Friday, January 24, 2014

Schlesinger twins: Beth’s tragic tale is the stuff of fiction

Jewish Telegraph by Paul Harris  The tragic case of Beth Schlesinger (Alexander) continues to play out in Vienna.

It is a human tragedy of the first degree, involving a young Manchester mother scarcely being allowed any access to her four-year- old twins, who quite obviously need her love and attention.

Beth, who is separated from her Austrian husband but divorced only in Jewish law, has been denied custody by the Austrian Supreme Court.

As we have continually reported, the original decision to grant full custody to her husband, Michael, was based on a flawed psychologist’s report.

It suggested that she was mentally unstable — a conclusion reached mainly because she was unable to respond rapidly enough to questions fired at her in German, which is not her native language, and because the court accepted the rumour, falsely propagated by a former friend, that she was suffering from post-natal depression.

This is also a tale of intrigue, private detectives who have swapped sides, a Jewish judge who was not involved in the case allegedly discussing it with the presiding judge (according to Graham Stringer MP, who raised the matter in the Commons last week) and lawyers summarily dropping Beth as a client.

It is also a story of friends suddenly wanting nothing further to do with her, and the apparent intransigence — even heartlessness — of the Austrian legal system, which will not allow a young mother the opportunity to present her side of the case.

The story thus far, when related by Beth, sounds like the stuff of the most far-fetched novels.
And those hearing it from her could be forgiven for accepting that she is deluded at the least and seriously disturbed at worst.

She is neither! Having researched the story extensively in Vienna and met or spoken to most of the key players, I am shocked by what has gone on and continues in the name of so-called Austrian justice.

I have covered tragic news stories and injustices of all types in decades as a journalist, but never have I encountered a miscarriage of justice on this scale, which is why I have become personally involved in the case of Beth Alexander, with the full weight of the Jewish Telegraph behind her campaign, until her beloved twins are returned to her.

Those who have met her sons Sammy and Benjy confirm Beth’s assessment that their educational development has been retarded by at least a year. Apparently, at not short of five years old, they are unable to communicate other than in disjointed words.

Both have lost a number of front teeth. Beth knows not how. Those who have seen Beth with her twins report the youngsters’ sheer joy when they are reunited on their oft-cancelled six-hourly Tuesday visits or fortnightly Sunday reunions.

Beth has been forced by the Austrian system to pay nearly £50 each time for a supervised handover. The access centre is closing next week and so far no other facility has been agreed.
Her husband will not accept the offer of Chief Rabbi Paul Eisenberg to facilitate access visits free of charge. Beth is presently faced with not seeing the twins at all.[...]

83 comments:

  1. You can read a full summary of events here:

    http://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/austria-family-ct-corruption/

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  2. The Alexander's have allocated a sizable public relations budget to keep this family dispute in the news.

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    1. Budget? I doubt it. Journalists are on the lookout for stories of injustice and cruelty like this one all the time.

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    2. Custody disputes are a dime a dozen (unfortunately) nowadays. The only reason this crazy custody dispute is in the press anymore than thousands of other similar custody disputes is because their family is pushing it into the press.

      Today, as we speak, there are tens of thousands of parents who don't have custody of their child(ren) and are severely limited in the times they can see them.

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  3. It is Mr Schlesinger who is keeping this in the news by his disgusting behavior.

    Mr Schlesinger is receiving a regular sizable budget from Viennas Jewish charity esra. It is a shame esra are either so unaware or blinded to what is happening that they are taking such a backwards stance.

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    1. I thought he was a doctor of some kind a - a specialist? Could it be he's fooled Esra into believing a story about his profession and his family that diverges from the truth?

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  4. It is a very sad story. I don't know any details about the divorce and I don't want to fall in line with people who judging plainly by reading the story from the media, blogs etc. To judge it you have hear it from both sides directly preferably together. This is an every day story albeit other way around, just doesn't get publicity. The key word in divorce proceedings "best interest of the children" and almost always the children are being used as cannon fodder. Very often -usually against the father- abuse (mainly sexual) been used as weapon and the courts usually accepting the accusation without evidence. This gives the opportunity for third party (often askanim) to abuse the vulnerable children in real and swept under the carpet even with the help of the controlling parent in order not to turn the table without any public outcry!
    Avi

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  5. Avi, here is a situation that demands a public outcry like the one you suggest above. You need to cry out against this injustice regardless of other cases. You seem to be contradicting yourself!

