Tag Archive | Denmark

892. Fulton

Fulton is a three-masted schooner built in 1914 and also the name of a behavior modification program established in 1970 by Mogens Frohn Nielsen. The purpose was to change the behavior of at-risk teenage boys by letting them work at sea.

Unfortunately corporal punishment was used and this had been outlawed some years before leading the the firing of Nielsen in 1987. The program was slightly changed and continued under new management until it went bankrupted in 2013. Today the ship is still sailing run by another foundation.

It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager exposed to beatings and other forms of corporal punishment.

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891. Ocean Life

In 2008 newspapers in both Spain and Denmark reported about an arrest of a Danish captain who commandeered a ship with troubled youth. The reason of the arrest was abandoning a teenager on the island of Islote de Lobos. Marooning is an ancient form of punishment which had not been used in recent decades. The Island while not having any permanent inhabitants were guarded by some officials and by pure luck the boy was picked out. He was not dressed to a life on his own.

The Spanish authorities were shocked by the discovery and arrested the Dane responsible for the act.

In Denmark an inquest was conducted by protected by the social services who had referred the boys to the program but nothing happened as it properly would have embarrassed the case workers who referred the children to the program for not investigating properly what the public funds was use for.

It could not have been fun to be there when they use punishments like this.

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867. The Becker children

Back in the 1975 South Vietnam was about to fall due to attacks from communists in North Vietnam. The peaceful democracy would not exist longer and in this chaos a Danish journalist Henning Becker sought to save about 200 children from his private founded orphanage, he created back in 1967 when he saw many children suffering as part of the awful aggression from North.

So he arranged for temporary visas and a plane. In Denmark the Danish authorities never had experienced such an arrangement before, so very fast they arranged for the children to be placed in empty buildings which two decades before had housed the infamous Kellerske Anstalter (detention centers for men and girls with too much appetite for sex and relationship, who were sterilized before released to the society. The girls facility is listed as number 153 on this blog, the boys facility number 247).

While the children were happy to be in safety from the war, the Danish authorities struggled with their future. Could they send the children back so they would be tortured and raised as communists? (Before the second world war, the Danish authorities saw no problems sending jews back to Germany). Could they provide the children with Danish passports and raise them as Danes?

Problem is that no families in Denmark live together with 200 members and almost everyone of the children saw Henning Becker as their father. The uncertainty of their destiny began to take the toll on the children. Some tried to escape the island and one boy downed. It could not go on.

So the Danish government issued Danish citizenships to all the children. Now they just had to see how the children could be integrated into the Danish society. The minister Eva Gredal took action. With help of the police the children were forcefully removed from the control of Henning Becker and placed in foster families and group homes all over Denmark.

Despite this hardship the religious values the children possessed enabled them to build their future in Denmark. Most of them live in Denmark today. Not fully integrated because while they were separated, they were still allowed to write each other and once they became adults they moved together in small communities in Denmark. So they learned to co-exist. However some of them left Denmark for other European countries because they believed, that they were robbed from their parents twice. First as result of the war in Vietnam and then by the Danish authorities, when they were removed from Henning Becker who had become their new parent.

The lesson learned by the Danish government was not ever to take children to Denmark alone. Today in the year 2021, small children born by parents with Danish passports remain in refugee camps in Syria because their parents fought for ISIS. “We do not want future terrorists to come to Denmark” the Danish politicians say. Some of the children are only 3 years old. How can the Danish politicians predict their future now?

So overall it is bittersweet story to read about the Becker children. On the surface a success-story, but both its legacy and the hardship they faced in the hands of the Danish authorities, is hard to read about.

It could not have been fun to be among the 200 children, who came to Denmark in 1975.

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864. Højer Design Efterskole

Højer Design Efterskole is a so-called Continuation high school used as a gap year for Danish students between form 9 and 10 before they either leave the school system for work or continue in Gymnasium (High School). The students stay for a year with about 10 weekends off.

The school was founded in 2008 and is known to have expelled a large percentage of its students. In 2008 only 58 out of 90 students finished the year. In 2009 it was 49 out of 75 students. Some were expelled due the suspicion of have consumed alcohol just because they were in a happy mood (Alcohol is allowed for Danes aged 16 or high as long as the alcohol percentage is below the safe limit of 16.5.

The policy of expelling students seem to continue even this year.

It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager if your cultural origin dictates another way of living.

