Israeli foreign minister Moshe Dayan today visited the Ardeatine caves in the outskirts of Rome.?
Israeli foreign minister Moshe Dayan today visited the Ardeatine caves in the outskirts of Rome. The caves, are considered a shrine by the Jewish community in Italy, for it was here that escaped Nazi war criminal Herbert Kappler ordered the execution of 335 Romans (the majority jews) during World war Two.
Each year members of the Jewish community in Rome, led by Rabbi Toaff make a special visit to the shrine to commemorate the lives of the Jewish victims.
Kappler, head of Security forces, a colonel in the infamous SS ordered the execution of the 335 Romans after members of the resistance movement in Italy set off a bomb in Via Rasella, in the heart of central rome, killing more than 30 German soldiers.
When Herbert Kappler aided by his wife Anneliese escaped to Germany last August from the military hospital in Rome, where he was being treated for a malignant tumour, the Jewish community in Italy staged mass rallies in order to bring pressure to bear on the Italian and German government to return the war criminal.
At the time the Israeli government also sent a formal request to the German government to return Kappler to the Italians, saying that "his rightful place was in prison".