News / Europe

Angry Protests Mark Funeral of Nazi War Criminal in Italy

Demonstrators hold up a sheet with writing reading in Italian "Priebke murderer" outside the Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic Catholic group, where Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke funeral was taking place, in Albano Laziale, on the outskirts of Rome, ODemonstrators hold up a sheet with writing reading in Italian "Priebke murderer" outside the Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic Catholic group, where Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke funeral was taking place, in Albano Laziale, on the outskirts of Rome, O
x
Demonstrators hold up a sheet with writing reading in Italian "Priebke murderer" outside the Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic Catholic group, where Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke funeral was taking place, in Albano Laziale, on the outskirts of Rome, O
Demonstrators hold up a sheet with writing reading in Italian "Priebke murderer" outside the Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic Catholic group, where Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke funeral was taking place, in Albano Laziale, on the outskirts of Rome, O
Reuters
Italians shouted abuse and kicked the hearse of a Nazi war criminal at his funeral ceremony on Tuesday, held near Rome despite attempts by the local mayor to prevent it.
 
Former German SS officer Erich Priebke had been serving a life sentence under house arrest in Rome for his role in the killing of 335 civilians in 1944 in caves near the capital, one of Italy's worst wartime massacres. Priebke, who died last week aged 100, never apologized.
 
Scores of protesters shouting “Executioner! Executioner!” rushed at the funeral car as it passed through the gates of the Italian headquarters of the fringe right-wing Catholic Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in Albano Laziale, television pictures showed.
 
Lines of riot police struggled to hold back the crowd outside the private ceremony, which took place 20 km (12 miles) from the site of the massacre after the police chief overruled a banning order issued by the local mayor Nicola Marini, Italian media reported.
 
Priebke's body was expected to be returned to Rome to be cremated.
 
“He should be cremated and chucked out to sea. There should never be a place where this person can rest in peace,” Bruna Bernardini, a resident of Rome's centuries-old Jewish ghetto, told Reuters.
 
"Right to funeral"
 
The head of the traditionalist SSPX in Italy defended his organization's actions, saying every Christian had a right to a funeral. Rome's center-left mayor Ignazio Marino had said Priebke's burial in the capital would be an insult.
 
The rebel SSPX, which is at odds with mainstream Catholic teaching and has strained relations with Vatican, has been associated with far-right views in the past.
 
Its British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, since expelled from the group, denied the Holocaust in an interview just before Pope Benedict lifted his excommunication ban in 2009, sparking a wave of criticism.
 
The government in Argentina, where Priebke escaped to after the war, had earlier refused to allow his body to be returned.
 
The town hall of Priebke's hometown of Hennigsdorf near Berlin also ruled out burying him there, fearing his grave could become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.
 
About 40 neo-Nazis, some wearing Priebke masks, held an unauthorized torchlit ceremony in Hennigsdorf last year to mark the war criminal's 99th birthday.
 
In March 1944, Priebke was in charge of SS troops who executed civilians in the Ardeatine Caves in retaliation for the killings of 33 German soldiers by a partisan group.
 
Adolf Hitler had ordered occupation forces to respond by executing 10 Italians for every German killed. The victims were rounded up from jails, streets and homes.
 
Priebke was deported from Argentina to Italy after he was interviewed on U.S. television and admitted his role in the massacre, which he said had been conducted against “terrorists”.
 
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy in 1998.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid