Thursday, June 01, 2006

Daddy Was Away On Business

A German court jailed a woman for 15 years for killing eight of her newborn babies in the worst case of infanticide in the country's criminal history.The court found that Hilschenz, an unemployed dental hygienist with a long history of alcoholism, gave birth to the infants then left them to fend for themselves. Each probably died of hypothermia, the judges found.

The remains of the babies, buried in flowerpots, a fish tank and a baby's plastic bathtub, were found last summer in a shed owned by Hilschenz's parents in a small town near Frankfurt an der Oder.

Brandenburg's interior minister, Joerg Schoenbohm, infuriated easterners when he said the "forced proletarization" of certain regions under East Germany's communist leaders had created a culture of apathy that fostered such crimes.

Hilschenz and her husband divorced last year. She then became pregnant by her new boyfriend and carried the child to term.

The horror of the discovery left Germans baffled about how the almost unbroken chain of pregnancies and deaths over the course of a decade could have gone unnoticed.

Hilschenz is believed to have had sex regularly without contraception with her husband Oliver, who has said he was unaware of the pregnancies or deaths.

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