London, May 30 : The entire family of Josef Fritzl will be given a new identity by the Austrian authorities.
The identities have been prepared for Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, and the six surviving children she had by Josef, her father, during the 24 years she spent in a home-made dungeon under the family home in Amstetten.
Her six adult siblings and their mother, Rosemarie, 68, have also been offered new identities.
The move came after the family decided not to talk to the media or give interviews about their prolonged ordeal.
"I am receiving many offers from various international media but it is not in the family's best interest to go public," Times Online quoted Christoph Herbst, the lawyer representing the family, as saying.
"The medical staff in charge of their therapy have emphasized the importance of protecting the family's privacy which is a prerequisite for their successful recovery. Being exposed in the public is the last thing they need at this stage," the lawyer added.
Fritzl, a 73-year-old electrical engineer and property developer, took Elisabeth captive in 1984 and imprisoned her in his home-made dungeon in the cellar. During decades of sexual abuse he fathered seven children with her, including a baby boy who died three days after his birth and whose body was burnt in an incinerator.
He selected three of the children to live with him and his wife in their upstairs home, while the other three were never allowed to leave the subterranean prison.