Thursday, April 24, 2014

Supreme Court Void $3.4 Million Award to Child Pornography Victim

NY Times    The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a $3.4 million award to a victim of child pornography who had sought restitution from a man convicted of viewing images of her. That figure was too much, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for a five-justice majority, returning the case to the lower courts to apply a new and vague legal standard to find a lower amount that was neither nominal nor too severe.

The victim in the case said the majority’s approach was confusing and meant that she might never be compensated for her losses. [...]

The case arose from the prosecution of Doyle R. Paroline, who was convicted in 2009 of possessing 280 images of child pornography. Two of them were of a woman known in court papers as Amy.

Images of Amy being sexually assaulted by her uncle as a child have been widely circulated and have figured in thousands of criminal cases. Amy has often sought restitution for her losses under a 1994 federal law. Every viewing of child pornography, Congress found, “represents a renewed violation of the privacy of the victims and repetition of their abuse.”

Amy’s lawyers say her losses — for lost income, therapy and legal fees — amount to $3.4 million. She has been granted restitution in about 180 cases and has recovered about 40 percent of what she seeks. [...]

The 1994 law allows victims of child pornography to seek the “full amount” of their losses from people convicted of producing, distributing or possessing it, and Amy asked the United States District Court in Tyler, Tex., to order Mr. Paroline to pay her the full $3.4 million.

Mr. Paroline said he owed Amy nothing, arguing that her problems did not stem from learning that he had looked at images of her. Amy’s uncle, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his crimes, bore the brunt of the blame, Mr. Paroline said, but was ordered to pay Amy just $6,325.

Mr. Paroline was sentenced to two years in prison, but the trial judge said Amy was not entitled to restitution, saying the link between Amy’s losses and what Mr. Paroline did was too remote.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, disagreed and awarded Amy the $3.4 million she sought. Mr. Paroline should pay what he could and seek contributions from his fellow wrongdoers if he thought it was too much, the court said, relying on the legal doctrine of “joint and several” liability.

The Supreme Court adopted neither of the lower courts’ approaches. Acknowledging that he was employing “a kind of legal fiction,” Justice Kennedy said the only sensible method of apportionment was for courts to require “reasonable and circumscribed” restitution “in an amount that comports with the defendant’s relative role.” [....]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chanifa: Acting differently than what you feel is viewed by Chazal as a serious sin - So why do they require being me'urav im habrios (acting like everyone else) even while your true thoughts and feelings are never revealed?

Ksav Sofer (Bereishis 28:20): If You give me bread to eat and clothes to wear…Medrash Rabba (70:5) explains this verse in various ways. For example “bread” is referring to Torah, while “clothing” is referring to a talis. Meaning that if a person merits Torah he will also merit a talis. See Yafes To'ar which says that the garment referred to here is the rabbinic clothing which had tzitzis in it. In my opinion it is best explained according to Shabbos (114a), “Who is a talmid chachom? One who knows he should always wear his garments right side out. This is in accord with the view of the Chovas HaLevavos (Shaar Prishus 4), “Intelligent people have joy on their face while they mourn in their heart.” That is because those who are intelligent despise the nonsense of this world. Nevertheless it is necessary that they mingle well with others and are not isolated and therefore they have to show a cheerful face to the world and not reveal their inner feelings of mourning. Thus we see a talmid chachom has to appear properly to others but he should not reveal what is truly in his heart. This is actually the intent when Chazal said, “Who is a talmid chachom? One who knows to reverse his clothing i.e., that he should be different and separate from those who are invested in the mundane world and he should keep his heart away from them. Thus his thoughts are not their thoughts and he needs to be able to reverse his garment (exterior) so that it doesn’t reveal what is in his heart before the masses and they should not even be aware that he thinks and feels differently than them – as the Chovas HaLevavos has explained. This is the explanation of the medrash, “When a person merits Torah he merits a talis.” He learns to conceal his true feelings so that others have no idea what is going on in his deepest thoughts – in order that he can participate in human society (me’urav im habrios). G-d in fact helps him that he should not be influenced by them but rather his heart should be completely with G-d and His Torah. This in fact is what Yaakov was asking from G-d, “If You give me bread to eat and clothing to wear.” Bread is referring to Torah. However you must understand that it is impossible to be isolated from other people when you are with them. That is why Yaakov also requested “clothing to wear” as we mentioned before. Perhaps we can use this to explain the words of Hillel (Sukka 53a), “If I am here then everyone is here.” In other words one should not separate himself or act differently in the presence of others. He should not look depressed and bitter so that others avoid him. However when he is by himself he should think “Who am I? What is this worthless life? And when I am by myself what am I truly?” There is much more to discuss on this topic.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Schlesinger Twins: The court rules that Beth must pay significantly more maintenance

