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Neulussheim: Eight 12 to 19 year olds kill Johann Babies in the forest on October 15, 2003
Documentation and archive

Information from 12/12/2003

Johann Babies in Neulussheim
sometime before October 2003
Johann Babies' hut in the Neulußheimer Wald on October 17th, 2003
The hut is on December 4th, 2003
demolished and leveled "clean".
Just why?



You're still doing too well

To the GB entry by Dieter Scheck October 04, 2004
I can only agree with Dieter Scheck's contribution. He stated the problems factually. And yet I want to add my own assessment to his contribution: I, this is a 35-year-old "adult" who can often still think from the head like a young person, just don't understand what is sometimes in the heads of the "kids" "is going on.
20 years ago I wasn't a model boy either, and we screwed up a lot of crap back then, too. And we fought too. It was just that the fight was over when the other was on the ground. Nowadays it is the case that the person who is lying on the ground gets really hit in the "face" again. And why ? Just so that the other one can stand in front of his friends as a super cool gangster ???
Unfortunately, it is undeniable that the propensity for violence in our society, and especially among young people, has increased significantly. There are actually no more inhibitions. But when there are arguments that one of the reasons for the bad times in our country, then I can only laugh about it. Although it would be more to howl.
Germany has had to go through difficult times several times. But I hardly think that at that time the children and adolescents became "violence-prone". But on the contrary. We used to help each other. I am firmly of the opinion that one of the reasons for the aggressiveness among the kids is the lack of employment. Or to put it simply, you are still doing too well.
And if you are bored, you can come up with something stupid.

But I don't want to say that the kids should only sit at home all day to read the Bible. Definitely not. You should also have fun and enjoy your young life. But everything within limits.
And beating people up just for the fun of it, willfully destroying the property of others, or even murdering people (sorry, for me the act was not manslaughter, but murder) is far beyond any limits.

And finally, I have some good advice for the kids:

Don't believe everything you see on TV !!! As a small example I will mention the music videos on MTV or VIVA. Do you really believe that there are super cool gangster rappers? Do you think that the "bad guys" walk around in real life like they do in their videos? Definitely not ! Or do you mean that SIDO runs around with his skull mask all day? Think about it. Something is played for you, just so that the CD's sell better.

This is not the real world! You are real. And don't block your life by building such shit. Because it's just not worth it.

Greetings to all Frank
Entry in the guest book of www.neulussheim from October 18, 2004



Memorial stone on the anniversary of the death of Johann Babies - place of remembrance

Neulußheim. Meanwhile the grass grew evenly at the place where the forest hut had once stood. Until yesterday there was nothing to remind you that exactly a year ago a person was brutally killed here. An act of harrowing cruelty, in the face of which - and not just in the first moment of shock - one would have liked to distance oneself with all one's might.

But forgetting and repressing always harbor the risk of repetition, only arguments and discussions, on the other hand, the chance of a better future. As a sign that Neulußheim is not simply letting grass grow unreflected over the events of October 15, 2003, the memorial stone by Neulußheim stone sculptor Matthias Schöner has been in the Hubwald since yesterday.

Mayor Gerhard Greiner wants the monument to be understood as a "warning sign and stumbling block". It should help "not to remain in the incomprehensible, but to move forward, to provide orientation and to do everything humanly possible so that human dignity is not touched and certainly not broken". The memory also makes it clear, according to Greiner, that we adults no longer have our world under control and that we can no longer credibly tell young people where to go. "For our part, we must again set an example of what tolerance, humanity, moral courage, respect and respect for human dignity mean in everyday life," warned Greiner, who also described the memorial stone as a "bridge between the past and the future".

The three granite blocks can be understood as symbols for the past and future, as a break and the wish for a hopeful connection. On the back of the monument, which reminds of the past, it says "For Johann Babies", on the front "Human dignity is inviolable". Neulußheim would like to do everything to ensure that this first fundamental right, which is anchored in our constitution, will be given more attention again in the future, also and above all by children and young people. The memorial stone is one of many steps on this path.

"The subject of my work was difficult. I had to think deeply about it, couldn't get by with the formal language alone and thus also added the inscription," explained the sculptor. Schöne studied sculpture at the Karlsruhe Art Academy and, after spending time in Hungary and Japan, is now setting up a studio and a sculptor's workshop in Neulußheim.

The residents of the Schickardgemeinde, some of whom, whether they knew the dead man themselves or not, found their way into the Hubwald yesterday at noon, valued his work very much and are visibly grateful to him for what he has achieved.

According to Greiner, they thought of the dead for a moment in silence, laid flowers on a memorial, which will help them with further discussion and processing, but which will always remain a place of silence, of silent and bewildered remembrance. be on October 16, 2004

Even a year after the crime, the wounds in Neulußheim have not healed

On October 15, 2003, several children and young people beat a homeless man so badly that he died

Melanie (name changed by the editor) was one of the first to find out. Back then, on the morning of October 16, 2003, when parents, teachers, mayors and street sweepers still believed that this would be a perfectly normal day in the tranquil 6300-strong community of Neulußheim. The news was already circulating in the school yard of the Hockenheim Realschule that everything was going to change: three boys from Melanie's class and a few other boys and girls had beaten the homeless Johann Babies in the Neulußheimer Wald so brutally that he was injured during the night died.

Neulußheim, a rainy day in October 2004. Melanie is no longer a student at Hockenheim, but she still remembers the cold autumn morning a year ago. "At first I didn't believe it," says the 14-year-old. After all, she has known the "boys" who beat "bum Paul" for years. She used to be with them almost every day. Over at the halfpipe they crouched, smoked and chatted. Everything "just normal guys". Only at some point "they got more and more stupid" and kept telling who they were going to "bathe" again now.

Meanwhile, Melanie has hardly any contact with her former friends who were present at the fight. Although almost all of the young people who were convicted by the Mannheim Regional Court in July still live in Neulußheim. The Great Youth Chamber imposed a two-year youth sentence on probation against three 15-year-olds, a 14-year-old received one year and three months, also on probation. Only the oldest of them, the 20-year-old main perpetrator, is in juvenile detention for five years.

