e-mail: Fri, Nov 20, 2015 21:25

Open letter by Andreas Meyer regarding "Gruenenthal files" scandal

subject:
Conterganstiftung - Letter of the chairman of the Board dd Nov 5th, 2015 regarding “'Gruenenthal files' - Documents concerning reference StC II 1339“ (Open letter)

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vom:
andreas.meyer@...,
Meyer, Andreas


an:
marlene.rupprecht@...,
Rupprecht, Marlene

Margit.Hudelmaier@...,
Hudelmaier, Margit

Christoph.Linzbach@...,
Linzbach, Christoph

Sven-Olaf.Obst@...,
Obst, Sven-Olaf

Sylvia.Kuerschner@...,
Kürschner, Dr. Sylvia


cc:
petra.sartor@...,
Sartor, Dr. Petra

Elisabeth.Woelky@...,
Woelky, Elisabeth

petra.spaetling-fichtner@...,
Spätling-Fichtner, Petra

contergan@...,
Stürmer, Christian

herterich@...,
Herterich, Udo

bettina.ehrt@...,
Ehrt, Bettina

Kristina.Kruse@...,
Kruse, Kristina

Katja.Held@...,
Held, Katja


Andreas Meyer
full member of the Advisory Council
of the Conterganstiftung fuer behinderte Menschen
Dohmengasse 7, 50829 Köln
Phone: +49 (0)221 / 9505101
Fax: +49 (0)221 / 9505102
E-Mail: andreas.meyer.stiftungsrat@web.de


Adressee:
Conterganstiftung
fuer behinderte Menschen
- Geschaeftsstelle (Office) -
Sybille-Hartmann-Str. 2-8
50969 Koeln


Pls refer this document to the following people:

Parliamentary State Secretary Caren Marks
Chair of the Advisory Council Christoph Linzbach
Members of the Advisory Council and their standbys
Board of the Conterganstiftung

Nov 20th, 2015


Re: Conterganstiftung - Letter of the chairman of the Board dd Nov 5th, 2015 regarding 'Gruenenthal files' - Documents concerning reference StC II 1339 (Open letter)


Dear Madam Parliamentary State Secretary Caren Marks, dear Mrs. Rupprecht, dear Mrs. Hudelmaier, dear Mr. Linzbach (BMFSFJ), dear Mr. Dr. Obst (BMFSFJ), dear ladies and gentlemen of the Advisory Council and standbys, dear Mrs. Dr. Kuerschner (BMFSFJ), dear ladies and gentlemen of the trust office,


I was astonished when I have received the letter of the chairman of the board, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht, dd Nov 5th, 2015, regarding 'Gruenenthal files' - Documents concerning reference StC II 1339 today.

This letter which most probably has been sent with similar wording on that matter to more Thalidomiders the Chairwoman refers to the issue of the 161 binders which have been passed to the office of the Conterganstiftung on Oct 10th, 2014, by the Gruenenthal GmbH. These binders contain documents about beneficiaries and other applicants and had been in possession of the Gruenenthal company before.

For clarification and elucidation about the comb-out and analysis of the files contents the letter states further on that these documents which have been passed by the Gruenenthal company are in connection to the Conterganstiftung's Medical Committee's function before 2003 and originate from the area of responsibility of the former chairman of the Medical Committee and therefore came to be in their possession.

Furthermore this letter states that during analysis of the passed documents it was found that these documents contain personal data of mine.

The letter ends with the information that during analysis 9 Gruenenthal documents have been found overall and have been included into my existing files. Photocopies of the new documents were enclosed.

Up to here the letter of the Chairman of the Board follows the procedure of elucidation without reserves of the 'Gruenenthal files' scandal by the Conterganstiftung and the Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (hereafter referred to as BMFSFJ) and the instant information of those affected by this scandal as agreed on by the Advisory Council and the Board. Up to here I did not find anything to criticise.

I am not surprised at all that there were documents found during files analysis as part of the 'Gruenenthal files' scandal containing personal data of mine hold at the Gruenenthal company as based on my experience with the syndicate's criminal interests of the Gruenenthal company and the owner clan Wirtz I would not put it beside this group of people and their henchmen to commit any socially damaging acts.

