Italy announced on Tuesday (16 August) that a top level meeting between Prime Minister Giulia Andreotti and the West German leader Helmut Schmidt, has been cancelled following the escape on Monday '15 August) of Nazi war criminal Herbert Kappler.
Italy announced on Tuesday (16 August) that a top level meeting between Prime Minister Giulia Andreotti and the West German leader Helmut Schmidt, has been cancelled following the escape on Monday '15 August) of Nazi war criminal Herbert Kappler. In an official statement, the Italian government said it was concerned about possible public reaction to the escape. Meanwhile, West German authorities say they now know where Kappler and his wife were but refused to elaborate.
Mrs. Kappler married the former SS Colonel in Gaeta Prison five years ago and immediately started a campaign for his release. Angry public reaction prevented his release a year ago by the Italian Government.
SYNOPSIS: The escape took place here, at Celio military hospital in Rome. Kappler's 52 year old wife Anneliese, used a routine visit to smuggle her husband out of the hospital in a large trunk, to the boot of a waiting car. Safely back in West Germany, Kappler's wife telephoned the Bonn government to tell them of the escape.
Kappler, a colonel in the S.S., was convicted in 1948 of the wartime executions of 335 Italians. For the past 28 years. kappler has spent a lonely existence in the medieval fortress prison of Gaeta near naples. Only when his health badly deteriorated from stomach cancer was it decided to move him.
The Italian Defence Minister Vito Lattanzio, is demanding to know how Kappler's wife managed to carry out such a feat without arousing the suspicions of guards. He told newsmen it was a grave crime which offends against justice and the memory of kappler's victims. The Italian government announced they would be applying for Kappler's extradition. But it is doubtful whether Kappler could be returned because the West German Constitution forbids the extradition of Germans form the country.