The Nazi in Rome -the Ardeatine Caves massacre

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Max
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The Nazi in Rome -the Ardeatine Caves massacre

Post by Max » 23 Jul 2003 11:59

In 1944 in Rome, 335 Italians were shot by German troops in retaliation for an attack by Italian resistance fighters in which were killed 33 Germans. One of the German officers who participated in the massacre was Erich Priebke. Today, he's still in Italy, under house arrest. In a rare interview Priebke says he "had to do it, as a soldier".

According to this interview, only one of the SS responsible for this event was ever punished.
Since 1997 [ex SS] Erich Priebke has been under "house arrest", forbidden from leaving a Rome apartment owned by his lawyer, unable to return to his wife and the hotel which was their post-war home and business in Argentina.


All other SS who were brought to trial immediately after the war were exonerated because they were found to be "following orders"
Priebke , who had been captured but had escaped to Argentina, was only tried in the 1990's and seems to have been saddled with everyone's guilt.- a life sentence of house arrest in Rome.
Even the Gestapo chief who ordered the massacre was only given 6 years.

More on this

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/stories/s904623.htm

Google "Erich Priebke" for lots more.
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Post by David Thompson » 23 Jul 2003 15:11

Max -- You said: "According to this interview, only one of the SS responsible for this event was ever punished." and "All other SS who were brought to trial immediately after the war were exonerated because they were found to be "following orders" Priebke, who had been captured but had escaped to Argentina, was only tried in the 1990's and seems to have been saddled with everyone's guilt.- a life sentence of house arrest in Rome. Even the Gestapo chief who ordered the massacre was only given 6 years."

Most of this information is inaccurate. The reprisal execution at Ardeatine Caves was ordered by the Wehrmacht and carried out by the SD -- it was not exclusively an SS operation. Priebke was not the only person punished in connection with the killings. The SD commander at Rome -- not the Gestapo chief -- responsible for carrying out the order was sentenced to life imprisonment -- not 6 years. Here are the names and fates of some of the people tried for the Ardeatine Caves killings:

Hass, Karl (c. 1912-?) [SS-Sturmbannführer] – participant in the Ardeatine Caves reprisal killings near Rome 24 Mar 1944 {brought to Italy as prosecution witness in trial of Erich Priebke; refused to testify against Priebke and broke pelvis trying to escape from Italian custody at Rome 7 Jun 1996 (NYT 8 Jun 1996:5:1); arrested 9 Aug 1996 by Italian police in connection with the Ardeatine Caves massacre (NYT 10 Aug 1996:5:3); put on trial with Priebke by an Italian military court at Rome 14 Apr 1997 for participation in the Ardeatine Caves massacre (NYT15 Apr 1997:4:4); convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment 22 Jul 1997, sentence reduced to 8 months for mitigating circumstances (NYT 23 Jul 1997:4:1; NYT 28 Jan 1998:3:3); sentence increased on appeal to life imprisonment 7 Mar 1998 (NYT 8 Mar 1998:4:1; NYT 9 Mar 1998:5:3; NYT 18 Nov 1998:8:4). (S.K.Kitson@bham.ac.uk).}

Kappler, Herbert Adolf (1907-9.2.1978) [SS-Obersturmbannführer] – commander, German Security Police and Security Service (Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst – Sipo/SD) in Rome {impending trial before an allied military tribunal announced 28 Sept 1945 (NYT 29 Sept 1945:9:1); convicted of war crimes -- including the 24 Mar 1944 Ardeatine Caves massacre -- by an Italian court at Rome Jun 1948 and sentenced to death; later reduced to life imprisonment (NYT 25 Oct 1952:12:5; NYT 26 Oct 1952:24:7); married in prison 1972 (NYT 16 Aug 1977:9:1); West German request for pardon refused by Italy May 1973 (NYT 14 May 1973:6:1); transferred to Rome military hospital Mar 1976 suffering from terminal stomach cancer (NYT 16 May 1976:26:2); granted provisional liberty by an Italian military tribunal 13 Nov 1976 but decision annulled by Italian Supreme Court 15 Dec 1976 (NYT 16 Dec 1976:7:1); escaped 15 Aug 1977 in a suitcase carried by his wife Annaliese and went into hiding in Germany (NYT 16 Aug 1977:9:1; NYT 17 Aug 1977:8:3 and 9:1; NYT 18 Aug 1977:6:1; NYT 19 Aug 1977:8:1; NYT 22 Aug 1977:26:3; NYT 24 Aug 1977:11:1; NYT 27 Aug 1977:33:1; NYT 4 Sept 1977:4:1); Italian extradition request rejected (NYT 18 Aug 1977:6:5; NYT 22 Sept 1977:4:3); died at Soltau 9 Feb 1978 (NYT 10 Feb 1978:5:1; NYT 11 Feb 1978:4:4). (Fascist Italy 293; Encyclopedia of the Third Reich p. 38; Secrets of the SS 207-208; Holo Ency 785; SS: Roll of Infamy p. 87).}

