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 totally different

Germany pays 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 kids 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 €three.5m can be put aside to take action.

It comes per week after prosecutors dropped their investigation into a German doctor who labored on the commune.

A court docket in Chile had discovered Hartmut Hopp responsible of complicity in baby intercourse abuse dedicated by Schäfer, however he fled to Germany earlier than he could possibly be jailed.

German prosecutors stated 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 dwell individually from their dad and mom and dozens have been sexually abused by Schäfer.

What else occurred there?

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

Underneath the navy rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet, Colonia Dignidad grew to become 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 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.

In its report, launched on Friday, the German fee stated Schäfer “tore households aside, abused numerous youngsters 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 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 dealing with quite a few lawsuits over the sexual abuse of kids. 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 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 recognized.