Former German Army Officer to be Tried
On 26 Jun 1944, a group of German soldiers allegedly killed a 74-year-old woman and three men in the streets of the village of Falzano di Cortona in Tuscany, Italy in retaliation of two German soldiers killed in the area. Another 11 townsmen, as the accusations noted, were rounded up into a barn ridden with explosives, which were then set off. Only a 15-year-old boy survived.
On 15 Sep 2008, a court in Munich, Germany was decided that former German Army officer Josef Scheungraber will be put on trial as the officer responsible for the killings; the sole survivor previously mentioned will be among the witnesses at the trial, which is scheduled to begin on 29 Sep. The 90-year-old veteran had previously been judged guilty in absentia by an Italian military court in 2006, but he had not served the Italian sentence. Until today Scheungraber denies any wrong doing. A former town councilman decorated for his municipal service, Scheungraber claimed that he did not give such an order for the killings, and he was not at the scene when the killings allegedly took place.
This trial is expected to be the among the last Nazi war crime trials with the presence of the defendant as many of the accused who are still living are now reaching old ages.
For more information:
BBC: German tried over Nazi war crime
AP: German court rules Nazi-era officer fit for trial
Back to Main | Back to 2008 News Index
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George Patton, 31 May 1944