Top: Colonia Dignidad: Germany to compensate Chile commune victims


An entrance gate at the former Colonia Dignidad

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Colonia Dignidad was constructed to resemble a Bavarian village however the actuality was very completely different

Germany can pay compensation of as much as €10,000 (£8,700; $11,000) to victims of a infamous and abusive commune in southern Chile.

Colonia Dignidad was based by former Nazi soldier Paul Schäfer in 1961.

The commune, which was situated 350km (220 miles) south of Santiago, was run as a secretive cult and dozens of youngsters have been sexually abused there.

Tons of of German and Chilean survivors will now be eligible for compensation.

The choice to pay the victims was made by a authorities fee in Berlin on Friday. A fund of €3.5m will likely be put aside to take action.

It comes every week after prosecutors dropped their investigation right into a German physician who labored on the commune.

A courtroom in Chile had discovered Hartmut Hopp responsible of complicity in baby intercourse abuse dedicated by Schäfer, however he fled to Germany earlier than he may very well be jailed.

German prosecutors mentioned there was inadequate proof to uphold the ruling.

What was Colonia Dignidad?

Colonia Dignidad was a colony arrange by Schäfer within the distant Maule space.

He ran it as a secretive cult with members residing as digital slaves and prevented from leaving by armed guards with canine.

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Colonia Dignidad modified its identify to Villa Baviera (Bavaria village) in 1991

At its peak, 300 Germans and Chileans have been residing within the 137 sq km (53 sq mile) compound surrounded by wire fencing and ignored by a watchtower with searchlights.

Kids have been pressured to stay individually from their mother and father and dozens have been sexually abused by Schäfer.

What else occurred there?

It was not simply members of Schäfer’s sect who suffered abuse.

Beneath the army rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet, Colonia Dignidad turned a clandestine detention centre. About 300 opponents of the regime have been interrogated and tortured in its underground tunnels each by members of the Chilean secret police and Schäfer’s associates.

At the very least 100 persons are thought to have been murdered there. A kind of believed to have been killed on the web site is US educational Boris Weisfeiler, who went climbing in Chile in 1984.

  • Lacking in Chile: What occurred to Boris Weisfeiler?

In its report, launched on Friday, the German fee mentioned Schäfer “tore households aside, abused numerous kids and actively collaborated with Pinochet dictatorship henchmen on torture, homicide and disappearances.

“The survivors nonetheless undergo massively from the extreme psychological and bodily penalties after years of hurt attributable to violence, abuse, exploitation and slave labour,” the report learn.

The compensation could be paid “completely out of ethical duty and with out recognition of a authorized obligation,” it added.

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Paul Schäfer died in a jail hospital in 2010 aged 88

Schäfer fled Chile in 1997 whereas going through plenty of lawsuits over the sexual abuse of youngsters. He was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and convicted of serial paedophilia.

He died in jail aged 88 in 2010.

Colonia Dignidad modified its identify to Villa Baviera in 1991 and has turn into a vacationer resort with a German-themed restaurant and resort. Greater than 100 individuals, lots of them former members of the commune, stay on the web site with many saying it’s the solely house they’ve ever identified.

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