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German WWII criminals wanted in Italy

AFP · 12 Dec 2009, 11:50

Published: 12 Dec 2009 11:50 GMT+01:00

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Sixty-three women and 27 children were among the 184 civilians killed when the German army's 26th division stormed through Padule di Fucecchio, west of Florence, in search of Italian partisans on August 23, 1944.

A court martial in Rome is to consider the prosecutors' request at a preliminary hearing likely to be held in the months to come, the domestic ANSA news agency reported.

Accused are wartime captain Ernst Pistor, 89, lieutenant Gerhard Deissmann, 98, and non-commissioned officers Fritz Jaub, 92, and Johan Robert Rib, 88. Their current whereabouts are unknown.

They are alleged to have been responsible for the bloodbath alongside other German soldiers who are either unidentified or deceased. The 26th division was, at the time, under the command of captain Josef Strauch.

Story continues below…

The massacre came 13 months after British, Canadian and US forces invaded the south of Italy - then allied with Adolf Hitler's regime in Berlin - and slowly fought their way northwards.

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Your comments about this article

12:17 December 12, 2009 by Edmond Schindler
What is Italy trying to prove waiting so long to act on this?

What have they up their sleeve today that makes this righteous?

It isn't justice they seek at this hour, it is a political statement...but what?

What revenge against Germany that they want to extract NOW?

Are they doing so poorly in football?
12:36 December 12, 2009 by cleavage
Did you know that Germany is STILL paying for WWI?

Germany has a monkey on her back that will never go away until Germans say enough is enough.
12:52 December 12, 2009 by richard_vijay
Let us also be very aware that thar there were many atrocities commited by the "Victorious" forces, both Soviet and American,Canaduan and British, French and forces aginast German civilians and military personnel.Italy should look into its own atroicities in Ethopia.
17:41 December 12, 2009 by Henckel
Yes, vijay, that's right. There were atrocities committed by all sides, not just by ground forces, but also by aerial bombardment (e.g. Hamburg and Dresden) and naval forces (e.g. sinking of the Gustlaff by a Soviet submarine). And don't forget the forced removal of millions of ethnic Germans from eastern Europe to Germany proper in 1945-49. I doubt if I have even one relative still resident in what used to be Rastenburg, East Prussia, my family's ancestral home.
18:39 December 12, 2009 by wxman
Just once I'd like to open The Local and not see an article about Nazis and/or WWII. Let's get over this, shall we?
21:18 December 12, 2009 by lordwilliams629
I love seeing you nazi lovers cry foul when stuff comes up. But I do somewhat agree with the first comment that questions as to why after all these years are they finally pursuing these thugs, yes that does leave a question in my head. But the reason whatever itmaybe is less significant, what matters is that these people who murderd inocent people including chidren should never have a day of rest even if they live to be a hundred and fifty, so if these people are being chased even in their last days I say good. A person who kills children deserves no rest even in death. In fact the killers that are dead need to be located and moved to a garbage dump, their remains have no right to rest among decent people. wxman if it was your child or family that was murderd, should 60 years allow the perpetrators to go free. Of course not it wouldnt, but sense it's not your family that was murderd by these thugs, you as a nazi lover can easily say sweep it under the rug,say sixty years ago. And wxman the survivors of these victims will never get over it till they die they live with it everyday, so when you ask people get over it again just remenber, it wasn't your family that was murderd you selfish slimebag.
22:56 December 12, 2009 by snorge

37 million military deaths in WWI, at least 50 million deaths in WWII... Most of Europe detroyed, billions in reconstruction was spent... All for what - one nation to rule the world? That is why Germany is still paying and will keep paying regardless of whether or not Germans say enough is enough.

Yes, allies had atrocities too, but when you take into account the numbers above, the acts they committed by the Allies are insignificant in numbers to what Germany committed.
00:17 December 13, 2009 by duckys
I agree with Snorge....

Just because it was 60 years ago doesnt meed bad things don't go unpunished... it may have taken these countries a while to catch up with these people... but if you were the families that suffered through this... I am sure you would have a different opinion...

