Georg Ratzinger, 86, who was choirmaster at the Regensburger Domspatzen in Bavaria between 1964 to 1994, said he occasionally struck boys in his care, according to what he said had been the “normal reaction” at the time.
But he denied any knowledge of sexual abuse. “These things were never discussed,” Ratzinger told the Catholic daily, the Passauer Neue Presse. “The problem of sexual abuse that has now come to light was never spoken of.”
Physical and sexual abuse took place up to 2015 at Regensburger Domspatzen choir school, referred to by some pupils as ‘hell’
Five-hundred-and-forty-seven pupils at one of Germany’s most famous Roman Catholic choir schools were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 2015, an independent report has found, with some boys likening the institution to “prison, hell or a concentration camp”.
The 440-page report chronicles teachers at the school in Regensburg doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.
Boys who tried to escape the Regensburger Domspatzen choir were hauled back to the school and beaten and humiliated in front of other boys, it said.