Colonia Dignidad: Germany to compensate Chile commune victims

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

Germany can pay compensation of as much as €10,000 (£eight,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 positioned 350km (220 miles) south of Santiago, was run as a secretive cult and dozens of youngsters had been sexually abused there.

Lots 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 €three.5m will probably be put aside to take action.

It comes per 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 little one intercourse abuse dedicated by Schäfer, however he fled to Germany earlier than he might 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 canines.

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

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

Kids had been compelled to dwell individually from their dad and mom and dozens had 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 had been interrogated and tortured in its underground tunnels each by members of the Chilean secret police and Schäfer’s associates.

A minimum of 100 individuals are thought to have been murdered there. A kind of believed to have been killed on the website is US tutorial Boris Weisfeiler, who went mountain 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 endure massively from the extreme psychological and bodily penalties after years of hurt brought on by violence, abuse, exploitation and slave labour,” the report learn.

The compensation can be paid “completely out of ethical accountability 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 various 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 title to Villa Baviera in 1991 and has grow to be a vacationer resort with a German-themed restaurant and resort. Greater than 100 folks, a lot of them former members of the commune, dwell on the website with many saying it’s the solely dwelling they’ve ever identified.

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