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Protests in Italy over funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke

Protests in Italy over funeral of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke
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Angry chants of “Murderer” and “Executioner” greeted the hearse carrying the body of Erich Priebke on Tuesday.

Since the Nazi war criminal’s death on Friday at the age of one hundred, debate has raged over where to hold his funeral.

The Vatican refused him a funeral in any Catholic Church in Rome.

But one splinter group – the Albano Laziale chapter of the schismatic Society of Saint Pius the Tenth – provoked outrage by offering to preside over his funeral. The group was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for their opposition to the Vatican’s outreach to Jews.

Police also intervened in scuffles that broke out between protesters and fascists who arrived in the town to attend the funeral.

The mayor of Albano Laziale, Nicola Marini told euronews:

“This town does not deserve such an offence, such a painful wound. Some respect should be shown for the sacrifice, in terms of loss of human lives, that our town went through during the fight for liberation.”

Former SS officer Priebke took part in one of the worst massacres of German-occupied Italy during World War II, the slaughter of 335 civilians at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome.

He spent nearly 50 years on the run before being extradited to Italy from Argentina in 1995.

In a final interview, he denied the Holocaust and accused the West of inventing crimes to cover up their own atrocities.