The Awful Truth Behind Colonia Dignidad

Born on December 4, 1921, in Troisdorf, Germany, Paul Schäfer Schneider, at a very young age, joined the Hitler youth, a youth organization of the Nazi party in Germany. Paul reached his way up to Corporal while working as a medic in World War II in Wehrmacht.  After the war, Paul set up a children’s home and baptist ministry, and, he even created a Private social Mission on 1959 which is thought of as a charitable organization. But, Paul formed a sort of “reputation” and was charged when people found out that he was sexually abusing two children. Paul fled to West Germany with a few of his followers when he found out that he was being charged. But, before he fled, he had a job, before, as an evangelist preacher but got fired very early as he sexually abused a few young boys who he had under his watch.

Now, the story begins…

In 1961, the president of Chile, Jorge Alessandri, allowed Paul to “resurface”. President Jorge even gave permission to Paul to create the Dignidad beneficent Society which was besides on a farm outside of Parral, a city in Linares Province of Chile’s Maule Region. At the start of the new Dignidad Society, it started out as a utopian experiment. Everyone was “cut off” from the outside world and according to the telegraph, they would wear a traditional dress (lederhosen, hats, headscarves), lived in a Bavarian-style village and worked in mills, factories, farms — even a hospital that the community built. When some people passed by the Colonia Dignidad, they would put out a comment saying that “It even looks like Germany!”. Colonia Dignidad was used as a torture camp. People who were born in Dignidad didn’t have rights. They were sexually abused. If you were below 40 years old then you needed the permission of Paul. Children were not allowed to meet each other. They were treated like robots. Everyone looked up to Paul like a god, and, they would even confess their sins to him. It was terrible. The men were working there would be up 24 hours and they would be handling dangerous and very heavy equipment. Complaints from the men who used to work at Colonia Dignidad is documented and compiled. The men worked 12 hours straight, under hard labor and nothing to eat except for bread and tea.

On May 20, 1997, Paul tried to run away once again as he was being charged with child sex abuse by a Christian Chilean president known as Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. But, even in Paul’s absence, they tried him and found him guilty. Really guilty. Only have they found Paul 8 years after he disappeared from the Chilean government’s supervision 40 km from Argentina in his own little “hideout” in the suburbs called Las Acacias. He was now 80 when they finally found him. Paul was then charged guilty once again and was sentenced to 33 years in jail for all his abuses and was ordered to pay over US$1.5 million. He was even wanted by Germany and France for his child abuse.

There were countless human rights that Paul Schäfer broke, especially the following:

  1. Child Molestation
    • Illegal
  2. Forced Labor
    • Article 25 (international human rights): Right to Adequate Living Standards
    • Illegal
  3. Weapons Trafficking
  4. Money Laundering
    • Republic Act No. 9160 A.K.A Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001
    • Illegal
  5. Kidnapping
    • Article 3 (international human rights): Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
    • Illegal
  6. Torturing
    • Article 5 (international human rights): Freedom from torture and degrading treatment
    • Illegal
  7. Murder
    • Illegal


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