Argentina has always been the most European of South American countries: It has a vibrant literary culture, adores anything Italian, and dislikes anything that isn't a large piece of meat. And for a very long time, it even harbored a fair amount of Nazis. But no more, says Argentina.
The South American country is rejecting the final request Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who died in Italy on Friday at the age of 100. Priebke had been living in Argentina for over 40 years in the Andean ski town of Bariloche, when he was discovered and extradited to Italy in 1994. The former SS captain had ordered a massacre of 335 people in Italy in March 1944, and never expressed remorse for his actions. He's lived the last few years in house arrest in Rome.
His wife however, remains buried in Bariloche, and Priebke would like to be buried beside her. The Italians, for their part, are none too eager to unload this dead Nazi to the Argentines. But the Argentines aren't reopening their doors to this Nazi, dead or alive.
"Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has given the order not to accept the slightest move to allow the return of the body of Nazi criminal Erich Priebke to our country," the foreign ministry of Argentina said. "Argentines will not accept this kind of affront to human dignity."
This decision has been celebrated by Argentina's Jewish population, which is the largest in South America.