Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The war goes on

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The Second World War ended nearly 70 years ago, but for many people it is still a living event, as painful today as it was when the bombs were falling and the innocent massacred.

The most recent example of the war's long reach is the case of former SS captain Erich Priebke, who died two weeks ago at the age of 100, but who has yet to find a place to rest in peace. That suits a lot of people just fine.

Priebke commanded the Nazi troops who murdered 335 Italian civilians, including 70 Jews, near Rome in reprisal for the killing of 33 German soldiers in 1944. After the war he fled to Argentina, where he lived for 50 years before being returned to Italy to face trial. He was eventually convicted and placed under house arrest because of his age.

His death might have been the end of the story, except for the fact most Italians don't want him buried on their soil. Argentina doesn't want him back and neither does his hometown in Germany.

When did the war end? Well, never, and centuries may pass before it does.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 21, 2013 A14

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