I received the following letter from Beth Alexander regarding the latest in court rulings against her - that seem to have no basis in reality or commonsense.
==================================
Another court order. More extortion. More terror. Intended to cripple me, this time financially. To ruin my Chag they sent me another child maintenance order. The Appeal Court (where Konstanze Thau works) have increased my child maintenance payments. The Social Services applied (in my children's names) to increase my payments from 110 per month to 150 per month, then to 165 per child per month. The Appeal Court have granted this. I must now pay 330 Euro / month backdated to June 2012.

 I argued this was impossible on a basic part time teacher's salary (I cannot work full time because of the Tuesday visits) plus 300 per month in visiting costs! The court stated that the father earns 3,500 Euro per month as a doctor (far more than I could ever earn as a part time teacher) but this does not reduce my maintenance obligations. 

 I argued that I cannot even afford basic living costs after visiting costs (300 Euro per month) and maintenance (330 Euro per month) is deducted. However they simple have rejected my arguments.  I have repeatedly applied to the court to change my Tuesday visiting day to allow me weekends so that I can hold down a full time job to cover the exorbitant payments but the judge ignored every application.

The Social Services in the father's district have made no attempt at neutrality or fairness. The first week after the father was awarded custody, they made an outrageous and totally unrealistic application that I should pay 1,116 Euros per month in child maintenance, based on an alleged earning potential of 4,000 Euros!! This is more than the father ever earned as a full time doctor working night shifts and weekends! I had been a full time mother for 2 years. They even argued that I should work as a cleaning lady if I couldn't find a job to match my qualifications in order to meet my maintenance obligations. They then argued my parents should have to pay the maintenance for the children if I can't - there is no legal basis whatsoever to such an argument. It is pure malice. 

 I have to pay 50 Euro / visit to see my children and 330 Euro / month in maintenance yet am denied any meaningful role in my children's lives.

Translated excerpts from the latest decision:
 According to statement 8 Ob 651/90 from Beth, the parent who has to pay maintenance is living at the existence minimum. But she is not allowed to use this as an argument, although the "Senat" (the judges) stated that partial or even complete freedom from payment of maintenance might be possible if the parent who is taking care of the child earns considerably more than the other parent and what the latter earns is hardly relevant. This could be the case if the parent caring for the child in fact covered 100% of the child's needs and only a minimal amount could be "extorted" (obtained) from the other parent (Beth).

 The decision in this case, however, went against the mother and it's stated that "The fact that the parent caring for the child earns much more than the other parent is not allowed to lead to a reduction in the amount of maintenance to be paid by the latter." It seems that in theory the argument re the two very different incomes is valid, yet not in practice.
Original German
Nach dem der Entscheidung 8 Ob 651/90 zugrunde liegenden Sachverhalt hatte der geldunterhaltspflichtige Elternteil nur ein Einkommen "um das Existenzminimum". Der 8. Senat führte zunächst aus, dass sich der Unterhaltsschuldner nicht auf eine dem (damals noch anzuwendenden) § 5 LPfG Belastbarkeitsgrenze berufen dürfe, hielt aber (mit dem Hinweis, dass es eine Frage des Einzelfalls darstelle) eine teilweise oder sogar gänzliche Befreiung von der Alimentationspflicht für denkbar, wenn der betreuende Elternteil über ein beträchtlich höheres Einkommen verfüge, sodass die dem anderen Teil zumutbare Alimentierung im Vergleich dazu bei lebensnaher Betrachtung aller Umstände nicht mehr ins Gewicht falle.

Kolko Lakewood case: The role of the Lakewood roshei yeshiva in driving out Rabbi S.

In the Kolko case the Lakewood establishment succeeded in driving out a major talmid Chachom as the result of his reporting the abuse of his son. He only did this after going to beis din and consulting with gedolim. Nevetheless he was still driven out and labeled a moser! I received the following insider account from someone in Lakewood regarding this case and received his permission to publicize it.

