Italy honors Fascist military leader

Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM

AFFILE, Italy, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A taxpayer-funded memorial to Italian Fascist military leader and convicted war criminal Rodolfo Graziani is an outrage, the country's major leftist party says.

A mausoleum and memorial park was dedicated Saturday in Affile, a village south of Rome, to honor a man almost unknown to modern generations of Italians, whose record as Benito Mussolini's military commander in Ethiopia and Libya before and during World War II includes massacres and use of chemical weapons, and a post-war 19-year prison sentence for war crimes. For ordering the executions of Libyans while military governor of Cyrenaica in North Africa, he earned the title "Butcher of Fezzan," the BBC reported Wednesday.

"Is it possible to allow, accept or simply tolerate that in 2012, we dedicate a park and a museum to the fascist general and minister Rodolfo Graziani?" asked Esterino Montino, head of the Democratic Party in the Italy's Lazio region.

Still, 100 people, including the mayor of Affile and a representative of the Vatican, attended the dedication ceremony of a complex costing 127,000 euros ($157,000), honoring a man the village's Web site calls one of its "famous sons," the BBC said.

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