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Austrian Incest Dad Blames Hitler

This is one route I did not expect the Austrian incest story to take. Josef Fritzl, the father who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years, is claiming being raised in Nazi times instilled him with the "decency and uprightness" that led him to keep his daughter in the cellar for almost a quarter of a century. He was instilling discipline in his unruly daughter and had “rescued” Elisabeth (then 18) to keep her from “going out to seedy bars” and “drinking and smoking.”

Fritzl explains his actions through a series of jailhouse notes passed to his lawyer like this:

I have always had high regard for decency and uprightness. I was growing up in Nazi times, when hard discipline was a very important thing. I belong to an old school of thinking that just does not exist today. I grew up in the Nazi times and that meant there needed to be control and the respect of authority. I suppose I took on some of these old values with me into later life, all subconsciously, of course.

Apparently Elisabeth started acting out when she hit puberty. To see how Fritzl thought his imprisonment was actually saving her,


Fritzl says:

When she got into puberty she stopped obeying any rules. She was going out to seedy bars and would spend whole nights there drinking and smoking. I only tried to rescue her from that life. She even ran away from home twice and associated herself with some bad people that were not right for her. I would bring her back home each time, but she would run away again each time. I was forced to act and do something about it. I had to create a place where I could keep Elisabeth separated from that world, and I was ready to use force.

That "force" resulted in six surviving children, three of whom lived in the basement for their entire lives. Time magazine has a piece on how they're adjusting to life above ground.

Fritzl has also just confessed to having an "addiction" to incest that he couldn't control. He says, "I knew Elisabeth didn't want me to do what I did to her. I knew that I was hurting her. It was like an addiction... In reality, I wanted children with her." Yet he still claims the media coverage has been "unfair" saying, that he deserves credit but he's "no monster."

Whether he's a monster or not may be up to a judge. Elisabeth may sue her father and former captor for damages.

Is Fritzl a monster? Do you buy that his actions were influenced by his Nazi-era upbringing? Is the media being unfair?


Join The Conversation
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
crazy ass motherfucker... so sick..
austerity austerity 9 years
I don't care what the difference between psycho and evil is. This guy is both, and if he was smart enough to imprison his daughter and have an unknowing wife and kids at the same time, he is smart enough to be that evil too. I seriously shed a few tears when I got to the 'cooed with joy' part. May God show mercy on these victims and let them heal for the future.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
But you need to remember that this started 24 years ago. There was worry about nuclear war, and many people were building "bunkers". This one just got overlooked, and when they reported the girl as a runaway, the police closed the case. It was a very different society then. Not near the availability to informaion that there is now. I'm sure this could happen now, but it would be much more difficult to do so
Xandara Xandara 9 years
The more I read about this, the more I want to kick this guy in the nuts. Ugh.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I do think that the positive side to this story getting so much press is that so many people are concerned about how the kids are going to adjust. Hopefully with time they are able to create an enjoyable life and put this behind them.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Jimmy Carter wouldn't make you do that UnDave. Now Richard Nixon that's another story.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I screwed up, so I'm going to blame the worst figure in my countries history. Hmmmm, does that work for me? How about "I robbed the banks, cause Jimmy Carter made me do it."
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 9 years
he disgusts me.
Punkingirl Punkingirl 9 years
Hypno- Definitely true. Abuse, trauma, and violence are so cyclical. We gotta figure out how to stop that cycle. The good thing is that some people who experience those horrors develop resilency...something this poor woman had little chance of given her awful imprisonment!
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Hypnotic - he did keep her there for a long time, the dungeon was very laid out and planned, and had a lock with a code that only he could open. I have no idea what his IQ is but it was very planned. Honestly I don't know why I'm debating because bottom line this isn't a good guy and needs the book thrown at him...I just like debating hehe
xrawk_starrx xrawk_starrx 9 years
this is rediculous
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I agree punkingirl which goes right back the point we must invest, cheerish and be the up most attentive guids for our children so that they do not lack those necessaties and end up an adult problem.
Punkingirl Punkingirl 9 years
Actually, the majority of sex offenders (pedaphiles, parafiles, rapists) are not mentally ill but personality disordered. Think sociopath/psychopaths. While there are mentally ill sex offenders the majority really are just sick. It doesn't mean that they weren't influenced by something though, some are victims themselves and some grew up in homes lacking something (boundries, attention, love) or were otherwise traumatized. Half my clients are indeterminitely committed sex offenders.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Yeah annebreal that is a concern to keep in mind too. From my own point of view I just see a clear distinction between psychologically twisted people like I believe him to be and just out right evil. Evil people to me are extremely intelligent and they act out with the strategic and well thought out action. This dude just doesn't come off that way to me.
annebreal annebreal 9 years
Hypnoticmix - I agree with you to some degree, although this is what has always bugged me about the insanity plea - if you do an evil thing or are an evil person, that's abnormal. You were in an abnormal state of mind or are always in an abnormal state of mind. So everyone who commits an evil act could be said to be mentally ill either all the time or at the time of the act. So I think you can be ill and evil at the same time.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
He blames Hitler? I'm surprised he didn't blame Bush. Everyone else does.
historymystery historymystery 9 years
Oh, there are monsters in this world, that's my thought. They look like humans, talk like humans, act like humans. But peel back the human layer and they are pure monster. They are few and far between, but they are there. This man is one of them. There is absolutely NO excuse in my book for what he did to his daughter. For what he did to three of the children he forced her to bear. For what, by extenstion, he did to his wife, his other children by his wife and the three other children by his daughter. Every statement he has released surrounding this case just proves how much of a monster he is to me.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
I disagree that his actions are worse than the Nazis. I think they'd love to claim him and would agree that his discipline was spectacular. A regular gestapo or SS man, this one.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I know some of you may not like this but I don't think the man is a monster because a monster to me is someone who is evil. This man obviously has a screw loose; a few missing marbles, and is in need of psychiatric care. Do I buy his explanation of what influenced his actions? Sure. He had to be influenced by something. Either way he's nuts. It just never clicked in his head that all the wonderful things that he wanted for his daughter in contrast to the life he gave her was in complete contradiction with his intent.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
At first, I thought he would place the blame on his daughter -saying she wanted it. I hope in Austria jails, they do the same thing they do here to child molesters - he will have a life long fun.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
1) She probably kept running away as a child because she was afraid of her father. 2) There is nothing "decent and upright" about raping your daughter.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I seem to remember seeing several Stars of David on the walls of the dungeon room where his daughter was kept...did I just hallucinate that?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Because imprisoning your daughter and raping her repeatedly over the course of 24 years is how you rescue her from the dangers of the world...dangers like kidnapping and rape. :OY:
kia kia 9 years
I am not surprised. I commented a couple of days ago that the Nazi legacy is one of the reasons that Austria could possibly want to work some PR for their country. It most likely is not true and the guy is being a chickensh*t who won't man up and take responsibility, but that legacy is barely 60 years in the past.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
He's going to give Hitler a bad name.
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