Monday, May 05, 2008

Defrosting the Babies: Infanticide Sweeping Germany

I ran across this article by Kate Connolly in the Guardian that mentioned a wave of infanticide is sweeping across Germany.

Apparently infanticide cases are in the news almost monthly for at least a year. This syndicated news report provides some context.

Germany has been plagued by a series of gruesome baby killings in recent years.

Most notable was Sabine Hilschenz, in eastern Germany, who killed nine of her newborn babies and hid the remains in buckets and flower pots as well as in an old fish tank at her parents' home.

The divorced, unemployed dental assistant told investigators she did not harm the children but left them to die after giving birth alone every time following heavy drinking. She was found guilty of eight counts of manslaughter in 2006 and is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence.

In December 2007 a 31-year-old woman was arrested after police recovered the bodies of five children aged between three and nine years old were found in a house in Darry, near the northern city of Kiel.

The same week a woman was arrested in Plauen in eastern Germany on suspicion of killing three of her own newborn babies. The bodies were discovered in a trunk in the cellar, on the balcony and in the fridge.

Last November, a 35-year-old woman from Erfurt was sentenced to 12 years in jail for killing two of her babies and hiding their bodies in a freezer. |Three Dead Babies Found in Freezer - Local|
You would think infanticide would be unknown in a country with legal birth control and abortion. But no society is immune from incest, sexual assault, prostitution, alcoholism, substance abuse, and mental illness. It's quite sad, but unlikely to change in the near future.

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