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Encyclopedia > Colonia Dignidad

Colonia Dignidad ("Dignity Colony", now known as Villa Baviera, "Bavaria Village"), is a settlement located in an isolated area in the Maule Region of southern Chile, near the village of Parral. It was founded by a group of German immigrants led by Paul Schäfer in 1961. The full name of the colony was La Sociedad Benefactora y Educacional Dignidad, like its precursor which the immigrants started in the mid-1950s. The Free State of Bavaria (German: Bayern or Freistaat Bayern), with an area of 70,553 km² (27,241 square miles) and 12. ... Maule is Chiles seventh administrative region from north to south. ... Parral could refer to: Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico Parral, Chile This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Paul Schäfer Paul Schäfer Schneider (born December 4, 1921) is the founder and former leader of a sect and agricultural commune of German immigrants called Colonia Dignidad (Dignity Colony)—later renamed Villa Baviera—located in central Chile, about 340 km south of Santiago. ... 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The colony grew to some 300 residents, both Germans and Chileans, and covered 137 square kilometers (53 square miles). The main activity at the colony was agriculture, but it also featured a school, a free hospital, two airstrips, a restaurant and even a power station. The colony was quite secretive, surrounded by barbed wire fences, searchlights and a watchtower, and containing secret caches of war weaponry. Some have described it as a cult, though others considered it simply a group of harmless eccentrics. In recent years, though, some facts have emerged about the disturbing history of the colony. With villa Grimaldi, it is considered as one of the most important detention and torture center of Augusto Pinochet's era, and links with DINA have been alleged. An airstrip is a kind of airport that consists only of a runway with perhaps fueling equipment. ... Power Station was a pop group made up of singer Robert Palmer, bassist John Taylor and guitarist Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, and former Chic drummer Tony Thompson; two other Chic members, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were also involved on the studio side. ... Modern barbed wire Barbed wire is a type of fencing wire constructed with sharp edges or points arranged at intervals along the strand(s). ... A searchlight is an apparatus with reflectors for projecting a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays in a particular direction, usually devised so that it can be swiveled about. ... A watchtower is a type of fortification. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religion). ... General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte[1] (born November 25, 1915) was head of the military government that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. ... For the Biblical Dina, see Dinah. ...

Contents


Accusations of abuse

Some defectors from the colony have portrayed the colony as a cult where leader Paul Schäfer held ultimate power. They claim that the residents were never allowed to leave the colony, and that they were strictly segregated by gender. Television and telephones were banned. Residents worked wearing Bavarian peasant garb and sang German folk songs. Sex was banned, with some residents forced to take drugs to reduce their desires. Severe discipline in the form of beatings and torture was commonplace -- Schäfer preached that discipline was spiritually enriching. Bavarian can either when used as an adjective, refer to the German state of Bavaria; or refer to the Bavarian or Austro-Bavarian language, a group of closely related Austria and the South Tyrol. ...


Child molestation

Paul Schäfer, a former Luftwaffe medic, was the founder and first leader ("Permanent Uncle") of Colonia Dignidad. He left Germany in 1961 after being accused of sexually abusing two boys. On May 20, 1997 he fled Chile, pursued by authorities investigating charges that he had molested 26 children of the colony. In March 2005, he was arrested in Argentina and deported to Chile. He is also wanted for questioning about the disappearance of Boris Weisfeiler in 1985, an American Jewish mathematics professor of Russian origin. Paul Schäfer Paul Schäfer Schneider (born December 4, 1921) is the founder and former leader of a sect and agricultural commune of German immigrants called Colonia Dignidad (Dignity Colony)—later renamed Villa Baviera—located in central Chile, about 340 km south of Santiago. ... The   Luftwaffe? (German: air force, IPA: [luftvafÉ™]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... May 20 is the 140th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (141st in leap years). ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Twenty-two other members of Colonia Dignidad were found guilty of aiding the molestation, including Dr. Hartmut Hopp, the second-in-command.


Torture

Investigations by Amnesty International and the Chilean National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report have verified that Colonia Dignidad was used by DINA, the Chilean secret police, as a concentration camp for the detention and torture of political prisoners during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorial rule of Chile. Most accounts have this happening between 1973 and 1977 but precise dates are not known. Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization with the stated purpose of promoting all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. ... The Rettig Report, officially The National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report, is a report encompassing human rights abuses resulting in death or disappearance committed in Chile during the years of military rule under Augusto Pinochet, which began on September 11, 1973 and ended on March 11, 1990. ... For the Biblical Dina, see Dinah. ... A secret police (sometimes political police) force is a police organization that operates in secret to enforce state security. ... A concentration camp is a large detention center created for political opponents, aliens, specific ethnic or religious groups, civilians of a critical war-zone, or other groups of people, often during a war. ... The Iron Maiden of Nuremberg was a famous torture device, though misconceptions about it do exist. ... A political prisoner is anyone held in prison or otherwise detained, perhaps under house arrest, because their ideas or image either challenge or pose a real or potential threat to the state. ... General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte[1] (born November 25, 1915) was head of the military government that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. ... 1973 was a common year starting on Monday. ... 1977 was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1977 calendar). ...