Kesselring, Albert (1885-16.7.1960) [Generalfeldmarschall] -- commander, Luftflotte I (Berlin) 1938; commander, Luftflotte II 1940; Supreme Commander Southwest 1941-1945 {taken to Nuremberg prison pending trial 8 Oct 1945 (LT 9 Oct 1945:4:d); put on trial 17 Feb 1947 by a British military tribunal at Venice (NYT 18 Feb 1947:16:3; NYT 4 May 1947:24:1; LT 18 Feb 1947:3b; LT 20 Feb 1947:3e; LT 4 Mar 1947:3d; LT 5 Mar 1947:3d; LT 8 Mar 1947:3c; LT 15 Mar 1947:3d; LT 28 Apr 1947:3e; LT 1 May 1947:3e; LT 3 May 1947:3d; LT 5 May 1947:4e); convicted 6 May 1947 of authorizing reprisals while serving as Supreme Commander Southwest (German Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean theater of operations) and permitting the reprisal killings of 335 Italian civilians at the Ardeatine Caves 24 Mar 1944; sentenced to death by firing squad 6 May 1947 (NYT 7 May 1947:10:4 & 26:3; LT 7 May 1947:4b; LT 14 May 1947:4f; LT 17 May 1947:4b); sentence commuted to life imprisonment 4 Jul 1947 by British central Mediterranean commander Lieutenant General Sir John Harding (NYT 5 Jul 1947:2:7; NYT 6 Jul 1947:40:2; NYT 14 Dec 1948:8:6; NYT 15 Dec 1948:18:3; NYT 20 Sept 1951:4:4; LT LT 5 Jul 1947:4e); sentence reduced to 20 years imprisonment; released on a week's parole 1 Jun 1952 (LT 2 Jun 1952:5e); released for health reasons related to throat cancer in Jul or Oct 1952 (NYT 3 Oct 1952:4:5); released from British custody at Werl prison to live out the remaining eight years of his life in a Munich villa 23 Oct 1952 (NYT 24 Oct 1952:8:4; NYT 25 Oct 1952:12:5; NYT 27 Oct 1952:6:5; NYT 27 Oct 1952:10:3; LT 24 Oct 1952:8e; LT 25 Oct 1952:6d; LT 23 Dec 1952:5e); acquitted in denazification proceedings at Munich 2 Apr 1952 (LT3 Apr 1952:5d); elected president of "Steel Helmet" (Stahlhelm) German veterans' organization 10 May 1953 (NYT 11 May 1953:7:3); died at Bad Nauheim 16 Jul 1960. (Snyder Ency 194; Italian Fascism 293-4; Encyclopedia of the Third Reich p. 496; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 526, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948).}

von Mackensen, Eberhard (c. 1899-19.5.1969) [Generaloberst] -- chief of staff, 14th Army (Chef des Stabes 14.Armee) 1 Sept-Nov 1939; chief of staff, 12th Army Nov 1939-25 Jan 1942; commander, III Panzer Corps (Kom.Gen. III.Panzer-Korps) 15 Jan 1942-2 Jan 1943; commander, 1st Panzer Army (Oberbefehlshaber 1.Panzer-Armee) in Russia 22 Nov 1942-29 Oct 1943; commander, 14th Army in Italy 5 Nov 1943-5 Jun 1944 [Knights Cross 1941; Oakleaves 1942] {put on trial at Rome 18 Nov 1946 by a British military tribunal for war crimes arising out of the Ardeatine Caves reprisal shootings of over 330 Italian hostages in 1944 (LT 19 Nov 1946:3d; LT 20 Nov 1946:3e; LT 26 Nov 1946:3e); convicted and sentenced to death by shooting 30 Nov 1946 (NYT 1 Dec 1946:1:3; NYT 3 Oct 1952:4:5; LT 2 Dec 1946:3e); sentence commuted to life imprisonment 4 Jul 1947 by British central Mediterranean commander Lieutenant General Sir John Harding (NYT 5 Jul 1947:2:7; LT LT 5 Jul 1947:4e; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 527, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948); released from British custody at Werl prison 2 Oct 1952 (LT 3 Oct 1952:6b; Hilberg 710); died 19 May 1969 at Altmühlendorf near Nororf in Schleswig-Holstein (ABR-H).}

