Rome court sentences 9 former SS men to life in prison
Nine unlikely to serve sentences for Tuscany massacre due to old age.
By JPOST.COM STAFF, AP
Nine former SS men were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by a Rome military court on Saturday for massacring more than 350 civilians in Tuscany in 1944, as the Nazis fled from the advancing Allies.
The nine men are all aged between 84 and 90, and they are therefore unlikely to serve their sentences. A tenth defendant was acquitted and another died during the trial.
In cases of other elderly Nazi criminals, Italy has not enforced their punishments.
Nevertheless, Claudio Martini, the president of the region of Tuscany, expressed his satisfaction with the sentencing.
"This sentence finally brings justice and truth for those who suffered Nazi atrocities in person," Martini was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We were not motivated by revenge, but the need to write a word of truth on this terrible page of history."
The Rome court also ordered Germany to pay 1.25 million euros in damages to the towns where the massacres took place and to some 50 of the victims' relatives.
The victims, including many women and children, were rounded up by Nazi troops ostensibly on the hunt for partisans and shot in separate killings that occurred in the area around the Tuscan town of Fivizzano in August 1944.
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