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The self-proclaimed preacher Paul Schäfer gathered people around him in post-war Germany. The sect founded a youth home near Cologne. But in 1961 Schäfer had to flee. Many followers followed him to Chile. 350 kilometers south of Santiago, far away from civilization, they begin building the Colonia Dignidad. A supposed model village with workshops, agriculture, livestock breeding was being created. But paradise became hell because slave labor, violence and sexual abuse soon became a part of everyday life. After the military coup in 1973, Schäfer served the new rulers: secret police chief Manuel Contreras and dictator Augusto Pinochet now came and went in the colony, while the opponents of the terrorist regime are tortured and killed in the cellars. Using unpublished archive material and contemporary witness statements, this 4-part documentary miniseries traces the complex, 50-year history of perpetrators, victims, supporters and opponents of this place that became the epitome of evil.

Series Cast

  1. Jonas Baeck as Himself - Narrator

    Jonas Baeck

    Himself - Narrator

    4 Episodes

  2. Edeltraud Bohnau

    Herself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  3. Willi Malessa

    Himself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  4. Wolfgang Kneese

    Himself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  5. Erika Tymm

    Herself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  6. Günter Schaffrik

    Himself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  7. Karl Van Den Berg

    Himself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  8. Robert Matthusen

    Himself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  9. Esther Müller

    Herself - Interviewee

    4 Episodes

  10. View More

Full Cast & Crew

Last Season

Season 1

2020 • 4 Episodes

Season 1 of Colonia Dignidad premiered on March 10, 2020.

Episode 4

(1x4, March 10, 2020) Season Finale

View All Seasons

Colonia Dignidad
Colonia Dignidad


Original Name Colonia Dignidad - Aus dem Innern einer deutschen Sekte

Status Ended


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Type Miniseries

Original Language German


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  • Created by credit
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