A morning at the Lußhardt School. From his window on the first floor, director Peter Scholl has a good view of his protégés in the courtyard of the elementary and secondary school. Actually. "You just can't reach some of them," he says thoughtfully. At the time of the crime, only one of the girls involved was a student here. No 14th of age. In the meantime one of the condemned boys has switched to the Lußhardt School.

In the beginning it was difficult to reintegrate the boy and the girl into the school association, the two did not spend the first long breaks with the others in the courtyard, but in the protected rooms of the management. "They ran after them and screamed 'murderer'", remembers Scholl.

Not only for the classmates and former friends, but also for the teachers, dealing with the boys and girls involved was anything but easy. "For a long time I couldn't deal with the matter normally," says the teacher of an eighth grader who was in the Neulußheim forest on the fateful October evening a year ago. She would never have believed that the girl could be involved in such an act. To this day, the teacher is incomprehensible how what could have happened. Nevertheless, one year after the death of Johann Babies, something like everyday life has returned to the Lußhardt School. Forgetting is something important, Peter Scholl knows that.

Forget, that is a word that Werner S. (name changed by the editorial team) is not tangible. The close relative of one of those involved in the crime still cannot understand what "got into the boy" back then. The youngster was always a calm person, level-headed, friendly. "You can't understand that," says Werner S., he repeats it over and over again. He was completely surprised when the police stood on the doorstep one evening a year ago. "The boy had come to dinner and was normal as always," remembers S. He was only a little restless. "I remember how he was standing behind the patrol car before he was interrogated."

What exactly happened on the evening in the Neulußheimer Wald when Johann Babies first lost his dignity and later his life, the family did not find out until much later from the trial files. Nothing has been the same since then. Sure, the boy is still part of the family, you let him feel that too. But what happened is not talked about.

In the local café you know the boys and girls who beat "Penner Paul"; in summer they get their ice cream here for as long as ever. "Very nice, normal children", describes a Neulußheimerin the adolescents that Johann Babies had to get to know from a completely different angle. What must have gone on in the "children" when they beat the man for hours, the woman cannot imagine to this day. "I have a 13-year-old granddaughter myself," she says. It is out of the question for her that she looks at the young people involved in the crime. "What's that supposed to do?" Asks the woman.

Not everyone in Neulußheim seems to see it that way. "Long-established residents in particular sometimes cut us," says Werner S., describing the family's life one year after the crime. "People deal with the matter differently," observes Mayor Gerhard Greiner: "Some would like to let grass grow over the matter." The only thing that everyone agrees on is that something like this should never have happened: "They regret it to the death," says Melanie about those among the perpetrators with whom she has contact. "Some of them still start crying every time you ask them about it," says the 14-year-old.

"Human dignity is inviolable" is written on the memorial stone that Mayor Greiner will erect in the Neulußheim forest today. In memory of Johann Babies and the fact that exactly this dignity was broken in an unimaginable way a year ago

Tatjana Schneider on October 15th, 2004 in the Schwetzinger Zeitung

What is education and decency?

Upbringing and decency cannot be replaced with pocket money, the most modern computers, the most expensive bikes or a brand new scooter. Upbringing and decency must be exemplified and shown by the parents.
Parents and grandparents should take the time to do this, because children react and say what they hear and see. If they experience quarrels, if they see that the louder and stronger wins, they will implement this and exercise it exactly as they think they are right. They live according to the motto: "Cheek and violence" wins because they have not got to know it any other way. If parents tell their children that you don't have to and you mustn't put up with anything, that's an educational deficit and they make it very easy for themselves.
When young people today have stress with teachers, neighbors, the police or older people, they suddenly hide behind the youth protection law and the mum's skirt, because they know that dad will get them out again, probably with the words: “It's still another one Child".
The young people want to be recognized in the community as little adults, but when they have done something, when it comes to the point or the judge, seen as a child and punished as a child.
The youth do not want to know that one not only has rights but also duties in the state, in the country and in the community (by the way, comes from community) in which one lives and lives.
When defense attorneys and lawyers plead that the general public is found guilty for not having the right to oppose and act against reckless young people, then I ask myself and many fellow men why the word “moral courage” is not deleted from our vocabulary . Because if you show courage, you will or can still be attached to “vigilante justice” and so you end up before a judge faster than the one who has done something.
Nowadays, if you act against young people, try to achieve something with good words, you will be insulted, given a stinky finger and be stupidly turned on and threatened by their parents. Are these the signs and results of a good upbringing today ???
On every construction site there is a large sign that reads:
Yet when these children reach a certain age from 1 -...? Years have not yet passed, they are under criminal responsibility and unfortunately many know that. They are often more protected by our law than their victims. Children should learn to deal with problems verbally, to speak and not to act with violence and recklessness towards "others". Because violence creates counter-violence and it rises to the point of hatred. We recently experienced first hand what can happen as a result in our small and sleepy congregation. We, the adults, were all very affected, shocked and horrified at our front door in the 21st century, but if we turn on the news, such acts often occur, not only here in Neulussheim or Germany, no, there are these attacks from around the world Adolescents. that should and must not be an excuse that it is so. It is not a good path that our children, our young people and later the adults go there.Extremely selfishly brought up, pushing the weaker ones away with the elbows, climbing up the career ladder and walking over corpses with only one goal. The main thing is that I am fine, what the "other" does I miss the A .....
This knowledge, understanding what is right and wrong, what lies and truth, what strength and weakness, what recognition and respect, what a word of honor means and what is property of the other, this is to be understood.
If these lines are read by the parents and the adolescent children together, they are dealt with together, discussed and thought about, why did the writer write this harsh criticism of them or our youth, when that happens I have achieved what I actually wanted to talk to and listen to. If it happens that you turn off the computer, the play station and the television and deal with my text, then I have not hammered these lines into our congregation's guest book for nothing. Thanks if you do.
One more saying:
"It is always easier to blame the" other "than to start looking at" yourself ".
Didier Hugeno written in October 2004

Dieter Scheck on October 4th, 2004 in the guest book of
[email protected]




Berlin homeless newspaper reports

In the 14/2004 issue of the "Straßenfeger", a Berlin homeless newspaper, reports on the Johann Babies case.

