In Rome on Sunday (14 November) Italian Jews demonstrated their opposition to the release of Nazi war criminal Herbet Kappler.
In Rome on Sunday (14 November) Italian Jews demonstrated their opposition to the release of Nazi war criminal Herbet Kappler. A military Tribunal ordered the release of the former SS colonel on Thursday (12 November) on the grounds that he has passed the 28 year minimum period, (before someone sentenced to life imprisonment can be considered for release) his conduct and the fact that he is seriously ill.
SYNOPSIS: Part of the demonstration was held outside the military hospital where Kappler is said to be suffering from incurable intestinal cancer. Led by a young Rabbi, Mino Bahbout, the protestors went to the hospital to deliver a formal protest note to the military authorities. While the Rabbi was negotiating with the duty officer about 50 of his younger followers burst through the gate into the hospital compound and headed for the officer's mess. But they were turned back by three police and left without causing any further trouble.
The main part of the protest was in the form of a silent pilgrimage to the Ardeatine Caves, near the ancient catacombs on Rome's southern outskirts. It was there in 1944 that Kappler ordered the massacre of 335 civilian hostages. For this crime he was give a life sentence. The pilgrimage of protest was organised by Rome's Jewish community and relatives of the victims. The order to release Kappler has aroused a chorus of protest throughout Italy and the Organisation of Jewish Communities have termed it an intolerable insult to the memory of the dead.