Monday, January 31, 2011

Natascha Kampusch. Life AFTER the dungeon

Before coming to the meeting with Natascha Kampusch, 22, his counsel asks us to call Frau Kampusch (Ms. Kampusch). Because she is tired of being trivialized his name to be abused that "Natascha" sound as familiar and as if she were still a toy that actually was in the hands of Wolfgang Priklopil (1962), the man who kidnapped 2 March 1998, when he was 10, and held her until August 23, 2006.

That day, already adult, she gathered enough strength to escape the influence of that which was called "master", who must obey and serve, a "delicate face paranoid" that he abused and protagonist a movie that only existed in the "sick world of his mind." That day, he opened the gate of the house was locked, walked the 30 meters there are (count them then one by one) to the corner, and ran for help.

"I step on the grass!" A neighbor yelled from a window before calling the police. The agents gave no credit. Was exposed inefficiency of years. And he, the kidnapper, to fly his prey, he was lost, committed suicide by jumping on the bandwagon. The 'case Kampusch' is that, "the Kampusch case" only has one version, a victim, a protagonist: her.

There could be no better argument for a book. The drama of his life. A bad twist of fate. The story full of mystery and soliloquies of a woman locked in a dungeon. Worthy of a classic. The book has been published in other countries (in 30 languages). And now, in Spanish, is published by Aguilar.

3,096 days, has titled the same length of his captivity. "You can not get love by force", he tells us in a while Natascha Kampusch sitting in an attic of the monumental center of Vienna. "Never." She, more than others, knows for sure. Frau Kampusch is low, plump, blonde straight hair and light eyes disturbing, because it will land on the other or do so late (until trust), an aspect of current teen in the area.

Has come late to the appointment. Your adviser explains: It is still difficult with time. Want to feel free at all and that. Sign timid child presents with gestures of his hands and disappears into the cabin of the makeup artist, considers basic issue for the photos: I have transparent skin, the defects are ...", he apologizes.

If so, nothing remarkable. Just that dissatisfaction with their physical status to affect women. "With my body I do not feel anything right. I would be a little bigger, strong and masculine. As a man you have fewer physical problems ... and can do more things. "Are not those kilos?" Yes "answers.

Frau Kampusch constant grimaces when he talks, he closes and opens his eyes, puts them in white and rises into the sky ... And according to list of expressions that may seem very old or very young. We were afraid he was distant and cold, but it chameleon. Sometimes tender, funny or sarcastic, sometimes very critical and hurt.

Always mindful, watchful eye. Years of training. A delicate question? Ignore it. A otherwise. Has today a low-cut red dress and tweed jacket, boots and black stockings. Female. Clothing to do anything forbidden for her when required, should use the abductor sweaters and trousers, he bought what he needed to compress, and cut his hair, for themselves or for punishment ...

Now is arranged, posing as a star. I dreamed it in its infancy. A sad fame of the Austrian. "Famous for being the victim of a crime." Instantaneous and collective thought on reading this: "Poor girl." Frau Kampusch critical thinking: The interest shown by a victim is misleading. Feel affection for the victim only when one can feel above it.

Already in the first letters I received dozens of harassing me came, love letters, marriage proposals and perverse anonymous letters. He refused and refuses to play that role, to be stamped on the front that read: victim, broken girl ... To produce shame. No. Natascha is a survivor. Nothing silly ...

What does a typical day for her now, except to promote books? "In Treatment," replies, so softly that it is sometimes impossible to follow. What right? "Well, most people are treated by relationship problems with parents ... I can build 24 different." Sure. What horror past is still there? "Everything." Hundreds of side effects: dreams of life outside that kept alive in and nightmares in the uneasy outside, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, resignation, guilt, victim and believe deserve it, traces of the physical and psychological torture he inflicted The fear that the leave or return to the real world ...

Ask absurd examples of damages to someone who has grown attached to a strange adult strength and conviction to have been forgotten by his family. They have not paid the ransom, he said Priklopil from the beginning. Do not want, do not come for you, just have me ...". A cruel ditty. Paralytic.

Mortal for the weak, an invitation to suicide. You do not have family ... Now I'm all for you. You belong to me ... I have created. Eight years and a half well. to dare to tell the hijacker's face: "I am grateful for not having killed and for having taken such good care of me ... but can not make me live with you.

I am an independent ... Or kill me or leave me free. "A long way. 3,096 days and nights prisoner in the basement of a house and garden. The same house that we have to look in the morning, with the first light of day in Strasshof, near Vienna, after going through factories, housing developments, shopping centers and snowy plains accompanied by dozens of trucks in Eastern Europe, to pass by Rennbahnsiedlung, urbanization where Natascha lived workers or Süssenbrunn, where stood the home of his grandmother and his parents ran bakery.