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  6. Nobody knows the father's opinions as he won't speak to anyone publicly to refute the allegations made by the mother. That's a pity. If he were innocent, he would probably talk about it all openly and get quoted in the media. Sexual abuse is mentioned in the last posting. Does it have anything to do with the case in question? Are you thinking of a specific third party?

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  7. It is obviuous, that this an orchestrated PR campaign. She claims, she has no money, but apparently she has money to launch this campaign. Somthing is generally wrong!

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    1. What does it cost to run a blog, have articles put on this blog, and getting a number of newspapers to run articles? Your allegations are clearly off.

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    2. It's very easy in the electronic age to publicize important matters at minimal cost. Webspace is not expensive, social media and articles in print media cost nothing. So where's the expense?

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    3. It definetely is the mother who started a CAMPAIGN and who is washing the laundry on the children´s back.The father is trying to protect the children. If she had no Money: how could she afford the lawyer?

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  8. It is truly a tale of ficition - authored by Beth herself! Everyone, who has known Beth in Vienna and seen her with her children - before she lost custody, could see, how the twins were completely and utterly, physically, negelected by her. Obviously she wasn't able to cope with them. So, it is easy to believe, that the father is the better parent. She seems to live completely in her imaginary world. JUSTICE HAS PREVAILED!

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    1. Z you are a true work of fiction i.e., a troll. There have been no allegations up till now that Beth is not a good mother. It is clear that the children are not doing well under the father's custody.

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    2. z, are you the father in yet another guise? Rabbi Bidermann is known to have complimented the boys' mother on her "beautiful children", as is clear from the publicly published photos of them. They were in the father' s care when they appeared like mini-Hippies with sad-looking faces. What you're writing is utter rot.

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    3. Badaling, you must be the mother in yet another guise! People, do not forget that it was the mother, who provided those photos to the press, It is easy to set up those poor kids for the photos. Truth is - no one knows the truth, but for the parents and the courts. Her allegations were all proven false. So, obviously, it is hard to continue believing her. Everyone also knows, that the journalist of the above article is a FRIEND of hers. So, how can we really believe this?

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    4. DT, there have never been any allegations that the father was anything other than a loving doting father until the the bitter ex-wife made unsubstantiated, unproven allegations.

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    5. Sara when were the allegations proven false? If as you assert only the court and the parents know the trueth - then how can you say that you know the allegations are false?

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    6. Would the father or one of his supporters answer one simple question:

      Is it true that the father has restricted the allocated visits by regularly cancelling them without replacement?

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    7. The woman never offers any evidence for her claims.

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    8. She has provided photo evidence that the father removed the children's teeth!!

      "Is it true that the father has restricted the allocated visits by regularly cancelling them without replacement?" - PLEASE ANSWER!!!

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    9. Sarah , The mother's allegations were not proven false. Almost certainly, one gets the impression, her allegations were ignored by the courts! This is not the way a court operates in a country which is not run by a dictator. Therefore, something is very wrong.

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    10. DebrA you're a funny person. You call a father who stops the mother of his children from seeing them loving and doting! Where do you come from where People think like that? It doesn't sound Jewish at all,.

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  9. I made a general view regarding divorce proceedings and not about the Schlesinger case as I wrote I don't know details so I can not comment on it. Why should he speak to anyone 1) this is private matter 2) he got what he wanted and no point to justify himself. The Point I wanted to make why is this case more outcry than hundreds if not thousands of cases in similar situation goes without comments. The case has been raised in the English Parliament as well as many Jewish organizations where in their view if happens other way round ie. mother does it to the father is ok. in over 90% of the cases
    Phillis Stein:
    "You need to cry out against this injustice regardless of other cases." I didn't say it shouldn't be public outcry about this case what I wanted to say why is this different to other hundreds of cases in similar situation. If you and me and all who disagree with such situations would make a public outcry each time it happens it might be result.
    Avi

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  10. z what absolute rubbish. have you seen the boys lately? they have teeth missing. they look unkept and also they are severely delayed in speech.
    thats a great parent isnt it? I think not
    can you answer that one please

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    Replies
    1. have you seen the Boys or talked to them?

