October 11, 2013
Erich Priebke, Ex Nazi SS Official Who Played Key Role In Infamous 1944 Mass Murder of Hundreds of Italians at Rome 's Ardientine Caves Dies in Rome at 101
Erich Priebke, who played a major role in the execution of 335 Italian hostages murdered in retaliation for the Italian underground's attack against German troops in Rome and fled to South America at the end of World War II, has died in Rome at the age of 101.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center played a key role, together with ABC news, in exposing his whereabouts in Argentina and pressuring the Argentine and Italian governments to bring him before the bar of justice before the families of his victims in Rome, Italy.
"The Wiesenthal Center is proud of the global role it played in bringing this unrepentant Nazi and Holocaust denier before the bar of justice," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Jewish human rights group.
"This is an appropriate time to acknowledge the key role played by senior SWC researcher, Rick Eaton, who penetrated neo-Nazi circles leading to the exposure of the former senior SS officer in Bariloche, Argentina and the efforts of Latin American director, Sergio Widder, Dr. Shimon Samuels and Rabbi Abraham Cooper for forcing authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to strip this murderer of his freedom," Rabbi Hier added.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center's Chief Nazi Hunter added from Jerusalem, "The fact that Priebke lived to be 101 is a reminder that the pursuit of Nazi war criminals should never be limited by the age of the perpetrator."
Currently, the German government has indicted a number of elderly, but healthy, ex-Nazis who served at Auschwitz.
For further information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department at 310.553.9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.