Letter from Munich – 067

Letter from Munich – the Joseph Affair – 67


19 April 2002

Dear Mr. Graf, dear friends,

Francesca showed us a copy of a document that was written out in a very childish style and in a child’s handwriting. This handwriting was almost illegible, but she managed to read the document to us anyway.

I will write out what she read, exactly as it was originally written, but in the English version below, I will not attempt to reproduce all of the numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary that the then twelve-year-old author made in the original German.

“I, Sven May, born on 16 July 1987 in Sebnitz heard how Maik Hauke, Rony Kunte, Rene Grossmann, Kai Bleche and other grown-ups spoke to Joseph in a loud voice. It was so loud that everybody could hear it. ‘We’re going to kill you now, you shit-foreigner.’ They called him ‘Abdulla.’ Joseph said nothing. He was lying on the ground. The fat man from the snack bar stood at the corner of the swimming pool and didn’t do anything. Frau Goebel, the fat pool guard, sat in the control room and closed the door. They threw Joseph in the water. Four men stood on top of Joseph. Maik Hauke, Rony Kunte, Rene Grossmann, and Kai Blechke stood on him about seven (times). The fat man from the snack bar watched. Then they left. After they left Frau Goebel came back. And (she) later saw Joseph on the ground. Joseph lay there lifeless. My brother Rene then went home because he was afraid. When they pushed Joseph under the water, Joseph struggled and tried to gasp for air. He didn’t cry out. He defended himself, weakly. Maik Hauke had hit Joseph really hard on the right ear with the flat of his hand.”

Below this paragraph is written the signature: “Sven May, 3 August 1999, in Sebnitz. I spoke with Diana on a cassette and told everything.”

What is important here,” Francesca said to us, “is not only the statement that the boy wrote out, but the way he expressed it. I’m talking about the many grammar errors (in the original German) and the other mistakes. They are the kind of mistakes, together with the child’s handwriting, that give the document an air of authenticity, in my opinion.”

Someone asked about the cassette that the boy mentioned in his statement.

“This cassette is part of what the Dresden district attorney’s office seized eighteen months ago, when its representatives visited the home of the Kantelberg-Abdullas in Sebnitz and gathered the pieces of ‘evidence’ that they could use in charging the parents with ‘spreading false suspicions.’”

She was silent for a moment and then added, “It goes without saying that not a single piece of evidence has been returned to the parents.”

“In Germany,” someone asked, “is it normal for a district attorney’s office to confiscate evidence that the accused needs to prove his or her innocence?”

Francesca laughed. “In Germany,” she said, “everything is normal, if it serves rightly or wrongly to ‘demonstrate’ the innocence of someone in authority, whether that person is a politician, or a doctor who makes a mess of an operation on a poor Turkish woman in Bavaria, or government officials who mishandle the investigation of a murder, or the leading citizens in a small town in eastern Germany, who try to protect some of their own.”

Sincerely yours,

Robert John Bennett

Mauerkircherstrasse 68

81925 Germany

Telephone: +49.89.981.0208

E-Mail:  rjbennett at post.harvard.edu

E-M… Saad and Renate Kantelberg-Abdulla:  rjbennett at post.harvard.edu

E-M… an Herrn und Frau Dr. Kantelberg-Abdulla:  majoskantelberg at t-online.de

Log in