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  11. How do you know, that the kids are not doing well under the father's care???? Could it be that we are constantly being fed tales by the mother? Are we living in Vienna to see with our own eyes what is going on? No! There must be a reason, why the superior court has rejected all her claims, as well. BTW, I also agree with the above comment, that this seems to be an organized PR campaign. Your blog seems to be part of this. Where is your objectivity? What is your personal interest in this? It seems really weird, that a site, such as "daas Torah", constantly reports about it.

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    1. observer I suggest you actually read the posts before criticizing. From what I have heard this seems to be a case of injustice. It bothers you if I am concerned about injustice?!

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    2. Observer, not sure about your sanity. Everyone who is able to read and google knows that the children are not doing well either in language or otherwise. And when we read that one has even self-harmed while in the father's care, then all alarm bells begin to ring. A 3-4 year old who self-harmed?? That would be one of the first signs that the child was screaming for help! Nearly 2mill people live in Vienna so the chances that some there have friends/colleagues in other parts of the world who get to hear about this case are quite high. Look at the other topics on this blog: they all deal with human problems and this case is one of the most grotesque around at the moment. Please stop writing so much rubbish!

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    3. Nothing is known other than the ex-wife's unsubstantiated allegations.

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    4. Debra you apparently haven't read the material. 1) did the ex husband try to have Beth put in a mental hospital? 2) Have there been two psychological evaluations that she does not have and has not mental illness which strongly questions point 1 3) are the children functioning properly 4) has the father tried to limit visits with the mother.

      In short what are you claiming is false and on what basis?

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    5. "The material" only consists of the ex-wife's hearsay. Offer any evidential proof if you have any against the husband. So far none has been produced by anyone. All we are subject to is the ex's hearsay.

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    6. Where is the evidence?

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    7. You people are all round the bend. There's tonnes of evidence so I don't get why you keep
      Saying there's none.

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    8. Observer you're a lousy clairvoyant! Who isn't living in Vienna? Some posters must or they wouldn't know so much about the sad fate of these 2 children.

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    9. @daattorah: where do you have your Information from? The court, authorities? Or the mother?
      As a blog using the word torah, you should try to find and publish the truth.

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  12. I think the Rabbi running the blog is very fair. It is the father who is not being fair. All we hear on this blog is how the father is upset because he of
    Beth's behaviour towards him. The parents have punished each other
    enough now! Its time to communicate.
    If this can't be done directly then there
    needs to be a mediator. Let's hear
    from the tolerant, loving father that he is prepared to mediate for Beth to have good contact for the sake of his sons!

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    1. The courts have already meditated this dispute. One side is unhappy with the outcome of that meditation, as frequently occurs once a decision is rendered.

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    2. The court ruling was basef on a false psychological report on the mother amd no assessments on the well below average development of the boys. The court also ruled that the mother should have regular contact with her sons. The father has not adhered to the ruling therein. Thus he is breaking the law, besides failing his sons! Is this moral and just behaviour?

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    3. Courts mediated? You mean the courts that ruled without listening to any evidence from the Mother? The court that ordered extensive psychological tests on the mother (and found her of sound mind) yet refused to asses the father despite repeated applications. That is not called mediated, that is called corruption, my friend. Something you know all too well if you live in the Austrian Jewish community.

      Just maybe the father is a psychopath and they are scared this would show up in reports!

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    4. She took up all her complaints about all you said with the courts already and the courts rejected them all. Time for her to stop being childish and complaining that her ex, a little known Jew in a country with tens of millions of citizens, owns all the judges up through the supreme court.

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    5. A sociopath more like it. Someone all fools everyone! Although a person has custody it does not mean they are home and dry. If any parent is deemed to be unsuitable at any time children can be removed and even taken
      into care. The father may feel this can't happen because the Courts are corrupted but the British Government is aware of such corruption as they have recently stated. It is a shame the father isnt a decent human being. He is showing his true colours for the world to see. A Jew, a doctor what sort of man is he? Not one of us!

