Rome - Germany should take back the body of Erich Priebke, a deceased Nazi war criminal who has been refused burial in Rome and Argentina, the leader of the Jewish community in the Italian capital said Sunday.
Priebke died Friday in Rome, where he was serving a life sentence under house arrest. He was sentenced in 1998 for his participation in the 1944 Fosse Ardeatine mass killings, in which German soldiers shot dead 335 civilians. He was 100.
“There is only one solution, logic demands that he returns to the country where he was born, that he returns to Germany and is buried in the town where he was born,” Riccardo Pacifici said in a telephone interview with dpa.
The former SS captain came from Hennigsdorf, a town of around 25,000 in the East German state of Brandenburg.
Argentina, where Priebke escaped after World War II, ruled out on Friday the possibility that he may be buried in Bariloche, the town where he lived until he was extradited to Italy, in 1995.
A day later, Italian police said it would ban any form of public funeral. The Vatican said no ceremony could take place in a church in the centre of Rome and the mayor of the Italian capital said he did not want Priebke to be buried there.