Gaby Weber
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Die geraubten Babys

During dictatorship in Argentina, 30.000 persons were murdered by the military, according to estimation of human right organizations, among them many pregnant women. They gave birth to their children in the secret torture camps, then they were murdered and their babies given to military officers and their civil partners. About 500 babys were robbed from their mothers and biological families. More then hundred of these babies – today young men and women – could retrieve with genetic tests their real identity. 400 or more are still living in the families of the predators, ignoring their real origin.

In the family of former Mercedes-manager Juan Ronaldo Tasselkraut are three kids that probably are born in torture camps, one in his own familiy and the two others in his brother´s family. I have given to the German justice the false birth certificates of the Tasselkraut-children (issued by the civil registry office - "registro civil"). The certificates register the children with biological parents of Tasselkraut; of which the midwives deny. One midwife, who signed the birth certificate of the son of Juan Ronaldo Tasselkraut, worked during the dictatorship in the torture center Campo de Mayo. Stealing babies of pregnant prisoners is regarded as a crime against humanity, there is no time limit for prosecution. Nevertheless, the Berlin public prosecutor denied opening an investigation and decided that the facts are out of the period when prosecution is possible.

On the basis of the falsified birth certificate Diego Tasselkraut received the German citizenship. How it was possible? The German Embassy in Buenos Aires refused to answer for "privacy reasons," they replied. Even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to answer to Amnesty International about the stolen children: "The alleged victims, the children, have no interest in the discussion of their citizenship".

Mercedes Benz donated during dictatorship "incubators to the torture camp Campo de Mayo, according to the sworn testimony of the legal director of Mercedes, Ruben Pablo Cueva. In 1978, the firm hired as their new security head former police officer Rubén Lavallen. He appropriated the girl Paula Logares - the first child regained by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. And there is another case, investigated by the Argentinean judges: the strange adoption of Micaela B. by a high manager of the company with the help of Movimiento Familiar Cristiano.

I asked the members of the supervisory board to investigation the subject of the stolen In

In 2004, I presented to the prosecutor in Buenos Aires who was investigating the assassination of the 14 workers in the Mercedes-factory, three falsified birth certificates of the Tasselkraut-children. The former MBA-security chief Lavallén was sentenced for stealing a prisoner’s baby. But the prosecutor decided that there was no connection with the company and sent one of the certificates to the Judge Bonadio in Buenos Aires (with excellent relation to the Government) and the other two to prosecutor Jorge Sica (tribunal in San Martin). That tribunal is the worst in Argentina, it had considered the impunity laws as constitutional.

Mr. Bonadio interrogated the midwife, and she said that she was not present at the birth and never signed the certificate. The judge did not investigate further and sent the file to be archived. The court in San Martin ordered a genetic test and the result was negative. The Tribunal in San Martin did not order further investigation, but it ordered the birth certificates. The one from the civil register was the same as the one I had presented in 2004. But the one of the National Register of the Persons brought a surprise: while the first one registered a "home childbirth", the other one shows another address: San Martin, Street Sarmiento 3829. This is, according to the new numbers of the street, the address of the Military Academy - a known torture camp during dictatorship. And even if we consider the old numbers, it is very strange, because is refers to another midwife, involved in other cases of baby-robbery with a terrorist background. But the judge in San Martin, Hugo Daniel Gurruchaga, ignored this and dismissed the defendants Alexander and Elsa Tasselkraut and the involved midwife. The children said in their testimony that they always knew that they had been “adopted”. So, it is true that the two boys, now young men, were illegally registered as biological children. But the judge says he had found any evidence that they were born in a clandestine detention center. He denied that the crimes had the character of a crime against humanity, he considered them only simple crimes, more than 30 years ago. Neither the prosecutor nor the judge were disturbed by the fact that the forgery of identity continues to this day. Download dokumentOn October 12, 2012 I presented a request dismissal of judge Gurruchaga. The case is pending. Download dokument

Another Judge in Buenos Aires was investigating the systematic theft system of babies by the military. He interrogated the Tasselkraut familiy as witnesses, how they received the two boys in 1979 and 1982. They told that they do not remember; there was a certain midwife and she told them that the babys came for poor people, no names, no places, no dates, no fact. But the judge was satisfied. Then, I proposed formally to compare the information of the National Register of the Persons with the list of the known torture camps. But in Argentina, it seems that there is no interest for systematic investigation; the Argentine government does not like the case. First, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo requested to to send the cases to other courts. The Tasselkraut-case should be sent to San Martin, where it is already dismissed. Download dokumentThen, they tried to get me out of the investigation. When they failed legally, the judge and the two secretaries were sent to another section of the tribunal and separated from the investigation. There are many 10 requests - some from 2010 - that are still pending, but the case was vacated..

I am joint plantiff in the case against the very high manager of the Bayer corporation, Lambert Courth. He adopted via the "Movimiento Familiar Cristiano", an organization that distributed many of the babies born in torture camps. The real last name of Thomas Courth is still unknown. Now a judge decides to ask the british justice for collaboration in the case. The Courth familiy lives in England and will be interogated about the circumstances of that adoption. But they denied any collaboration.

And I presented as a joint plaintiff the case of the military attaché in the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, William Desreis. He adopted with the "Movimiento Familiar Cristiano", not a child from a disappeared woman but a child of the "baby business", as it is called in Argentina. Mr. Desreis has been trained and honoured in 1975 by the General Staff of Argentina for his participation in the "dirty war"download document. On August 22nd, 1980, the Supreme Commander of the Army named him "officer of the military staff" in Argentina. On month later, he received the baby in Tucumán. I requested confiscation of all documents sent from his office in the Embassy to the State Department, in order to learn more about the background of what had happened.. Download dokument.

The financial responsible of Movimiento Familiar Cristiano, Francisco Zábalo, was detained in April 2013, but he appealed against this successfully. This organisation had received a donation from Misereor, in May 1977 Zábalo sent the final report to Misereor. Misereor confirmed the payment, arguing that they started financing MFC in 1974.