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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 19:10 GMT
'Butcher of Genoa' dies aged 97
File picture of Friedrich Engel
Friedrich Engel was branded "Butcher of Genoa" by Italian media
Friedrich Engel, a former Nazi SS officer known as the "Butcher of Genoa", has died at the age of 97.

He was buried in a private ceremony in the German city of Hamburg last week, according to the prosecutor's office.

Engel earned his "butcher" nickname for his alleged part in the wartime massacre of 59 Italian prisoners.

In 2002 a Hamburg court found him guilty of murder, but the ruling was overturned by a higher court which cited insufficient evidence.

Trial

In the 2002 trial, a lower court in Hamburg ruled that Engel had ordered the execution of the Italian naval commandos.

The incident, in May 1944, took place on a mountain pass outside Genoa, in northern Italy, in revenge for an attack on a cinema which killed five German soldiers.

Head of the SS in the city at the time, Engel said he had observed the event but did not supervise the executions.

He blamed Nazi naval officers for the shootings, but the court found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to seven years in jail.

Due to his age, his sentence was suspended, and after Germany's Federal Court of Justice threw out the conviction in 2004, it said a retrial would not take place due to Engel's advanced age.


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