This chapter examines the case of a father falsely accused by his daughters of sex abuse. It explicates what happens when a foreign citizen or (“new German”) family is assimilated into German institutions and life. The father is a Syrian immigrant whose wife had abandoned him recently and returned to Syria, taking with her their younger children but leaving him to raise their three older ones. Once an accusation of child sex abuse is made, the children are removed from their father’s home, and social workers, therapists, and a judge are brought in to begin the ritual process outlined in other chapters. Even after the children recant the charge, the state is obligated to carry through with the ritual process until there is definitive proof that there was no abuse. The chapter queries what Jacques Lacan referred to as “le nom du père” (the name of the father), how children are empowered to question the authority of the father in contemporary Europe. In particular in the families of migrants to Germany, the inheritance of the name of the father often means a distancing from the father in order to enter the symbolic order of desire in Germany.
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