Nazi officer given life for war crimes

A German court sentenced a 90-year-old former Nazi army commander to life in prison yesterday for murdering 10 Italian civilians and attempting to kill another in Tuscany in 1944.

After an 11-month trial, the Munich court found German Josef Scheungraber guilty of ordering the murder of the civilians near the Tuscan town of Arezzo. Four Italian civilians, including a 74-year-old woman, were shot dead in the street before German soldiers rounded up a further 11 people, herded them into a house and blew it up. Ten of the 11 died, but a 15-year-old boy, Gino Massetti, survived. He gave evidence at the trial. Scheungraber, who lived as a free man running a furniture shop in his home town in Bavaria after the Second World War, had denied the charges and said he had handed over the individuals to the Nazi military police. German media have reported that he took part in marches for fallen Nazi soldiers.

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