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Monday, May 16, 2022

Germany. Report on child abuse in spas

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The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia has presented a study on the suffering of millions of children sent in 1949-1990 for treatment in spa houses, where many of them were beaten, deprived of food and sleep. As the media revealed earlier, the staff of the institutions were Germans who – as it was put it – studied during the “times of Nazism”.

A report by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) shows that in 1949-1990, in North Rhine-Westphalia alone, over 2.1 million children were organized to visit the often infamous spa or convalescent homes. Scientists have not been able to determine how many children came to health resorts more than once during this period. In 1962 alone, almost 100,000 people were sent for treatment. children and adolescents from NRW.


For many children, the stay at the spa became a torment, and the memory of the traumatic experiences remained with them for the rest of their lives. The authors of the study described the eyewitness accounts of the violence regarding beatings, deprivation of food and sleep, isolation and humiliation in convalescent homes “as highly credible”. The verschickungsheime.de website currently lists almost 2,000 such notifications.

“In the 1960s and 1970s, curing children was the experience of many,” the study wrote. “Longing for home, authoritarian style of upbringing, meaningless spending of free time and poor food are typical themes that recur in the stories of people born in 1950-1970, telling about their spa experiences”.

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“Our country also has to deal with dark chapters in our history,” stated Karl-Josef Laumann, Minister of Health and Social Affairs of NRW. “We owe it above all to those who have been wronged,” he added. North Rhine-Westphalia is to organize a round table “to bring some light into the dark”.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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