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ninoo wrote:THE BOVES ATROCITY (September 17th, 1944) BY LSSAH
A few kilometres north of Cuneo in Italy, lies the town of Boves. After September 8th, 1943, it became an active center of the Italian underground because of the stationing of many stragglers from the now disbanded Regio Esercito (Royal Italian Army). These partisans were led by Bartolomeo Giuliano, Ezio Aceto and Ignazio Vian. After repeated requests to surrender, the partisans refused in spite of leaflets being dropped by the SS. On the 17th of September the German commander, SS Major Joachim Peiper, ordered two gun crews to shell the town. The partisans again refused to surrender. Two German soldiers were then sent forward (as decoys) to be captured by the partisans. Hoping they would be killed, it would give Peiper the pretext for a slaughter. The parish priest, Father Giuseppe Bernardi and the industrialist, Alessandro Vassallo, were ordered to meet with the partisans and to persuade them to release the two soldiers. The priest asked Peiper 'Will you spare the town?'. Peiper gave his word and the two prisoners were released. But the blood-thirsty SS then proceeded to burn all the houses in the town after which Father Bernardi and Vassallo were put into a car to do an inspection of the devastated town. 'They must admire the spectacle' said Peiper. After the inspection, Father Bernardi and his companion, Vassallo, were sprinkled with petrol and set alight. Both were burned to death. Forty-three other inhabitants of Boves were killed that day and 350 houses destroyed. Next day, a column of armoured vehicles went up the road that led to the partisan base. A lucky shot from their only 75 mm gun destroyed the leading armoured car. After an intense fire-fight the SS retreated with heavy losses. One of the partisan leaders, Ignazio Vian, was later captured by the SS and hanged in Turin. On the wall of his cell he had written in his own blood the words "Better Die Rather Than Betray".
mars wrote:Kim: Kobayashi Motofumi is very famous in Asia for his comic books related to WWII, and he is indeed deserved to his reputation in that area, but he is not a historian and the accuracy of his books are often far from good
I've heard that Peiper ordered the town shelled before advancing, as would any commanding officer worth his salt.
Peiper be acquitted of this accusation of having destroyed Boves
Rob - wssob2 wrote:I belive Peiper, however, did lose his job due to the publicity.
Rob - wssob2 wrote:I've heard that Peiper ordered the town shelled before advancing, as would any commanding officer worth his salt.
Hmmm...if an American commander shelled a town before advancing in 2005 Iraq, I suspect there would be no limit to the accusations of "war crimes" flying through the air, or at least on this forum
However, when an SS officer shells a town in 1944 Italy, he's just "worth his salt" as a commander.
Funny how perceptions change for some people, depending on who is doing the shelling.
In September Peiper's 3rd SS Panzer-Grenadier Battalion was stationed in the Province of Cuneo, south of Turin, where an incident occurred which was to have far reaching effects. On the afternoon of the 19th Italian police reported that Italian soldiers had kidnapped two of Peiper's NCOs in the small town of Boves. He immediately ordered their company commander to rescue them but when the officer radioed that he had been attacked by superior forces and needed help, Peiper reacted characteristically by personally leading his Battalion to the rescue. On arrival he shelled the town with 150mm self-propelled infantry guns. This had the required effect. Peiper later reported:
I am of the opinion that our action to free our encircled comrades in Boves nipped in the bud the Italian army's attack, for the army fell apart and no attack ever took place on Cuneo or Turin. However regrettable the consequences of our action was for the affected residents of Boves [author's note: 34 of them died], it should not be overlooked that our one-time intervention prevented further immeasurable casualties which would have resulted from continued Italian attacks.
Twenty-five years later in 1968 Peiper and two of his officers were accused, by the Italian authorities in a Stuttgart court, of murder for their
THE DEVIL'S ADJUTANT
actions at Boves. The finding was that 'there is insufficient suspicion of criminal activity on the part of any of the accused to warrant prosecution'. In the same year, however, the Osnabrück Assize Court convicted five ex-members of the Leibstandarte for the murder, or aiding and abetting with the murder, of Jews living in several towns along Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.' This had occurred at the same time as the Boves affair. Although these proceedings were dropped because the prosecution had exceeded the statute of limitations, the reputation of the Bodyguard was again shown to be tarnished.
On 21st June 1958 Peiper was finally released from parole and by 1961 his obvious talents were recognised when Ferry Porsche, the head of the company, appointed him Company Secretary, the first non-member of the Porsche/Piech family to be selected for the appointment. This proposed promotion brought Peiper to the attention of the union, IG Metall. Ferry Porsche was told that, whilst the union could tolerate a war I criminal as a clerk, it could not accept Peiper as part of the management. Porsche had little choice but to cancel Peiper's appointment. Rather surprisingly perhaps, Peiper threatened to sue the company but eventually settled for six months' salary as compensation. IG Metall made it quite plain that Peiper would be similarly hounded in other motor companies, so he moved to Reutlingen where he set up as an independent sales promotor for a Volkswagen dealer, training salesmen. He continued this type of work in Offenburg and later in Freiburg. By April 1967 he was back in Stuttgart at Schnellbachstrasse 32. He explained his feelings at that time in an interview with a French writer:
I was a Nazi and I remain one. . . . The Germany of today is no longer a great nation, it has become a province of Europe. That is why, at the first opportunity, I shall settle elsewhere, in France no doubt. I don't particularly care for Frenchmen, but I love France. Of all things, the materialism of my compatriots causes me pain.
On 11th December 1968 the Italian authorities and nine plaintiffs from Boves in Northern Italy accused Peiper and two of his former officers in the Stuttgart court with murder.' The accusations stemmed from the incident in 1943 described in Chapter I. After receiving depositions from seventeen Italians and 126 former members of Peiper's SS Panzer-Grenadier Battalion of that time, the court ruled, in February 1969, that there was insufficient evidence for formal charges to be laid.
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