Monday, April 28, 2008

Family.....(Might Trigger)

I have been reading about the Austrian case of a woman being held a prisoner for over twenty years underground, of being repeatedly raped by her own father, of being forced to give birth to seven children by him. And I'm struck by the euphemisms the newspaper stories use:

The news that a man may have imprisoned his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered her seven children has been described as one of the worst cases in Austria's criminal history.


But allegedly he had a second, secret family with his daughter Elisabeth, whom police say he lured into a cellar, aged 18, in 1984 and repeatedly abused. She is believed to have born him seven children, three of whom he and Rosemarie adopted or fostered.

A second, secret family? I guess so, in the purely biological sense, though of course he was both the father and the grandfather of those children, some of whom have never seen daylight! And his daughter was both that and the mother of his children as well as the object of an unending round of torture. But sure, a family.

Here's another use of the same euphemism:

"He led a double life," Mr. Polzer continued, "with one family of seven children, with his wife, and a second family of seven children, with his daughter."

Imagine that. A second family, all buried alive.