Siblings Tom and Lena fell in love in their teens and even had a daughter together
Austrian siblings Tom and Lena (not their real names) began a secret romance in
their teens and have been together for 20 years.
Now Tom has opened up in an interview posted on Vice and revealed he fell for
Lena at a young age.
He said: “I started getting real feelings for her when we both entered
“She was blossoming. Sometimes I would watch her getting dressed in her
room and always felt ashamed of myself afterwards.”
He told himself that it was natural curiosity about the female body but when
Lena started dating at17, he was consumed with jealousy.
He said: “That was hell for me. I hated each one of her boyfriend’s guts.
Lena used to cry because I wouldn’t get on with them. Today, I know that it
was pure jealousy.”
But after a boyfriend cheated on Lena, the relationship reached the next
Upset, Lena came into Tom’s bedroom sobbing and Tom fetched a bottle of wine
to cheer her up.
After several glasses, Lena made the first move.
Tom recalled: “I can still remember it like it happened yesterday. She
looked up at me and asked why other men can’t be more like me.”
Lena kissed him but Tom pushed her away saying, “What the hell are we
Lena started to cry.
In the days following the kiss, Tom began to re-examine their relationship.
He said: “It became clear to me that Lena and I were always flirting.
“I always used to take it as a joke but it couldn’t have been. All these
strange situations suddenly became crystal clear.”
He was amazed when he found out that, while he was watching Lena dress, she
was fully aware he was there and used to leave the door open on purpose.
He added: “I was relieved to find out she felt the same about me.
“We could be happy together. But of course that was a kind of utopia. In
reality, our love was a curse—it still is.”
Incest is illegal in most countries and, in Austria, where the couple grew up,
it can result in six months in prison.
So when Tom slept with Lena, the couple were breaking Paragraph 211 of
Tom said: “It was then I realised we’re criminals. But Paragraph 211
punishes consenting adults for entering relationships with other adults.
We’re not forcing each other into anything.”
For years the couple were forced to keep their romance secret.
“For a long time, we thought that we were sick,” admits Tom. “What kind
of person is in love with his sister?
“It’s unbelievable what a taboo can do to your feelings of self-worth.”
Tom became so depressed that he tried to take his own life with an overdose of
sleeping tablets, but Lena found him in time.
After that, the pair decided to move away from the village and set up home in
Germany, where they pretended to be a married couple.
When Lena gave birth to their daughter, Tom said, she kept his name off the
“We didn’t want to risk anything. There’s no way I’ll let them put me in
prison and take me away from my family.”
Not surprisingly, Tom is fierce critic of the anti-incest laws and the taboo
that surrounds their love.
“Since when is disgust a reason to imprison others?” he said. “Nobody
would make someone serve time for having sex with a cake, just because
someone else found it disgusting.”
He rejects the argument that siblings should not have children because of the
risk of abnormality.
Children born to closely related couples are more likely to have certain kinds
of genetic conditions, but according to the Genetic Alliance, a UK-based
group that works to improve the lives of people with genetic conditions, “most
related couples have healthy children”.
Tom reasoned: “I would understand it if you told me, ‘You are going to
prison because you are endangering your child.
“But my child is healthy and my wife and I love each other voluntarily.
Therefore all good reasons for punishment do not apply.”
But he admits he is frightened the family secret might come out and ruin the
couple’s new life.
He added: “I’m scared of people finding me disgusting.
“There’s nothing that I haven’t heard before. People have called me a
desecrator, sister-fucker, or simply retarded. And all that’s come out of
the mouths of people who were at one time my friends.
“Even if society won’t recognize us, we exist and there are more of us than