Street sweeper - Berlin homeless newspaper
[email protected], c / o Thomas Lemmer


We knew Hennes for 10 years!

We know Hennes his killer! We know the parents!
We know Neulussheim because we lived there for 10 years. We were homeless ourselves.
With the help of Ev. Pastor's office in Hockenheim and the help of Mayor Gerhard Greiner and his great employees in the town hall, we made it back to "normal" life after a long, difficult journey.
Neulussheim has a number of residents who always gave us oblique looks or pointed comments (e.g. employees in the building yard).
After our reintegration we still met with our homeless buddies and were in the warming room on Fridays. We often drove out to the hut at Hennes. I made salad and we had a barbecue there. Hennes was often with us in the chopping area. At the time of the carnival he came to us to watch the Carnival parade on TV. Then he asked for cabbage rolls, and later he called his sister about us. Always on May 19th we all met at PLUS celebrating his birthday - usually I cut his hair and beard there.
I have often asked him if he is not afraid to close the record alone. He said no. I was always scared and said that if someone hits me, it would be right, so that I would not wake up.
We will remember Hennes forever.
A sad greeting to all employees of the Neulussheim town hall, especially to Mr. Werner Kuppinger and Mr. Naber as well as to
Mobbel, Lissy, Bauer Hans, family Lauer, family Gottfried and Helmut Grigst.
Guest book from from July 13, 2004


Young perpetrators - in 20 years even unemployed?

Hello, that what was done to Mr. Johann Babies could have happened in any place between Rügen and Garmisch. To blame an entire place for this is absurd.
It would be much more important to tackle the causes of so much human cold. And each of us can do that. At the next meeting of a homeless person, don't go straight to the side of the street, but maybe look for a conversation and maybe buy a meal.
Personally, I've been doing this for years and, with a few exceptions, have only had positive experiences.
Often there are bad fates behind the homelessness, sometimes completely through no fault of their own. And yet these people do not choose suicide, they want to live and try to make the best of it. RESPECT!.
There are organizations such as B. "Die Tafel", which is active in many cities and covers gaps that the state leaves open. There, too, help or money is always welcome and helps people who otherwise no one likes to see.
As for the juvenile offenders, I'm glad not to be a judge. I think a lot of things sooner or later punishes life by itself ...

And the possibility that even among today's juvenile perpetrators there will be homeless people in 20 or 30 years' time is not so absurd nowadays ...

A sad greeting, Andreas Klein, [email protected], July 12th, 2004
from the guest book of


the story: Wasn't just a homeless person - when children kill

On October 16 last year, 54-year-old Johann Babies died a gruesome death. The homeless person is kicked together, tortured and humiliated by children and young people until, after two days and nights in a forest, he dies like an animal. Meanwhile, the eight perpetrators of the 6,000-strong community in Neulussheim continue to go to school and even brag about the fact that they killed the homeless man. Two days after the crime, they arrange to meet at the scene "to kill the bum if he is still alive". But Johann Babies is dead. Died from the blows and kicks of young people from middle-class parents.

The village is torn apart because of what happened last October. Some demand severe punishment, others say that children cannot be branded forever. There is perplexity: what causes children to commit such a monstrous act? Is there a punishment for them and what can it look like? The court will now decide on this. What is more serious, the death of a person or the future of twelve to nineteen year olds?

Broadcast dates on ARD:                               
Friday, 07/30/04, 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 31, 2004, 7:05 am
Saturday, July 31, 2004, 2:05 p.m. from 8 July 2004


With fatal consequences ...

You tormented a socially marginalized person for hours and thus brought about his death. Justice has been spoken about the young perpetrators from Neulußheim, who with their heartless act also hit the guilty conscience of the adult world. That this is not synonymous with justice is already indicated by the degree of punishment. And also the fact that, despite the sadistic circumstances of the execution, the court found bodily harm resulting in death. Together with juvenile criminal law, this allows - with the exception of the main offender, who was portrayed as the "stupid" in a double sense - a "second chance" sentence for the pupils. One wanted to get past a criminal example.

This has succeeded, not least thanks to an apparently coordinated statement-making behavior. The children "from our midst", as a mayor who tries to limit damage and disgrace never tires of emphasizing, have so far hardly contributed to coming to terms with the crime, as even the local pastor has to admit. Maybe because Johann Babies was "just" a "bum"? Is it about forgiving or forgetting in Neulußheim? Unfortunately, most of the questions remain unanswered - those about action and many that are directed at adults. But one thing is certain: for the young perpetrators as well as their parents, the babies' criminal case does not end with this elegant judgment.

Manfred Fritz on from July 6, 2004


Nobody would have done it alone - verdict

Trial of the violent death of a homeless person: The motives of the young perpetrators remain in the dark

Mannheim. In the trial of the violent death of a homeless person, the Mannheim district court announced the verdicts on Monday. The 20-year-old main offender has to serve a five-year youth sentence. Three 15-year-olds have been given two-year suspended sentences and are required to attend social training. The district court found the four guilty of bodily harm resulting in death. A 14-year-old co-defendant received a suspended sentence of 15 months for dangerous bodily harm.

"God forgive you." Those were the last words of the victim Johann Babies to the perpetrators. The five boys had badly mistreated the 54-year-old in front of his forest hut in Neulußheim in October 2003. For hours they kicked him and hit the screaming and vomiting man with clubs. A wooden post broke in two as a result of the force. "The victim was no longer a person, but something that you can stand up for," said defense attorney Manfred Zipper, appalled. His now 20-year-old client was evidently particularly cruel. So the two-meter man had his full weight of more than 130 kilograms

The victim "knocked out out of boredom"
placed on the chest of the "forest man". The victim suffered several broken bones and ribs, as well as bleeding all over her body. An expert compared the injuries with those of a traffic accident. The defendants could have foreseen that the man would die as a result of the injuries, according to the youth chamber. "Human dignity is inviolable," warned the presiding judge Mattias Schwab.
Even in the eleven-day trial, it was ultimately not possible to clarify why the perpetrators tortured Johann Babies and then left them to his fate. Defense attorney Manfred Zipper suspects the boys have beaten the man "out of boredom". "We wanted to kill time," one of them is said to have said during interrogations.

