The 30-year-old man from Treuchtlingen, Bavaria, threw his two- and three-year-old daughters and even younger son out of a the window at around 10pm, a few days after the mother of the children left him.
The two little girls survived the seven-metre drop with serious injuries, but their baby brother was much more badly hurt and was said on Wednesday to be in a critical condition.
A neighbour told the police that she saw one of the children fall out of the window still holding a paper plane. The little boy, she said, fell like a stone to the ground.
The man jumped out of the window himself as the police watched on, and was also injured, despite landing on grass and bushes below.
His 22-year-old former partner, mother of the children, had left him not long previously, and was staying with her sister in the neighbouring state of Baden Württemberg.
She called the police on Tuesday, concerned that he might put the three children in danger after they had an argument on the phone.
A police spokesman from nearby Nuremberg said they believed that by throwing them out of the window and jumping himself “he was trying to get her to come back,” in a statement.
By the time the police arrived it was too late: “as we were having a look at what was going on, he threw the children out,” said the spokesman.
Shortly after the incident, two police helicopters and an ambulance came to take the man and his children to hospital.
The father was not as badly injured as his children and is due to be released from hospital on Wednesday.
Both he and the mother had been reportedly unemployed for a long time and had been struggling financially. A neighbour told the police that they barely ever made contact with those living around them.