Italian Court Sentences 9 Ex-Nazis to Life in Prison

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 10:10 pm (UTC-5)
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An Italian court has sentenced nine elderly Germans to life in prison for the massacres of Italian civilians during World War II.

The Verona court convicted all nine defendants Wednesday, 67 years after the attacks in the provinces of Modena, Arezzo and Reggio Emilia. Families of the victims and mayors of the towns where the killings took place attended the sentencing. The men were tried and sentenced in absentia as part of a six-year investigation into the killings.

The defendants, now in their 80s and 90s, were part of a Nazi military unit tasked with trying to smash the resistance in northern Italy in 1944. They indiscriminately murdered civilians who they believed were helping the resistance.

Italy was allied with Nazi Germany in the early years of World War II before surrendering to the Western allies.