At most, the oldest had one motive. In the summer of 2003 he was hit with a shovel by the homeless man who probably felt disturbed by provocative young people. But it wasn't until a few weeks later that the young man and his friends came to punish "Penner Paul", as they called him. Several of them hit the 54-year-old. The victim made an offer of peace, apologized and handed out a beer. Two days later, the then 19-year-old asked the resident to repeat a pre-formulated apology. When he refused, the five boys brutally attacked him. In between they took a cigarette break and talked to the victim.

But why did none of them evade the excess of violence or seek help? Several children who were under criminal responsibility also watched and did nothing. Lawyers spoke of "group dynamics litigation." Defense attorney Zipper believes that the defendants got into a kind of "blood frenzy". One thing seems clear: "Nobody would have done it alone", attorney Maximilian Endler agrees with his colleagues. And: "They beat up because they didn't want to be outside the group," believes Endler. A day later, some of the perpetrators looked after Johann Babies, but by then he was already dead.

The four young people's lawyers were satisfied with the verdicts. Not, however, defense attorney Zipper, whose client is the only one who has to serve a prison sentence. "He feels that he has been treated unfairly and believes that the others deserve the same punishment," reported Zipper, who described his client as a "giant baby". He is now considering challenging the verdict. The public prosecutor's office had "poorly determined" and the four co-defendants had "agreed" with each other before giving evidence, criticized the defense lawyer. In court, the young people used uniform statements and identical formulations. Prosecutor Lars Oltrogge had demanded six and a half years for the elder - for manslaughter. However, the adolescent's intent to kill could not be proven. Appraisers attested that all of the accused were fully guilty. The

"They are children from our midst"
The 20-year-old today, however, has lagged behind in development and is therefore treated as a juvenile under criminal law. The court agreed. Also on the last day the public was excluded from the trial because of the age of the accused.

Neulußheim's mayor, Gerhard Greiner, “doesn't want to exclude the perpetrators, but to endure them”. And: You have to forgive them and give them a second chance. "There are children from our midst," he points out. They would have "only done what is said every evening at the regulars' table." A round table was set up in which educators, school principals and social workers as well as the police and the church participated. The balance, almost nine months after the homeless person's death, is sobering: "We have not yet achieved any concrete results," says the Protestant pastor Uwe Sulger, who knows the three 15-year-old thugs from confirmation classes. He is certain that the violent death of the 54-year-old man has something to do with his homelessness. The Heidelberg criminologist Dieter Dölling has two explanations when looking for answers to the brutal behavior of children and adolescents. "The influence of young people on one another is very strong - stronger than that of their parents," explains the director of the Institute for Criminology at Heidelberg University.

The cliques formed leaders who were imitated because of the sense of belonging to the group. Since the 20-year-old main culprit was intellectually inferior to the others, he apparently wanted to produce himself through his violent behavior, analyzes Dölling. This fateful reciprocity could have triggered the act.
The neglected hut where Johann Babies lived has since been torn down. In its place, a memorial stone is intended to commemorate the "forest people" who was buried in his hometown of Siegburg

Ulrich Willenberg in the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung on July 6, 2004



The verdict was pronounced 263 days after the fact, in camera

"Human dignity is inviolable" clearly emphasized
Urgent warnings from the judge when yesterday's verdict was announced by the youth chamber of the Mannheim regional court

Mannheim / Neulußheim. Exactly 263 days after the crime in the forest near Neulußheim, when the homeless Johann Babies was slain, the court pronounced its verdict yesterday, Monday. The pronouncement of the verdict, like the entire hearing, also took place in camera.

Anyone who had followed the pleadings of the public prosecutor's office and the pleadings of the defense lawyers, insofar as they came to the public, could hardly be surprised by yesterday's verdict and the sentence.

For three young people, now aged 15, both the public prosecutor and the defense lawyers had each demanded two years of probation. The court followed these requests. Another youth was sentenced to 15 months probation. He had left the scene much earlier than the other four.

The prosecutor had demanded a sentence of six years and six months for the 20-year-old adolescent, while the defense attorney had pleaded for "less than five years". The court ruled yesterday to a five-year youth sentence.

All five perpetrators were convicted not of manslaughter but of bodily harm resulting in death. The four young people who received suspended sentences were also instructed to continue therapies they had already started. You must undergo a social training course and be under the supervision and direction of a probation officer. In addition, the four young people have to do community service, which should be between 200 and 300 hours per young person.

If you calculate an average of 250 hours and use an eight-hour working day as a basis for comparison, this results in exactly 31 working days.The suspended sentence for the four young people means that they can continue to attend school.

The 20-year-old was sentenced to 60 months in prison. In the case of this conviction under youth criminal law, release may already be possible after serving a third of the sentence. So this would be after a prison term of 20 months. The ten months of pre-trial detention are taken into account. As his lawyer announced, the adolescent wants to get an apprenticeship and a driver's license in the youth prison.

According to the 20-year-old's defender, who is more open to the media, it has not yet been decided whether an appeal will be lodged. The 20-year-old's lawyer had already pointed out several times in the course of the process that the distribution of guilt was increasingly at the expense of his client, who was being pushed into the role of the "ringleader".

Undoubtedly, the decisive factor in the closed-door trial was that the defenders of the individual youths consistently saw the blame increasingly with the other perpetrators and primarily with the adolescent.

This also resulted in the group dynamics being placed more in the center, which the young people, according to their lawyers, could not have avoided.

The 7th Large Criminal Chamber, the youth chamber of the Mannheim Regional Court, is convinced after the outcome of the main hearing that the defendants had mistreated Johann Babies, who lived in an old stone forest hut, so severely that they could foresee that he would suffer from the consequences of the injuries would die.

