London, May 15 : Weeks after Josef Fritzl's crime surfaced, his family has for the first time expressed gratitude for the support they have received - and to wish for a "normal life" in the future.
Elisabeth, 42, who was kept as a sex slave in a purpose-built subterranean dungeon by her rapist father Josef and the six children he fathered with her during his continuous sexual assaults, have prepared a hand-written poster illustrated with colourful drawings to thank everyone for the support they have been receiving since they were freed by police on April 26.
They also wished Kerstin, 19, Elisabeth's oldest daughter who is being treated for a mysterious illness, a quick recovery, and expressed their longing to return to normal life.
"We, the whole family, would like to use this opportunity to thank you all for sympathizing with our fate. Your empathy is helping us to go through these difficult times and it shows us that there also are good and honest people," the Telegraph quoted them, as saying.
"We hope that there will be a time when we can return to normal life," they added.
The family, including Fritzl's wife Rosemarie, 68, prepared the poster together and illustrated with colourful drawings of rainbows, hearts, smiling faces and traces of their hands, as part of their collective therapy at a local psychiatric clinic.
The notes were displayed in a window at the main square of their hometown Amstetten.
In a text written within an open pair of hands, Elisabeth wrote: "I wish for: the recovery of my daughter Kerstin, the love of my children, the protection of my family, for people with a big heart and compassion."
In a similar note, her daughter Lisa, 15, wrote in red ink: "I wish for: health; that everything goes well; love and happiness. I miss: Kerstin, my school and my friends."