Former SS captain Erich Priebke lives under house arrest in Rome after being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the massacre in the Ardeatine Caves, where 335 civilians were killed in 1944, in retaliation for the killing of 33 SS officers by Italian partisans.
According to Reuters, demonstrators, including members of Rome’s Jewish community, have been protesting outside Priebke’s apartment building, after finding out that he has just celebrated his 100th birthday.
When Priebke’s grandson arrived with a bottle of champagne, the demonstrators yelled “Shame!” and “Disgrace!” at him.
“It’s a provocation! Arriving with a bottle of champagne!” one demonstrator shouted.
According to the daily Corriere della Sera, someone hung a poster nearby, reading: “Happy Birthday Captain Priebke.” The poster was signed by the Militant Community of Tiburtina (a Roman neighbourhood).
ANPI, the national association representing former Italian wartime partisans, said its headquarters walls had been covered with swastikas and comments supporting Priebke.
After the war Priebke found shelter in Argentina, after he admitted in an interview on American television that he had participated in the massacre “against terrorists,” he was deported to Italy.