Three former Nazi soldiers found guilty of Tuscan massacre

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The three ex-soldiers were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment after the military tribunal in Rome ruled that they bore responsibility for the murder of 184 civilians, including infants, children and old people, in the village of Padule di Fucecchio in Tuscany.

They were convicted, in part, on the basis of evidence gathered by a British military policeman, Sgt Charles Edmonson, of Stoke-on-Trent, who was determined to bring the culprits to trial.

In 1945, a year after the massacre, he took dozens of statements in which survivors told him of villagers being shot by German machine gunners and of a two-year-old toddler, crying in the arms of its dead mother, being killed with a blow from a rifle butt.

"As the occupants walked out they were mown down by machine gunfire. Some who were uninjured by the first burst had the presence of mind to throw themselves on the ground. 'They continued to fire at the dead and the dying until everyone lay still," Sgt Edmonson wrote in his report....

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