10 former SS soldiers get life sentences in Italy
23 June 2005, LA SPEZIA, ITALY - A military court in Italy sentenced 10 former SS members from Germany to lifelong prison sentences for a Nazi massacre that left 560 civilians dead.
23 June 2005
LA SPEZIA, ITALY - A military court in Italy sentenced 10 former SS members from Germany to lifelong prison sentences for a Nazi massacre that left 560 civilians dead.
The defendants, all of whom are now older than 80 and continue to live in Germany, were sentenced in absentia in the 1944 massacre in the Tuscan village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema, one of the worst in Italy during World War II.
The sentences were announced on Wednesday night by the court in La Spezia after a year of proceedings.
"We don't want revenge; we want justice," said the mayor of Sant'Anna di Stazzema, Michele Sillicani. "Finally, we have justice."
Relatives of the victims also expressed satisfaction at the sentences.
The defendants - including former SS officers Gerhard Sommer, Alfred Schoenenberg and Ludwig Sonntag - did not appear before the court because Germany does not extradite its citizens.
German officials have been investigating the massacre at Sant'Anna themselves since 2002.
Witnesses to the killings said members of the SS tank division 'Reichsfuehrer SS' mowed down their helpless victims with machine guns and also threw grenades at them. The bodies of the victims, among them many women and children, were later burned.
The massacre at Sant'Anna, like numerous other Nazi war crimes, were not investigated for decades by Italian authorities.
Subject: German news