German authorities reopen Nazi war crimes case

24th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 June 2005, STUTTGART - Authorities in Germany reopened investigations into a total of 14 Nazi war-crimes suspects on Thursday, a day after a military court in Italy sentenced ten of them to life imprisonment in absentia.

24 June 2005

STUTTGART - Authorities in Germany reopened investigations into a total of 14 Nazi war-crimes suspects on Thursday, a day after a military court in Italy sentenced ten of them to life imprisonment in absentia.

The defendants, all in their 80s and living in Germany, were also sentenced to pay legal costs. None of them were on hand for the Italian proceedings as German law does not allow for extradition of German citizens against their will.

The Stuttgart investigation involves nine of those ten convicted men, plus five others.

The massacre, which took place in Sant'Anna di Stazzema on August 12, 1944, was perpetrated by SS officers of the 'Reichsfuehrer' tank division.

Most of the victims were women, children and elderly people.

Some historians say the massacre was an act of retaliation against Italian partisans resisting German occupation during World War II. Others claim it was an unwarranted act of intimidation.

Witnesses in the trial said that the SS officers shot dead their helpless victims and threw hand grenades at them. Later they set the corpses on fire.

DPA

Subject: German news

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