Erich Priebke (29 July 1913 – 11 October 2013) was a German Hauptsturmführer (Captain) in the SS police force (Sipo). In 1996 he was convicted of war crimes in Italy, for participating in the massacre at the Ardeatine caves in Rome on 24 March 1944. 335 Italian civilians (among them 75 Italians of Jewish ancestry) were killed in retaliation for a partisan attack that killed 33 German soldiers. Priebke was one of those held responsible for this mass execution. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he received help from a bishop stationed in Rome and fled to Argentina on a Vatican passport, where he lived for over 50 years.