3.096 Tage

3096 tage

3.096 Tage, covers Natascha Kampusch’s (Vienna, 17.2.1988) experience as a victim of Wolfgang Priklopil  in Strasshoff (Lower Austria), half an hour away from her house in Rennbahnweg ( Vienna 22nd district), after having been brutally abducted and kept in captivity for eight and a half years (2.3.1998-23.8.2006). Both physical and verbal aggression, starvation and long working hours illustrate the continuous humiliation she was forced to go through, just because her kidnapper’s golden dream was “owning a slave” who did everything he ordered…

The relationship with her parents, according to Kampusch’s description, ordinarily tagged “normal”, is featured by frequent rows between her divorced parents and a distance in years with her siblings – the offspring of NK’s mother’s previous marriage. NK was the youngest and spent some weekends with her father in Hungary. Some brief examples of eating disorders –binging on food –as well as a ban to openly express her feelings– are shyly signalled.

NK was kidnapped exactly the same day she started to go to school on her own, and taken to a place 25 km. away from her parental home.  She would not return till eight and a half years later.

Her account during captivity, is basically summarised in three phases: the first four years during which she was literally “confined” to her “cellar” (a five square meter “dungeon”), the two following years, when she was “allowed” to go upstairs and work non-stop for her “master”, and the last two, when she started going out with Priklopil and was forced to sleep with him. She would visit the Donau Zentrum, one of the Shopping Malls close to her mother’s house.

Wolfgang Priklopil showed clear symptoms of both social and psychological pathologies. Fatherless at the age of 24, he never quite managed to break parental tapes with his mother, showing therefore strong Oedipus complex and misogyny. Eating disorders varied in both number and sort, and his behaviour was violent and aggressive most of the time. He also was a staunch supporter of Adolf Hitler’s and Jörg Haider’s ideas, and believed humankind was divided into two groups: the masters (to which he belonged) and the slaves (Natascha’s).

One day, Kampusch pulled her self together and escaped. What made her take this decision and not before? Probably the state of mind she finally achieved after a long Stockholm syndrome process and the proximity of freedom. We will never know what was in her brain that morning. We will never know what made her take such a vital decision. We will never know what she had been through or why she forgave Priklopil.

Once the nightmare was over, Natascha received numerous letters: some of them were marriage proposals, and some other open manifestations of strong encouragement and support. A few of them, however, were “nice invitations to dwell” with unknown families and/or single individuals…

3.096 Tage is available in German, Spanish, French, English and Italian.