Maelzer (Mälzer), Dipl. Ing. Kurt (1894-24.3.1952) [Generalleutnant (Luftwaffe)] -- military commander, Rome {arraigned 9 Sept 1946 by an American military tribunal at Florence (Firenze), Italy on charges of brutality to American POWs arising out of a march of the captives through Rome on 2 Feb 1944 (NYT 10 Sept 1946:8:6); convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment 14 Sept 1946 (NYT 15 Sept 1946:6:2; LT 16 Sept 1946:3d); put on trial at Rome 18 Nov 1946 by a British military tribunal for war crimes arising out of the 1944 Ardeatine Caves reprisal shootings of over 330 Italian hostages (LT 19 Nov 1946:3d; LT 20 Nov 1946:3e; LT 26 Nov 1946:3e); convicted and sentenced to death by shooting 30 Nov 1946 (LT 2 Dec 1946:3e); sentence commuted to life imprisonment 4 Jul 1947 by British central Mediterranean commander Lieutenant General Sir John Harding (NYT 5 Jul 1947:2:7; LT LT 5 Jul 1947:4e; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 527, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948); died in British captivity at Werl prison 24 Mar 1952 (NYT 1 Dec 1946:1:3 & 24:4; Obits I, p. 372; Race to Rome p. 547; ABR-L).}

Priebke, Erich (c. 1914-?) [SS-Hauptsturmfűhrer] – participant in the Ardeatine Caves reprisal killings outside Rome 24 Mar 1944 {arrested after the war; released or escaped 1948 and emigrated to Argentina; discovered living at San Carlos Bariloche May 1994 by journalists working for "ABC News Prime Time Live"; Italy seeks extradition 7 May 1994 from Argentina (NYT 8 May 1994:11:1; NYT 3 Jun 1994:10:6; NYT 8 Jun 1994:15:1; NYT 25 Jun 1994:4:3); placed under house arrest by Argentine authorities 10 May 1994 (NYT 11 May 1994:3:3); Priebke agrees to be extradited 26 Aug 1995 (NYT 26 Aug 1995:5:4); order extradited by Argentine Supreme Court 2 Nov 1995 (NYT 3 Nov 1995:3:1); NYT 15 Nov 1995:3:1); extradited to Italy 21 Nov 1995 (NYT 8 Dec 1995:12:3); ordered to stand trial 4 Apr 1996 (NYT 5 Apr 1996:11:1); pleas for leniency (NYT 17 Apr 1996:7:10; put on trial for murder by an Italian military court 8 May 1996 (NYT 9 May 1996:5:3); found guilty but case dismissed 1 Aug 1996 on grounds statute of limitations had run on the offense; rearrested 2 Aug 1996 by Italian police (NYT 2 Aug 1996:3:1; NYT 11 Aug 1996:6:1); Germany seeks extradition of Priebke from Italy 2 Aug 1996 (NYT 3 Aug 1996:3:4; NYT 4 Aug 1996:13:6; NYT 8 Aug 1996:26:1; NYT 14 Aug 1996:6:1); new trial ordered 15 Oct 1996 by Italian Court of Cassation (NYT 16 Oct 1996:4:3; NYT 20 Oct 1996:4:1); put on trial for a second time by an Italian military court at Rome 14 Apr 1997 (NYT15 Apr 1997:4:4); convicted and sentenced 22 Jul 1997 to 15 years imprisonment, reduced to 5 years for mitigating circumstances (NYT 23 Jul 1997:4:1); sentence increased on appeal to life imprisonment 7 Mar 1998 (NYT 8 Mar 1998:4:1; NYT 9 Mar 1998:5:3; NYT 18 Nov 1998:8:4). (S.K.Kitson@bham.ac.uk).}

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Max
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Post by Max » 23 Jul 2003 15:44

David
Thanks for that.
Your info certainly contradicts my understanding of what was said [mostly by Priebke himself] on the piece refered to.

I'll will try to take it up with the journalist concerned.
Max

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Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 23 Jul 2003 23:45

Image

Yes, I remember Herbert Kappler who paid several years in Prison Until his scape in 1947. He died one year later.

Exist a film partially fictitious with Christopher Plummer playing Kappler but they omitted the massacre.

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Max
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Post by Max » 01 Aug 2003 12:54

David
WILLIAMS [ABC Reporter]: The bodies were soon discovered and at war's end the SS officers who carried out the reprisals were put on trial. The Gestapo chief in Rome was Herbert Kappler, he was in charge of the reprisals and was given a life sentence but his junior officers were acquitted . . . just following orders.


OK - Kappler was SD not Gestapo [your references]
He was given life, not 6 years - see above -[I can't imagine where I got the 6 years from now]
BUT - Who were the junior officers who were aquitted? - not Gestapo, [Kapler was SD] were they SD ? I thought they were Priebke 's colleagues [SS] and that he was therefore the only SS to be found guilty. Not an unreasonable interpretation of the above quote I think.
There is obvious confusion in the report.

Full transcript
http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/stories/s912976.htm
You might care to comment on the accuracy of the rest of the report.

I must pay closer attention next time.
Max :oops:

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Rommel8
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Post by Rommel8 » 02 Aug 2003 01:19

IMHO....Priebke should be let free, wasnt he too just "following orders"?

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