A German family says their home was raided by police armed with weapons and a battering ram who seized their children because they did not attend school.
The children's father, Dirk Wunderlich, said the incident had traumatised his whole family and their neighbours.
"I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it," he told homeschooling advocacy group HSLDA.
“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he said. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist.
"You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village."
Wunderlich said that his 14-year-old daughter Machsejah had to be forcibly taken out of the home.
“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen.
"They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said—‘It’s too late for that.'"
The family say they asked when they could seek a hearing to contest the seizure of their children and were told they would have to wait until a judge returned from vacation.
“We are empty. We need help. We are fighting, but we need help,” the children's mother, Petra Wunderlich said.
Homeschooling is completely illegal in Germany, although the Economist reports up to 1,000 children may be homeschooled each year.
In 2010, another German family were granted political asylum to live in America, with an immigration judge saying their stance on home schooling their children created a reasonable fear of persecution.