Austria. Six children found in a basement in Austria. The youngest was seven months old
Austrian police found the man, his 40-year-old partner and six children aged seven months to five years in the basement. Officials, trying to enter there, were attacked with pepper spray. According to Sky News, the alleged father of the family is “the author of a number of controversial books in which he questions the Holocaust”. He also belongs to the Citizens of the Reich, an informal movement denying the legal existence of the German state in its current form.
Residents of Obritz have repeatedly complained about a man they do not know who has allegedly been in the basement for weeks. “Neighbours occasionally heard children’s voices coming from the basement, and as soon as they approached it was quiet,” deputy mayor Erich Greil told noe.ORF.at. A representative from the municipality and a social worker from Hollabrunn County visited the site on Thursday, January 26.
Officials heard children’s voices coming from the basement, but were prevented from entering by the 54-year-old, who attacked them with pepper spray. Social workers called the police, and the man and the children barricaded themselves inside the room. Upon arrival, officers found a 54-year-old man, his 40-year-old partner and six children aged seven months to five years in the basement.
Officials will decide whether the children will be returned to their alleged parents
According to county commissioner Karl-Josef Weiss, the children were not confined or neglected. However, several firearms were found in the room. The 54-year-old, identified as John Landon, was arrested and later released; According to the prosecutor’s office, “he did not pose a threat to the welfare of the children.” MyLondon reported that Landon is a British IT worker from North London.
Police have not yet established the identities of the children. On Thursday, they were taken to the hospital and examined in the presence of their mother, police spokesman Stefan Loidl said. They are now under the care of the Youth Office. The latter examines the children’s environment and decides whether they will return to their supposed parents.
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A couple living in the basement told police that the children were born in England. Landon maintained that he was their father. The juveniles, however, were not registered in Austria, therefore identifying their identities was described as “difficult”. As previous investigations have shown, the 54-year-old belongs to the Citizens of the Reich, informal movement denying the legal existence of the German state in its present shape. The British portal Sky News reported that the man is “the author of a number of controversial books in which he denies that the Holocaust took place”.
The owner of the basement about his place of residence
Landon has already purchased “four or five” cellars in Oritz, the deputy mayor said. “He once told me he had ten children and wanted a basement for each of them,” he added, noting that the 54-year-old appeared to be “normal” and “very smart.” The local authorities had to agree to the purchase as the cellars were purchased through an English company. In turn, mayor Josef Fürnkranz admitted that he had spoken to the alleged father of the children two weeks before the intervention in the basement. The 54-year-old allegedly told him that the children were not yet of school age and “he can live with them anywhere”.
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noe.ORF.at, My London, Sky News, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: Shutterstock
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