Nazi War Criminal Dies at 100 in Italy

Erich Priebke evaded capture for his war crimes for 50 years

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Erich Priebke
AP / Gregorio Borgia

Former Nazi officer, 93-year-old Erich Priebke, center, leaves the office of his lawyer Paolo Giachini in Rome.

A former Nazi SS captain who evaded capture in Argentina for 50 years before being extradited to Italy died Friday under house arrest in Rome.

Erich Priebke was convicted for his role in the 1944 massacre of 335 civilians near Rome undertaken in retaliation for an attack by resistance forces that killed 33 Nazi military police. Priebke escaped from a British  prison camp in 1946 and spent the next half century living openly in Argentina until he was arrested and sent to Italy for trial in 1994. He was sentenced to life in prison but allowed to serve out his term under house arrest at the home of his attorney in Rome.

Priebke denied that Germans gassed Jews during World War II and insisted to the end of his life that he had been scapegoated and entire generations brainwashed to believe the Holocaust happened, the Associated Press reports. He was 100 years old.