Benchmarks of my childhood. " The store still exists. Very precarious. Flowed past it. Entered. A couple dispatches sausages, chocolate, canned ... The shop might be your mother or sister. We asked. Distrust. Everyone here knows what we mean. We rented it to his family. The house with the builder and former hideout Priklopil engineer (is not known why it was built: it had planned, he had used before, was an anti-nuclear bunker?) Is in Heinestrasse, 60.

Chalets with pool and barbecue fences, wooden huts for desirable horticultural and forest around. A corner as there are thousands in the urbanized world. Within the complex are tools, the tall grass, overgrown conifers ... The house has a yellow façade, windows and garage door closed, you can start looking into empty rooms, secrets within its walls ...

One, two, three steps to where he fled Blaselgasse ... A magnet for the imagination. Hard to believe that in this environment anyone could hold another human being. A girl. And no one knew. Every man for himself and God in all, a kind of Revolutionary Road to the Austrian. "People who are born, die, have a garden, and as long as it is stable, everything is fine" sentence after Frau Kampusch.

What is to say that any of us be silent. And do the same. What will happen to this house of horrors? It will break down, "she says. But it has not purchased, as they say, but the" allocated ". It happened that after his" self-liberation "(insists on the principle that the police never found), the house was raided by curious: "Everyone wanted to feel the chill of terror.

It seemed to me a wicked horrible fan of the abductor could acquire ... So I dealt with that I was awarded as compensation. Thus been removed from "the movement." The Turkish driver also brings us know, look and says: "This area is expensive." And grows. It builds a lot. In front of the prison-house is another house, modern, swing and balls; children live happily in this environment and that was when Natascha Kampusch Priklopil grabbed Melangasse street near her school, got into his van for appropriating and brought up here: a dreamy girl, but insecure, low self-esteem, daughter of divorced parents, a fun-loving baker and a seamstress who hated sentimentality and not allow any weakness.

"The Indians do not know the pain," was his motto. My mother never imagined that it would make me stronger, I help save life. "Natascha knew then and pedophile networks (there were several cases in the nineties). The experts advised on the news: no resistance, talk ... She did. He suffered a regression.

It was she, the dear girl's abductor. In his dungeon, he read stories (The Princess and the Pea was the first), playing checkers, bathed her, I got a computer. .. He became the only adult capable of making decisions for her. The food and giving it away. The owner. What do you think could he do something? asked, as she drinks tea and reattached the means.

" He tried to take revenge on the world ... No thought of me or my family or my classmates who would be afraid for years ...". He did not know think of others. A asocial. She tried to convince him of error. He said: "This can not be ' but he believed he had right on me ... Many men know women owners.

And he wanted to construct an at will ...". An animal with a princess in her den. Can not imagine down there. 270 × 180 × 240 measured the hideout. Eleven cubic meters of air exhausting. His frail body wedged between the bed clothes, alarm clock, radio, TV, lamps, Barbie ... there waiting an hour, two, three, a whole day for it to open a door.

Speaking alone. "There was only one person who could save me from the crippling loneliness: the same as I had set this loneliness." What a paradox. Knock, knock, knock, that could be heard inside the pump, every second. Natascha was two years in the dungeon of Strasshof without seeing the sun.

Then, little by little, tied or probation, he left it up to a plant, then another, then took her to sleep in his bed attached with flanges, then let her out into the garden, then buy in the area by car ... And when she grew up and began to build up courage to rebel, he is vulnerable, reinforced their methods of harassment through torture and beatings, he withdrew the food or the outputs of the hideout, the left abandoned until she gave in a panic to die Hunger in that hole.

Buried alive. "My biggest fear." And if his story inside is brutal, so was the impact it had was to escape. Photographers climbed trees to make my first picture appeared in newspapers my hideout. The reinforced concrete door was open. The few but valuable belongings they had, my journals and my couple of dresses appeared scrambled mercilessly saw how my little privacy, so long hidden, jumped to the front pages two weeks later, I decided to end the speculation and tell my story myself ".

He gave three interviews to Austrian television ORF, the daily Kronen Zeitung and the magazine News. I wanted to ease the anticipation. The effect was opposite. Fresh meat for the tabloids that never left her alone. "People wanted to become a public figure, and many treated me and still do as if they were known to me ...".

Everything went very fast. A day at the hideout, the other in magazines, the following presenting a show on television (which lasted three deliveries). A Frau Kampusch gave him change his identity. And he refused. I had faced all the rubbish psychic and dark fantasies Priklopil, had not let me win ...

and only wanted to see me that: a broken person who will never raise its head, it will always depend on help from others. When I refused to carry this stigma the rest of my life changed things. "Rained criticism: it was a thankless, wanted to take advantage, had made millions with the interviews ..." What was worse was that they condemn the abductor.

