1943 Kefalonia massacres
, Alfred Stork, 90, who lives in Germany, was convicted by a Italian military
court for his role in the execution on September 24, 1943 after the officers
surrendered to German troops.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 Italian soldiers were killed in the week-long massacre
in September 1943. Italian troops that had been occupying Greece with German
allies found themselves in enemy territory when Italy signed an armistice
with the Allies following the fall of fascist leader Benito Mussolini.
Stork had confessed to his role but military prosecutor Marco De Paolis said "he
did not have the courage to maintain his admission of guilt and stayed
comfortably in his home in Germany".
But De Paolis said that witness testimony had proved beyond reasonable doubt
that Stork was a participant in the mass killing. Several relatives of the
victims were plaintiffs in the case.
Stork was interviewed by German magistrates in 2005 and admitted he was in an
execution squad that killed 73 of the officers but that evidence could not
be used in court.
De Paolis said that the case had been an uphill battle because fellow German
officers who are still alive would not incriminate Stork.
"There is a disgusting code of silence," he said.
It was the first conviction in Italy for the Kefalonia massacres. Previous
attempts were closed due to the death of defendants or lack of evidence.
The story of the massacre became the basis for the 1994 bestseller Captain
Corelli's Mandolin by British writer Louis de Bernieres which revolved
around Italian army captain Antonio Corelli.
The award-winning novel was later turned into a film starring Nicolas Cage and
The sentencing came as Italy faces controversy sparked by the death of Nazi
war criminal Erich Priebke.
1943 Kefalonia massacres news via telegraph
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