German Court Denies Missionary Family Residence Visa over Homeschooling
By Peter J. Smith

UEHLFELD, Germany, January 25, 2008 ( – A German court has rejected the visa appeal of a US Baptist missionary family, which now faces deportation from the country for choosing to educate their children at home instead of in the German school system.

As previously reported by, Clint Robinson, his wife Susan and their three children were denied a residency permit by authorities in Germany after it was discovered that the Robinsons were Baptist missionaries and were homeschooling their children. Last minute negotiations last month by the International Human Rights Group (IHRG), an organisation that has championed the rights of homeschooling families in Germany, convinced officials to postpone the deportation order and work for a settlement. (

However, the court has now rejected the formal appeal filed by IHRG European Counsel Ronald Reichert, making the Robinson family’s future in Germany uncertain.

“The court’s ruling was entirely on a procedural matter,” Joel Thornton, President of IHRG told “The court refused to deal with the question as to whether the refusal to grant a permit to stay in Germany is ill-founded or not, and made an erroneous decision.”

IHRG is appealing this most recent decision. Thornton said the group needs the help of homeschooling advocates to email US embassy officials in Germany “asking the US government to do everything in their power to help the Robinson family.”

Thornton said that the IHRG have the ability to forward responses directly to high-level personnel in the embassy, if messages are sent to his e-mail address

“We are also meeting with local German officials in an attempt to get them to grant the visa regardless of the court decision. This is an alternative way to keep the Robinson family in Germany,” he said.

Germany’s ban on homeschooling began with the Third Reich. Chancellor Adolf Hitler banned the practice in 1938 in order to indoctrinate all young Germans in Nazi ideology through the public schools. Authorities have increasingly adopted the methods of National Socialist (Nazi) Germany to suppress homeschooling, which it regards as a “parallel society,” dangerous to the health of the state.

The parents of the nation’s estimated 300-500 homeschoolers face imprisonment, heavy fines and the state seizure of their children. Earlier this month, Klaus and Kathrin Landahl and their five children fled to England in order to escape the confiscation of their children by the mayor of their town. (

To contact US embassy officials through the International Human Rights Group (IHRG) care of Joel Thornton:

To express concerns to German authorities:

President of the Federal Republic of Germany
11010 Berlin
Telefon: +49 30 20 00-0
Fax: +49 030 20 00-19 99

Angela Merkel
Willy-Brandt-Straße 1
10557 Berlin
Telefon: +49 180 272-0000
Fax: +49 1888 272-2555

Politician Joachim Herrmann
Chief of the CSU Party
Joachim Herrmann
Ludwig-Erhard-Straße 9 a
91052 Erlangen
Telefon: +49 9131- 53 45 38
Telefax: +49 9131- 61 18 40

To contact the German embassies in Canada and the United States.

In Canada:

German Embassy
1 Waverley Street
Ottawa, ON, K2P 0T8
Tel.: 613-232-1101 Fax: 613-594-9330

In the US:

German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
(202) 298-4000
The embassy can be e-mailed from its website:

Here is the information for contacting the German Ambassador in New Zealand:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany:

HE Mr Jörg Zimmermann, Ambassador
Street Address 90-92 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington
Postal Address PO Box 1687, Wellington
Telephone +64 4 473 6063 Facsimile +64 4 473 6069



Office Hours Mon-Thur 0730-1615 hrs, Fri 0730-1500 hrs Consular Mon-Fri 0800-1200 hrs

See previous coverage by

Homeschooling Missionary Family Narrowly Avoids German Deportation for Now

See related coverage by

German Homeschooling Family Flees to England After Mayor Attempts to Seize Children

German Homeschooler Melissa Busekros Home with Family after 3 Month Ordeal

Three More Families Appeal for Help as Germany Continues Crackdown on Homeschooling Families

German Court Places Custody of Yet Another 5 Homeschooling Children with Government’s Youth Office

Authorities Ask German Homeschooling Family to Give up Custody of Other 5 Children

European Human Rights Court Rules State May Deny Parents Right to Home School Their Children

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