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article imageNazi war criminal Erich Priebke's funeral halted, hearse kicked

By Layne Weiss     Oct 16, 2013 in World
Albano Laziale - The funeral service for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in Italy Tuesday was called off amid fiery protests, BBC News is reporting.
More than 500 people in the city of Albano Laziale screamed "murderer" and "executioner," clashing with Nazi sympathizers as Priebke's coffin passed by.
The former German SS officer was jailed for life in 1988 for the killings of 335 Italian civilians in 1944, The Guardian reports.. He died late last week at the age of 100. Because of his age and poor health, Priebke was allowed to serve out his remaining sentence under house arrest.
While Priebke admitted his role in the massacre, he never once apologized for his actions, BBC News reports.
He had been denied a church funeral in Rome by the catholic church despite protests from his lawyer and family, but then on Tuesday, the Society of Saint Pius X, which has split from the Vatican over its opposition to the "modernization" the catholic church and its outreach to Jews, offered to give Priebke a funeral in Albano Laziale, a city close to Rome, The Guardian reports.
The group gained center stage in 2009 when one of its British members, Richard Williamson denied the Holocaust had ever taken place, saying "I believe there were no gas chambers."
Erich Priebke then and more recently. Died October 11 at 100.
Erich Priebke then and more recently. Died October 11 at 100.
War History Online
Tuesday, afternoon, as the hearse containing Priebke's remains tried to enter the church, protestors "kicked it, yelled "assassin," and tried to attack a priest. Riot police separated the protestors from a right wing extremist group. Some group members were wearing hoods and gave the fascist salute. "There will be a mass in Latin, behind closed doors, only for close friends and relatives, Priebke's lawyer Paolo Giachini said.
Local mayor Nicola Marini had tried to ban the coffin from even entering Albano Laziale for the funeral, which fell on the 70th anniversary of the Nazi roundup of the Jews, but he was overruled.
After Priebke died, there was much to debate on what to do with his body, BBC News reports.
When he was denied a funeral in Rome, he was also denied a burial there, The Guardian reports.
The foreign minister og Argentina, where Priebke worked as a school teacher, also said Priebke could not be buried there. Finally a spokesman from Priebke's hometown of Hennigsdorf said, "We don't have to bury Priebke in Hennigsdorf and we will not do it." Nicola Marini, the mayor of Albano Laziale, said Erich Priebke will definitely not be buried there.
"Take him to the landfill!" One angry demonstrator shouted as Priebke's hearse headed toward its funeral, BBC News reports.
It is unclear where the body was kept overnight, but according to The Guardian, it seems like cremation is the best option. Ricardo Pacifici, the president of Rome's Jewish Community, says" Spreading his ashes, like they did to Adolf Eichmann, would stop his grave becoming a pilgrimage destination."
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