Erich Priebke, a former German
Nazi SS officer convicted of one of Italy's
worst wartime massacres, died on Friday in Rome at the age of 100, his lawyer said.
Priebke had been living under house arrest in Rome after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the killings of 335 civilians in the Ardeatine Caves near Rome
in March 1944.
In March 1944, Priebke was in charge of SS troops who executed the 335 in retaliation for the killings of 33 German soldiers by a partisan group.
Priebke with his lawyer in 2010 (Photo: Reuters)
His lawyer Paolo Giachini said in a statement Priebke had left a final interview as his "human and political testament". It was not clear when it would be released.
After the war Priebke escaped to Argentina
but was deported to Italy after being interviewed on US television and admitting his role in the massacre, which he said had been conducted against "terrorists".
Priebke confessed to killing two partisans and for assisting in the capture of many others. However, he stressed that he was just following orders.
The house arrest conditions in which Priebke spent his last years raised the ire of Jewish groups in Italy. Three years ago they protested the court's decision to allow the Nazi criminal to go shopping and attend church services. Though Priebke was sentenced to life, this was commuted to full house arrest due to his medical condition.
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