The son of DINA head Manuel Contreras claims that his father and Pinochet visited Colonia Dignidad in 1974, and that his father and Schäefer were good friends. The current leader of Villa Baviera admits that torture took place within the old colony, but says that Villa Baviera is a new entity. General Juan Manuel Guillermo Contreras Sepúlveda (born May 4, 1929) was the head of Augusto Pinochets National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) and one of the most powerful men in Chile during Pinochets rule. ...


Weapons caches

In June and July 2005, Chilean police found two arms caches in or around the colony. The first, within the colony itself, consisted of three containers with machine guns, automatic rifles, rocket launchers and large quantities of ammunition, some as much as 40 years old. It was described as the largest arsenal ever found in private hands in Chile. The second, outside a restaurant operated by the colony, consisted of rocket launchers and grenades. The word arms may refer to: The arm is anatomically the part of the body extending from the shoulder to the elbow. ... A machine gun is a fully-automatic firearm that is capable of firing bullets in rapid succession. ... An automatic rifle is any rifle capable of fully-automatic fire; a type of automatic firearm. ... Rocket launcher is a vague term which could mean various things: a mobile launch platform for an ICBM or cruise missile a launcher for multiple smaller missiles, such as Stalins Organ a shoulder-launched missile weapon This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that... Boxes of ammunition clog a warehouse in Baghdad Ammunition is a generic military term meaning (the assembly of) a projectile and its propellant. ... The word grenade can mean:- The well-known hand grenade commonly used by soldiers. ...


In january 2005, Michael Townley, the ex-agent of DINA, who still lives in the USA beneath witness protection program, acknowledged to agents of Interpol Chile links between DINA and colonia Dignidad. Townley also revealed information about colonia Dignidad and the Army's Laboratory on Bacteriological War. This last laboratory would have replaced the old DINA's laboratoy on Via Naranja de Lo Curro street, where Michael Townley worked with the chemical assassin Eugenio Berrios. Townley also gave proofs of biological experiments made upon the political prisonners at Colonia Dignidad, related to the two mentionned laboratories Radio Cooperativa. For the Biblical Dina, see Dinah. ...


Villa Baviera era

As of 2005, there is still a colony operating on the site, but the current leaders insist that changes have taken place. The current leader is Peter Müller. He has attempted to modernize the colony, allowing residents to leave to study at university and opening it up to tourism. 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A professor giving a lecture at the Helsinki University of Technology A university is an institution of higher education and of research, which grants academic degrees. ... A tourist boat travels the River Seine in Paris, France Beaches make popular tourist resorts Tourist redirects here; for the album by Athlete, see Tourist (album) Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act. ...


On August 26, 2005 Chilean authorities entered in the enclave to take over its assets as part of an investigation into its former leaders. Control of the community was handed over to a state appointed lawyer. August 26 is the 238th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (239th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


References

  • Levenda, Peter (2nd ed., 2002). Unholy Alliance: History of the Nazi Involvement With the Occult. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0826414095.

External links

  • Colonia Dignidad information – From CHIP, The Chile Information Project
  • "Torture colony raided in Chile" – By Martin A. Lee, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 30 October 2000
  • Fugitive Chile cult leader held – BBC News
  • Chile discovers huge weapons cache on cult grounds (REUTERS)
  • Chile officials take over colony – BBC News

  Results from FactBites:
 
Colonia Dignidad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (942 words)
Colonia Dignidad ("Dignity Colony", now known as Villa Baviera, "Bavaria Village"), is a settlement located in an isolated area in the Maule Region of southern Chile, near the village of Parral.
Investigations by Amnesty International and the Chilean National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report have verified that Colonia Dignidad was used by DINA, the Chilean secret police, as a concentration camp for the detention and torture of political prisoners during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorial rule of Chile.
The son of DINA head Manuel Contreras claims that his father and Pinochet visited Colonia Dignidad in 1974, and that his father and Schäefer were good friends.
Paul Schäfer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (534 words)
Investigations by Amnesty International and the Chilean National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report have verified that Colonia Dignidad was used by DINA, the Chilean secret police, as a torture and detention centre during Augusto Pinochet's Chilean dictatorship.
Founded primarily on anti-communism, this society evolved into the Colonia Dignidad community, where political dissidents are alleged to have been interned and tortured during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (see the Valech Report).
According to the son of DINA head Manuel Contreras, his father and Pinochet visited Colonia Dignidad in 1974, and that his father and Schäfer were good friends.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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