Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"How could this possibly have happened?!"

"I'm shocked! Shocked that there's been infanticide gambling going on at this establishment..."

Local politicians reacted with shock to the discovery and asked how it was possible that the disappearance of the babies over a period of some 16 years had not come to light earlier.

"We are looking at a crime on a scale that, as far as I can remember, has never been seen in the history of the Federal Republic," the Interior Minister of the state of Brandenburg, Joerg Schoenbohm, said in a statement.

"We have to ask ourselves how this incredible crime remained hidden over all these years. It's a question directed at relatives, neighbours, doctors and the authorities," he said.

But let's be careful not to ask too hard.

A German politician sparked widespread outrage and calls to resign for suggesting that mothers in eastern Germany are more prone to killing their babies because of liberal communist-era abortion laws.

Amid growing concerns about the safety of children following a spate of child murders and infanticides, many of them in eastern Germany, a politician controversially suggested over the weekend that liberal attitudes in the communist former East Germany were partly to blame.

Replying to a question about a study that showed babies in eastern Germany were three to four times more at risk of being killed than in the west, Wolfgang Boehmer, premier of the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt told German news magazine Focus: "This can be explained by the careless attitude towards early life in the new [eastern] states."

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