But she had forgiven him. "If not, would not have survived." So it was and is the object of derision: social networking groups calling for his return to the hideout, songs and jokes that the quote in a bad way ... About the cruelty of society (especially yours) knows already quite Frau Kampusch.

"Gradually I realized I had fallen into a new prison." The voracity of the public. And besides, the police investigation is still as alive as the expectation on him. Agents and judges are still mulling over the case (the many mistakes made, the tracks are not followed, if the abductor acted alone or working for a pedophile ring and still hidden even with political implications), a hot potato until a recent suicide researcher included.

Four years Natascha Kampusch has been slow to put on paper in its history with the help of two journalists, Heike Milborne Gronemeier and Corinna. "The book is really working for you to understand me better," he says. "It is the story of a fighter," says Milborne. "He never stopped dreaming of freedom." Never left.

Psychologists who treated always admired her training: she remained active in the hideout, he never lost the curiosity, read, see movies, studied, knew about politics, culture ... "I kept the radio, I was informed, but still went out, saw the world somewhat changed. For example, suddenly everyone had two phones, and computers everywhere ...".

This book is the end point. And point (the German producer Bernd Eichinger, that of the collapse, already has in place a film), contains everything I wanted to tell: "I wanted to clear up misunderstandings, why he had not fled, why not accused the abductor or give my answer lies ...". A great effort to get everything together: memories, details, feelings ...

I interpret the reason for what happened. Natascha Kampusch evil for a human face. Talk of such violence bourgeois buried and fine as usual, how to create monsters and victims to disguise it, the abuse of white and black to define behaviors, when evil is gray and all. "I think Priklopil was one among us, the product of indifference." Ignore what you can do against it, but maybe that's why you try to get involved in groups against gender violence, establishment of funds for victims of kidnapping (he wanted to help the other kidnapped Austrian Elisabeth Fritzl in Amstetten) and is interested in what happens Ciudad Juarez (Mexico).

"There are hundreds of people battered at the moment, to our passivity and politicians, more interested in making money than in serving." But what really Priklopil relationship developed over many years? Does the violation? Are you wanted? "That's not public. I want to keep for me. Stop.

There is no step. - Did you feel his death? "Sure, it was the only family to me. But this impression is softened much with the fact that I was free that day. And I felt relief. What he had done was wrong, and I had to decide or to die there or find my own way. - Why commit suicide? "Because he was lost, because I knew I could go to jail because he had lost his princess, he had invented, which had wanted it to be perfect.

But I was already another person. Frau Kampusch is admirable. That so young and with his experience has managed to maintain a dignified attitude so herself. Sticking to the pressures. You know keep quiet about the humiliation suffered. This book count so much without saying. And burn both hands.

Because there are details that it does not. Not in the sense that people look greedy: sex with the kidnapper. Half the world's newspapers entitled: "Natascha Kampusch confesses in his book have been sexually abused." Abuse, yes. The word "sex" or not used or not found. "As it is told in its pages is as it should be.

There is added information that is for me, I want to save my family." And another omission: religion. Just talk to God. Not religious? Not needed for comfort in your situation? "Umm, good question. I do not know if I am. I think God is always with me." The conversation turns to the future.

Now I'm learning to adapt to social life, to react to people and criticism. "He just finished school and wants to train as a jeweler after high school. He says yes, he recovered" appropriate "relationship with his family after the shock of recurrence, and dating, no nothing, not interested in neither the style nor the bloodsuckers Robert Pattinson Clooney older man, and interesting to their age, "not many." But do you have? "personal question ".

Stop." A relationship with a man? the limit. Prefers good friends. Magazines are nurtured and his alleged affair with an aristocrat, she clears matter now, a pure and noble show of fawning celebrities, dance opera, Viennese Classicism interior and exterior. Spends part of his time surrounded by advisers and bodyguards, friends also abound.

Perhaps by their nature difficult and driver? "Yes, maybe I'm very demanding with others. But I've learned that you can not control everything, and meet people or understand their contradictions." Feel better with others than alone. "But when I have to satisfy." The obligation will weighs heavily.

Finally, we went to a park in central Vienna to take pictures. The atmosphere is icy. Birds skate on the lake and have fun flying around us. Frau Kampusch would go unnoticed. But some people recognize instantly. Especially older men. And there looks that do not match. It's a feeling that she has sometimes, as he says.

As on that visit he made one day at a well known private school: "There were all these guys rich, well dressed, muscular. I thought, because I felt that they believed that I deserved to have been imprisoned." Uff, danger, danger, the enemy lurks within. She laughs. He knows. Would not it be better if it were already preparing to stop being known? Frau Kampusch flirty stretch then his black coat and funny answer: "Yes, I can operate and change my whole to look like Britney Spears.

So I'll be famous too, but people I speak as a Brit and not as Natasha." Horror.

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