Claudia H. is dressed discreetly.

With her good, wavy short hairstyle and glasses, she looks like she just came out of a hairdressing salon in the eighties, from the time when she became a mother and lost her child again after only four years.

After their own efforts, as the Hanau Public Prosecutor Dominik Mies suspects.

The 60-year-old Claudia H. has a doctorate and will have to answer for the murder of her son Jan at the Hanau Regional Court over the next few weeks.

Luise Glaser-Lotz

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung for the Main-Kinzig district.

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The trial began on Tuesday, accompanied by keen media interest in the spectacular case.

Judge Susanne Wetzel reads out a long list of witnesses at the beginning.

You will have to give your testimony a second time, because before Claudia H. the 74-year-old sect leader Sylvia D. was charged with the murder of Jan and sentenced to life imprisonment a year ago.

Unlike Sylvia D. at the time, who sometimes fixed the witnesses with her eyes and who kept taking notes, Claudia H. remains calm and focused while reading the indictment.

She will, also unlike Sylvia D., comment in detail on the allegations on the next day of the trial on September 27th.

It will be a long lecture, announced defender Thomas Scherzberg.

"A desperate mother who suffers a lot"

Much of what Chief Public Prosecutor Mies is presenting this afternoon is already known to the audience. But she is still shaken by what is said to have happened on August 17, 1988 in the house on Keplerstrasse in Hanau's Weststadt. Mies accuses Claudia H. of killing her son for low motives, believing that he was a reincarnation of Hitler and obsessed with the dark. These were the ideas of Sylvia D. that the defendant had adopted. The evening before, she put little Jan in a sack and put it to sleep in the bathroom. The next morning the child was soaked, whereupon the now deceased husband of Sylvia D. gave the child a cold shower. After that, the child had to stay in the bathroom.

At lunchtime it was "stuffed full" with porridge, Mies said. Then the mother put the child, who was mentally and physically severely undersupplied, back into a sack and left it to the care of Sylvia D., who she knew that the woman was trying to kill the boy. Sylvia D. came briefly into the bathroom and closed the window despite the warm temperatures of the summer day. Jan screamed desperately the whole time, as he did in the morning. Then he suddenly fell silent. When the mother and D's husband returned, the child was dead, choking on his vomit.

Defense attorney Wiebke Otto-Hanschmann described the defendant as a desperate mother who suffered greatly under the circumstances. Claudia H. is already prejudiced by the media. The process should only be about reaching a judgment, she said. The "sect murmur" should not find a place in it.

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