As it became known, the presiding judge also focused on Article 1 of the Basic Law "Human dignity is inviolable" when he pronounced the verdict. This should always be and remain in the memory of the condemned. The memory of the deed and the awareness of the guilt that the young people and adolescents have incurred are an ineradicable part of their punishment. ba

Schwetzinger Zeitung from July 6th, 2004,


Homeless Trial: Open-ended questions about court ruling

Even after the judgment of the youth chamber, the motive for the murder of a homeless person is still in the dark. A group of youths had killed the man in the most gruesome way.

Eight and a half months after the gruesome death of a homeless person in Neulußheim in Baden-Württemberg, the perpetrators were punished on Monday. After the verdict of the youth chamber of the Mannheim regional court against five 14 to 20-year-olds, however, the motives for their brutal actions continue to be puzzled. The 20-year-old main culprit has to go to prison for five years for bodily harm resulting in death. The rest of the underage group received suspended sentences ranging from 15 months to two years.

The ruthlessness and willingness to use violence against a person standing on the fringes of society, but above all the age of the perpetrators, had caused a sensation nationwide. The information about the size of the clique in the bloody act in the forest area near the small community of Neulußheim in the Rhein-Neckar district vary between eight and eleven. What is certain, however, is that two twelve-year-old girls were also present in the two-hour beating and kicking attack after the dispute over a forest hut.

The village with its 6,300 inhabitants registered the act of the young people in the autumn of last year with incredulous horror and tried to react. Mayor Gerhard Greiner (SPD) called for the group - with the exception of the 20-year-old high school students and high school students - not to cast off and not to ostracize the families socially. A round table was set up in which educators, school principals and social workers as well as the police and the church participated. The balance, almost nine months after the homeless person's death, is sobering: "We have not yet achieved any concrete results," says the Protestant pastor Uwe Sulger, who knows the three 15-year-old thugs from confirmation classes. The theologian reports that the boys are not "monsters". However, he is also certain that the violent death of the 54-year-old man has something to do with his homelessness.

The Heidelberg criminologist Dieter Dölling has two explanations when looking for answers to the brutal behavior of children and adolescents. "The influence of young people on one another is very strong - stronger than that of their parents," explains the director of the Institute for Criminology at Heidelberg University. The cliques formed leaders who were imitated because of the sense of belonging to the group. Since the 20-year-old main culprit was intellectually inferior to the others, he apparently wanted to produce himself through his violent behavior, analyzes Dölling. This fateful reciprocity could have triggered the act. ....

Everything from Bernd Glebe on July 5, 2004 on





On 9 June 2004 the trial of the homeless murder in Reilingen began

On 9 June 2004 the trial of five children and young people for murdering homeless people started - a community tries to come to terms with the terrible crime

Neulußheim / Mannheim. (rnz) The brutal death of the homeless Johann B. near the small town of Neulußheim last autumn shocked the region. Young people between the ages of twelve and 14 and a 19-year-old beat the homeless person for several hours in October. The man died from the multitude of injuries.

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, the now 20-year-old alleged main perpetrator and three boys, who are now 15 years old, will have to answer for collective manslaughter before the Mannheim district court. A 14-year-old is charged with bodily harm resulting in death.

Before the trial began, we spoke to Neulußheim's mayor, Gerhard Greiner (Photo: Lenhardt), who, after the terrible act, set up a "round table" with those responsible from many areas of society to discuss how to react to youth violence and how to respond such violence among young people can be curbed

Mr Greiner, on October 15 last year, children and young people in Neulußheim killed a homeless man. As mayor, you launched an initiative against youth violence, which initially attracted a great deal of attention. Nothing could be heard for a long time now. How is it going?

In a steering group, which incidentally had a very competent team, we first took a close look and analyzed what happened, the circumstances, roots and structures in the social environment as well. Precisely because we looked so closely, it also took a little longer than originally thought. In these days we have formulated "work orders" for three working groups (kindergartens, schools and open youth work). We have now developed initial approaches for our work with children and young people in day-care centers, schools, associations and open youth work, for work with educators, teachers and parents, which we will continue to develop.

What are the goals of the initiative?
We have set ourselves the goal of uncovering the roots and structures that enabled or encouraged such disrespectful behavior. We also want to find measures that are suitable to effectively counter such brutality. We want to initiate sustainable prevention and anchor it in people's awareness that this is everyone's responsibility. And we want to promote careful, largely non-violent and responsible interaction among children and young people. We know and want to point out that we are not doing justice to the victim, those involved and their families if we sweep the crime under the rug.

How do you intend to achieve these goals?
We will start campaigns with children and young people in which we will help develop and promote their social and personal skills by conveying values ​​and norms, agreed (game) rules and set limits. We will promote cooperation and educational partnerships between parents and educators and we will offer and give children and young people adequate responsibility. We work with binding guidelines in the work of individual institutions, develop (with external support) targeted projects and events and offer courses and seminars for parents and educators.

How is the response in Neulußheim, are there enough supporters?
The response from responsible actors is very high. It remains to be seen how this will develop with the projects that have now been launched. But we are very sure that parents will accept the help and that we will assert ourselves with the initiative with children and young people. That will certainly take time, but then it will become all the more evident.

Occasionally the criticism can be heard that you concentrate too much on the help and support of the suspects and lose sight of the fact that the brutal act has consequences. How do you answer these critics?
Judging those who have become guilty and appropriately punishing their actions is the responsibility of the judiciary. The Mannheim Regional Court will do this very thoroughly from Wednesday, I'm absolutely sure. We at the Neulußheimer Initiative see our task elsewhere, we want to dedicate ourselves to the social aspect of the deed. We want to draw conclusions by facing the terrible events and working them up for all areas of our local community. We do not allow a pseudo problem solution - by excluding the perpetrators or only superficial reflection of what happened. We want to endure those who have become guilty in our midst and come to real changes and thus new orientations for ourselves (and perhaps also, as an example, for others).

