Fritzl home ‘could house refugee families’

Fritzl home 'could house refugee families'
Fritzl's house in Amstetten. Photo: Kurier/Wolfgang Atzenhofer
The former home of Josef Fritzl - who held his daughter captive in the cellar for decades - could be used as accommodation for refugee families after the local council failed to find a buyer for the property.

Lawyer Walter Anzböck, who is in charge of liquidating Fritzl’s estate in Amstetten, told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper that the empty house could be converted into eight apartments and accommodate up to 60 asylum seekers. He said that the council could not afford to let the property sit empty, and that he planned to discuss the feasibility of such a plan with the Red Cross.

The cellar, where Fritzl kept his daughter locked up for 24 years and repeatedly raped her, has been filled in with concrete to ensure that no-one will ever be able to enter it again and to avoid it becoming a gruesome tourist attraction. Fritzl fathered seven children with his daughter, and was convicted of murdering one of them through neglect.

He is now 80 years old and is serving a life sentence in nearby Stein prison. His house has been up for sale for some time but the €200,000 property has not yet found a buyer. It has remained empty ever since his horrific crimes came to light.

The local council will make the final decision on whether to use the building for refugee accommodation. So far it has ordered a container which will provide beds for 150 asylum seekers – fulfilling its quota.

Mayor Ursula Puchebner told the Kurier newspaper that she had not been informed of the proposal, and nor had the asylum coordination office.