The Romeike family, like all homeschooling families in today’s Germany, was suffering from ruthless government persecution under a Nazi-era ban on home education originally used by Hitler to brainwash children with his murderous National Socialist ideology. In 2008, facing the prospect of having their lives destroyed and children abducted, the Christian family fled to the United States seeking educational freedom in the “Land of the Free.” Now, thanks to Obama and the Supreme Court, they must find another home. (Update on March 4: Homeland Security will not be deporting the family for the foreseeable future. See below.)
At first, a federal judge awarded the Romeike family asylum, noting that the German government’s infamous violation of fundamental rights amounted to persecution and was “abhorrent” to everything Americans believe. The Obama administration, however, disagreed. Claiming that the Hitler-era ban on home education and the vicious state terror used to enforce it did not constitute persecution, the administration successfully appealed the asylum ruling, seeking to have the Romeike family deported.
“The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society,” the Obama Justice Department, led by disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, claimed in a legal brief filed in court last year. “Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.”
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, all but sealing the Romeike family’s fate. With the path now clear for the parents and their six children to be deported, the family could face massive fines, imprisonment, and the potentially the abduction of their children for re-education by German authorities. However, the Romeikes and their supporters are not ready to surrender just yet.
“While this is the end of the line for normal legal appeals, we are not giving up,” said Michael Farris, Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and lead counsel for the family in the appellate courts. “We will pursue changes to the asylum law in this country to ensure that religious freedom is once again vigorously protected in our policy.”
As The New American reported, the Obama administration’s bizarre behavior and arguments in the high-profile case left homeschooling advocates furious. In fact, more than a few analysts said that in addition to putting the Romeike family at risk of barbaric persecution, the Justice Department was essentially arguing that parents do not really have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children — putting the God-given rights of Americans in jeopardy, too.
According to current U.S. law, persecuted members of particular social groups — home educating families or Christians, for example — are supposed to be allowed to stay in the Land of the Free to avoid further persecution in their homelands. Illegal immigrants who cross the border illegally, meanwhile, are supposed to be deported to their country of origin.
However, in Obama’s America, millions of illegal immigrants were essentially granted de facto amnesty from deportation by executive decree after Congress refused to provide it. Viciously persecuted Christian homeschool refugees who sought asylum legally, meanwhile, must be deported at all costs to face the brutal persecution that awaits them.
“I am just glad that the Pilgrims did not face this anti-religious policy when they landed at Plymouth Rock,” continued Farris, head of the HSLDA, after the Supreme Court refused to hear the Romeike case. “After all, the Pilgrims left England to find religious freedom, but they left Holland to find a place that was both safe for their children and which provided religious freedom. These are the very values which our nation today has decided to abandon.”
It was not always that way, even recently. U.S. Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman, who granted asylum to the Romeike family in 2010, hit the nail on the head. “We can't expect every country to follow our Constitution. The world might be a better place if it did,” he wrote in his ruling, which was celebrated by human rights activists worldwide. “However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate. Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution.”
In his verdict, the judge also called the ruthless German persecution against innocent homeschooling families “repellent to everything we believe as Americans.” While that may be true of everyday Americans, the radical Obama administration and its out of-control DOJ have very different beliefs. In court, Holder’s Justice Department argued that the Romeike family could end the state-sponsored terror simply by surrendering the children to authorities for government-approved “education.”
The parents, however, who argue that the German government is subjecting children to cultish anti-Christian views at its schools, say they would have to violate their religious beliefs and obligations to comply with the Hitler-era law purporting to mandate government-approved education for all children. For U.S. homeschooling and liberty advocates, the administration’s fiendish effort to deport the persecuted family simply offers more evidence of its broader hostility toward religious freedom and parental rights.
“I think this is a part of the Obama administration’s overall campaign to crush religious freedom in this country,” Farris was quoted as saying by Fox News. “The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking.... I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to ignore the Romeikes’ pleas — their final judicial opportunity to stop deportation — is especially troubling in light of the German government’s increasingly barbaric persecution and repression of home educators. As The New American reported last year, for example, the Wunderlich parents recently had their children abducted in a terrifying raid by a swarm of 20 armed police and social workers. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously referred to ripping families apart as tantamount to the "death penalty."
While a global outcry eventually forced authorities to return the traumatized children to their loving parents on the condition that the kids are surrendered for mandatory government re-education, a family court is now keeping the family trapped in Germany to prevent them from fleeing and homeschooling abroad. Numerous other innocent families have been terrorized and ripped apart by fanatical authorities in the quest to, as the German Supreme Court put it, prevent minorities from forming “parallel societies.”
In a statement to supporters expressing disappointment over the high court’s ruling, however, HSLDA made clear that this was not the end. “We will not give up and see this family returned to Germany where they will face certain persecution,” the chairman said, asking the public to pray as HSLDA reviews “all possible options” to protect the family. “Even now, we have been working with supportive members of Congress to introduce legislation that could help the Romeikes and others who flee persecution.”
Outside of the most barbaric autocracies on Earth, along with Germany and, more recently, Sweden, homeschooling remains legal across most of the world, including in Russia. Even the controversial United Nations so-called “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” adopted after the exposure of Nazi atrocities including Hitler’s efforts to brainwash German youth, declares that parents have a prior right to choose their children’s education. In Germany, though, the National Socialist-era ban home education remains in effect.
HSLDA pointed out that the Supreme Court’s refusal to accept the petition was not a judgment on the merits of the case, and that the court agrees to hear only a tiny sample of the petitions that come before it. Still, while the Romeikes’ fate remains uncertain at this point, the movement for educational freedom is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Persecuted German homeschoolers may not be welcome in Obama’s United States, but they certainly will not be giving up the battle for their human rights any time soon.
Update: The Department of Homeland Security told HSLDA that the Romeike family would be granted indefinite deferred action status, which means they will not be deported. “This is an incredible victory that I can only credit to Almighty God. I also want to thank those who spoke up on this issue — including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made a huge impact. What an amazing turnaround—in just 24 hours,” said HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris. The family also expressed its thanks and relief upon learning of the news.
Photo shows Romeike family in 2009: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at