Saturday, 08. March 2014
08. 06. 09. - 10:00
Austrian incest victim Elisabeth Fritzl has stopped her psychiatric therapy – with the approval of her doctors – because her love affair with her bodyguard has proved to be the best medicine of all.
Elisabeth, 43, fell for Thomas W., 14 years her junior, when he was assigned to guard her and the six children she bore by her rapist father shortly after she was freed from a secret dungeon where she was imprisoned for 24 years.
Now her doctors say their relationship has worked miracles on her shattered psyche. She has given up long sessions on the couch, aimed at neutralising the painful memories of the 3,000 rapes she endured during her incarceration.
Elisabeth was diagnosed with chronic post traumatic stress disorder following her release from the dungeon her 74-year-old father Josef carved out beneath the family home.
She bore seven children alone in the darkness, and watched one of them die because her gaoler would not get medical help for him. She suffered beatings, sexual perversions, plagues of rats, long periods without power, biting cold, stifling heat, near starvation and the constant fear that she and her secret family would die alone in their dungeon.
The PTSD she suffered would result in blackouts, nightmares during daylight hours, terrible flashbacks to the cellar and all its horrors.
But now her love affair – Thomas has moved into the house she shares with her six children in a small Austrian village – has brought about the kind of miracle cure usually only seen in Hollywood movies.
One of her psychiatric carers said: “This is vivid proof of the power of love being the strongest force in the world. With the approval of her doctors she has ceased psychiatric therapies while she gets on with her life – learning to drive, helping her children with their homework, making friends with people in her locality.
“She lost the best years of her life in that cellar; she is determined that every day remaining to her will be filled with activity.”
Thomas is the only consenting relationship Elisabeth has had with a man since her kidnap in 1984. Elisabeth was just 18 when she was drugged with ether by her convicted-rapist father and imprisoned in the clandestine warren he constructed beneath the family home in Amstetten, two hours from Vienna.
Freed by her father in April last year after her 19-year-old daughter Kerstin fell gravely ill in the cellar, her children are said to have “bonded well” with Thomas. Kerstin and her brother Stefan were two of the three cellar children who spent their entire lives underground. Three other children were taken out of the dungeon and raised by Fritzl and his wife Rosemarie.
Both Kerstin, 20, and Stefan, 19, still undergo many hours of therapy each week. They sleep in rooms where doors are permanently open and are encouraged by their carers to slowly and carefully talk about their experiences in the hope that by mentally revisiting the cellar they can slowly eliminate the traumas they suffered there.
Fritzl, sentenced to life imprisonment for his crimes in March this year, has tried to contact his wife and the six children he fathered with her, but they have refused to take his calls.
He still harbours a dream of writing a book about his perverted love for Elisabeth, the proceeds of which he says he will donate to her and his incest children.
» General News 2013-07-31
Following widespread protest at the deportation of the “abbey asylum seekers”, Vienna state prosecution has announced that 3 are human traffickers.
» General News 2011-10-21
The father of a young woman who was kidnapped at the age of 10 in 1998 and locked up by her pervert captor for eight years has been arrested, according to a report.
» General News 2011-10-19
An appeal court has confirmed a fine issued to director, actor and author Paulus Manker.
What is on at Burg Kino this week (7 March - 13 March)
See what films are on this week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring.
Police catch graffiti-villain of Vienna
A graffiti sprayer, named "Puber" has been one of the main "villains" of Vienna for almost a year. He has filled almost the half of the city with his drawings. Now, a suspect, alleged to be the notorious sprayer himself is in the police custody of Vienna and may face up to five years in prison.
Apartment sales drop in Austria
According to the brokerage firm Re/Max, the number of the real estate sales in Austria has declined around 8.3% in the last year. The exact number of properties which were sold and bought accounts to over 80,000 units, which translates into 16 billion euros. Apartments were the most popular type of property sold last year, accounting for 28,000 of the units sold, but there has still been a 9.3% decrease from the last year.
McDonalds boom in Austria
McDonald's in Austria generated 560 million Euros in sales in 2013 after introducing more branches and expanding it's product range.
Exhibition takes you on a journey with Sigmund Freud
To mark the 75th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death, the museum dedicated to him in Vienna is holding an exhibition looking at Freud's journeys around the world, including his final one that saw him flee National Socialism in 1938.
Plastic replacing fish in the Danube
The Danube is so polluted that there are now more plastic particles than fish larvae in the water according to new research.
Ladies skiing offer at Stuhleck this weekend
In celebration of International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March, the Stuhleck ski resort in eastern Austrian is giving female skiers discount prices on ski passes.
Rediscovered 'degenerate' painting on show at Belvedere
A painting that was rediscovered in 2012, decades after it was seized by the Nazi's for being 'degenerate', is on display at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Austrian Airlines spellcheck mishap
The online copyeditor for Austrian Airlines will be getting a slap on the wrist after it was embarrassingly revealed that the English version of their website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
Carnival firemen answer 999 call as giant bees with handbags
Ten Austrian fireman ended up answering an emergency call for a serious road accident dressed as giant bumblebees after they got kitted out for a fancy dress parade on a carnival float shortly before they got the emergency call.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Veggies suffer more health problems say Graz researchers|
|Austria releases list of Ukrainians to have assets frozen|
|Vienna first city to be granted personal domain name|
|Terrifying high speed dash for British school ski group|
|Animal rights group protest against Burberry fur in Vienna|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.