==========================
1. The whole Lakewood was told that Rabbi S. dreamt up the accusations "without a shred of evidence", and that he didn't have a psak to go to Court. Even the biggest and loudest rabble rousers were lied to (thus the heart full public apology by one such "askan" when he was finally told the truth) and tricked into thinking they were fighting against an injustice. Without these two important lies NOBODY in his right mind would have helped Kolko. 

Of course, Kolko had already admitted to 4 independent adults, and leading Poskim were behind Rabbi S. One of the BMG Rosh Yeshivas  was from the handful of people that knew these facts, Rabbi S. told him everything. Even if he was inclined to believe Kolko over Rabbi S. he could have done his own research, the adults were and still are, alive and well. Not only did it not stop him from harassing Rabbi S. and family, he was active in the misinformation campaign. He led his henchman and the greater community to believe there never was any abuse, and he leaned on the Rabbonim in an attempt to get them to take back their heter.

2. This RH, spent hours and hours and countless meetings scheming and strategizing on kolko's behalf.

3. Rabbi S. left town at his own will. No one, even after the harmful cruel things that were said about them, ever took away any of Rabbi S's many positions. Except BMG. His job was taken from him against his will.

4. NOT ONE of the Rosh Hayeshiva ever apologized in public or even in private!?! They simply don't regret what they did. 

5. The ONLY reason he got his job back was because of a written psak from EY!!!!

In short, the problem here was not that they FOLLOWED the wrong people, but rather that they LED people in the wrong direction. Rewarding bad behavior, especially to these ever powerful establishment types, only encourages more bad behavior.

Please,  publicly demand they right this terrible wrong. 

I would like to sign off on a positive note. The party that really deserves our praise is Rabbi S's kehilah. Despite unbearable pressure to fire him, they stood by him. And, when he was here in Lakewood before Pesach, they were "mechabeid" him to give a shiur. The place was jammed!!!

May we be zocheh to LEADERS that will LEAD us to greet Moshiach very very soon.

Gut Shabbos,
Lakewood Charedi.

Can Limiting Divorce Make Marriage Stronger?

 update This article comparing marriage to military enlistment was also suggested Spousebuzz

 Bloomberg By Megan McArdle  ..I see via Rod Dreher that there is a movement afoot in some states to restrict no-fault divorce, on the grounds that easy divorce is undermining marriage. Rod and I disagree about lots of things, but we’re both in agreement that marriage could certainly use some shoring up. The question is, is this a good way to do that?

I can see the appeal of making marriage more difficult to get out of. My brief tour through the divorce literature indicated that ending a high-conflict marriage is better for everyone, including the kids -- despite the financial and emotional drawbacks, it really is better to have two homes, rather than one where Mom and Dad are engaged in a bitter civil war.

On the other hand, the evidence on ending low-conflict marriages -- one in which maybe one party, or both, doesn’t feel perfectly fulfilled, but they get along OK -- wasn’t so happy. Children of low-conflict marriages whose parents divorce have more difficulty adjusting than the kids of high-conflict marriages. It’s thought that the divorce comes as a shock to these kids; a relationship that seemed fine to them suddenly dissolves, which changes their ability to trust the world and other people.
These divorces aren’t necessarily so great for the adults, either. Divorce tends to be a financial disaster for all but the very rich, because it’s more expensive to support two households than one. And people who exit marriages don’t necessarily find this makes them happier. We tend to think that marriages are good, and then they go bad, and then you divorce and get happy again, but unhappiness can often be a temporary condition that later improves.
Some approximation of this insight is what structured divorce laws before the no-fault revolution. You exited marriages in which there was abuse, adultery, abandonment or wild financial irresponsibility, not because you were just sick and tired of being married. [...]

