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Child abuse reported at East German institutions

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Child abuse reported at East German institutions
The former Torgau correctional facility. Photo: DPA
09:00 CEST+02:00
As the sex abuse scandal within Germany’s Catholic Church continues to unfold, former charges at East German children’s homes have come forward to allege there was also widespread abuse in the communist country's state-run institutions.

Head of a memorial foundation to the Torgau youth disciplinary centre Gabriele Beyler told daily Der Tagesspiegel that some 25 former home occupants claim supervisors there took part in massive abuse.

Other alleged victims from the home, which was used to ‘re-socialise’ troubled youth between the ages of 14 and 18, have contacted Manfred Kolbe, a CDU parliamentarian for the Torgau area, the paper reported.

Meanwhile still others from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) state of Thuringia have contacted Manfred May, an advisor for victims of abuse by the communist regime.

May said he believed there were a “high number of unreported cases” for a “topic covered in shame.”

Against the background of the Catholic abuse scandal that continues to rock the Church in Germany, Beyler and Kolbe both recently called for anyone abused in GDR institutions to step forward.

The cases that have been revealed so far at different children’s homes are just the tip of the iceberg, they told the paper.

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