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An important message from lawyer Holger Fischer on the case of Inna Zhvanetskaya

Take these four minutes of your time! The well-known “maverick lawyer” Holger Fischer, who has taken a lot of personal risk to stand up for fundamental and human rights since the beginning of the Corona crisis, is the legal representative of Inna Zhvanetskaya. In his video message, he points out that this is not an isolated case – and that German society could really do much more for its transplanted and forgotten seniors.

My name is Holger Fischer. I am a lawyer. And as many already know, I am the legal representative of Ms. Inna Zhvanetskaya. I am very aware that this case has achieved wide publicity because it involves a Jewish Holocaust survivor. However, it is representative of the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in Germany who have a problem in long term care institutions, simply because they have not been offered any alternatives. They suffer there from being underchallenged, no social participation, they have no touch without masks and gloves. They are not involved in a cultural life. They don’t have activities to keep them occupied and because of that, people become demented and perhaps existing dementia is worsened by that and progresses rapidly.

The management of these people in long term care institutions is only possible through medication and often only through psychotropic drugs. It is important to protect people from this and to actively strive for a different way of dealing with old people. We want this case to bring to light the conditions in these facilities and to do better for our seniors in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people (many are international), who spontaneously offered their support to Ms. Zhvanetskaya. I would especially like to thank those people who have offered specific solutions to make Mrs. Zhvanetskaya’s life better, qualitatively better. These generous offers provide for her basic and qualitative needs much better that what the state system (consisting of legal representation and social security benefits) has been able to do so far.

We have offers from artists and musicians who want to take care of the socialization of this woman. There are people who are saying, “You may be a woman over 80 years old one day and need help. That’s why we’ll provide you with support in everyday life, in your apartment or go outside, for a walk or to go shopping with you. We’ll provide you with support in the future and we’ll also go with you to the doctor if it’s necessary.” Mrs. Zhvanetskaya has also done all of this on her own until now. From this abundance of these offers, she must now choose the right measure and sift through the offers.

The fact is, through all these offers it is easy to be able to say, If she accepts these offers, then the problem goes away, because what is the danger if a woman is happy to be helped and is not prevented by coercion from continuing to live her life? We have offers of help here that show what is possible if we wanted to. With recklessness, people in our country are brought into the inpatient setting. All too little is done to look for alternatives. In this case right now with the abundance of offers we will not have to.

And in many other cases, we wouldn’t have to put up with a state saying, “The only thing that helps here is long term institutions” and, “confined accommodation”. I will report on the progress of the Zhvanetskaya case in due course.

Originally translated and re-published by Children’s Health Defense Europe: Jan 16, 2022

English translation amended by Children’s Health Defense Europe: Jan 17, 2022

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