Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chile: Pedophile Nazi criminal and Pinochet supporter died in prison

Paul Schafer, a pedophile and criminal from both Hitler's Germany and Pinochet's Chile, died from cardiac problems on Saturday in a Chilean prison. Schafer served as a medic in the Nazi army. In 1959, he established an institution to help children in social risk in Sieburg. However, after being accused of sexual abuse of two children, he fled to Chile in 1961. There he founded Colonia Dignidad, a self-sufficient, anti-Semitic, isolated German colony (some call it a cult). Chilean officials claim that the 16,000-hectar colony served as a torture and interrogation camp during the Pinochet era (1973-1990), with former Gestapo officers providing torture lessons to Pinochet's opponents.

After accusations of sexual abuse of 25 children from the colony, Schafer fled Chile in 1997. In 2004, he was convicted in absentia of homicide, child abuse, illegal traffic of arms, and torture. The following year, he was found in Argentina, from where he was extradited. At the time of his death, he was 89 years old and had only served 4 years of his 33-year sentence (including 20 for pedophilia). He was also being investigated for the 1985 disappearance of Boris Weisfeiler, an Jewish Russian-born mathematician from the United States.

Nowadays, approximately 300 people live in Villa Baviera (what was once Colonia Dignidad), which refused to bury Schafer in its territory. He was buried in a different cemetery after his adoptive daughter received a special donation for this purpose.


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