A girl was held captive in a tiny cellar for eight years by a man who “admired Adolf Hitler” and wanted her to “feel like the Nazi victims”.
Natascha Kampusch, 34, was snatched on her way to school by Wolfgang Priklopil when she was just 10 years old on March 2, 1998.
She was kept in horrid conditions in a cellar (54 sq ft) under her kidnapper’s garage near Vienna, Austria, until she managed to escape in 2006.
The room did not have any windows and was soundproof, concealed behind a cupboard.
Describing her ordeal to Austrian broadcaster ORF, the 34-year-old later said: “He gave me little to eat, little clothes, humiliated me, let me do heavy work and shaved my head.
“He admired Adolf Hitler and wanted me to feel like the Nazi victims.”
Priklopil would purposefully starve her in order to keep her weak, which caused Kampusch at one point during her captivity, to weigh just six stone (38kg).
She would keep a diary that she would write on toilet paper and hide from Priklopil.
One entry read: “At least 60 blows in the face. 10 to 15 nausea-inducing fist blows to the head. One strike with the fist with full weight to my right ear.”
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The young girl had also been raped by her tormentor.
On August 23, 2006, while the 18-year-old Kampusch was cleaning and vacuuming Priklopil’s car, she managed to escape and run away unnoticed.
She ran for around 200 metres through neighbouring gardens and a street, jumping fences and asking passers-by to call the police – to no avail.
After about five minutes, she knocked on the door of an elderly neighbour and said “I am Natascha Kampusch”, with the neighbour quickly calling the police who came and took her to the station.
Priklopil knew that the cops were after him, so he killed himself by jumping in front of a train.
He had reportedly planned to end his own life rather than be arrested, having previously told Kampusch that the authorities would “not catch him alive”.
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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