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Press Release

ADL Shocked at Decision by Fringe Catholic Sect to Hold Funeral for Nazi War Criminal

New York, NY, October 15, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed shock and outrage at the announcement that a fringe Catholic organization decided to hold the funeral of notorious Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke at its church near Rome.

The Society of St. Pius X, a Catholic order whose representatives have charged contemporary Jews with deicide, and whose bishop, Richard Williamson, has made statements denying the Holocaust, announced that it would hold a funeral for Priebke at the Pius X Institute in the Italian town of Albano Laziale outside of Rome.

“The Society of St. Pius X never fails to shock and this latest decision to honor Priebke with a funeral just reinforces their history of anti-Semitism,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.  “First they denied the Holocaust, and now they’re denying the acts of a perpetrator.”

He added, “Erich Priebke was a monster.  He does not deserve the dignity and respect of a proper church burial.  His remains should be scattered at sea, without a ceremony, so that his final resting place cannot become a site of pilgrimage for racists to venerate him.”

A former SS captain, Priebke oversaw the massacre of 335 Italians, including political dissidents, underage boys, and about 80 Jews at the Ardeatine Caves in March 1944.  He was serving a life sentence at the time of his death at age 100 in Rome.

The Society of St. Pius X is an international traditionalist Catholic organization which defines its mission as opposing innovation and modernity within the Catholic Church.  Although its main focus has always been the preservation of the Latin Mass as a viable form of worship, the Society has promoted theological and conspiratorial anti-Semitism among its adherents.

More information on SSPX is available on the League’s Web site.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Notorious Nazi War Criminal Erich Priebke
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

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