But I find it very strange when I find that the letter as mentioned above keeps quiet about the actor mainly responsible for the creation of the so called 'Gruenenthal files' scandal originating from the sphere of influence of the Medical Committee, neither the name nor his double function of former chairman of the Medical Committee from 1972 to the end of 2003 on the one hand and representative of the Gruenenthal company on the other hand is mentioned.

It is concealed that the former chairman of the Medical Committee of the Conterganstiftung from 1972 to the end of 2003 was the lawyer Herbert Wartensleben.

Furthermore it is not mentioned that the lawyer Mr. Wartensleben was Manager of Gruenenthal's legal department during the time of the Contergan criminal case and was still representative of the Gruenenthal company regarding Contergan issues when he was appointed as chairman of at least one of the Medical Committees by the Advisory Council of the Conterganstiftung on Dec 6th, 1972.

It is kept quiet, too, that these issues were known by the BMFSFJ as this ministry was and is supervisor of the Conterganstiftung since 1972 till today as per § 10 Abs. 1 ContStifG (formerly § 11 Abs. 1 ErrichtgG).

It is kept back as well that the former chairman of the Federal Society of Thalidomiders (Bundesverband Contergangeschaedigter e.V., hereafter referred to as 'Bundesverband') who used to be part of the Advisory Board before that function, Mr. Hans Helmut Schleifenbaum, and his successor, Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier, who is member of today's Board both knew about that fact.

Furthermore it is not mentioned that Mr. Wartensleben still acted as representative of the Gruenenthal company during the lawsuit against the WDR about the 'Contergan' movie in 2007.

All this helps to disguise the fact that it was possible for the Gruenenthal company to gain a deep insight into our most private medical problems for more than 30 years via their former manager of legal affairs while the BMFSFJ and the representatives of the Bundesverband within or outside of the Advisory Council were watching.

it is tried to shroud the fact that there has been an chumminess alliance between the Gruenenthal company, the BMFSFJ and Parents organisation of the Contergan victims, the Bundesverband, for more than 30 years.

As representatives of the Thalidomiders and in face of this new Contergan scandal I will brand each try to trivialise and shroud these alliance machinations - even if it is a lacking punctuation mark! -.

Therefore you cannot in the least speak of elucidating the 'Gruenenthal files' scandal and informing the Contergan victims adequately without reserve when representatives of the Conterganstiftung and the BMFSFJ keep following this strategy of shrouding. Especially as a lot of the Thalidomiders do not or cannot use the internet and therefore are unable to inform themselves about the 'Gruenenthal files' scandal and collect all the current information about it which is relevant for them and their fellow Thalidomiders.

As all participants of the Board and the Advisory Council as well as their standbys and the ladies and gentlemen of the Conterganstiftung's office were made aware of the sensitivity of the topic 'Gruenenthal files' scandal through the outraged reactions of the Thalidomider audience during the public meetings of the Advisory Council latest since the end of 2014 until today and as this is a significant topic of the Conterganstiftung's work which shall be dealt with as agenda item #5 "Report of the Board with discussion including progress report regarding the Gruenenthal files" during the next meeting of the Advisory Council (No 101) on Nov 30th and Dec 1st I kindly ask all the above mentioned addressees in the Conterganstiftung's Board and the ministries representatives as well as their standbys in the Advisory Council and of the Federal Government and of the Trust Office to answer the following questions personally in writing before the meeting #101 of the Advisory Council on Nov 30th and Dec 1st:


To the chairwoman of the Board of the Conterganstiftung, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht, and the Board member, Mrs Margit Hudelmaier, who is Thalidomider herself:

After the contents analysis and comparison of the Gruenenthal files with existing files at the Conterganstiftung (Personal and medical file) how many Thalidomiders have been contacted by letter?

How many Thalidomiders have received similar letters in which they were informed that the Gruenenthal files contained private data about them and in which cases were both the name of the lawyer, Mr. Herbert Wartensleben, and his double function as former chairman of the medical committee of the Conterganstiftung on the one hand and as representative of the Gruenenthal company on the other hand kept secret?

How many Thalidomiders have received letters in which they were informed that the Gruenenthal files did not contain any private data about them and in which cases were both the name of the lawyer, Mr. Herbert Wartensleben, and his double function as former chairman of the medical committee of the Conterganstiftung on the one hand and as representative of the Gruenenthal company on the other hand kept secret?

How many of these letters to the Thalidomiders were just signed by Mrs. Rupprecht alone and why?

Does the Conterganstiftung's Board plan to assign the law-firm GSK Stockmann & Colleagues who were responsible for the investigations so far to start correspondent investigations concerning the former chairman of one of the two Medical Committees and co-founder of the Bundesverband, the lawyer Mr. Karl-Hermann Schulte-Hillen, to clarify his role or probable double function in one of the trusts committees?

Since when are you, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht, and you, Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier, aware that the former chairman of one of the two Medical Committees, the lawyer Mr. Karl-Hermann Schulte-Hillen, filed a joint suit against the Contergan movie by the WDR with the Gruenenthal company?

Since when precisely do you, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht, and you, Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier, know that Dr. Jan Schulte-Hillen, the son of the lawyer Karl-Hermann Schulte-Hillen, works as an expert for internal medicine in the Medical Committee of the Conterganstiftung?

Do you, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht, and you, Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier, know the article of the Spiegel magazine of the issue No. 47/2006 which states among other that the children of the Wartensleben and Schulte-Hillen families played together in the garden?

Are you, Mrs. Marlene Rupprecht and Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier, aware that there are or were further connections between family members of Dr. Jan Schulte-Hillen and the owner of the Gruenenthal company, the Wirtz family?

After the new scandal about the "Gruenenthal files" can both of you as members of the Conterganstiftung's Board take the responsibility in front of all those Contergan victims that the expert of the Medical Committee, Dr. Jan Schulte-Hillen, until today still has deep insight into private data and medical information of the Contergan victims despite the past or even recent connections of his family to the family who was the cause of the original Contergan scandal and is responsible for the recent "Gruenenthal files" scandal, too, and he will keep having it?

In case of yes I kindly ask you for a detailed reasoning and statement regarding that question.

Regarding the entanglement of the Gruenenthal owner, the Wirtz family, the Wartensleben family and the Schulte-Hillen family as well as their roles within the Conterganstiftung and the disastrous interplay of Gruenenthal interests and the Conterganstiftung on the one hand and the role of the Bundesverband during the complete Contergan history on the other hand I would like to remind you that background information about the incidents as mentioned above is available, partially for years already, under these links (none of it has been challenged successfully so far):

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Wahl_Andreas_2014

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Bundesverbands_Skandale

http://www.gruenenthal-opfer.de/Conterganhistorie


Questions for the Board member and Thalidomider and former Chairwoman of the Bundesverband, Mrs. Margit Hudelmaier:

Since when until when have you been working in the Advisory Council of the Conterganstiftung?

Since when until when have you been Chairwoman of the Advisory Council or deputy?

How many years or months during your term (whether as member or chairwoman of the Advisory Council or deputy) was the lawyer, Mr. Herbert Wartensleben, chairman of one of the Medical Committees of the Conterganstiftung?

Why did you, as victims representative and later on as chairwoman of the Bundesverband, never appeal to the BMFSFJ, the supervisor of the Conterganstiftung, against the fact that the former manager of Gruenenthal's legal department and representative of the Gruenenthal company, the lawyer Mr. Herbert Wartensleben, was simultaneously chairman of one of the Medical Committees of the Conterganstiftung?

In case you complained about it what was the reaction of the BMFSFJ, supervisor of the Conterganstiftung?

What was your reaction to the potential reaction of the BMFSFJ?

Did you have any doubt at any time during your term in the Advisory Council regarding the mentioned function of the lawyer, Mr. Herbert Wartensleben (Chairman of the committee and simultaneously representative of Gruenenthal)?

In case of yes, when?

Have you ever mentioned this doubt to anybody?

In case of yes, to whom and when?

What kind of doubt did you mention?

As per § 5 par. 5 sent. 1 Alt. 2 Statutes of the Conterganstiftung every Board member has to disclose conflicts of interests immediately.

Furthermore as per § 5 par. 5 sent. 2 Statutes of the Conterganstiftung the Board member concerned has to inform the other Board members accordingly.

Before or after the start of the investigations or the board resolutions did you inform the Advisory Council and the Board members about a potentially existing conflict of interests as you held the office as member or even Chairwoman of the Advisory Council of the Conterganstiftung or deputy during part of the time when the lawyer, Mr. Wartensleben, was Chairman of one of the Medical Committees?

In case of yes or no, why?

