Survivor of Nazi Massacre of Italian Civilians Dies at 87

87-year-old Enrico Pieri was 10 when SS soldiers murdered 560 people in his Tuscan village in retaliation for partisan attacks

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A memorial to those killed in the massacre at Sant'Anna di Stazzema.
A memorial to those killed in the massacre at Sant'Anna di Stazzema.Credit: Hans Peter Schaefer / Wikimedia

One of the few to survive the Nazi massacre in Tuscany during World War II, Italian Enrico Pieri, has died at the age of 87.

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella paid tribute to him on Saturday as a "witness to the horrors of war, a tireless guardian of memory and a man of peace."

Pieri was 10 years old when Waffen SS soldiers shot or killed 560 people with hand grenades in the mountain village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema in August 1944.

They murdered men, women, old people and children in retaliation for partisan attacks.

Pieri had survived the massacre in hiding, but his entire family was wiped out. He died on Friday, according to the survivors' organization of Sant'Anna di Stazzema.

The legal prosecution of the perpetrators dragged on for decades in both Italy and Germany. As chairman of the survivors, Pieri fought for legal reappraisal and international understanding. In 2013, he was awarded the Stuttgart Peace Prize.

In 2015, the Hamburg Public Prosecutor's Office dropped the last investigation against one of the war criminals allegedly involved because the accused, who was 93 years old at the time, was suffering from dementia and unable to stand trial, meaning no one was ever held accountable for the massacre.

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