Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke has been secretly buried in an Italian prison cemetery, according to La Repubblica newspaper, reports AAP on SBS.
'The fenced-off area where Priebke is buried, marked by a wooden cross in the underbrush... is a prison cemetery,' the Italian daily said yesterday, without providing details on where the cemetery is located.
It is 'the only bit of Italian land where Priebke's death can go back to being just a death, not Nazi symbolism,' it said, adding that the cross was unmarked except for a number.
The 100-year-old died while living under house arrest for his role in the massacre of 335 people -- almost all of them civilians -- in the Ardeatine complex of caves near Rome in 1944.
Rome city authorities banned any burial out of fear it could become a Nazi pilgrimage site and the Vatican issued an unprecedented order barring any Catholic church in the city from holding a funeral mass for the war criminal.
Argentina, where he had lived in exile and wanted to be buried, said it would not take the body.
'Even if we cannot reveal the location of his grave, the public should know that the affair has been brought to a close,' La Repubblica said.