Did you know at any time during your activity in the Bundesverband that the lawyer, Mr. Wartensleben, had been invited and present?

In case of yes, do you consider that possible know-how a conflict of interests while deciding or working as board member of the Conterganstiftung in regard to the investigations about the "Gruenenthal files" scandal?

In case of yes or no, why?

Did you inform the Advisory Council and your board colleagues about this additional potential conflict of interests?

In case of yes or no, why?


Questions for the Chairman of the Advisory Council, Herr Christoph Linzbach (BMFSFJ):

As per § 6 par. 6 sent. 1 ContStifG the Advisory Council decides about all fundamental questions regarding field of duties of the Conterganstiftung.

As per § 6 par. 6 sent. 2 ContStifG in connection with § 8 par. 1 No. 9 Statutes of the Conterganstiftung the advisory Council has to supervise the work of the trust board.

As per § 5 par. 5 sent. 1 Alt. 2 Statutes of the Conterganstiftung every member of the Advisory Council has to disclose a conflict of interests to the Advisory Council immediately.

Would you consider it a conflict of interests as employee of the BMFSFJ and at the same time as Chairman of the Advisory Council if you had to decide on a proposal of mine in my function as Advisory Council member and victims representative which contains the request to clarify the role and responsibility of the BMFSFJ as supervisor of the Conterganstiftung as per § 10 par. 1 ContStifG in regard to the function and role of the lawyers Wartensleben and Schulte-Hillen by employing an independent law-firm?

In case of yes or no, why?

Did you ever agree on the above mentioned letter by the Chairwoman of the board?

In case of yes, why did you not complain about keeping quiet about the name and function of the lawyer, Mr. Wartensleben, in this letter?

By taking all that into consideration do you see a conflict of interests if you as employee of the BMFSFJ and as Chairman of the Advisory Council have to decide and/or act in your role as employee of the BMFSFJ as well as in your role as Chairman of the Advisory Council in connection with the "Gruenenthal files" scandal?

In case of yes or no, why?

As per § 6 par. 5 sent. 1 ContStifG in connection with § 1 par. 2 Alt. 1 Rules of internal procedure of the Statutes of the Advisory Council you, as Chairman, have to prepare the respective meeting of the Advisory Council.

As per § 7 par. 6 of the Statutes of the Conterganstiftung all members of the trust agencies have the right to get extensive information about all matters of the trust including past issues.

For preparation purposes for the Advisory Council meeting #101 on Nov 30th and Dec 1st I urgently ask for the complete final report on the status of the investigations about the "discovery of files of the Conterganstiftung in the archives of the Gruenenthal GmbH" as pdf file by e-mail independent of the board report in advance to the Advisory Council meeting #101.

I would like to remind you that it was promised to us as victims representatives as well by the respective Chairman of the Advisory Council as by the Board of the Conterganstiftung that we would receive the respective reports on the status of the investigations which includes the board report instantly.


Questions for the deputy of the Chairman of the Advisory Council, Mr. Dr. Sven-Olaf Obst:

During the Advisory Council meeting #98 on Dec 9th, 2014 you were asked to answer the question why and by whom the lawyer, Mr. Wartensleben, who was manager of the legal department of the Gruenenthal company during the Contergan criminal law suit was appointed a chair position in one of the Medical Committees of the Conterganstiftung and thus got access to the private data and medical files of the Contergan victims.

Since that time this questions has been asked several times again and again by the victims representatives in the Advisory Council and those Thalidomiders who were in the audience during the Advisory Council meetings.

You always adjourned answering this question.

Will we get a clear answer to that question in writing before the Advisory Council meeting #101 on Nov 30th and Dec 1st including extensive reasoning?

In case of yes or no, why?


Questions for the Advisory Council members from the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and those from the Federal Ministry of Treasury (BMF) and their standbys:

Do you consider it a conflict of interests if you as representatives of your Ministries (BMAS, BMF) and Advisory Council members at the same time have to decide regarding the "Gruenenthal files" scandal?

Would you consider it a conflict of interests if you as representatives of your Ministries (BMAS, BMF) and Advisory Council members at the same time had to decide about a proposal of mine in my function as Advisory Council member and victims representative which contains the request to clarify the role and responsibility of the BMFSFJ as supervisor of the Conterganstiftung as per § 10 par. 1 ContStifG in regard to the function and role of the lawyers Wartensleben and Schulte-Hillen by employing an independent law-firm?


