Swan Lake

Music piece by:
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovski
Testimony by:
César Montiel
Experience in:
Colonia Dignidad, April 1975

In Colonia Dignidad, they played Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky(1840-1893) Russian composer from the Romanticism period. a lot. It was very repetitive. To several comrades, it reminds them of torture. It is not very enjoyable for us to listen to this piece at this life stage, because it transports us back to all the suffering, to what they did to us.

In Colonia Dignidad, we heard voices that were different from those we were used to. They were voices with foreign accents, with a German accent. They were authoritarian voices that told the torturers what to do. It is one of the things that confirm to my partner and me that we were there.

There were also voices that whispered things to us: ‘your girlfriend is here’, ‘you know other people’. You don’t forget these voices.

There was a continuous noise from a turbine. This turbine did not serve to produce energy, but to drown out screams, so the tortures could not be heard.

I’m still psychologically troubled because of the uncertainty we faced.


Published on: 18 June 2022