Sommer Gerhard

Publié le par Roger Cousin

Gerhard Sommer (born 24 June 1921) is a former SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) in the 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsführer-SS who was involved in the massacre of 560 civilians on 12 August 1944 in the Italian village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema

Sommer GerhardSommer Gerhard

He is on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals. Sommer was born in at Steinpleis near Zwickau in Saxony. In July 1933, when he was 12 years old, Sommer became a member of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), where he obtained the rank of Jungzugführer in the Deutsche Jungvolk. On 1 September 1939, at age 18, he joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and in October enlisted in the Waffen-SS.

Sommer fought in the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in the Balkans and Ukraine. He was wounded twice and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class. In 1943 Sommer applied for the rank of SS-Reserveführer. After training in Proschnitz, he was appointed an SS-Untersturmführer on January 30, 1944. He served as a Zugführer and later a Kompanieführer in the 7th Kompanie des II. Bataillons/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35. On August 19, 1944 he received the Iron Cross 1st class. Near the end of the war, Sommer served in the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Netherlands.

On 22 June 2005, Sommer and nine other former SS members were convicted by an Italian military court in La Spezia for the "continued murder with special cruelty" of 560 villagers at Sant'Anna di Stazzema. All ten were sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation payments. Sommer and four of his comrades appealed, but the sentences were confirmed in 2006 by a military court in Rome.

In 2002 investigations against Sommer were initiated in Germany, but no criminal charges have yet been brought. Gabriela Heinecke, a lawyer from Hamburg in charge of the "Nebenklage" of the Italian survivors of the massacre continues to be denied access to the records by the German public prosecution department. As of 2007, Sommer lives in a nursing home in Hamburg-Volksdorf, Germany.

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