25 April 2007, in Monte Sole (Marzabotto), Italy: Italian ex anti fascist resistance fighters and their supporters remember the victims of Hitler’s SS murderers.
Music: Bella Ciao.
From Italian news agency ANSA:
Rome protests Priebke day release
MPs, Jewish leaders angry as war criminal free to work
Rome, June 13 – Italian lawmakers and Jewish community leaders have reacted angrily to a ruling that awarded a Nazi war criminal day release in his life sentence for Italy’s worst WWII atrocity.
Ex-SS captain Erich Priebke, 93, was sentenced to life in 1998 for his part in the execution of 335 men and boys, including 26 Jews, at a quarry outside Rome in 1944.
He has been under house arrest since 2003 after being released from a military prison for health reasons in 1999.
Priebke has been living in the house of his lawyer, who has now convinced a Rome military tribunal to let Priebke work in his office.
The tribunal’s Tuesday night ruling sparked an outcry on Wednesday.
Centre-left lawmaker Roberto Giacchetti called on Rome to “mobilise” against the sentence while Communist MP Pino Sgobio said Priebke’s release was an “offence to the memory” of those who died and Lazio Regional President Piero Marrazzo spoke of “incomprehensible lenience”.
The leader of Rome’s Jewish community, Leone Paserman, said the ruling “throws shame on the magistrate who decided it and the entire judiciary”.
Paserman noted ironically that the same tribunal which let Priebke out for poor health now deemed him fit enough to work.
The leader of Italy’s Jewish communities, Renzo Gattegna, said “we are appalled and depressed”.
Both Paserman and Gattegna voiced the fear that Priebke’s release might be a prelude to his fleeing Italy like his former commander, ex-Rome SS chief Herbert Kappler, who escaped from a Rome military hospital in 1977 and died the next year in West Germany.
The Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem called the ruling “outrageous”.
Deputy Premier Francesco Veltroni and Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni voiced “solidarity” with the Jewish community.
Italian Justice Minister Clemente Mastella voiced “solidarity” with Italy’s Jewish community but said he could not comment on the “merits” of the ruling because military tribunals come under the defence ministry.
A client at a corner bar commented: “Priebke coming to work here? He already did his dirty work, a long time ago”. ..,
The latest row over Priebke was the second time in two years that the Italian political world and the Jewish community had protested against alleged lenience for the former Nazi.
In 2005 a decision to allow him to spend some time at a friend’s summer home caused a similar outcry.
Acting on Kappler’s order in 1944, Priebke rounded up the 335 who were taken to a quarry on the outskirts of Rome and executed in reprisal for a partisan bomb that killed 33 German soldiers in downtown Rome.
He was extradited from Argentina in November 1995, where he had lived openly as a schoolteacher since the end of the war.
Argentina has said it will not accept the body of convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who died in Italy on Friday aged 100: here.
Former Austrian president Waldheim dies: here.
- Priebke supporter, protesters scuffle on war criminal’s 100th birthday (jta.org)
- Victims remembered as German war criminal turns 100 in Rome (guardian.co.uk)
- Unrepentant Nazi criminal Priebke chills Rome (bbc.co.uk)
- Nix any Priebke centennial celebrations, Rome Jewish leader urges (jta.org)
- Former Nazi SS Captain convicted of massacring 335 Italian civilians strolls the streets of Rome as Jewish community calls for ban on celebrations planned for his 100th birthday (dailymail.co.uk)
- Imprisoned Nazi’s 100th birthday sparks calls for apology to Holocaust victims’ families (rawstory.com)
- Fried Artichokes, Legacy of the Roman Jewish Ghetto (timelessitaly.wordpress.com)
- Unrepentant Nazi war criminal “remained an arrogant Nazi monster until his dieing (sic) day,” according to UK newspaper (furtherglory.wordpress.com)
- Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke dies (bbc.co.uk)
- Nazi war criminal Priebke dies at 100 (jta.org)