Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

German court abandons Nazi massacre case in Tuscany

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, October 1 - German magistrates decided not to
prosecute eight former-Nazi officials for participating in a
notorious World War II massacre in Tuscany, sparking rage and
disbelief among Italian politicians, survivors, and victims'
families on Monday.
After a 10-year investigation, German magistrates concluded
that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the surviving
eight of 17 former Nazi military officers suspected of having a
role in the murder of hundreds of civilians in the village of
Sant'Anna di Stazzema, near Lucca, in 1944.
In its own investigation and trial, the Italian military
court condemned 10 of the ex-Nazi officers to life in prison in
absentia, including the eight who remain alive. Germany refused
to grant Italy's request for the men's arrest.
Italian military magistrates found that the German soldiers
cold-bloodedly exterminated between 457 and 560 people - mostly
the elderly, women and children - in a premeditated,
non-military operation aimed at wiping out resistance supporters
and civilians, and nailed the blame on the 16th division of the
SS armored infantrymen.
In one episode during the massacre, Nazi military rounded
up about 100 villagers into three animal stalls and a courtyard,
and proceeded to throw hand grenades into the crowd as well as
shoot machine guns and rifles, according to the Italian
reconstruction. The corpses were then burned.
The Sant'Anna episode, according to Italian magistrates,
was just one in a series of round-ups leaving a trail of blood
and suffering throughout the Tuscan hills.
"I want to assure the survivors and victims' relatives that
the Stuttgart prosecutor's office did everything possible" to
clarify the responsibility of German military officers in the
Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre, said Stuttgart Attorney General
Claudia Krauth on Monday.
"Even here we feel the weight of our responsibility," added
Krauth, "We have investigated with great interest and
commitment."
The decision of the Stuttgart prosecutors led to
expressions of ire and disbelief among survivors and victims'
relatives, while Italian politicians vowed to seek justice.
"We are saddened and disheartened by the news. We are not
resigned, however. That massacre must find truth and justice. We
will present a request to the (German) government to acquire the
documentation and to know how it intends to prevent those
responsible from going unpunished," declared Paolo Corsini, an
Italian deputy to the European Commission and member of the
centre-left Democratic Party (PD).
The German court decision spawned "bitterness and pain" for
Italian Senators Vannino Chiti and Felice Casson, also both
members of the PD, who made a joint statement.
"I can't believe it, that they decided something like this.
It's not possible. It's an offense to all 560 victims. One can't
accept a verdict of this kind," said Enrico Pieri, a survivor of
the tragedy.
"How can one understand all this? It is an offense for all
of the victims. None of this is justifiable. At Sant'Anna,
innocents lost their lives, including women, mothers, children,
under the ferocity of these soldiers. And now news comes from
Germany that they don't even want to bring them to trial? It is
absurd," said Bruno Pellegrini, son of one of the survivors of
the massacre, Cesira Pardini.
Pardini was 18 at the time of the incident. She received a
medal for saving two sisters and a one-year-old child from the
slaughter.
Her mother and two other sisters were killed.

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