Friday, May 2, 2008

Kampusch: Time and silence will heal Amstetten wounds

Natascha Kampusch before her abduction

Austrian hostage victim Natascha Kampusch has said the four victims of the Amstetten captive case need "a lot of silence" to recover from their ordeal.

Speaking on BBC2's Newsnight programme last night, Ms Kampusch explained she slowly realised the "parallels to my own fate" as news of the Amstetten case came to light.

This week has seen Austrian 73-year-old Josef Fritzl admit he kept captive three of the children he fathered with his daughter Elisabeth, now 42, for 24 years.

Ms Kampusch was held captive in a hidden room under a basement for eight years after being abducted by Wolfgang Priklopil on her way to school.

"They need a lot of silence. And time heals all wounds," she said of the Amstetten victims.

"I wish the family the best of luck and hope they will pull through. And I think at least the youngest ones will succeed."

The case has reminded Austrians of Ms Kampusch's, which emerged when she escaped in August 2006, but she believes such cases exist "everywhere, not just in Austria".

She suggested the legacy of Nazism, with its suppression of women and authoritarian education, may be partly responsible.

"Of course one can change that. And one would have to start with the education of the youngest of us," Ms Kampusch finished.
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