Austrian acquitted in 1944 San Polo massacre

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Austrian acquitted in 1944 San Polo massacre
Source: AP (2-26-07)

ROME -- An Italian military court on Monday acquitted an 87-year-old former lieutenant in the German army of charges stemming from the 1944 World War II massacre of 48 civilians in a small town in Tuscany, Italian news agencies reported.

The tribunal in the northern port city of La Spezia ruled that there was no evidence to convict Herbert Hantschk, an Austrian who was tried in absentia, the ANSA news agency reported. He was the sole surviving defendant in the case, Italian media said.

The massacre occurred in the town of San Polo, near Arezzo, as the German army was in retreat from north-central Italy. The victims were either shot, buried alive or killed with explosives during a roundup of Italian resistance fighters.
 
Austrian acquitted in 1944 San Polo massacre
Source: AP (2-26-07)

ROME -- An Italian military court on Monday acquitted an 87-year-old former lieutenant in the German army of charges stemming from the 1944 World War II massacre of 48 civilians in a small town in Tuscany, Italian news agencies reported.

The tribunal in the northern port city of La Spezia ruled that there was no evidence to convict Herbert Hantschk, an Austrian who was tried in absentia, the ANSA news agency reported. He was the sole surviving defendant in the case, Italian media said.

The massacre occurred in the town of San Polo, near Arezzo, as the German army was in retreat from north-central Italy. The victims were either shot, buried alive or killed with explosives during a roundup of Italian resistance fighters.
San Polo, Arezzo, Italy.- July 14, 1944
No one is guilty



Eighth Army: German atrocities in S. Polo (Arezzo)
18.7.44
A few days before the Germans were compelled to withdraw from the Arezzo area, some 30 or 40 male Italian civilians were rounded up and imprisoned in a house in the village of San Polo, N. E. of Arezzo. The Italians were suspected of partisan activities, and after being kept without food and drink for two days, they were put to death.
The method of killing is difficult to judge. It seems almost certain that they were forced to dig their own graves, one of which contained 22 bodies, and then either shot or clubbed to death. From the appearance of some of the victims recovered from a grave, it would appear that they had been clubbed to death.
These acts of violence againts the Italian civil population now becoming more numerous, are reported to be the result of an order issued to Kesselring, the German Commander, that more sadistic methods be adopted againts suspected Partisans. The ages of these victims ranged from 16 to 50.

Also see:
Provincia di Arezzo - Progetto Memoria
BBC - WW2 People's War - San Polo Massacre, 1944

and movie:
Provincia di Arezzo - Progetto Memoria
 

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