( 20 May 2004 )

This claim is being made entirely without presumption of fact and without prejudice affecting either party !


from: Martin Mitchell

directed to: v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel

for: Outstanding Wages for work performed in Freistatt

The private with parochial rights bestowed upon business venture officially known as »Institution Freistatt«, »Workers Colony Freistatt« und »Moor Colony Freistatt« (1899-1983), »Deaconical Homes Freistatt« (1983-1993) and »Deaconical [Enterprises] Freistatt« (from 1993 to the present day) is a subsidiary company of the »v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel« by Bielefeld, in the State of Westphalia, which forms part of today’s Federal Republic of Germany.

»Freistatt«, situated on the »Wietingsmoor« north of and alongside Federal Highway B214, between the small country towns of Diepholz and Sulingen, in the province of Hannover, in the State of Lower Saxony, which forms part of today’s Federal Republic of Germany, was founded there in 1899.

This »Workers Colony« »Freistatt« remained operational as a private agrarian business venture from 1899, continuously, until the mid-1990ies and ( during that entire period ! ) was being run, primarily, with unpaid labour, and, in the case of minors who were being held there against their will for various lengths of time, ( over that entire period as well ! ), was being run solely with slave labour extracted by force, without payment of appropriate wages for the heavy manual labour these minors were compelled to perform there, in record time, throughout the entire period of their internment. »The workers had to slave in order that the business venture could be maintained.« (Klaus Schneider)

As part of the »v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel« there now exists in »Freistatt« (since 1995) a limited liability company called »Frei[statt] Pro[duktion Businesses] GmbH« which now offer properly renumerated employment with compulsory insurance, but the work performed nowadays is not the same as in the past, and work today is also no longer required to be performed in record time. And since paid employment has commenced — and the prohibition on Forced Labour outlawed by the German Constitution is now being observed — working conditions have drastically improved; one can even learn a chosen trade there now.

The claimant, who was a minor himself at the time of his being held against his will in »Institution Freistatt« in the early-1960ies, is now seeking from the parent company »v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel« the payment of outstanding wages for one whole year for the performance by him for and on behalf of the said private business venture of heavy manual labour he was compelled to perform there, which, after a delay in payment of 40 years, are calculated – with appropriate interest – at 123,780.33 DM, arrived at as follows —

For 8 hours of hard labour 5 and a half days per week totalling 44 hours per week, at 3.00 DM per hour, the weekly wages total 132.00 DM, multiplied by 52 weeks in the year equals 6,864.00 DM in wages annually. 6,864.00 DM at 7.5% compound interest over 40 years totals 123,780.33 DM as a debt owing to the claimant.

Additionally, the claimant demands, for a period of one year, payment for daily housework he was compelled to perform during his internment in »Institution Freistatt« in the early-1960ies, namely, 2 hours daily, six days per week: 12 hours at 2.00 DM equals 24.00 DM per week, multiplied by 52 weeks in the year equals 1,248.00 DM annually for housework performed. 1,248.00 DM at 7.5% compound interest over 40 years totals 22,505.514 DM as a further debt owing to the claimant.

These two amounts: 123,780.33 DM and 22,505.514 DM added together, make a grand total debt of 146,285.84 DM or 74,794.76 EUR owing to the claimant by the »v. Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel«.

Not only secular ethics justify and support this claim, but also the morals expounded by the Holy Scriptures do. See, for example: Leviticus 19: 13, Deuteronomy 24: 15, Jeremiah 22: 13, Jacob 5: 4, Proverbs 22: 22 and Proverbs 6: 30-31 ( The Bibel in modern German: German Bibel Society ), and, no doubt »Bethel« knows of many more.


Limited to one year only, the grand total amount of unpaid wages with 40 years of compound interest owing – which has only been calculated up to 1 January 2004 – will of course continue to increase as long as it remains unpaid.

[ LINK to German translation of this document: Anforderung_von_ausgebliebenen_Lohngeldern.html ]

[ Date of first publication on this Website: 20 May 2004 ]


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