It will take about 300 years before Germany is over this... Which by all rights... It should be that way!!!! 60 years.... pfff.... they should reopen the history books and look further in detail....
00:21 December 13, 2009 by janreg58
LordWilliams? I agree with you totally. So that means that all the allied "War Heroes" that raped, murdered and bombed innocent German old men, women, and chidren need to step up and be counted among war criminals!! Your white horse is dead, and your armour is tarnished. All the atrocities that the Germans are accused of, can not be debated because such subjects have been made against the law to talk about or question! Iknow it's hard to face the facts, but alot of these men were fighting for their country, and doing what they were told, like any soldier. You need to do some of you research, instead of going by what the victors call history!
08:28 December 13, 2009 by jena
Lord Williams & Duckys - GET OVER IT, and yes, start doing some history research. 60 years was a while ago & the people reading your comments were not involved. 300 years?...hell, I would still be holding a grudge against your slimy tyrant George III. Wake up. Instead of referring to Germans as "Nazi lovers" you should take a look around and embrace them as fellow survivors of western civilization. As for me, I think thank goodness the German army is back - we're going to need them when the backlash against the invading eastern hordes hits the fan- which it will. And we better get over wwii and unite if we're going to save our common western heritage and our countries...especially yours Lord W, which is utterly FUBAR.
11:39 December 13, 2009 by Bushdiver
Germany Army. That's a joke. They are more like Boyscouts than military. Since the end of WWII the German Military has basically crawled into a hole and have never really come back out for fear people would be remembering them for what happened in WWII. I do think enough is enough with the WWII Nazi hunting. I don't remember the Italians being remembered as angels even in their own country.
12:10 December 13, 2009 by Melmarino
New York City P.D. is larger and better equipped.
15:54 December 13, 2009 by mixxim
Jena, I suspect we might agree on much but while the commy intellectuals pontificate on whether the army should be supplying fuel and arms to the taliban the german soldier has to fight with his bootlaces tied together and a target on his chest.
16:58 December 13, 2009 by wxman
lordwilliams is a perfect example of the Ad Hominum attacks one typically expects from the learned left. His type are better ignored since they add little value to any dialog.
17:27 December 13, 2009 by liberateurself
I am tired of the Nazi stuff as well, every single day no matter what. I am not ashamed at all anymore, winners of war write history so, we have to let the world know, yes were over it, move on. Like WWll was the only atrocity in history, and only Germany is at fault, look at the American treatmeant of Indians, the Spanish destruction of South America and Carribean, and our English neighbors rape of much of the world. I'm not for the guilt trip anymore, our soldiers fought for the friend beside them when it comes down to it, and the family at home, thats all I know.
03:34 December 14, 2009 by Davey-jo
Germany did bad things in Italy? This is news to me. I thought the Krauts only invaded defenceless Belgium and then poor old France. You don't mean to say they went into the cradle of western civilization as well? Did they behave badly? Did they not take their dirty boots off when sitting down for dinner? Pshaw! They must be told off in the strongest terms.
06:11 December 14, 2009 by wenddiver
As an American, I would say if there hasn't been any additional Nazi acts by these men let it go. It was wrong, it was horrible, it was in-excuseable, but Germany stood on the side of Freedom during the Cold War, so I guess I would rather look at them as Friends and Allies than continue with this. This never forget stuff is not part of our culture. Nuremburg is over, the big guys were caught, time to move on, rebuild and yes forgive.

I would rather read an article about the German Army fighting for FREEDOM in Afganistan, or doing relief work than re-hash the mistakes of an awfuland un-Christain ideology. It is probably time to let the Bundeswehr start issuing awards for Valor again, like the "Pour le Merit" and let the German people have Heroes who have sacraficed for the Freedom of the world.
09:07 December 14, 2009 by razo105
And when are those partisans that murdered the captured German soldiers going to be put on trial? And it was murder.
11:38 December 14, 2009 by Frenemy
@wxman: yeah, ain't that the truth! lesson learned (actually, I feel kinda stupid for indulging his sh!t) :-/

@davey-Jo: what the f...actually, never mind!! (I'm not playing those games with you and your ilk anymore)

@wenddiver: I applaud (and agree with) your sentiment. However, sometimes I think it might be a good idea to re-instate some of the "big guys" (I mean the a-political ones that just happened to be "good at their jobs" ;-) (not the fanatics/racists/extremists of course...)

@melmarino: stop talking...just stop. (you don't know what you're talkin about). That NYPD SWAT (and American LEO's in general) use German weapons (MP5s, etc), that more than half of the world's military elite units use German hardware, and of course the fact that German COPS (not even elite spec-ops guys) win friendly tactical-proficiency games pretty much all the time, should give you pause for thought...yes, the NYPD is larger (more fat f#ckers sitting around eating donuts)...but better equipped???? Wow....

[ @mixxim, jena, janreg58: I happily salute you folks! But seriously...don't you think that even engaging certain clowns and/or discussing this nonsense only fuels the moronic punditry of people like lordwilliams/daveyjo/...?! :-/ ]
12:09 December 14, 2009 by jena
I thought the Bundeswehr was issuing the Cross of Honor for Valor and didn't they recently kick ass against some Somali pirates? The German people and their army have nothing to feel guilty over. The past is not their fault. And yes, let them honor those who fought with valor for their families and their country. Hitler was a psycho who led a nation of civilized people into hell. Study it and understand that silence is consent. It can happen again, anywhere. WWII: no winners and no innocent parties. The Allies knew a lot, could have helped overthrow Hitler, chose to do nothing. We bombed Germany to bits, stole technology 50 years ahead of our own. While Nuremburg was happening we were bringing Nazi scientists here. US Apollo rockets should have been branded with swastikas. Read "The Rise of the Fourth Reich" by Jim Marrs, eye opener. 50 million lives lost ­ it¦#39;s sickening. No wonder western civilization is going down - the western nations have spent 2000 years killing each other off and soon we'll be outnumbered. We of western heritage are brothers - unite. Bundeswehr, quit drinking beer, toughen up, kick ass. Untie their shoelaces Angela, Zu. As for Afghanistan - the whole place isn't worth one western life. Where is Curtis "bomb 'em back to the stone age" LeMay when we need him? Wake up western world - I tell you we have not yet begun to fight.
13:08 December 14, 2009 by Frenemy
give me a day or so....I'm pretty sure I can work out the economics (troop casualty to gallon of oil ratio, per unit GBU-43b production cost to average productive life-time value of a guy taking a sh!t on the 57th floor of south tower at 9:58am on 9/11,etc.....

The sad thing about it is that I really doubt the metrics are gonna work out in favor of like 98% of those people....(I mean, personally/emotionally speaking, its epically tragic, macro-economically speaking, they're pretty much expendable)
15:24 December 14, 2009 by airborne1092
"... in one of the worst Nazi atrocities..."

They all seem to be the worst, lately eh?

I want to read the one that says "in a minor inconvenience caused by the Nazis..."
18:08 December 14, 2009 by Frenemy
...well, I bought this one radio with a Hitler-significant model # / production year....piece of sh!t crapped out on me while listening to the "O'Goebbels-Factor" (I dunno, damn POS seemed like a good purchasing decision at the time....!)
19:01 December 14, 2009 by jena
Right Frenemy. They are expendable and always have been. I give this Herman Goering quote to all my history students: ¦quot;Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.¦quot;
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