The lesson is that when you make it harder to exit, you also make people reluctant to enter. If we try to strengthen marriage by clamping down on divorce, we may find that more and more people simply refuse to get married in the first place.
The divorce laws of an earlier era were one part of a complex social institution with mutually reinforcing norms and a fairly elaborate system of punishments and rewards. People were encouraged to stay in marriages because divorce was difficult -- but it is at least as important that divorce was heavily stigmatized. Even more important is the energy society spent encouraging people to get married in the first place -- not just with the gauzy dreams of wedding gowns and perfect babies that help sustain the institution today, but also with a complicated system of carrots and sticks that have now completely vanished. Old maids were stigmatized; women who had babies out of wedlock were shunned. Marriage was the only socially permitted way to cohabit and, for that matter, often the only legal way to do so: Landlords didn’t like renting to people who were shacking up, and hotels that rented to rooms to openly unmarried couples risked being indicted as brothels. On the positive side, getting married often meant a raise for a man, and for both parties, it constituted instant admission to adulthood. [....]

Even if you accept the premise that marriage needs to be strengthened -- which I do! -- and even if you accept the premise that the state therefore has a right to force people to stay married, which is a bigger stretch, I’m not sure that the state should. As conservatives are fond of noting, societies, like economies, are very complex organic systems. We do not understand them, much less control them with a few simple tweaks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Antidepressant Generation By Doris Iarovici, M.D.

NY Times    Read the comments to the article to get a clearer picture of the issues

Antidepressants are an excellent treatment for depression and anxiety. I’ve seen them improve — and sometimes save — many young lives. But a growing number of young adults are taking psychiatric medicines for longer and longer periods, at the very age when they are also consolidating their identities, making plans for the future and navigating adult relationships.
Are we using good scientific evidence to make decisions about keeping these young people on antidepressants? Or are we inadvertently teaching future generations to view themselves as too fragile to cope with the adversity that life invariably brings?[...]

Children and adolescents increasingly take antidepressants. In 2009, a large trial called the Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study showed that those who took an antidepressant in conjunction with therapy for nine months were much less depressed, and less suicidal, in the year after stopping treatment than those without treatment — so clearly treatment is critical. But for how long? And is medicine on its own, without therapy, sufficient?
More students arrive on campus already on antidepressants. From 1994 to 2006, the percentage of students treated at college counseling centers who were using antidepressants nearly tripled, from 9 percent to over 23 percent. In part this reflects the introduction of S.S.R.I. antidepressants, a new class of drugs thought to be safer and have fewer side effects than their predecessors. 

At the same time, direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs also became commonplace. Some of this very helpfully reduces stigma, allowing people who are suffering from depression to get much-needed relief. But it also creates demand where genuine need may be less clear.[...]

We walk a thinning line between diagnosing illness and teaching our youth to view any emotional upset as pathological. We need a greater focus on building resilience in emerging adults. We need more scientific studies — spanning years, not months — on the risks and benefits of maintenance treatment in emerging adults. Maybe someday, treating people like this young graduate student, I won’t have to feel like we’re conducting an experiment of one. 

Rabbi Eliezer Berland arrives in Johannesburg in latest attempt to avoid arrest for suspected sexual harassment

JPost   Israeli Rabbi Eliezer Berland, 77, fled to South Africa last week after Zimbabwe deported him for violating its immigration laws.

Berland, a member of an offshoot of the Breslov Hassidic sect, left Israel to avoid arrest after several women, including a 15-year-old girl, complained of being sexually abused. Before Zimbabwe Berland hid in Miami, Zurich and Morocco.

South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein sent an email to his colleagues throughout the country informing them that Berland and a number of his followers had arrived in Johannesburg.

“Our community [must] not be involved with sheltering or supporting Berland and his followers,” Goldstein warned.

Any congregants likely to be “drawn into supporting or sheltering Berland and his followers” should be spoken with, he added.

“Berland must return to Israel to face the criminal justice system,” Goldstein insisted.[...]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Raising a Moral Child

NY Times   What does it take to be a good parent? We know some of the tricks for teaching kids to become high achievers. For example, research suggests that when parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.

Yet although some parents live vicariously through their children’s accomplishments, success is not the No. 1 priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful. Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement. These patterns hold around the world: When people in 50 countries were asked to report their guiding principles in life, the value that mattered most was not achievement, but caring. [...]

Praising their character helped them internalize it as part of their identities. The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person. This dovetails with new research led by the psychologist Christopher J. Bryan, who finds that for moral behaviors, nouns work better than verbs. To get 3- to 6-year-olds to help with a task, rather than inviting them “to help,” it was 22 to 29 percent more effective to encourage them to “be a helper.” Cheating was cut in half when instead of, “Please don’t cheat,” participants were told, “Please don’t be a cheater.” When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices. Over time it can become part of us.

