Protests in Rome as Nazi war criminal celebrates 100th birthday

Protesters react against a relative (L) of convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke during a protest in front of his residence in Rome July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Protesters react against a relative of convicted former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke during a protest in front of his residence in Rome July 29, 2013.

Dozens of demonstrators, including members of Rome’s Jewish community, protested outside the apartment building where the former Nazi officer responsible for one of Italy’s worst wartime massacres celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday.

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 Two, 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”.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…