittin, today a senior Green MP and then a young party official in Göttingen, signed off on a party pamphlet seeking the decriminalisation of paedophilia.
The party commissioned a study into the full extent of Green-paedophilia links. Published a week before the 2013 federal election, it cost the party countless votes and prompted a grovelling apology from Trittin. He argued that the paedophile links had to be seen in the context of the sexual revolution of the 1970s, which encouraged a “fiction that there could be sexual relations between adults and children beyond violence or abuse of trust”.
Given the Charité paedophilia treatment programme in Berlin, city media have demanded a zero-tolerance approach in investigating Germany’s latest paedophilia scandal. “Even at the end of the 1960s, sex with children was forbidden, punishable by up to 10 years in prison,” said the Berliner Zeitungdaily, urging the youth-affairs minister to keep up the pressure and “get all the files on the table”.