Former German Officer Sentenced to Life

11 Aug 2009

90-year-old former German Army infantry lieutenant Josef Scheungraber is to be imprisoned for life for ordering the killings of 14 civilians in the Italian village of Falzano di Cortona, Tuscany on 26 Jun 1944. He had been found guilty in 2006 in absentia by an Italian military court, and a state court in Munich, Germany also found him guilty for 10 of the 14 murders. Scheungraber maintains his position that he handed the civilians to military police and had no idea what happened to them after that point. The 14 civilians were taken by his troops after a nearby partisan attack killed two German soldiers. Evidence suggests that a 74-year-old woman and three men were executed on the street, and 11 other civilians were forced into a farmhouse which was subsequently set on fire. Gino Massetti, only 15 years old at the time, was the only survivor.

For more information, please see the BBC article "Nazi war criminal jailed for life".

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