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    6. Some of the posters here who are supporting the father look as if they must dwell on another planet. Joe, for instance, believes Austria has "tens of millions of citizens" (!!), Debra believes there are only "unsubstantiated allegations" by the wife, when it is known that some of the domestic violence committed by the father was seen by others and that the self-harming occurred at the Chabad kindergarten, yet the mother was not informed of this "life event". Self-harming can lead to suicide - you seem to be very ill-informed, Debra. Perhaps someone (the father?) has asked you to be like a cracked old LP and repeat this mantra of "unsubstantiated allegations" non-stop in the hope that others who read this blog will be foolish enough to believe them.

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    7. Jake, has the author of the wordpress article made a mistake, do you think? This writer has called the father an "ex doctor", which doesn't quite make sense to me. Does anyone know what he's doing these days? Somewhere else on this blog I read he might be a specialist. He certainly doesn't seem to be spending much time talking to his sons if they can't speak well at the age of 4.5.

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    8. Hearsay. Pony up the evidence.

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    9. @wendy j. how do you know about the self harment? Do you have a proof?

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  13. I'm afraid no progress will be made until Rabbi Pardes is brought into the picture. He has the ability to handle all kinds of situations which he learned from his father in Israel. He is very experienced.

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    1. At what, Neb? Is he able to convince the children he has apparently mentored and who have grown up into inhumane adults that they should follow his example?

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  14. Rabbi Eidensohn,
    Did the mother originally attempt to have the father evicted from the family's home by the police before he attempted to have her committed? If so, do you believe that the father's behavior towards the mother justified the mother's calling the police to have the father evicted from the family's home? (And even if the mother unjustifiably attempted to have father evicted from the family home, it appears to me that the draconian restrictions placed on the children's access to their mother years later is against the children's interests and constitutes a terrible miscarriage of justice.)

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  15. you have to understand it is a known fact that the Judges in this case have been corrupted!

    If the father thinks all is fair, he would come forward and be willing to have his children and himself assessed to show that all is well, as he maintains!

    This has never been done!

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    1. There's lots online about corruption in Austria so it's my guess there must have been corruption in this case too. Why isn't the leadership of the Jews in Vienna doing anything a bout it? They must have the power and influence.

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  16. Curious, the mother NEVER tried to have the father evicted from the family home. It was the police who independently evicted him when they saw he was trying to illegally put her in a mental hospital. The mother had no control over the police doing this and the mother certainly didn't request it.

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  17. It seems the Jewish community in Vienna is aware in general of where the corruption originated - partly from a mother who has confessed that she betrayed her friend Beth by spreading an untrue rumour, and partly - it is alleged - by a judge within the community who overstepped the mark, presumably for private reasons. If this judge has a conscience and is not a sociopath, then she will stand up and admit her sins in order to clarify the whole disgusting situation and enable Sammy and Benji to enjoy their birthright - to grow up with both their parents.

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  18. The father keeps saying he has won! What has he won? His kids? Are they prizes?

    They are clearly not thriving, had not been assessed, nor has he! The father is not even prepared to talk, to mediate! No wonder his sons can’t speak. He is so controlling, they are probably afraid to!

    There needs to be a public outcry independent of Beth or her family through media, facebook etc. that this case needs to be re run, this time with all the necessary procedures in place, in front of the eyes of the world! The Governments, I am sure, would help to do this!

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    1. This is a bit harsh! Don’t you think the father should have time to mediate?

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    2. Not mediating anywayJanuary 26, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      The father has refused to mediate regardless of how much time he is given. I don't think this is harsh at all.

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    3. As the father refuses every suggestion that comes along he's unlikely to agree with this one Brian. In fact we could give him a new title: Dr No.

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    4. Yes, but if he doesn’t mediate and Beth is pushed out of her sons lives, the father will be a disgrace and people will feel they want to speak out against him! You know how word gets around! Apart from this blog, there is so many places to help spread the word about him! The Courts won’t be able to stop anyone. The father blamed the family for the publicity, but it will be actually the father driving all of this publicity!

