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After 2 Months in Rural Russia, German 'Sex Refugees' Return Home

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A German family that fled to rural Siberia to protect their children from sex education in German schools appears to have concluded that life in a Russian village is worse than learning where babies come from.

Eugen and Luiza Martens and their ten children came to the village of Kyshtovka in Russia's Novosibirsk region on Dec. 18, swearing that they would settle in the area and take up farming.

Deemed “sex refugees” by the Russian press, the conservative Baptist family fled to Russia shortly before the start of sex education classes in their children's school.

They said the sex ed curriculum violated their religious beliefs, and they feared legal consequences in Germany for their opposition to sex ed, the VN news site reported.

Eugen Martens had previously come into conflict with the authorities for allowing his daughter to skip sex ed lessons which he says made her uncomfortable.

“As a grown man, I'm even ashamed to go into the details of what they teach,” he told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in December. “It's that so-called gender ideology, when they tell a child that he can chose who he is: man, woman, or someone else...”

When he refused to pay a fine after his daughter missed the mandatory lessons, Martens was even forced to spend a night in jail. His arrest reportedly sparked a major scandal in Germany, which was also covered by Russian state television.

Born in Siberia, Eugen and Luiza Martens grew up in Germany. Upon arriving in the Novosibirsk region, they planned to get Russian citizenship through a program for resettling ethnic Russians from abroad in Russia.

They said they were not afraid of the harsh Siberian winter, when temperatures can reach negative 40 degrees Celsius. They also appeared unconcerned by the primitive conditions in the village where they had settled.

Last week, Eugen traveled back to Germany to arrange for the family's possessions to be shipped to Russia.

However, after his return, the family abruptly traveled to the regional capital of Novosibirsk, and flew to Germany from there.

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