RT Deutsch talked to researchers at the University of Hildesheim, whose recent report revealed the existence of a shocking program - it included the transfer of German children left without parental care to pedophiles.

Helmut Kentler, a professor of pedagogy, conducted an experiment over 30 years, according to which pedophiles were allowed to adopt homeless children in Berlin with the assistance of the city’s specialized social services. The scandal surrounding Kentler’s figure and his dubious psychological research arose only in 2015, after his death, but quickly disappeared from the media.

However, after a recent study by the University of Hildesheim, the Kentler experiment was once again in the spotlight. RT Deutsch was one of the first media to draw attention to new facts in the Kentler case. In addition, RT Deutsch also talked with specialists and activists from social organizations that have studied his work against sexual violence against children.

In the 1960s, Helmut Kentler gained fame in psychological circles thanks to his theory about the emancipation of adolescents. He consolidated his reputation as an innovator in the field of social pedagogy by writing the book “Parents Learn Sexual Education”, in which he preached unorthodox views on the sexual education of children and adolescents. Kentler was often invited to radio and television programs as an expert in child psychology and quickly became a well-known public figure.

He began his experiment at the dawn of the 1970s, using his status as a famous psychologist. With the connivance of the guardianship authorities and the authorities of Berlin, he identified street children of pre-adolescence to pedophile trustees.

The program lasted almost 30 years, right up to the early 2000s. Despite the fact that many children were regularly subjected to sexual violence by their caregivers, the guardianship and welfare services of Berlin turned a blind eye to this. Kentler himself called the experiments successful.

In this case, no criminal or even administrative checks of the activities of Kentler and the social workers who helped him were carried out. The professor taught sociology and pedagogy until 1996, died in 2008. Moreover, he himself was the trustee of several adopted sons.

Only years after Kentler’s death in Germany drew attention to his dubious theories, after which the shocking facts about his work were revealed. The first investigation was conducted in 2015, but the exact number of victims and participants in this “experiment” could not be established.

New study

In the course of their research, employees of the University of Hildesheim examined archival documents and interview records with victims of the Kentler program. RT Deutsch spoke with researchers who confirmed that the professor’s activities would not have been possible without the direct involvement of the city authorities.

“In Germany, guardianship is the responsibility of local and government employees of the youth welfare department. This means that children and adolescents living in foster care are under state control. Accordingly, the foster families that we studied could not be created without the participation of the Berlin Senate and the youth welfare departments, ”RT Deutsch told reporters at the university.

Angelica Etken, activist of the Anti-Sexual Violence Fund, told RT Deutsch that what “Kentler and his network of victims did was far beyond the usual abuse.”

“The state and society are guilty of this in a special way,” Etken emphasized.

She also noted that the professor was patronized by German politicians who held posts in the municipal authorities of Berlin.

  • Psychology Professor Helmut Kentler

“The project was carried out until 2000. This can be explained only by knowing what kind of connections Kentler had and what his influence was. Perhaps his authority became so serious due to the fact that the Nazis in Germany exiled and even killed real scientists. Their lack was compensated by such as Helmut Kentler. And the good reputation they enjoyed can tell a lot about how things actually were in Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, ”said the activist.

Angelica Etken, like specialists from the University of Hildesheim, believes that Kentler’s actions indicate that his scientific theories had no connection with reality.

“I think Kentler’s publications on the clinical essence of pedophilia, that is, his attitude to sexuality, were thoroughly saturated with his mental and emotional disorders. At the same time, he is considered one of the founders of modern sexology, and even participated in litigation about sexual violence as an expert. There is something to work on not only the Senate of Berlin. All people and institutions, some of which still recognize him as a role model and describe him as a great scientist, should also think, ”Etken believes.

RT Deutsch also sent a request to the Berlin Senate, and received a response that a “study on the ongoing care of foster children in Berlin” would be conducted.  

Kentler's legacy

However, despite the new scandals, the influence of Professor Kentler is still felt. So, the RT Deutsch team discovered that until recently, a sex education book called Show Me! Was on the German Amazon website.

  • Screenshot of the book “Show me!” from German version of Amazon online store

The book, which was created by the American photographer Will McBride, was banned in a number of countries, including the United States and New Zealand, as well as other McBride photographs, as they fall under the law stipulating liability for the dissemination of child pornography. In Germany, the book was not officially banned, but McBride himself removed it from sale back in 1996 - and it could be bought on the Internet.

The book is accompanied by a foreword by Professor Kentler, which, in essence, is an attempt to justify pedophilia. After RT Deutsch contacted Amazon to comment on the availability of such products, links to the page stopped working. The retailer thanked for drawing attention to the book and noted that, given the huge range of products on the site, it can be difficult to verify.

It is worth noting that RT Deutsch has already devoted several videos to the neglect of pedophilia in Germany.

Thus, the channel highlighted the adoption of the amendment, which transfers violence against children (including sexual) into the category of criminal offenses, rather than “misconduct,” as such incidents were interpreted earlier - this makes it possible to establish a more serious punishment.

In addition, an activist Anneke Lucas, who was sold as sex slavery in Belgium at the age of six, was previously published on YouTube channel RT Deutsch on YouTube. Her speech, which draws attention to the problem of violence against children, gained almost 2 million views.