Ex-Nazi Responsible for 1943 Murders Is Finally Convicted by Italian Courts

1933  The entry of the colours, or Swastikas at the German National Socialist Party Day at Nuremberg-1779472

Ex-corporal for the Nazi party, Afred Stork is convicted for his involvement if the massacre of 117 Italian officers.

On October 18th, the Italian military tribunal found the 90 year old ex-Nazi guilty of the war crime and has sentenced him to life in prison.

The Italians tried to prosecute Stork in the past, however those attempts were closed due to defendants dying or those responsible for the massacre could not be properly identified, says Marco De Paolis, the military prosecutor.

This particular was the first conviction for the massacre that took place on Kefalonia, one of the Greek islands, the Boston Globe reports.

At the time, the Italians believed they were with allies, the Germans, when they were occupying Greece. However they found that the Germans had turned on them once Italy signed an armistice with Allied forces once Mussolini fell from power.

De Paolis restarted the investigation behind the Kefalonia massacre in 2009 at the behest of the children whose parents were victims of the massacre. Once the investigation had begun again, Stork was identified after 80 suspects were prosecuted nearly 10 years ago.

The prosecution was barred from submitting a 2005 confession by Stork because he made it with no defence lawyer present.

In it he allegedly told German prosecutors he was part of two execution platoons that killed the Italians because they were ‘considered traitors’.

De Paolis told the Boston Globe he felt it was ‘‘useless’’ to petition for Stork’s extradition for trial since Germany has refused to turn over its citizens even when convicted of Nazi-era crimes.

The head Nazi-Hunter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center has noted that the Italian military court have been convicting many Germans for their crimes committed during WWII in absentia. Germany refuses to release the criminals because they are German citizens. Italy has requested that the convicted be made to serve their sentences in German prisons.

“The Italians have made a very admirable effort in the past decade to find and bring to court, not in a literal sense, individuals responsible for some terrible atrocities,” he said in a phone call from Jerusalem. “It’s unfortunate that only one of them has been convicted in Germany.”

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE