Austrian acquitted in 1944 San Polo massacre





ROME -- An Italian military court on Monday acquitted an 87-year-old former lieutenant in the German army of charges stemming from the 1944 World War II massacre of 48 civilians in a small town in Tuscany, Italian news agencies reported.

The tribunal in the northern port city of La Spezia ruled that there was no evidence to convict Herbert Hantschk, an Austrian who was tried in absentia, the ANSA news agency reported. He was the sole surviving defendant in the case, Italian media said.

The massacre occurred in the town of San Polo, near Arezzo, as the German army was in retreat from north-central Italy. The victims were either shot, buried alive or killed with explosives during a roundup of Italian resistance fighters.


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