Questions for Dr. Sylvia Kuerschner (BMFSFJ):

Starting with my first Advisory Council meeting at the end of 2009 the former Chairman of the Advisory Council, Mr. Dieter Hackler, always presented Mrs. Dr. Kuerschner as the person responsible for the legal supervision.

Since the Advisory Council meeting #97 on Sep 18th, 2014, Mrs. Dr. Kuerschner appears "for BMFSFJ" in the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings only.

Whatever was or may be the real function of Mrs. Dr. Sylvia Kuerschner I still understand that as per § 8 par. 9 of the Statutes Mrs. Dr. Kuerschner as a responsible public servant of the BMFSFJ participated in all Advisory Council meetings.

As per § 10 par. 1 ContStifG the Conterganstiftung is supervised by the BMFSFJ therefore I consider Mrs. Dr. Kuerschner as the responsible public servant of the BMFSFJ who supervised the Conterganstiftung by order of the BMFSFJ.

As Mrs. Dr. Sylvia Kürschner already participated in Advisory Council meetings at former terms of office of the Advisory Council of the Conterganstiftung I pose my questions to you assuming that you supervised the Conterganstiftung as the responsible public servant of the BMFSFJ by order of the BMFSFJ:

How many years or months during your function as the responsible public servant of the BMFSFJ who supervised the Conterganstiftung by order of the BMFSFJ was the lawyer Mr. Herbert Wartensleben chairman of one of the two Medical Committees of the Conterganstiftung?

Were you responsible for another task during the time while the lawyer Mr. Wartensleben was chairman of one of the two Medical Committees of the Conterganstiftung?

In case of yes, what type of task?

Were you never in doubt or at least did you not ask yourself as the responsible public servant of the BMFSFJ who supervised the Conterganstiftung during the time the lawyer Mr. Wartensleben that or if the lawyer Mr. Wartensleben might exploit his double function as chairman of the two Medical Committee and as former manager of the legal department of the Gruenenthal company in disadvantage of the Thalidomiders?

In case of yes or no, why?


Questions for the office manager of the Conterganstiftung, Mrs. Kristina Kruse and office employee, Mrs. Katja Held:

Whose directives are you subject to the most?

The public servants or employees of the BMFSFJ?

Management or employees of the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks (BAFzA)
(= registered office of the Conterganstiftung is in the BAFzA)?

Board of the Conterganstiftung?

I kindly ask for clarification of order of precedence, please give relevant regulations including how the BAFzA is subject to directives of the BMFSFJ.

Is there a conflict of interests for you both and your employees who are responsible for the Conterganstiftung when dealing with the issue of the "Gruenenthal files" scandal as you should act in the best interest of the Thalidomiders on the one hand by order of the Conterganstiftung and on the other hand in view of a potential part responsibility of the BMFSFJ for this scandal you are subject to the directives of the agency BMFSFJ, the BAFzA and the public servants of the BMFSFJ?


Questions for the Parliamentary State Secretary Mrs. Caren Marks:

Do you personally consider it justifiable that there still may be a representative out of that alliance who might be acting and responsible for the Conterganstiftung in view of that swamp of an alliance grown over long years between Gruenenthal, the BMFSFJ and the Bundesverband which appeared in connection with the "Gruenenthal files" scandal?

Do you personally consider it justifiable that your ministry, the BMFSFJ, should continue to supervise the Conterganstiftung?

In case of yes or no, why?


Best regards

Andreas Meyer

Advisory Council member and Victims representative



As this is an open letter which may be read by outsiders and Contergan victims I would like to inform here once more that the Advisory Council meeting #101 is a public meeting which will take place on two consecutive days.

I recommend that all interested parties register at the Conterganstiftung in writing for both meeting days to ensure that everybody may follow all public agenda items in case of adjournment.

The postal address is as follows:

Conterganstiftung fuer behinderte Menschen
50964 Koeln


The meetings will take place:


Monday, Nov 30th, 2015, starting at 11.00 am

dbb forum berlin GmbH
Friedrichstraße 169 / 170
Atrium III, IV, V
10117 Berlin


and


Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2015, starting at 11.00 am

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ)
Glinkastraße 24
Besucherraum AE09
10117 Berlin



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