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
National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…