SANTIAGO, Chile -- Youths shouted 'Heil Hitler' and raised their arms in the Nazi salute Tuesday at the burial of former SS colonel Walter Rauff, wanted for killing thousands of Jews in mobile gas chambers.
Some 50 people, including relatives, friends and Nazi sympathizers, attended a funeral service at Santiago's Lutheran church for Rauff, who died Monday at age 77. He had lung cancer.
West Germany had sought Rauff's extradition to stand trial on charges of sending 97,000 Jews to their deaths in mobile gas chambers during World War II. France, Britain and Israel also wanted the former Nazi expelled from Chile but the country rejected the requests.
As the former Nazi's coffin was lowered into a grave at the General Cemetary, a group of 20 youths raised their arms in the Nazi salute and shouted 'Heil Hitler' three times.
'He is a symbol for us and we congratulate our government for not giving in to Jewish pressures,' Chilean writer Miguel Serrano, a professed admirer of Hitler, said at the funeral.
Serrano, who wore a black leather coat and a black, red and white tie, said he never met Rauff, but attended the funeral 'out of admiration for the man.'
Rauff's relatives, led by his son, manager of a local shipping company, and his grandson, a cadet in the Chilean Navy, left the cemetery immediately after the burial and refused to speak to reporters.
'He was a comrade who never gave in to his enemies and upheld the honor of Germany,' said a man of about 70 years, who wore a Tyrolean hat and refused to identify himself.
Rauff lived freely in Chile since 1958, protected by a 15-year statute of limitations.
West Germany demanded Rauff's extradition in 1963 after a Hanover court found him guilty of exterminating 97,000 Jews in trucks designed to gas people to death with exhaust fumes.
Chile's Supreme Court rejected the extradition plea, citing the country's statute of limitations.
Rauff was Gestapo chief at the end of the war in Milan where he was taken prisoner by American forces.
He escaped from an internment camp and hid in the Vatican for more than a year before leaving Europe for Ecuador and later Chile, where he set himself up as a well-to-do businessman.
Rauff died in hishome in a wealthy residential neighborhood of Santiago where he had lived alone for the past two years, following the death of his wife.