RNZ from June 8, 2004



Children from our midst

Neulußheim / Leimen. He doesn't want to gloss over anything, excuse anything, and certainly not trivialize anything. When the mayor of Neulußheim, Gerhard Greiner (photo) yesterday at the General Assembly for Crime Prevention Rhein-Neckar, remembered the terrible homeless murder of October 15, 2003, in which children and young people from Neulußheim were significantly involved, he describes in detail how brutal it was and the way the youth had beaten their victim. Nevertheless, there is only one way for him and his community to come to terms with the terrible deed of that time: namely to find a togetherness together, to endure the perpetrators, to forgive them, to
forgive yes to give a second chance.

Greiner himself saw and sees his duty here together with teachers; To give orientation to pastors, educators and psychologists as well as the police. Because "there must be punishment", but help is more important than exclusion. The perpetrators "belong to us, have emerged from us." And to blame all harm on society is too easy. Society is not anonymous, it has faces and names.
In his eyes the attempt to kill the children had proven to be wrong; or to deport young people to other schools, as ordered by the Heidelberg Education Authority with the consent of the parents. The old classmates and teachers also knew the positive sides of the perpetrators, but in the new schools they were "the murderers of Neulußheim."

The local community, however, is only sustainable if it is able to absorb people who are guilty. There is no question that a lot of persuasion is necessary here among the population. Greiner kept receiving anonymous letters demanding that the perpetrators be "locked up". Such advice is a blow, he complains. He also shows incomprehension for the opinion of a father: "That would never have happened to my child, and if it had, I would have killed it." For the future, however, it will be important to do more prevention, when the cognitive skills develop, i.e. already in kindergarten age.

He regrets that many citizens want to "tick off" the terrible deed of that time, true to the motto "Put the lid on and you're done". It is now more important to deal intensively with it so that the terrible event of October 15 never repeats itself.
And once again he points out that the perpetrators in Neulußheim are not socially marginalized groups, but rather "Children from our midst". Therefore one cannot pass on blame here, but we are all responsible. Because what happened at that time was not a Neulußheim-specific phenomenon, it could happen anywhere, at any place.

(ik), from March 12, 2004


Bishop Dr. Ulrich Fischer on juvenile delinquency in Neulußheim

Bishop Dr. Ulrich Fischer from the Evangelical Baden regional church now lives with his family in Neulußheim
"We will definitely feel at home here"

Neulußheim. The community of Neulußheim has had a prominent fellow citizen within its walls since these days: the regional bishop of the Baden Protestant regional church, Dr. Ulrich Fischer (55). Together with his wife Brigitte, who is the special school teacher and head of the counseling center for children with language disabilities at the Kurt Waibel School in Schwetzingen, and his eldest daughter Susanne with her family, he has chosen Neulußheim as their common place of residence.
"Out in the south of Neulußheim", in the industrial area, in the midst of nature, they live in a newly built, bright and friendly house, in which, in addition to the four-year-old grandson Florian, two turtles and two dogs feel at home. In addition to their daughter Susanne, the Fischer couple have two daughters who live in Cologne and Frankfurt / Main.
For Dr. Fischer is pleased that his new home town has a rail connection. So he can work up a lot during his many journeys on the train. He also admits that he "likes to be close to people". This is possible in a relatively small community - and "we will be able to feel comfortable here". He willingly answered questions from our newspaper.

SZ: For a few months now, Neulußheim has had a special problem with juvenile delinquency. How do you feel about the opportunities for the Church to help?

FISCHER: As a former youth pastor, I see the problem in a very targeted manner. The fact is that our young people have far too few opportunities to let off steam with their urge to move. This is where recreational sport and the clubs are in demand, whose commitment is of inestimable value. Our young people sit too much in front of the computer and media use is too high. Sometimes what a previously viewed film has shown is implemented into reality. That is why it is important to set television and other rules in the families. Children and adolescents want to be shown boundaries. But one must also admit that it is not easy for young people today. The confusion, not only with regard to the training opportunities, for example, is too great, the living conditions have deteriorated and the adolescents have become more capable of making decisions. And: family life is very important for young people - as I said, certain regularities too.The church also has an important position here by making the kids responsible and bringing certain rules into play.
Please read the complete text by Gisela Jahn on (if subscriber)


Two spectacular capital crimes in 2003

Police director Bernd Fuchs at the turn of the year: Security can be guaranteed, but the "lemon police" cannot be squeezed forever

The Heidelberg police can look back on a very busy, but also successful year 2003. "Over the past year we have tried to set and maintain standards in all of our fields of work," says the head of the police department, criminal director Bernd Fuchs, in an interview with the RNZ, "and we can currently say with a clear conscience that we are safeguarding our population can continue to guarantee ".

Two spectacular capital crimes, the associated investigations and the clearing-up had a major impact on the work of the Heidelberg police in the past year: the triple murder of Ziegelhausen, which was resolved in January after 39 days of investigative work, and the homicide of Neulussheim, one of which Group of teenagers beat a homeless man to death.
"It was just as appalling for us as it was for the entire population when we discovered that the motifs of the Ziegelhausen murders were actually so terribly simple that one person wiped out three lives for just a few euros," says Bernd Fuchs, looking back.
The killing offense in Neulußheim is comparable to the brick house murders in terms of the bewilderment and dismay it caused: "The motive and the processes were as unimaginable as the fact that the act was committed by people who live among us".

