(JTA) — An Italian court handed down life sentences to nine elderly Germans for having killed more than 160 civilians in northern and central Italy during World War II.
The nine former Nazi soldiers — all in their 80s and 90s — were sentenced Tuesday in absentia by a court in Verona following a seven-month trial. They had been charged with killing 140 civilians in the Modena region in 1944 and also for the massacres of dozens of others carried out in the Tuscany and Emilia Romagna regions.
The nine men had been German officers and soldiers attached to a parachute division charged with quashing Italian resistance to German occupation.
"At last there is justice for the victims and their relatives, and a bloody page of history can be closed," one of the plaintiffs told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.