Page last updated at 00:37 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 01:37 UK

Kampusch speaks out on abuse case

Kampusch saw the parallels with her case

In her first British television interview Austrian former kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch has spoken to the BBC about Austria's latest abuse scandal.

Ms Kampusch was snatched on her way to school aged 10 and held in a basement cell for more than eight years.

She was asked by BBC's Newsnight how she felt about the story of Elisabeth Fritzl, released after being imprisoned by her father in a cellar for 24 years.

She said Elisabeth and her family would need time and silence to recover.

"Little by little I realised there were parallels to my own fate," said Ms Kampusch. "So then the whole story affected me even more."

'Authoritarian education'

Asked how she thought Elisabeth Fritzl and the rest of the family could best be helped now, she replied: "They need a lot of silence... Time heals all wounds."

She also suggested Austria's history had played some part in the cases of abuse which had taken place there.

"I think this exists worldwide, but I think it's also a ramification of the Second World War and its connection to education and so on," she said.

Natascha Kampusch, Newsnight, 30 April, 2008
Natascha Kampusch is determined to live as normal a life as possible

"I think it can happen everywhere and it also exists everywhere, not just in Austria."

She went on to explain: "At the time of National Socialism the suppression of women was propagated. An authoritarian education was very important."

She told the BBC she wished the family "the best of luck and hope that they will pull through, and I think that at least the youngest ones will succeed".

Ms Kampusch said her own traumatic experience and suffering would stay with her for the rest of her life.

Donation campaign

Earlier Ms Kampusch told Austrian media that she had donated 25,000 euros to Elisabeth Fritzl and her children.

In a statement, she called for a wider donation campaign for the victims. Ms Kampusch added that long-term support for Elisabeth Fritzl, now 42, was vital.

Ms Fritzl was imprisoned and sexually abused by her father in a windowless cellar dungeon for 24 years.

Seven children were born from the abuse, three of whom remained incarcerated with her, never seeing daylight until they were released earlier this week.

Ms Kampusch was forced to live in a tiny basement cell for more than eight years, following her abduction in 1998.

Her 44-year-old captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, killed himself shortly after her escape in August 2006.

Ms Kampusch said she was in close contact with the Fritzl victims' lawyer and the authorities in Lower Austria, where the family live, and was keen to offer help and advice.

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