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Natascha Kampusch Interview

Woman Held Captive For Eight Years as Child Gives First Interview

Three years after she escaped from a man who abducted her at age 10 and kept her in a basement for eight and a half years, Natascha Kampusch gave her first interview to British television. She talks about how she's doing; what she thinks about fellow Austrian Elisabeth Fritzl, who'd been held captive by her father and forced to have his children; and if she thinks such stories are particular to Austria.

Kampusch was walking home from school in 1998 when Wolfgang Priklopil abducted her. He kept her in a small, soundproof cellar underneath his garage that had no windows. Although he gave her books and music, and sometimes allowed her to go to his house upstairs, it was only when she was a teenager that she was allowed to go outside, sometimes even accompanying him on trips. It was while she was cleaning his car and he was distracted on his cell phone that she was able to finally escape from him. Upon seeing that Kampusch had escaped, he committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.

Asked if she thought that these cases of young girls being abducted and held captive were particular to Austria, she replied that although they happened everywhere, in the case of Austria, it was part of the effect of World War II. “At the time of national socialism," she says in the interview, "the suppression of women was propagated and authoritarian education was very important.”

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