Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized the decision taken yesterday by an Italian military judge to allow convicted Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke to work despite his being under house arrest for his role in the murder of three hundred and thirty-five Italian civilians in the Ardeatine caves outside Rome in March 1944.
In a statement issued in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center categorizd the decision as ”outrageous, senseless, and insensitive.”
According to Zuroff:
”Any decision which grants privileges to a convicted and unrepentant Nazi war criminal like Priebke is outragous because it is based on a totally false assumption that as an elderly person Priebke deserves a measure of sympathy and even privileges. But the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of Holocaust perpetrators and people like him, who had no mercy for their victims, do not deserve any sympathy themselves. The decision is senseless since there is no basis to grant Priebke privileges and the fact that he has reached an elderly age does not turn a murderer into Righteous Gentile. It is insensitive since it insults the family and friends of those murdered by Priebke and his cohorts.”