Praise appears to be particularly influential in the critical periods when children develop a stronger sense of identity.  [...]

Praise in response to good behavior may be half the battle, but our responses to bad behavior have consequences, too. When children cause harm, they typically feel one of two moral emotions: shame or guilt. Despite the common belief that these emotions are interchangeable, research led by the psychologist June Price Tangney reveals that they have very different causes and consequences.

Shame is the feeling that I am a bad person, whereas guilt is the feeling that I have done a bad thing. Shame is a negative judgment about the core self, which is devastating: Shame makes children feel small and worthless, and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether. In contrast, guilt is a negative judgment about an action, which can be repaired by good behavior. When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right. [...]

If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave. In a review of research on emotions and moral development, the psychologist Nancy Eisenberg suggests that shame emerges when parents express anger, withdraw their love, or try to assert their power through threats of punishment: Children may begin to believe that they are bad people. Fearing this effect, some parents fail to exercise discipline at all, which can hinder the development of strong moral standards.

The most effective response to bad behavior is to express disappointment. According to independent reviews by Professor Eisenberg and David R. Shaffer, parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation. This enables children to develop standards for judging their actions, feelings of empathy and responsibility for others, and a sense of moral identity, which are conducive to becoming a helpful person. The beauty of expressing disappointment is that it communicates disapproval of the bad behavior, coupled with high expectations and the potential for improvement: “You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.”[...]

The most generous children were those who watched the teacher give but not say anything. Two months later, these children were 31 percent more generous than those who observed the same behavior but also heard it preached. The message from this research is loud and clear: If you don’t model generosity, preaching it may not help in the short run, and in the long run, preaching is less effective than giving while saying nothing at all.

People often believe that character causes action, but when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character. As the psychologist Karl Weick is fond of asking, “How can I know who I am until I see what I do? How can I know what I value until I see where I walk?”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Schlesinger Twins: Beth's open letter to Michael - erev Pesach

Michael,

You don't respond to my private emails so perhaps you will understand why I have resorted to contacting you in this way. We don't see see eye to eye on anything but at least on one thing we may agree: what we are all going through is horrible and humiliating. I'm sure you wish for an end to it as much as I do.

However, for us to reach any kind of resolution, I think it's time you faced reality and answer these fundamental questions. For your own sake more than anyone's, the truth, however ugly and unpalatable, needs to come out.

1) Why did you marry me? The week after we were married you repeatedly banged your head against the wall and said you had to punish yourself, that you were a bad person for marrying me. What did you mean? Were you forced into it? By whom? Why?

2) Why did you talk to 'Janet' about taking me to ESRA so deceitfully? It seems you wanted to get rid of me as soon as I had the babies. Why?

3) Why did rumours go around the community that I called the police and had you evicted? That wasn't true and the police documents prove it.

4) Why did you want to have me committed to a mental hospital when you knew there was nothing wrong with me?

5) Why are you obsessed with trying to label me mentally ill when you know it's not true? After both ESRA and the police psychiatrist confirmed there was nothing wrong with me, why the rumours around the community that I was mentally ill? This was all behind my back while I was breastfeeding our babies and recovering from a painful caesarean. Why didn't you talk directly to me if you were genuinely concerned about me?

6) Why were there vicious rumours going round the community that I neglected the children and they had to be taken away from me because I couldn't look after them properly? The Judge even wrote that you did not disagree with all the positive reports about me as a mother:
“The mother takes good care of the children both in their daily care and upbringing and concerns herself with their welfare. This is well attested in the submitted reports in the file, including the reports of the Social Services (second district) and the statements from play groups. This point (the care of the mother for her children) is also not disputed by the father.”
7) Why did you go behind my back to Rav Pardess to tell him stories about me during our marriage? What did you hope to achieve by this? Why did he never call us both together to talk or hear me alone?

8) Why do you want to deny our children their mother? You told me in the coffee shop that you would be a mother and a father to them. Don't you see that's not possible?

9) Why are Fillipino women looking after our children instead of their mother? Does this mean that you haven't had the support of your family that you expected?

