Former SS Men Sentenced in Rome
(June 27, 2009)
On June 27, 2009, a military court in Rome sentenced nine former SS men, aged 84-90, in absentia to life imprisonment for the massacre of more than 350 civilians in Tuscany in 1944. The men’s advanced ages makes them unlikely to serve their time, as Italy has not enforced such sentences in cases of ageing Nazi criminals. The president of the Tuscany region, Claudio Martini, said the trial was not about revenge, but rather justice and historical accuracy. The 1994 discovery of a file of 695 uninvestigated Nazi war crimes opened the case. There were originally 11 men on trial but one died and another was absolved. The Roman court also ordered Germany to pay a total of 1.25 million euros to the towns where the massacres took place and to about 50 relatives of the victims.