Italian Testifies About German WWII Atrocities

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The witness, now aged 80, gave his testimony via video link.

He told the court in Munich that in 1944, as a teenager, he had witnessed German Wehrmacht soldiers killing residents of his village, Falzano di Cortona. He said that eleven people, for example, were herded inside a farmhouse.

"The house was then blown up with dynamite," the witness told the court. "Only one person survived."

He also said the soldiers had killed three other villagers and had set numerous buildings, including his family's home, on fire.

"My father tried to save what he could," the witness testified. "There was smoke everywhere. That's the story."

Wehrmacht soldiers have been accused of committed a number of atrocities as the German army was forced to withdraw from their former ally Italy in the latter stages of World War II.

For many years, the Wehrmacht sought to portray itself as a normal army with no direct connection to Nazi crimes against humanity.

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