10) Our little boys cannot talk. They have many problems and need their mother's love to help them grow and develop normally. Why are you denying them that chance? Is your hatred for me so great that it overrides the love for your own children?

11) Do you really want the best for Sammy and Benji? Do you want them to catch up with other children their age?

12) When will you stop denying they have severe problems and need their mother's love and care?

Our boys will be 5 years old next month. Don't you agree they have suffered enough?

As you sit at the Seder table (hopefully with Sammy and Benji) discussing the miracle of Pesach and celebrate 'freedom', perhaps you could give these questions some thought. I don't think you feel free at all. You have trapped yourself in a very tragic situation but you have the chance to release yourself if you will only concede.

The mother of your children,

Beth

Schlesinger Twins: Another au pair testifies

After the intimidation of Nora for publishing her testimony on this blog which then caused her to remove her testimony - I am publishing another au pair's testimony



ENGLISH TRANSLATION

I helped the Schlesinger family from August to September 2009 by assisting in childcare and housework. I also flew with the twins Samuel and Benjamin and their mother to England in November 2009 and spent a weekend at Beth Schlesinger's parents' house.

I always enjoyed coming to help the family and I got along very well with the mother of the twins. Mostly I came 2-3 times a week and stayed for about 3-4 hours when the children's father was at work. Among other support, I helped the mother to feed the children. Sometimes I gave one of the babies a bottle while Beth pumped her breastmilk off. In addition, I took care of the children, did some light housework and changed the twins’ diapers while the mother was cooking. I was never alone with the children, I only assisted the mother. I was able to observe that the young babies needed a lot of attention and often cried at the same time so that the mother could not take care of both simultaneously. We therefore took it in turns. Overall, I found the atmosphere in the home to be quiet and orderly, and experienced Beth as being like any other good, normal mother.

Sometimes I stayed overnight when the children's father was on night duty. The nights were very difficult at that time because it took a long time for the children to fall asleep and they woke up many times at night, as children often do at that age. I supported the mother during such nights. Each of us would take a child, feed it, change its diaper and calm him down. Despite her exhaustion, I had the feeling that Beth looked after the children with joy and understood their needs.  After Beth and I had fed the children breakfast, washed them, dressed them and played with them for a while, we got everything ready together to take the children out to the park. By the time the father of the children came home from his night duty, between 9 and 10 o' clock in the morning, the kids were already ready to go out. At this point I went home and Beth went with the children to the nearby Augarten park on her own so that the father could sleep.

Despite this very stressful situation I experienced the mother as attentive, calm and always polite. We always got on well together and never had any conflicts. I had very little contact with the father. I saw him rarely and only for a short time. When I came, he showed little interest and obviously wanted to be left in peace. The reason I stopped helping the family was because I had to continue my studies. 

Beth asked me a few months later, in November 2009 , to accompany her with the children when she went to visit her parents in England The father of the children brought the car seats for the kids to my friend Klaus and Klaus drove Beth, the twins and myself to the airport in Bratislava. When we had trouble folding the stroller (to put in the car), Beth called her husband to ask him for help, and I could hear that he verbally abused her. I could not understand why he was not helpful. Eventually Klaus managed to solve the problem himself.

I did not go to England as a nanny but only to support the family on the flight because Beth told me that airlines do not allow a person to fly alone with two small children. Beth's father picked us up from the airport and took us to the Alexander family’s home. I spent a few days there as a guest and was warmly welcomed by them. I took part in family life and spent a very pleasant time in their house. The family cared lovingly for me and organized and paid for a taxi for me to the airport since Beth's father was unable to take me there himself because of the Jewish Shabbat. Beth and the children stayed on longer and later flew back to Vienna with a friend. 


