Letter from Munich – 030
Letter from Munich – the Joseph Affair – 30
EINE DEUTSCHE FASSUNG STEHT WEITER UNTEN.
3 August 2001
Dear Mr. Graf, dear friends,
A continuation of the letter of last week:
The car that the Kantelberg-Abdullas were in set off for Bavaria, preceded and followed by two similar vehicles, one in front, the other behind them. On the way to Füssen, where the cloister was located, an event occurred that may be relatively minor, but one to which the parents appear to attach particular significance. Mr. Kantelberg-Abdulla, perhaps after reacting in a way characteristic of men from an Arab culture in such a situation, was asked by one of the men escorting the family if he would like a sedative. He declined, however, and was then asked if he would care for a cup of coffee, which he also indicated he did not want. The car nevertheless stopped at a place where coffee could be purchased, and one of the escorts went inside. He returned with a cup and offered it to Mr. Kantelberg-Abdulla, who under the circumstances may have thought it unwise to refuse. A few minutes after drinking the coffee, the couple reported, Dr. Abdulla was overcome with such a sense of torpor that he was unable to sit upright in the car without leaning on his wife for support. He asserts that all he can remember of this part of their journey was the touch of his wife’s hand against his face.
When the family reached the cloister they were given a chance to rest. Some time later, they have said, they were told that they would be given enough money to leave the country and start a new life anywhere in the world, supposedly as part of a sort of witness protection program, and in order to ensure their safety. The state of Saxony would also purchase their pharmacy and living quarters and assume all their debts. The response from Dr. Abdulla was that he wanted to have such an offer in writing and wanted to discuss the matter with his wife. She refused.
During the time the family was enjoying this wonderful opportunity to rest and relax in seclusion, a somewhat different image of the affair began to emerge in German state television reports. First, one expert who was interviewed said that the witnesses the parents spoke with may have been so deeply influenced by the parents themselves, and their method of asking questions, that the witnesses gave the information that the parents were looking for. This particular theme was echoed repeatedly in the German media in the days that followed.
The writer of this letter has in his possession photocopies of signed statements by certain of these witnesses the expert referred to. These statements support the contention that the child Joseph was set upon, abused, and drowned by a group of neo-Nazis. Moreover, this writer also has a copy of a letter from a firm of Dresden attorneys that the parents engaged, Burtin & Sawitzky. The letter, addressed to the father states: “I CAN IN PARTICULAR CONFIRM THAT THE WITNESSES AND THEIR STATEMENTS – AND THESE IN TURN ARE CONFIRMED BY SWORN AFFIDAVITS – ARE IN MY VIEW CREDIBLE. IN NO WAY DOES THE IMPRESSION EXIST THAT THE WITNESSES THAT HAVE BEEN EXAMINED HAVE IN ANY MANNER BEEN INFLUENCED BY YOU OR BY YOUR WIFE.”
Recently an acquaintance commented, “Biedenkopf will have you destroyed, you know, because of your damned letters, just as he’s had the Kantelberg-Abdullas destroyed.”
“Yes,” I said. “I know.”
This letter will be continued next week.
Robert John Bennett
======================================================== ” title=”mailto:email@example.com ======================================================== “>rjbennett at post.harvard.edu ===…
“>rjbennett at post.harvard.edu