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Germany

Rome Court Acquits Former Nazi Officer

An Italian military court has acquitted a former Nazi officer charged over the 1944 massacre of 60 people in an Italian monastery where German troops found Jews hiding, a judicial source said. Hermann Langer, 85, was tried in absentia by the court in the northwestern town of Spezia. The former SS lieutenant was found not guilty on Friday of leading a group of soldiers who carried out the massacre on Sept.r 2, 1944, after they found Jews hiding in Farneta Cistercian monastery near the town of Lucca. A Venezuelan bishop and several monks were among those killed, who included Swiss, German, French and Spanish nationals. Prosecutors had called for a life sentence in the case which opened in July. Lucca was liberated by advancing Allied troops a day after the massacre. It brought the civil action against Langer along with the region of Tuscany. Langer is the last survivor of the SS unit that was commanded by General Max Simon. The Spezia court has since late June also been trying six former SS officers for the August 1944 massacre of 560 Italian civilians, including 120 children, in Sant'Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany.

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