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November 22, 2019
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Drahomír Radek Horváth: The crazy case of Trmice

Trmice, 6.7.2012 18:31, (ROMEA)
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A very unusual event has taken place in Trmice (Ústí region): A mother's child has been stolen right from a pram. I have many acquaintances and friends in Trmice - work colleagues, a municipal councilor, the head of a nonprofit organization. When I first learned what had happened in the small village, I felt an unpleasant anxiety in my heart, and it was clear to me that my friends in Trmice must be horrified. Most of them have young children, as do I. I immediately went there to talk with local residents, visit my friends, and listen to the eyewitnesses of the incident.

When speaking with my acquaintances and friends - and also with strangers - I observed that their descriptions of what took place varied, but that's not surprising - most of the people I spoke with got their information second-hand. However, everyone was completely shocked by the incident. No one understands how it could have happened and they have great sympathy for the mother who has been victimized.

Several versions of what took place are circulating, depending on which media outlet people follow. Some claim a car drove up to a bus stop where the mother and child were waiting and that a man stepped out of the car, grabbed the child from the pram, got back in the car and drove off. I heard several versions of what happened, including one in which the man grabbed the child away from the mother and ran about 100 meters into an adjacent street, where a getaway car driven by a female accomplice was waiting. I believe the police are working with that version of events, which has not been much reported by the media.

All of the available information indicates that the man used violence to grab the child and that the mother resisted. The eyewitnesses agree he spoke German. The question is why this has happened. The psychological impact on all parents in Trmice is obvious. Everyone seems to be saying to themselves: “This is terrible, it could have been my child."

However, many online cynics believe Romani people frequently sell their own children and that this incident is intended to cover up just such a distasteful business deal. I feel like throwing up when I read such opinions.

When I was in Trmice I did not hear anyone speculating that the child's father might be involved. According to the available information, the child's father is Romani. The online know-it-alls are insisting the father was a foreigner who has kidnapped his own child, but sources close to the family have made it clear the child's father is really Romani.

Similar online comments are being directed against the family, who are conducting their own search for the infant parallel to the police and are offering ransom. In Trmice everyone has sympathy for them, but the internet is full of speculation about their business activities, theorizing that this could have been a punishment for debts they allegedly have. I did not encounter any such opinions at the scene.

We will probably never learn why something like this has occurred until the criminal investigation authorities complete their investigation and find the perpetrators. Only then will a motive be clear. Until then, more dignity is called for in the online discussions of this topic, and most of all, more compassion for the poor child and her mother.

Drahomír Radek Horváth, Gwendolyn Albert, Drahomír Radek Horváth, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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