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    5. The father may have his children, but does he want to bring them up with such shame? The children won’t to be thought of as prizes that have been won will they? They are always going to question, whatever they are told by anyone and there is enough documentation for them to know the truth!

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    6. The father has a chance now to show he's a decent chap after all. He can allow handovers with one of the kind rabbis who have offered their assistance and show the world that he in fact does care about his children.

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  19. It's time for a negotiated settlement. Obviously the father will not surrender custody so demanding that cannot be achieved in negotiations.

    A negotiated solution should allow the mother a liberal amount of weekly visitation that is cost-free and unhindered.

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  20. Rabbi Cohen, please can you publicly state in an open letter or in a guest post to Daas Torah under your real name, that you highly recommend both parties come to a negotiated settlement. So far the father has refused all requests to do this and the Rabbis in Vienna are simply looking the other way.

    (with the exception of Rabbi Pardes!!!)

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    1. I haven't read that Rabbi Pardes is doing anything. Can anyone tell us what he's doing? The father is still refusing to obey court orders so it doesn't look like R Pardes has achieved anything.

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  21. It should be noted that the mother has never stated anything on the blog site that is not true. The father on the other hand, regularly tells lies in court and on this blog.

    The mother has a chazokoh of telling the truth, whilst the father has the chazokoh of telling blatant factually contradictory lies.

    This should be put into context when reading any allegations the father (and his supporters) make on this blog compared to those in support of the mother.

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    1. Au contaire. You have it backwards.

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    2. Dr. Lake, please provide one example.

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    3. Actually this is pretty true Chezkas. You must be one of those people with good theory of mind who can differentiate between those who are telling the truth and those who tend not to. With the mother it looks like she doesn't lie but am not do sure about the father. The way his supporters write it sounds like The father is more likely to be lying.

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    4. So roll the dice and take bets on who is "likely" lying.

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    5. We all know who is denying the access to the mother. It doesn't take a great leap of logic to join the remaining dots! This is not a gambling problem but a factual one. Sorry, M, but you are outnumbered. Nothing you type here is convincing anyone of anything but your sick agenda.

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    6. M- Who bloody cares whos lying and who is not.. Can you agree please that the boys need their mother and currently all visits are being cancelled and no future ones are arranged. Can you help with that?

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    7. when did the father write on this blog<ß

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  22. I dont care who supports who.. The children are suffering.. I wish everyone would see this instead of blaming each other
    They should be your priority not all this rubbish about she said this and he said that.. We dont care
    Everyone just wants peace for the children and to be loved by both parents
    CAN YOU BOTH JUST MEDIATE ONE LAST TIME

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  23. If the father agreed to talks, mediation could happen right away. Unfortunately, it is the father who is blocking this.

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    1. The father would go up in everybody's estimation if he would only allow the mother to see the children regularly. What's wrong that he doesn't seem to want this? Most people are very happy to be highly regarded! Is he totally consumed by revenge and hate?

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  24. I totally agree "talk" There is no reason for the father not to speak if he is a reasonable man. If he us not, he should not be trusted with his kids!.

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  25. That's the question, David. Is he a reasonable man? Has he ensured that further visits will be possible, as a reasonable father would? Or is he trying to prove how unreasonable he is by making no efforts whatsoever to make sure that Beth will be able to see her children as ordered by the court in Vienna after today? It is his duty as a father to see to this. Otherwise he is not worth his salt.

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  26. I think we all would like to see the father being a reasonable man. It will be terrible for him and for the children is force has to applied for him to honour his country the courts therein and most of his children who will not thank him for denying them their mother.

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  27. It is lucky fot the father there is no national service in Austria for a few reasons. He probably wouldn't have custody and he certainly would be
    heavily punished if he broke the rules. Court orders are not to be broken, and he has broken them andvis continuing to do so! Prison is a punishment for such a crime ! Is this the conduct of a
    reasonable man? What shame he is bringing to himself, the Schlesinger family, his children and the whole
    Jewish community worldwide! The father must be pure selfish and stupid if he carries on in this way!

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