60 Years Later, Germans Tried for Atrocities in Italy
In Italy next week, five Germans go on trial in absentia for war crimes committed 60 years ago. As German troops retreated from the Allied invasion, they often adopted a "scorched earth" policy, destroying infrastructure that the Allies could use. German troops razed the village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema in three hours, killing about 560 people -- including women, children and elderly. The atrocity, along with many others by the Germans, was well-documented, but the Italian government hid the files in the 1950s. By then, West Germany was an ally of the United States and the Cold War was under way. The files were discovered in 1994, leading to trials. The survivors of the attack on Sant'Anna remember it vividly, as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.
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