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The Linz sisters, Viktoria, Katharina and Elisabeth, are three women whose mother had gradually withdrawn from school by creating and reinforcing a story that their father was a monster, to the extent that they believed they must absolutely avoid him.[1] This resulted in the children increasingly remaining indoors in a house of incredible filth[1] for seven years, from 1998 to 2005. They are known as the Linz sisters because the case took place in Gramastetten near Linz, Austria. Early media reports that the mother had kept the children prisoner and that they had invented a language[2][3][4] were contradicted by a special report in Le Figaro.[1] In that report, Margareth Tews, the tutor of the youngest two, stated they were busy re-accustomising them to the presence of their father.

Background

Their mother gained custody of the children following her divorce, at the age of 53. Afterwards, she suffered a mental breakdown. Le Figaro reported that the children, then aged 7, 11 and 13, gradually became absent from school, and they remained at home of their own accord[1] in a smart, upper middle-class suburb. When they were discovered, the house had no running water and was filled with waste and excrement.[1] The mother was said to have been summoned to court nine times during the seven years after complaints were made by the father, who was then a second magistrate of the court of appeal at Linz, and by neighbours, but officials never found a reason to investigate the case more closely.

Official records, such as those made available to a wider public by the Austrian Parliament and by local education authorities following the outcry after initial publication of the case, show that the sisters were frequently absent from school but took part in school events: Elisabeth until 2000, Katharina until 2003, and Viktoria until 2005.[5][6]

It is not known whether the case was ever tried in court, what the indictment was, or whether the mother was finally convicted.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e DOMINIQUE RIZET (2007-10-15). "L'affaire de Linz" (in French). http://www.lefigaro.fr/lefigaromagazine/2007/02/23/01006-20070223ARTMAG90382-la_mre_de_toutes_les_horreurs.php. "Contrairement à certaines versions, Mme Mittermayer n'a jamais séquestré ses filles en leur interdisant de sortir. ... Il y avait les excréments du chien, du chat et ceux des rats qui infestaient la maison, raconte un policier. L'odeur était insoutenable"  
  2. ^ "Mother kept girls locked away from the world for seven years". 2007-02-27. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1368918.ece.  
  3. ^ "Imprisoned girls 'may never recover'". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21210531-2703,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-17.  
  4. ^ "Unfassbares Familiendrama in Linz: Mutter hat ihre drei Töchter jahrelang eingesperrt!". New AT. http://www.networld.at/index.html?/articles/0706/10/164233_s2.shtml. Retrieved 2009-03-17. "entwickelten sogar ihre eigene Sprache"  
  5. ^ "Parliamentary inquiry". http://www.parlament.gv.at/PG/DE/XXIII/AB/AB_00386/fnameorig_076773.html. Retrieved 2009-03-17.  
  6. ^ "Official Report by Regional School Authority". http://www.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at/cps/rde/xbcr/SID-3DCFCFC3-F5C453D4/ooe/Gramastetten_Berichte_1_3.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-17.  
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