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Colonia Dignidad: Germany to compensate Chile commune victims

An entrance gate at the former Colonia DignidadSymbol copyright
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Colonia Dignidad was once constructed to resemble a Bavarian village however the fact was once very other

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

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

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

Masses of German and Chilean survivors will now be eligible for repayment.

The verdict to pay the sufferers was once made by way of a central authority fee in Berlin on Friday. A fund of €three.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 court docket in Chile had discovered Hartmut Hopp to blame of complicity in kid intercourse abuse dedicated by way of Schäfer, however he fled to Germany sooner than he might be jailed.

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

What was once Colonia Dignidad?

Colonia Dignidad was once a colony arrange by way of Schäfer within the faraway Maule house.

He ran it as a secretive cult with individuals dwelling as digital slaves and avoided from leaving by way of armed guards with canine.

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

At its height, 300 Germans and Chileans had been dwelling within the 137 squarekm (53 squaremile) compound surrounded by way of twine fencing and lost sight of by way of a watchtower with searchlights.

Kids had been pressured to reside one after the other from their oldsters and dozens had been sexually abused by way of Schäfer.

What else came about there?

It was once now not simply individuals of Schäfer’s sect who suffered abuse.

Below the army rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet, Colonia Dignidad changed into a clandestine detention centre. About 300 warring parties of the regime had been interrogated and tortured in its underground tunnels each by way of individuals of the Chilean secret police and Schäfer’s pals.

No less than 100 persons are idea to were murdered there. A type of believed to were killed on the web site is US educational Boris Weisfeiler, who went climbing in Chile in 1984.

  • Lacking in Chile: What came about to Boris Weisfeiler?

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

“The survivors nonetheless undergo hugely from the critical mental and bodily penalties after years of damage led to by way of violence, abuse, exploitation and slave labour,” the document learn.

The repayment can be paid “solely out of ethical accountability and with out reputation of a felony legal responsibility,” it added.

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Paul Schäfer died in a jail clinic in 2010 elderly 88

Schäfer fled Chile in 1997 whilst dealing with plenty of court cases over the sexual abuse of youngsters. He was once arrested in Argentina in 2005 and convicted of serial paedophilia.

He died in jail elderly 88 in 2010.

Colonia Dignidad modified its title to Villa Baviera in 1991 and has change into a vacationer hotel with a German-themed eating place and resort. Greater than 100 other people, a lot of them former individuals of the commune, reside on the web site with many pronouncing it’s the handiest house they’ve ever identified.

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