RNZ from 5.1.2004, read the whole article on


Homeless campaign for Christmas in Neulußheim

The fact that the people in Neulußheim are still marked by the terrible bloodshed on a homeless person became clear in a first-time campaign. In memory of their own suffering, displaced persons had invited the homeless to a table for dinner and gifts at the bus stop in front of the town hall. As if the affected fringe group of society were consciously avoiding the place at the moment, there were only a few visits from the homeless. Nevertheless, Gertrud Rupp was not disappointed with the reluctance: "We just wanted to set an example for Christmas and will repeat this campaign in the future." from December 27, 2003


Meeting at school to "clap bums"

What Neulußheim's mayor Gerhard Greiner "can't get out of his head" - educating children to respect human life

Neulußheim. "I can't get it out of my head," says Mayor Gerhard Greiner again and again. We sit in his town hall room and talk about the children who brutally beat a homeless man to death. The homely, cultured atmosphere may not fit the terrible topic at all. Huge green plants, lots of aesthetic works by regional artists and the three candles of the Advent wreath are burning on the table. Before Greiner became Neulußheim's community chief over ten years ago, he was an art teacher. That means: He knows children and young people. No, "understanding" for the bad children - as is sometimes assumed in - he can not muster. But he looks for explanatory models and says: "They put into practice what happens verbally at the regulars' table - also in our community." He also speaks of "great resistance" within the location to his "round table", which he calls the "steering committee" and whose main goal is one thing: to make it clear to children and young people that a human life is the most valuable thing. What Gerhard Greiner says sounds deliberate, "quick shots" are not his kind: "What happened to us is repeatedly portrayed as the 'absolute act of violence'. But that has different backgrounds, which go much deeper and are much more frightening than aggression ". That is his belief. For him, the bloody act manifests the total devaluation, humiliation and contempt of a human life.

"I can't get it out of my head," he says, "that the schoolchildren met in the mornings to 'clap bums'". And "I can't get it out of my head that more than 20 students knew about it". Can you imagine a girl saying to the seriously injured Johann Babies, who is lying on the floor, "What gives you the right to stare at me?" Understanding of the juvenile perpetrators? - hardly likely. But there is something different, something that is called "answering", that is, giving answers to questions. Therefore the "steering committee", which is made up of all those who call themselves "responsible persons" in the community: local politicians, parish councils, pastors, teachers, educators, parents' councils, association boards. You want to find ways that show a perspective. "Paths arise when we walk them," says the school psychologist Bodo Reuser.

The people of Neulußheim are ready to go: "If our work is to make sense, then we have to start as early as possible". That means: in kindergarten. Valuable help comes from the police headquarters in Heidelberg. Experienced in prevention programs, even for the smallest, the authority accompanies Neulußheim's efforts to create a "we-feeling". Press spokesman Harald Kurzer: "In Neulußheim we have a great chance that we will succeed in setting a stone in motion. What is happening here is unique in this form, a model project". Concrete projects in kindergartens, schools and associations are to be started from January.

"So far," said the mayor, "the terrible events still determine our everyday life and push other things back. We have to get to the point where the crime is integrated into day-to-day business." Because when the public interest in the "bad children from Neulußheim" subsides, only then does the real processing begin. For Gerhard Greiner, the question of guilt does not arise, but the question of the future and counteracting the decline in moral values. That is his approach. He receives support from the principal of the secondary school, Peter Scholl. Five of the suspected pupils go to school at the Lußhardt School. A sixth now came from Hockenheim. The manslaughter was also talked about in the class of those who apparently wanted to show it to the "bum Paul". Other schools refuse to discuss.

The hut in front of which babies were slain no longer stands. A tree will be planted here and a "modest" plaque will be placed

Ingrid Thoms-Hoffmann, RNZ from December 17, 2003,




Accept the challenge of the incomprehensible deed instead of suppressing it

Contributions from the panelists at the kick-off event "We - looking for answers": Everyone bears responsibility

Neulußheim. The knowledge of the killing of a helpless person, committed by children and young people together, lay like an oppressive gray veil over the event, to which they met under the motto "We - looking for answers" in the auditorium of the Lußhardt School had (we reported).

Local politicians, representatives of the churches, teachers and parents' councils as well as association representatives met here with competent specialists. Bodo Reuser, the head of the psychological counseling center of the Protestant Church in Mannheim, went into detail in his three-quarter-hour lecture on the development of children and adolescents during puberty. He quoted the French psychologist Francoise Dolto, who speaks of puberty as the time when "the lobster loses its shell". In other words, a time of easy vulnerability, a time in which new values ​​are sought but are often not found in adults. That is why the young people are looking for agreement, there are dependencies on the judgment of others, after all they are also looking to find others in a comparable situation.

The result, as Reuser went on, is that people feel more comfortable, and above all more secure, in a group, that uncertainty is taken away and the willingness to take risks increased. According to Reuser, the roles were then distributed within the groups, and the phenomenon is known that ultimately an "external enemy" can strengthen a group internally. Bodo Reuser made it clear that he only wanted to break this down factually and soberly, and did not want to include any evaluation. He had already made it clear at the beginning that such a case could have happened anywhere. However, this fact should not lead to the conclusion that the act can be suppressed and jurisdiction can be refused.

The second speaker of the evening was Headmaster Peter Scholl. Inwardly moved and yet objective at all times, he provided information about the days after the crime, when "everything went through the school like a hurricane." One was speechless and horrified, both the students and the teachers. After all, it was soon learned that in addition to the accomplices, there were also a number of accomplices. The deed was discussed in all classes, and the teachers, themselves completely insecure, faced the difficult task of doing this in an age-appropriate manner for all pupils from six to 16 years of age.
With the help of outside supervision, one tried to strengthen the situation for the teachers, the focus was initially on the classes with those involved, continued Peter Scholl. The network against violence that had already been established would now be tied even more closely and cooperation with groups and associations would be intensified even more.

Harald Kurzer, the spokesman for the Heidelberg Police Department, first examined the criminal procedural side of the case. 17 people had been questioned during the preliminary investigation, the investigations had been concluded, and the files would probably be handed over to the public prosecutor's office tomorrow, Tuesday. At the beginning of next year, the prosecution is expected to bring charges, and experts may be called in. Kurz also contradicted occasional allegations that too little information had come to the public. Investigations are always secret, after all, only the main hearing in front of the court is public. These negotiations will take place before the Youth Court Chamber of the Mannheim Regional Court. Since juveniles are charged, it will be at the discretion of the court whether the trial is really public.

There was also enough time for questions from the ranks of the participants in the event. It was warned that many young people could experience violence, especially when watching videos. Police spokesman Kurzer agreed: "If parents often knew what they had on the shelf, there was a lack of media literacy." The considerations that young people create a virtual world for themselves also aimed in the same direction. It was agreed, however, that one cannot blame "television" alone; it depends on how television is "consumed", whether parents, for example, take positions or allow everything to be ignored in a misunderstood freedom.

