ROME (Jun. 8)
An ad hoc committee in Cuneo, a town in northern Italy, disclosed today it had submitted new evidence against an SS officer named Peiper, who is now being tried in Stuttgart on war crimes charges growing out of his activities in the Cuneo area against Jews.
The committee reported to the Stuttgart court that in September 1943, a group of more than 200 Jewish refugee men, women and children, who until then had been living in Italian occupied France, crossed the Italian border with retreating Italian troops and found a new refuge in the mountain villages near Cuneo.
However, Pelper, upon learning of this, issued a warning that everyone protecting the Jewish refugees would be shot; When the Jewish refugees learned of the warning, they surrendered to the Nazis to avoid endangering the lives of their Italian hosts. The refugees were transported to the Auschwitz death camp where they were murdered.
The committee stressed that official high command orders to arrest Jews in Italy were not issued until later and that the SS officer’s activities were “obviously” a case of personal zeal.