It’s been almost a week since the state of New Jersey took Deborah Campbell’s three children from her home and she says officials have yet to tell her and her husband why. But Campbell suspects it has something to do with the names they bestowed upon their kids.
Not sure when she will be able to see her kids again, Deborah decided to break a judge’s gag order and make a public plea for the return of her children.
"They belong home with their mother and father. They don’t belong out there in a stranger’s home," Campbell told NBC10’s Mike Strug Monday night.
Officials from the NJ Division of Youth and Family Services took the children -- Adolf Hitler Campbell, 3, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who will turn 1 in April – from the Campbell’s home in Milford, N.J. last Tuesday, saying only that they felt the children were in danger.
“They felt the children were in danger for their lives. They didn’t say physically, mentally…nothing like that,” said Campbell.
The Campbell’s three children were dropped into the center of a media firestorm last December when they asked a grocery store in Greenwich, N.J., to write “Adolf Hitler” on their son’s birthday cake. The store refused, saying it was inappropriate.
The store refused to give an apology when the parents demanded one. A local Wal-Mart ended up honoring their request.
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
DYFS officials were tight-lipped when asked why the children were removed from the parents’ care, citing confidentially laws, and local police would only acknowledge that they escorted DYFS to the Campbell’s home the week before.
In an interview with the New York Times, The Campbell's landlord Larry Lippincot said he would hear the kids playing late into the night and that the family would often argue with a family member who "threatened to firebomb the house:"
It is not clear if these circumstances have any bearing on DYFS' decision, but Deborah has her own theory. She believes the childrens' names are to blame.
"The names, I believe are the problems. But they just don’t want to come out and say that,” Campbell said.
The couple has defended the names of their children saying they reserve the right to name the kids whatever they like.
“A name is a name,” Heath Campbell said last December.
Jeanne Coverdale, the kid’s aunt, offered an analogy to people who feel the names are in bad taste.
“What about tomorrow night when the President of the United States stands up and say, is forced to say, my name is Barack Hussein Obama. How’s that going to hit the world?” Coverdale said. "I'm saying the one with the middle name he has, was a terrorist.”
Coverdale says it’s “no different” than having a name like Adolf Hitler.
Deborah insists they are not part of the Aryan Nation or fans of what Hitler is famous for and said the swastika tattoo her husband displays on his arm is simply art.
The Campbells are asking for an attorney to help them fight to bring the children home.
“We would like you to please help us get my three innocent children back.”
Timeline of Related Stories:
Dec 17, 2008: "Nein" Cake for You, Little Adolf
VIDEO: 3-Year Old Adolf Hitler Causes Cake Mess
Dec 20, 2008: "Adolf Hitler's" Parents Want Apology
Dec. 20, 2008: Wal-Mart Taking Heat for "Adolf Hitler" Cake
Dec. 23, 20008: Hitler Cake Death Threat Sent to Wrong Family
VIDEO: Jan. 14, 2009: Adolf Hitler Campbell & Sisters Taken From Home
Jan 16, 2009: Adolf Hitler, Sisters, Taken from Parents
Jan 19, 2009: Hitler's Mom Speaks Out, Defies Court Order
VIDEO: Hitler's Mom Speaks Out, Defies Court Order
RAW VIDEO: Interview with Adolf Hitler Campbell's Mom
RAW VIDEO: Interview with Aunt Defending Names
RAW VIDEO: Plea for Legal Help