Tanja (59) experienced ritual abuse as a baby – in Bavaria and in Rapperswil and Lenzburg in Switzerland. She talks about her sad childhood: «It was always suggested to me that I was a bad child and deserved punishment.»
How or through whom did you come into contact with ritual abuse?
Since I was a baby, it’s always been like this. I behaved differently than other kids when I was a kid. That’s what I noticed. I was always quiet. I was always afraid, and I always had to go home immediately from school, or from kindergarten. I also noticed that the woman who was at home, who I thought was my mother, was not my mother. I always had this feeling. I was always different, and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was sad a lot. I was often unusually tired. I thought, where have I even been at night? I don’t know, but watching other kids, my childhood was just always weird. I got a lot of beatings, I was always a bad kid. I was often in pain and couldn’t figure out where it came from. So when I compared it with other kids, I realized there was something wrong. It was always suggested to me that I was a bad child and deserved punishment. I just didn’t feel comfortable where I was at home either. I also wanted to kill myself. I had escaped once in the night and lay down on the tracks and waited for the train to come. And then the police had taken me home, without asking what was going on. Then the ordeal got worse. I was always beaten, I didn’t know why. Today I know why. I became aware of the whole story when I was pregnant. At that time, I was always afraid for my child. When I gave birth — I had a C-section — I was behind this curtain and I noticed, it flashed, and I knew it was something, I couldn’t move, but everyone was fiddling with me, and that’s when the world collapsed for me. Then these flashes came, these memories came. I was always afraid for my child. You couldn’t take my child away from me, otherwise I started to scream, and I would really make a lot of terror. From then on, these memories came that I had given birth to children before, all of whom had been killed. Then from one moment to the next, everything from the last few years came out.
What are the typical experiences you have had as a victim?
I had been sold as a prostitute since I was a little girl. I was present at rituals where the most terrible things happened. They sacrificed children, or they threatened me if I didn’t do what I had to do there, that another child would be killed. They killed my cat if I wasn’t obedient. These different images with these men and this pain, it just all came together like that. Also my fear of the police, for example, now I know why … We also had a policeman in the house who was there and helped and always monitored me. It just all came together. One thing led to another and everything fell into place, and I realized why I was so afraid for my child. I guarded him like the apple of my eye, that nothing would happen to him … Now I know why. Evidence, yes. We went to places, for example to a chapel that is now converted. I went in there and said that I recognize everything from the outside. I don’t know the chapel, but I know what it used to look like, and that matched exactly with what you saw. There was an underground passage that you can’t prove because it’s buried now. You can’t find any documents. However, I was able to show the entrance where you could get in. Next door was a house where we children had to wait until these rituals started. These houses are still standing today.
What was your worst experience?
Killing my own children. With other children, for example, that’s really bad, we had to skin a person.
How do the perpetrators get the children to comply?
There you are not asked. That just means if I don’t go along, then they bring me a little baby and say, “If you don’t go along, we’ll kill the baby, and then it’s your fault!” As a teenage child, you then do everything that is said. You don’t have a chance. I was one of those who always wanted to save all the children. For example, I was hiding babies as a teenager. Of course, that didn’t work, they were watching us, that came to light, and then they killed the baby. But then I did nothing more.
Where and in what context did it take place?
I don’t know where that is now, of course that was a long time ago, but in Lenzburg. Lenzburg castle is such a place. The chapel in Weesen is such a place. Those are two places that I can name for sure.
Finally, do you have a personal concern or message?
That what we say, and we are many people concerned, that people believe that. And that people don’t think that this is far away in Africa, but it’s happening in Switzerland, and it’s still happening today. And all the evidence involved that you have, the pieces of evidence that you have, that this is investigated. And don’t just say, “Now this place is submerged, there are no documents.” That’s not true. We’re not making that up. It’s the way it is. We have witnessed these things. And I think it’s a shame that people are laughing at this.