The daughter of the “Block House” founder argues with her ex-husband about custody of their children. She accuses Stephan Hensel of wrongly keeping the offspring in Denmark. He relies on the wishes of the children.

In 2021, around 142,800 marriages in Germany were dissolved by court order. Just over half of the divorced couples had underage children, according to a survey by the Federal Statistical Office.

Divorce hurts. Not only the former partners, but also their children. Especially if there is disagreement or even open war between the parents afterwards.

Christina Block and Stephan Hensel’s children know how it feels. If you believe the press, they are victims of child abduction. Her own father is said to have breached his duty to bring her back to her mother.

At least that’s what Block accuses her ex-partner of. For almost 17 months she has been arguing with him about the whereabouts of the offspring. The children are nine, twelve and 16 years old.

Hensel, divorced from Block since 2018, lives with his new partner Astrid in Gravenstein, Denmark, not far from the German border. His children regularly visited him there on weekends.

At the end of August 2021, Hensel and his offspring spent time together in Denmark. After the stay, they didn’t want to go back to their mother, he says in an interview with FOCUS online.

“I informed Christina about it and forwarded the message to the youth welfare office.” More precisely: He sent his ex-wife an email.

Hensel repeatedly emphasizes that the relationship between Christina Block and the children was strained, he even speaks of physical and psychological violence. The allegations against his former partner weigh heavily. Hensel is well aware of this.

“At the time, Christina reported me for kidnapping. So it happened that our children were questioned by the police. The youth welfare office told me they had to go back to Germany. But what are you supposed to do as a father if that is obviously not what you want?”

The self-employed management consultant did not have much time to think. According to his own statement, he received a call from the district court of Hamburg. His ex-wife had initiated a procedure to bring the children back there.

So Hensel drove to the Hanseatic city with the offspring, he says. And was able to record a success in the first instance. “The court granted me the right to determine my place of residence. That means the kids could have officially stayed with me.”

Christina Block did not accept the judgment of the Hamburg authorities. She appealed to the Hamburg Higher Regional Court (OLG) – and was right. The decision obliged Hensel to hand over the children to Block. But he didn’t.

“I told the children about the court’s decision, but they didn’t want to go back to Hamburg. We had already gone to the Danish Youth Welfare Office, where they were interviewed,” he says.

According to Hensel, the authority found the allegations of violence against Christina Block to be authentic and reported them to the Danish police, who in turn contacted the German authorities. “However, the German police refused to question the children,” he says.

In Denmark, psychologists have prepared several reports. According to him, Hensel’s children were questioned by experts from January to May 2022, and he forwarded three of the reports to the Hamburg district court. The documents are available to FOCUS online.

“It says that what the children said is credible and that there is a risk to the child’s well-being and traumatization,” says the management consultant. He is angry that the Germans are only now cooperating with the Danish authorities. “But better late than never.”

FOCUS online has tried several ways to reach Christina Block to let her have her say. But the inquiries of our editors remained unanswered.

However, the restaurant heiress has spoken in several other media in recent weeks, including “Bunte” and the “Hamburger Abendblatt”. Block is a millionaire, inherits a chain of restaurants and, like Hensel, is remarried.

Your current partner is called Gerhard Delling, some may know him as a presenter and sports journalist. In an interview with the “Hamburger Abendblatt” she drew the picture of a happy family that her ex-husband tore apart.

The decision of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court was more than a year ago, Block told the newspaper. “What kind of world do we actually live in? We’re talking about our neighboring country here and German decisions are simply ignored there.” She’s experiencing a personal nightmare.

But what is really true? Did the millionaire do violence to her children, as Hensel claims? Block denies her ex-husband’s allegations. The Hamburg Higher Regional Court found them credible.

The decision states: “The Senate assumes that the statements by the children, in which they accuse the mother of hitting them on the back of the head […], are not solely due to the father exerting influence, nor were they made up by the children .” However, the court did not see this as serious enough to deprive the mother of the children.

In Block’s eyes, the fact that Hensel refuses to bring the youngsters back to Hamburg has personal reasons. “My ex-husband obviously hasn’t gotten over our breakup and is deeply upset. Now he’s using their children to get revenge on me.”

The management consultant should actually hand her back to her mother, according to the decision of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court in October 2021.

“After an overall consideration of all the circumstances, this decision is based on the prognosis that it is best for the children to live with their mother again for the time being,” writes the court in response to a FOCUS online request.

However, the written statement also states that the decision of a German court is not automatically enforceable abroad. “Many states, including Denmark, only recognize foreign court decisions in child custody matters if they have been declared enforceable by a local court.”

So decision stands against decision and the children stay in Denmark. There is disagreement on many levels. How differently the two ex-husbands present the events is made clear by several incidents.

Most recent example: An encounter that took place in front of Hensel’s house in Denmark. “In November 2022, Christina and three men came to our house,” says the management consultant. “My wife was about to drive the kids to school.”

Block’s companions wore hoodies and waited on the street. Hensel says that a neighbor called Astrid on her cell phone and advised her to stay at home.

He himself rushed outside and spoke to the strange men. Then Astrid, but also some residents, called the police. Three more men were later discovered. “As far as I know, Christina is now being investigated for attempted kidnapping,” says Hensel.

Block’s descriptions sound very different. “I finally wanted to see my children, so early in the morning we drove to the street where my ex-husband lives with them,” she told the “Abendblatt”.

She only had the security forces with her “to protect us from my husband, because he has often acted aggressively towards me”. Not to kidnap their children.

She is outraged at how the police treated her “bodyguards”. They were detained for 36 hours and “treated like criminals,” Block told the newspaper. The incident is an example of how confused the entire block cause is.

Anyone who is telling the truth here can hardly be judged from the outside. Hensel claims that the mother mistreats her children and that that’s why they don’t want to go back to Hamburg.

He refers to the reports that were carried out in Denmark and the testimonies of his children. Block says Hensel would manipulate her offspring and use him as an instrument of pressure and revenge against her.

She therefore commissioned the Bremen child psychologist Stefan Rücker to do a private report for the court. He notes that the children are “seriously alienated” from their mothers.

The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” said Rücker that children would “in such conflicts often enter into an alliance with the parent on whom they are currently dependent”. In July 2022, the Hamburg Youth Welfare Office also accused Hensel of “deliberately alienating the children from their mother”.

Hensel, on the other hand, says that Rücker never spoke to the children personally. And he says his ex-wife would make his life hell. Private detectives would shadow him, his new partner and the children, “we live under police protection”. Officials also allegedly installed cameras in Hensel’s garden.

The next date is February 8th. Then a Danish court in Sønderborg will decide how to proceed in the dispute over the children. A simple question seems to be neglected in all the surveys, all the statements and all the demands.

How are the kids doing?