The problems of schools also exist in associations, another contribution made clear. But there are also too few volunteers, which is why they are often overwhelmed. Much more people should be ready to stand up for the youth, said the chairwoman of a large sports club to the applause of the visitors: "We have to distribute work across several shoulders."

Headmaster Wolf from the Theodor-Heuss-Realschule in Hockenheim spoke briefly about his experiences in this area (students of the Realschule are also suspect) and made it clear that one should not overlook the fact that upbringing is a very big challenge for some parents. All young parents went to the baby changing course, but education courses for parents were less in demand. You have to see an important starting point here.

Appealed to everyone's responsibility for youth, not just parents and professional educators Pastor Uwe Sulger. You shouldn't always look for someone "who takes care of us", you have to face the challenges yourself.

Mayor Gerhard Greiner made it clear in his closing remarks that people in Neulußheim would and want to face the house demands that such an incident would have on the entire community. The interest in the initial event had given rise to confidence that the aim of the various discussions in the "round tables" now being formed would be to create new perspectives in the coexistence of generations and very different people.
ba, Schwetzinger Zeitung, December 15, 2003


When the "bite resistance" is lost

Another way of looking at the "round table" in Neulußheim
- Accept "sacrifice of J. Baby"?

Neulußheim. A church sets out to come to terms with a murder in its midst. Absolutely commendable. But: eight adolescents who are internally and morally neglected, who have apparently lost any genetically predisposed "bite inhibition", torment a person for two hours with blows and kicks and then they go to an event in which the event is to be dealt with to understanding, understanding and once again understanding. Also about self-doubt and about "What have we all done wrong?"

Working up as a means of inner recovery is the basic approach. But then the expert from the psychological counseling center of the Protestant Church in Mannheim, Bodo Reuser, even went so far as to say that one should accept "the victim of Johann Baby". It must be said urgently: Johann Babies made no sacrifice, because one makes a sacrifice voluntarily. Rather, his life was torn from the person Johann Babies violently and against his will. Otherwise, the name of the victim is hardly mentioned that evening. A homeless person has no lobby.

Embarrassed faces in the fully occupied auditorium of the Lußhardt School in Neulußheim - both on the podium and among the audience, but not in mourning for the dead, but in view of the fact that something "went massively wrong in our midst," said Mayor Greiner. The event, initiated with the best of intentions by Gerhard Greiner and Pastor Uwe Sulger, which is only intended to be the prelude to a "reappraisal offensive" in the Neulußheim community, wants to convey to the people of Neulußheim that they have to take a look and get involved. It used to be called simply showing moral courage and that was also associated with showing boundaries. However, one does not want to speak of punishment at the event. Consequences yes, of course the behavior must have, punishment? The judiciary is responsible for this.

The press spokesman for the Heidelberg Police Department, Harald Kurzer, then gives a brief overview of the current state of affairs. 17 people were questioned. 10 to 15 young people are said to be involved in the act or in marginal areas, and there were once again as many confidantes as the rector of the Lußhardt School explains. Further interrogations are not planned because they do not expect any additional knowledge. The course of the crime has been clarified and the investigation files have been submitted to the public prosecutor's office. In mid-January, the prosecution brought an indictment to the youth court chamber of the Mannheim regional court. It remains to be seen whether the main hearing will be public. That is at the discretion of the court.

Bodo Reuser initially gives three quarters of an hour insight into the psychological basics of growing up. "If the Hummer changes its shell, it is very much at risk." The sentence is intended to make it clear that adolescents during puberty are particularly dependent on role models. In a phase of their own insecurity, adults often leave a wrong impression on young people, who then turn away. In the group, behavior can then be established that is dictated by the strongest. But to say "no" once in a group and to assert one's own point of view has to be learned.

The event in the fully occupied auditorium of the Lußhardt School, which was aimed primarily at teachers, representatives of the associations, community councils and representatives of the churches, finally looked ahead. A joint effort by the Neulußheim community should use all possible means of preventing violence so that something like this cannot happen again. Because such abysses that we wish for a person dead exist in each of us. Only there is still a small difference between an abstract wish and a concrete action.

Harald Berlinghof in the RNZ from December 13th, 2003,

Bodo Reuser, Graduate psychologist, Regional representative for North Baden
Psychological counseling center of the Ev. Parish
C 3, 5 - 6, 68159 Mannheim, Tel 0621/28 000
[email protected],

Pastor Uwe Sulger

Police Headquarters Heidelberg


Brave - helpless

"The perpetrators must be helped so that they can move on with a burden that will never be removed from them as long as they live. When we inflict endless evil on them, we force them into a resistance that makes it impossible for them to see what they have done and take it upon yourself. "

That wrote the court reporter Gerhard Mauz, who died that year. He did not know the "bad children" of Neulußheim, but he did know the human soul and its abysses. When the people of Neulußheim sit down now to discuss the terrible deed of "their" children, they first of all help themselves to deal with the terrible thing. But it also highlights them positively that they don't just get back to business. Even if the hut of the "forest man" who was killed by the young people is no longer standing, the memories of him and the deed are kept alive with each meeting.

Our colleague Harald Berlinghof was present in the conversation in Neulußheim (see above report) and he sees the discussion from a different point of view, comes to different conclusions in his commenting emotional reporting than those that have been drawn so far in the RNZ. But we don't want to suppress this opinion either, because it also contains a piece of truth and because it shows how helpless adults are who want to come to terms with a crime. And how difficult it is for them to find the right words for the darkness of a child's soul.

The comment, Ingrid Thoms-Hoffmann in the RNZ from December 13th, 2003,


Only small-scale measures create a sustainable network

Great interest in the initial event with those in charge of local politics and schools

Neulußheim. "We - In Search of Answers". This thought also ran like a red thread through the evening, which opened on Thursday as an initial event, the beginning of further round tables and "round tables". The search for answers and finding new ways were seen as a great task, to live with what happened and to shape the future, to create hopeful perspectives.