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CRIME

Mum ‘killed five babies’ to keep standard of living

A woman has admitted killing five of her own babies – in order to preserve her family’s standard of living, a German prosecutor said on Thursday.

Mum 'killed five babies' to keep standard of living
Photo: DPA

The 28-year-old woman is said to have given birth to the babies in secret – and then killed them, all without the knowledge of her husband.

The police in Flensburg, near the border with Denmark, said the woman was married with two children aged eight and ten.

The family lived at a “certain level of prosperity” and she was scared of being unable to maintain their standard of living if she had more children, the prosecutor said. Her husband did not want more children, yet contraception was “never a topic” for the couple, she said.

He is said to be deeply shocked and receiving counselling.

“The accused has made a complete confession to the police,” said prosecutor Ulrike Stahlmann-Liebelt. Two children were killed in 2006 and 2007 – and three more after that.

She gave birth to two of the babies at home – and three in the woods, alone.

The police said no-one had known of her pregnancies, not even her husband. They said the discovery and her confession were likely to have prevented further cases.

The body of one child was found in the recycled paper facility in 2006 in Ahrenshöft near the family’s home in the Husum area of northern Germany.

A post mortem examination showed the baby had lived for a short time after it was born, while a report from NDR public broadcaster suggested the placenta was also found, from which a DNA sample of the mother was retrieved.

The second baby was found by a driver a year later, wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped in a parking space near a major rural road. The police have been carrying out DNA testing of women in the region since then, and got a match with this woman, who then confessed to killing not only the first two babies but three more.

The three other bodies were stashed in cardboard boxes in the family cellar. They were so badly decomposed that no time of death or cause of death could be determined.

DAPD/DPA/The Local/hc

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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