Quantcast
Connect with us

Victims of Chile Nazi sect says German compensation not enough

Published

on

Victims of a Chile-based Nazi pedophile sect said compensation offered by Germany was not enough to make up for decades of slavery and abuse.

Germany said Friday it would pay up to 10,000 euros ($11,000) each to victims of the “Colonia Dignidad” commune founded by a former Nazi soldier.

“It’s a help, yes, but it does not solve the problem. We are a lost generation,” Horst Schaffrick, a German who arrived at the enclave with his family at the age of three, told AFP.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schaffrick suffered sexual abuse by former Wehrmacht soldier Paul Schaefer, who founded the sect in southern Chile in 1961.

The commune was presented as an idyllic German family village but in reality, Schaefer, a convicted pedophile, abused, drugged and indoctrinated the few hundred residents and kept them as virtual slaves.

His group had close ties to the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and would torture and “disappear” regime critics.

AFP / Pablo COZZAGLIO Winfried Hempel lived with the Nazi sect until the age of 20 and is now fighting for proper compensation for the victims

Germany said Friday it would pay up to 10,000 euros to victims of the sect.

The compensation “covers very little, if you compare it to the 40 years of work without pay,” said Schaffrick, who also referred to “the suffering caused by slavery, beatings, drugs and sexual abuse for 20 years.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“How am I going to continue in my old age, how am I going to live? It cannot be solved, that’s what is serious about this situation,” he said.

– Violence and abuse –

Winfried Hempel, who was born in the commune and lived there until the age of 20, also felt the proposed compensation “is a step forward, but certainly not enough.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“What we would have wanted, and what we are arguing for, would be that we give settlers who are old enough to retire a decent pension, no more and no less,” said the lawyer, who is fighting for the victims.

At his office in Santiago, Hempel told AFP they would continue to seek proper compensation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some 240 German and Chilean survivors are eligible for the payments, including about 80 who now live in Germany, from a fund valued at an initial 3.5 million euros until 2024.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights said Germany’s foreign ministry was “dodging its legal responsibility to compensate the victims” more fully, adding that “many Chilean victims were left out”.

AFP/File / Rolando ANDRADE Sect leader Paul Schaefer (C) was arrested in 2005 in Argentina and jailed in Chile. He died behind bars in 2010

A German government and parliamentary committee in its report said Friday that Schaefer “tore families apart, abused countless children and actively collaborated with Pinochet dictatorship henchmen on torture, murder and disappearances.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The survivors still suffer massively from the severe psychological and physical consequences after years of harm caused by violence, abuse, exploitation and slave labour.”

However, it also said that the German government “is of the opinion that no legal claims against the Federal Republic of Germany have arisen” from the abuses in Colonia Dignidad.

The support measures for victims would be paid “exclusively out of moral responsibility and without recognition of a legal obligation”, it said.

The scale of the atrocities committed at the fenced-in mountain commune 350 kilometres (215 miles) south of Santiago came to light only after the end of Pinochet’s regime.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schaefer, having initially run from justice, was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and then jailed in Chile for child sexual and other abuses. He died behind bars in 2010 at the age of 88.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s attack on Sotomayor and Ginsburg backfires as people point out conservative justices’ conflicts of interest

Published

on

This Monday, President Trump attacked liberal Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader and demanded that they recuse themselves from any cases that involve him.

“‘Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,’” Trump tweeted while citing Laura Ingraham of Fox News. “This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!”

Continue Reading

2020 Election

If Bloomberg is so rich, why does he steal workers’ wages?

Published

on

Michael Bloomberg has been pummeled over the treatment of women at his media and data company. Yet that is not the only blemish on the employment record of Bloomberg L.P. The company also has a serious problem with wage theft.

Violation Tracker lists a total of $70 million in penalties paid by Bloomberg for wage and hour violations, putting it in 32nd place among large corporations. Yet many of the companies higher on the list – such as Walmart, FedEx, and United Parcel Service – employ far more people than the roughly 20,000 at Bloomberg.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Tennessee Christians are replacing health insurance with ‘sharing ministries’ that require people to live Godly lives: report

Published

on

christian evangelicals raising hands in praise prayer

On Tuesday, Brett Kelman of The Tennessean wrote about a spike in the uninsured rate in Tennessee — driven in part by 31,000 Christians in the state foregoing health insurance in favor of church-backed "sharing ministries."

These ministries are pitched as alternatives to medical coverage, but they are not health insurance at all — rather, they are better described as religious crowdfunding ventures where fellow congregants may cover your medical bills. But the key word is may. According to Kelman, "these groups don't actually guarantee any payment, and if you break their rules by smoking pot or having unmarried sex, you are on your own."

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image