Nazi war criminal to be buried in secret

Rome, Oct 21 (IANS/AKI) Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke will be interred in a secret location in Italy, his lawyer said.

“A solution has been found together with authorities,” Priebke’s lawyer, Paolo Giachini, told AKI.

“The good news is that we are satisfied because we have obtained respect for his mortal remains and the feelings of his relations and friends,” he added.

Asked whether the burial would take place in Italy, Giachini replied: “Yes”.

He believed the grave would become a “place of pilgrimage” for Priebke’s admirers, according to some reports.

Since his death in Rome 10 days ago under house arrest in Rome aged 100, Priebke has been at the centre of an international furore.

The Vatican issued an unprecedented ban on his funeral in any church in Rome while the mayor of the capital refused to allow his burial in the city.

A funeral rite organised by renegade ultra-traditionalist priests in the town of Albano Laziale outside Rome was halted last week amid street riots.

Authorities in his hometown of Henningsdorf in Germany initially refused to allow him to be interred there and Argentina, where he lived for nearly 50 years after the war, refused to take his body.

Italian and German authorities fear that any public grave would become a shrine for neo-Nazis but Giachini’s comments suggested the burial plot would not remain secret for long.

In a chilling video, released by Giachini after Priebke’s death, the former SS officer admitted the World War II Ardeatine Caves massacre in Rome had been “dreadful” for him and his fellow executioners, but blamed the bloodbath on Italian resistance fighters.

In the massacre, Nazi soldiers killed 335 Italian men and boys including 75 Jews March 24, 1944, in reprisal for the killings of 33 German soldiers by Italian partisans a day earlier.

He was convicted over the killings – Italy’s worst wartime atrocity – by a military court in Rome in 1998 and sentenced to house arrest in Rome.

Priebke, a practising Catholic, never repented the Ardeatine Caves atrocity and denied the Nazis had gassed Jews during World War II.

Relatives of his victims and Jewish groups, who resented his presence in the city, where he was allowed out to run errands and go to church, said his body should be cremated.

The dispute overshadowed a major Holocaust memorial ceremony last Wednesday in Rome that commemorated the 1943 deportation to Auschwitz of over a thousand members of its Jewish community by the Nazis in 1943.


Source: IANS

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