Back to Germany for Dead Nazi War Criminal

After funeral is disrupted in Italy, unrepentant Nazi's body will be flown to Germany.

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Adam Ross & Elad Benari,


Germany has been asked to deal with the burial of Nazi War Criminal Erich Priebke after a growing list of nations refused to bury the unrepentant SS Guard who died last week aged 100.

Following angry interruptions to Tuesday's planned funeral for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in a nationalist Catholic Church in Italy, the ceremony was called off and his body has been taken to a military airport near Rome, for a likely next stop in Germany the BBC reports.

Argentina, where Priebke lived for nearly 50 years before being extradited to Italy and where he wanted to be buried, also refused to take the body.

The BBC report said Italian authorities claimed contacts had been made with Germany to take the body of the Priebke, a Holocaust denier, sentenced to life in prison in 1998, for his role overseeing the massacre of 335 Italian men and boys including 75 Jews at the Ardeatine caves in 1944.

The planned funeral in Albano Laziale, south of Rome, was called off on Tuesday amid angry protests by anti-fascists who objected to Priebke being buried on Italian soil. The Vatican had issued an unprecedented ban on celebrating the funeral in any Catholic church in Rome, although it said that a priest could officiate a private ceremony at home. The ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X in Albano decided it would arrange a funeral - but  it was disrupted by hundreds of protesters.

The funeral coincided with a silent procession through the Rome Ghetto in honor of the more than 1,000 Jews who were taken away to concentration camps, of whom only 16 came back alive.

Jewish groups and relatives of the massacre victims have said the body should be cremated and the ashes scattered to erase his memory forever.

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino has confirmed that Italian authorities had been in touch with the German Ambassador.