News / Europe

Protests in Rome as Nazi War Criminal Celebrates 100th Birthday

A woman holds signs reading, 'The Jewish People Live' (R) and 'He can celebrate his birthday, his victims no' during a protest against convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke in Rome, July 29, 2013.
A woman holds signs reading, 'The Jewish People Live' (R) and 'He can celebrate his birthday, his victims no' during a protest against convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke in Rome, July 29, 2013.
Reuters
Dozens of demonstrators, including members of Rome's Jewish community, protested outside the apartment building where the former SS officer responsible for one of Italy's worst wartime massacres celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday.
 
Convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke (L) leaves after attending a mass at a church in northern Rome, (File photo).Convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke (L) leaves after attending a mass at a church in northern Rome, (File photo).
x
Convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke (L) leaves after attending a mass at a church in northern Rome, (File photo).
Convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke (L) leaves after attending a mass at a church in northern Rome, (File photo).
Erich Priebke, a former SS captain, lives under house arrest in the Italian capital after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the massacre in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome where 335 civilians were killed in March 1944.
 
There were brief scuffles as a man identified as Priebke's grandson arrived with a bottle of champagne and demonstrators jostled him with cries of “Shame!” and “Disgrace!”.
 
“It's a provocation! Arriving with a bottle of champagne!” one demonstrator shouted.
 
Almost 70 years since the end of World War II, Italy's wartime past is still deeply divisive in a country which came close to civil war when the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini collapsed in 1943.
 
Tensions around the birthday of Priebke, who has never expressed remorse for his actions, were heightened by reports of posters put up nearby hailing the former Nazi officer.
 
“Happy Birthday Captain Priebke” read one poster signed by a group calling itself the Militant Community of Tiburtina (a Rome neighborhood), the daily Corriere della Sera daily reported.
 
ANPI, the national association representing former wartime partisans, said its headquarters had been scrawled with swastikas and comments supporting Priebke. Similar graffiti was seen elsewhere, Italian newspapers said.
 
In March 1944, Priebke was in charge of SS troops who executed the 335 people in retaliation for the killing of 33 German soldiers by a partisan group near Rome.
 
After the war he escaped to Argentina but was deported to Italy after he was interviewed on U.S. television and admitted his role in the massacre which he said was conducted against “terrorists”.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid