• Germany's news in English

Colonia Dignidad founder, Nazi and child abuser Schäfer dies in prison

AFP/The Local · 25 Apr 2010, 10:43

Published: 25 Apr 2010 10:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Schäfer, 88, a wartime Nazi corporal and medic, was taken to hospital last July with heart problems and was given respiratory assistance.

He was sentenced to 20 years in jail in May 2006 for abusing and torturing children and other settlers at the armed enclave Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony.

The large, self-sufficient German colony in an isolated region south of Santiago was established by Schäfer in 1961 after he fled Germany to escape child abuse charges there.

The 13,000-hectare mountain resort, 350 kilometres south of Santiago, was home to about 300 refugees from Nazi Germany and their descendants. It was equipped with a hospital and an airport, and became a "state-within-a-state."

But the colony's leader later fled to Argentina in August 1996 after the families of the abused children filed complaints against him.

The Chilean authorities seized the property in 2005 and the Argentines arrested and deported Schäfer back to Chile.

He was also charged with collaborating in human rights abuses during the regime of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990, including allowing Chilean military agents to use Dignity Colony to torture political prisoners, many of whom were never found.

Story continues below…

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre had suspected Schäfer of having connections with Nazi fugitives such as Walter Rauff, who the centre said escaped to Chile and was protected by Pinochet's regime. Rauff died in Chile in 1984.

Residents of Dignity Colony lived an austere life until Schäfer’s arrest, and they have now renamed it Bavarian Village and opened it to the tourist trade.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:25 April 25, 2010 by cocovelvet
.... what a disgust !!!!

Surprising that these Nazi creatures still manage to go to other countries and continue with their nutty idea of trying to rule the world ; how dare he built a little "state within a state " in another sovereign state ??!! He was really daring.....

Good enough that he is weg !!!!.....
15:06 April 25, 2010 by Victor Scicluna
What a coincidence I have just finished reading a book about one of his victims Klaus Schnellenkamp. This Schäffer was a Bastard in the most cruel ways, his methods were as cruel as humanity can imagine, in one instance he buries his victim alive after several tortutre scenes.

Normally when someone dies we wish him/her to rest in peace, may he find the justice he deserves ...............

good ridance to another monsters.

If anyone is interested I will send him the link to the book or look up Klaus Schnellenkamp in wikipedia up.

21:11 April 25, 2010 by wxman
Aside from being a Nazi and the pedophilia thing, this guy was probably a pretty nice person.
01:06 April 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Good riddance.

Now his Colonia Dignidad should be burned to the ground, instead of being enshrined as a Nazi disneyland.
03:21 April 26, 2010 by wetdawg~
He does have nice sympathetic eyes...
11:22 April 26, 2010 by William Thirteen
now we'll never know the details of his ties with the CIA.
17:14 April 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ William Thirteen:

Henry Kissinger's still alive. Ask him. I'm sure he knows all about it, as he installed Pinochet into power.
21:09 April 26, 2010 by Sapodilly
Triple threat, that guy, huh? Maybe Dante will swap Benedict Arnold out for him.
14:50 April 27, 2010 by Hebbellover
@Prufrock2010 wow - I can what INTERNET anonimity has created!
16:33 April 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ Hebbellover:

Huh? Can you translate that into a known language?
22:50 April 27, 2010 by Hebbellover
@Prufrock2010 - it is called fat fingering the key board...what it should say is

" I can see what INTERNET anonimity has created!"

Sorry, english is not my first language, but I try.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd