The head of Rome’s Jewish community praised protesters who blocked the funeral of a convicted Nazi war criminal as Italy marked on Wednesday the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from the Rome ghetto.
Erich Priebke’s final resting place is now unclear after the protesters forced a suspension of his funeral on Tuesday in the Italian town of Albano Laziale. His body is lying at a military airport near Rome pending a decision from the authorities.
The former German SS officer died aged 100 last week in Rome, where he had been serving a life sentence under house arrest for his role in the killing of 335 civilians in 1944 in caves near the capital, one of Italy’s worst wartime massacres.
At a ceremony in Rome’s main synagogue, the head of Rome’s Jewish community drew loud applause as he lauded the citizens and mayor of Albano Laziale for resisting Priebke’s funeral.