Friday, August 26, 2011

Dad imprisoned, raped daughters for over 40 years (Brannau, Austria)

One of the few cases where I'm left just speechless. The father is only identified as GOTTFRIED W.

Seriously, how could a social worker totally miss this situation for so many years, even if the "girls" weren't talking?

Pictured: The horror basement where sisters were raped for 41 years by their father and slowly went mad

Women were born healthy but became mentally ill because of abuse, new evidence reveals

Victims kept in dingy basement surrounded by wood and tools

Neighbours knew father as 'stern, rigid' master of his house

Women were only seen outside once - visiting mother's grave

By Allan Hall

Last updated at 6:04 PM on 26th August 2011

This is the disgusting dungeon where an Austrian man violated his own daughters in a nightmare spanning 15,000 days and nights.

'If you fight back, then I will kill you,' Gottfried W. told his children Christine, 53, and Erika, 45, who were forced to sleep at night on a wooden shelf while their father, now 80, snoozed in a feather bed.

Amid farming implements, old oil drums, wood, cement sacks and filth he violated his own flesh and blood with a depravity on a par with Josef Fritzl.

His wife Berta, 85, passed away in 2008. She too was a victim of the former council labourer's sadism, beaten like them with a stick and poked with a pitchfork.

The girls became mentally ill over the years - not a condition they were born with, but a result of the torments they suffered at his hands.

Police say their mother, also beaten into submission, made them promise on her deathbed not to tell anyone about what their father did to them.

Other rooms in the sprawling house near Braunau-am-Inn - the birthplace of Adolf Hitler - were kept spic and span.

But the girls were forced to live in squalor, sleep in the kitchen and use a commode instead of the lavatory in the house.

Forty years of abuse ended in May this year when Gottfried tried to have his way with Christine one more time and she finally snapped.

She hit him with a milk jug on the head. He fell to the floor and cracked his head again.

For two days he was unable to move and police say they hoped he would die.

Finally the women, who were seen from time to time by a social worker - but who were so conditioned by his threats never to expose his vile treatment of them - called her in.

She telephoned for an ambulance for him and the women were taken into care. But still they said nothing.

It was only in June when they opened up to a Red Cross worker about what had happened to them.

It was this volunteer who called in the police.

Austria - still coming to terms with the kidnapping of schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch in the 90s and the Fritzl incest saga - is stunned at another terrible family crime being exposed within its borders.

Gottfried, known as Friedl to neighbours, was an archetypal Austrian father of the old school. He was stern, rigid, master of his house and keeper of the secrets that went inside it.

He controlled all social contact of his daughters with the outside world.

The only time they were seen out together was with him visiting the grave of their mother.

Gottfried has been moved to a prison in nearby Ried while the investigation against him continues; his daughters are undergoing psychiatric therapy in a clinic.

He faces charges of rape, unlawful imprisonment, cruelty, assault and making threats to kill. He was moved from an OAP home where he had been treated since his injuries in May to the jail on Thursday.