GERMAN ORIGINAL
Ich half Familie Schlesinger im Zeitraum von August  bis September 2009 fallweise bei der Betreuung der Kinder und im Haushalt. Ich flog mit den Zwillingen Samuel und Benjamin und ihrer Mutter im November 2009 auch nach England und verbrachte ein Wochenende im Haus der Eltern von Beth Schlesinger.
Ich kam immer gerne, um der Familie zu helfen, und bin mit der Mutter der Zwillinge sehr gut ausgekommen. Meistens kam ich 2-3 Mal pro Woche und blieb für etwa 3-4 Stunden, wenn der Vater der Kinder arbeitete. Zu meinen Aufgaben zähltdie Mutter dabei zu unterstützen, die Kinder zu füttern. Manchmal gab ich auch einem der Babys die Flasche, während Beth damit beschäftigt war, die Muttermilch abzupumpen.  Außerdem beaufsichtigte ich die Kinder, während die Mutter kochte, erledigte leichte Hausarbeiten und wechselte die Windeln der Zwillinge. Ich war mit den Kindern niemals alleine, sondern habe die Mutter nur unterstützt. Dabei konnte ich beobachten, dass die noch sehr kleinen Kindern viel Aufmerksamkeit brauchten und oft zur selben Zeit weinten, sodass sich die Mutter nicht gleichzeitig um beide kümmern konnte. Wir wechselten uns deshalb darin ab. Insgesamt empfand ich die Atmosphäre in der Wohnung als ruhig und ordentlich und erlebte Beth als eine ganz normale gute Mutter.
Manchmal blieb ich auch über Nacht, wenn der Vater der Kinder Nachtdienst hatte.  Die Nächte waren zu dieser Zeit sehr schwierig, da die Kinder ein langes Einschlafritual benötigten und in der Nacht oft aufwachten, wie Kinder in diesem Alter es häufig tun. Ich unterstützte die Mutter auch in solchen Nächten,  indem sich jede von uns um jeweils ein Kind kümmerte und es fütterte, wickelte und beruhigte. Trotz ihrer Müdigkeit hatte ich das Gefühl, dass Beth sich mit Freude um die Kinder kümmerte und für ihre Bedürfnisse Verständnis hatte. Nachdem wir den Kindern ihr Frühstück gemacht, sie gewaschen,  angezogen und ein wenig mit ihnen gespielt hatten, bereiteten wir gemeinsam alles für eine Ausfahrt in den Park vor. Wenn der Vater der Kinder zwischen 9 und 10 Uhr morgens vom Nachtdienst nachhause kam, waren die Kinder bereits fertig zum Ausgehen. Ich ging zu diesem Zeitpunkt nachhause und die Kinder gingen mit ihrer Mutter alleine in den nahegelegenen Augarten, damit ihr Vater schlafen konnte.
Trotz dieser sehr belastenden Situation erlebte ich die Mutter als aufmerksam, ruhig und immer höflich. Wir kamen stets gut miteinander aus und hatten niemals Konflikte.  Mit dem Vater hatte ich sehr wenig Kontakt. Ich sah ihn selten und nur für kurze Zeit. Wenn ich kam, zeigte er wenig Interesse und wollte offenbar seine Ruhe haben. Der Grund, warum ich aufhörte, der Familie zu helfen, war, dass ich für meine Ausbildung lernen musste.
Beth bat mich einige Monate später, im November 2009, sie zu begleiten, als sie mit den Kindern ihre Eltern in England besuchen wollte. Der Vater der Kinder hatte die Autositze für die Kinder zu meinem Freund Klaus gebracht und Klaus brachte Beth, die Zwillinge und mich zum Flughafen in Bratislava. Als wir Schwierigkeiten hatten, den Kinderwagen zusammenzuklappen, rief Beth ihren Mann an, um ihn um Hilfe zu fragen, und ich konnte hören, dass er sie beschimpfte. Ich konnte nicht verstehen, warum er nicht hilfsbereit war. Schließlich gelang es Klaus, das Problem selbst zu lösen.
Ich kam nach England nicht als Kindermädchen mit, sondern nur, um die Familie auf dem Flug zu unterstützen, weil Beth mir erzählt hatte, dass es nicht möglich ist, alleine mit zwei kleinen Kindern zu fliegen. Beths Vater holte uns vom Flughafen ab und brachte uns zum Haus der Familie. Ich verbrachte dort einige Tage als Gast und wurde von der Familie sehr herzlich aufgenommen. Ich nahm am Familienleben teil und verbrachte eine sehr angenehme Zeit in ihrem Haus. Die Familie kümmerte sich liebevoll um mich und organisierte und bezahlte  zum Beispiel ein Taxi, als mich Beths Vater am jüdischen Schabbat nicht selbst zum Flughafen bringen konnte, als ich zurück nach Wien reisen wollte. Beth und die Kinder blieben länger als ich und flogen später mit einer Freundin zurück nach Wien.