Catholic conservatives hold Nazi funeral amid protests

Strongly divided

Catholic breakaway traditionalists held a funeral for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in a town near Rome on Tuesday as hundreds of angry protesters outside, reports AFP on Yahoo7.

The ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X in Albano celebrated a private ceremony in Latin with family and far-right extremist sympathisers present for the unrepentant former SS officer.

The protesters banged on the hearse carrying Priebke's coffin as it was driven through gates into the seminary from a hospital morgue in Rome as dozens of police in riot gear pushed them back.

Priebke died last week aged 100 while living under house arrest in Rome for a 1944 massacre of 335 people, including 75 Jews, at the Ardeatine caves near the city in retaliation for a partisan attack.

The death of the Holocaust denier, who said he was only following Gestapo orders, has triggered controversy over his funeral and burial. There were tensions between protesters and far-right activists in Albano, who performed Nazi salutes and shouted fascist slogans.

'We are here to remember him because he was part of our world. This is just like any other funeral,' said one far-right activist, Maurizio Boccacci, from a group called Militia.

Local mayor Nicola Marini issued a last-minute decree to prevent the hearse from crossing his town's territory but the ruling was struck down by the Rome prefecture responsible for public order.

'Take him to the landfill!' one man shouted as the black hearse passed through the crowd, while others sang the Italian partisan song Bella Ciao and held up a banner reading 'Priebke Hangman.'


Catholic conservatives hold Nazi funeral amid protests (Yahoo7)

Rome debates Catholic funeral for Nazi war criminal (NCR)

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