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859. Kikhøj

The group home Kikhøj was located in Holbæk Denmark. In 2019 it closed after the authorities investigated the group home and found violations of rules regarding the use of restraints.

The group home was mentioned in a 2021 TV-documentary on the Danish TV2 called “Nødråb fra børnehjemmet” (Emergency call from the orphanage).

It could not have been fun to be there as a child.

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852. Den Maritime Base

The idea sounds fine. Putting youth out on a ship so they can skip possible drug use. The execution far from fine. Lacking teachers and being confined in a foreign harbor where the children can go into town unaccompanied. According to a TV2 documentary in the Danish TV2, it did not take very long time before the teenagers connected with a local drug-dealer so they could smoke weed almost every day.

We are talking about an arrangement which put the taxpayers back some 39,800 dollars per student.

And we are not even talking about the security risk a teenager alone in another part of the world would risk. Fact is that some of the teenagers came back without proper schooling which they were promised and it is a huge setback for their future. That is not something which is fun for the teenager when reaching adulthood and face the reality of life without proper career due to lack of education.

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848. Godhavn

Founded in 1893 as a reform school, it was converted into an orphanages in 1923. Up til around the early 1970’s the management used not alone corporal punishment but also beatings to an extend so it was abuse. None of the adults were charged when the facility went through a reform in the early 1970’s in order to avoid a scandal because the state had neglected its oversight and supervision of the facility.

In 2019 prime minister Mette Frederiksen apologized on behalf of the state of Denmark for failed actions to intervene in the past.

The number of children staying at the facility were reduced and the children got their own rooms. For a number of decades everything then sounded fine.

But in 2021 news came that the facility failed to reports incidents where they had restrained the children which is against the laws in Denmark as every case where children are restrained has to be reported to the state authorities in order to evaluate the use of restraints and learn how to prevent them in the future.

It functioned as inspiration for the movie “Der kommer en dag” (The day will come)

It could not be fun to be there as child in the past and not now either as there is a reason for the mandatory reports to be made.

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847. Aaløkkegaard

Aaløkkegaard was a children orphanages located in Odense. It existed until 1955 when it was closed for reasons, I have not been able to obtain information about.

From 1955 to 1980 the facility now under new management was a kind of boarding school. The abuse mentioned in various articles happened when it was an orphanages (between 1920 and 1955).

Today the building house ordinary apartments.

According to an article on TV2 Fyn men from the higher circles in Odense could rent a child at the home for a short time so they could fulfill personal needs which almost every time was not in the interest of the child. Beatings, sexual abuse is among the issues mentioned in the article.

It could not have been fun to be there as a child.

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839. Terre des hommes

Nothing much is known about this organization in Denmark beside the fact that the Danish department was result of the work of a certain Tytte Botfeldt who is now deceased and their close work with the couple Lise and Ole Brems. The family who was living in the village of Klarup and was consisting of a doctor and a nurse took a lot of foster kids in. Some of the foster children died but the doctor issued death certificates despite the fact, that he was close to them. At that time it was legal and the law has due to this case been changed so no doctor with close ties to the deceased can issue death certificates.

In the end the authorities started an investigation against the foster parents and the doctor was convicted to two years in prison and he was allowed to keep his medical license to work as a doctor once the time was served. The wife was convicted to 4 years in prison and lost her license permanently. Why the difference? Why was he allowed to work when he provided medication and falsified the death certificates, remains a mystery.

Today this case involving the Terre des hommes organization in Denmark has largely been forgotten but it is certain that it could not have been fun to be a foster child in the Brems family.

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Further information about the Danish department of Terre Des Hommes. In 1999 an investigation was launch into falsified medication documentation about children adopted from Romania. Danish parents believed that the children was healthy but serious illnesses were hidden from them by the organization. As result the Danish department no longer arrange adoptions.

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838. The Elsinore family

An ordinary family living in Elsinore became the center of some media coverage around 2012 when it was discovered that they had fostered a child in secret. The social services had for long time given this family special focus due to their religious and political activities. While they were supported by but the local priest, local politician Ib Kirkegaard and longtime member of the parliament and foreign minister for Denmark Villy Søvndal supported the family but with no luck. No even those two could prevent that the family lost their children who were moved to various group homes where the employees worked to alienate the children against their parents.

After the discovery of the hidden child the authorities continued to harass the family because there according to various rumors should be even yet another hidden child.

To this day (2021) no additional child has been found.

It could not be fun to be a child targeted by the social services in Denmark just because your family structure might be slightly different than most.

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