History The Man Who Shot Santa Claus
posted by September 19 at 10:33 AMon
The cover of this month’s American Scholar reads: “Meet the World’s Most Evil Man.” Which sounds like dumb hyperbole until you actually read the article—it makes a pretty good case.
I can’t exactly recommend you read it too, because it’s deeply depressing—about an evil German Evangelical named Paul Schaefer who founded a lil’ utopia (32,000 acres) in Chile where he could terrorize, torture, and rape its inhabitants into submission.
In exchange for being left alone, Schaefer did lots of Pinochet’s dirty work—tortured and executed political dissidents, mostly, who were brought to Schaefer’s small kingdom of terror, up in the Chilean mountains.
Here is probably the gentlest, kindest thing Schaefer ever did:
All challengers to Schaefer’s authority—real or imagined—were rooted out and destroyed. No one inspired greater love and admiration among the children of the Colonia than Santa Claus. It is said that in the days shortly before Christmas one year in the mid-1970s, Schaefer gathered the Colonia’s children, loaded them onto a bus, and drove them out to a nearby river, where, he told them, Santa was coming to visit.
The boys and girls stood excitedly along the riverbank, while an older colono in a fake beard and a red and white suit floated towards them on a raft. Schaefer pulled a pistol from his belt and fired, seeming to wound Santa, who tumbled into the water, where he thrashed about before disappearing below the surface. It was a charade, but Schaefer turned to the children assembled before him and said that Santa was dead. From that day forward, Schaefer’s birthday was the only holiday celebrated inside Colonia Dignidad.
Schaefer was finally arrested in 2005. He lives in jail now.
The rest of the horrible story is here.