In Italy, the demonstrations protesting against the escape of Nazi war criminal Herbert Kappler continue.?
GV PAN: police in street in Rome, Italy.
CU: demonstrators with placards and banners in square (3 shots)
SV: Communist mayor Argan addressing rally
CU AND GV: crowd under umbrellas listening to mayor. (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Italy, the demonstrations protesting against the escape of Nazi war criminal Herbert Kappler continue. The latest took place in Rome on Tuesday (23 August) in the city's Jewish quarter.
Kappler, who is suffering from cancer, escaped from a military hospital on Monday, August 15. It's thought he was smuggled out in a heavy suitcase by his wife. The West German constitution forbids the extradition of German citizens to any foreign country.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was organised by leaders of Italy's wartime partisan groups and the Jewish community to express their protest at Kappler's escape to West Germany earlier this month.
Kappler was the Gestapo security chief in Rome during the war and ordered the shooting of 335 Italians, many of them Jewish, in reprisal for the killing of 33 German soldiers in a partisan ambush. He was serving a life sentence when he escaped.
Rome's Mayor, Signor Guilio carlo Argan, told the rally Kappler's escape had been organised, not out of charity towards a dying man, but to achieve a political aim. He said a strong political faction wanted to make its voice heard, even in foreign country. He called on the West Germany of today to state whether or not it condemns or justified the Germany of yesterday. He also asked if West Germany considered the death of the Italians, tortures and deportations as true crimes.
Italy has formally requested Kappler's extradition from West Germany, but observers say no one expects him to complete his sentence in Italy. They see the incident as a strong setback to Italian relations with West Germany.