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Two of the three Axis powers of World War II—Nazi Germany and their Fascist Italian allies—committed war crimes in the Kingdom of Italy. Research in 2016 funded by the German government found the number of victims of Nazi war crimes in Italy to be 22,000, double the previously estimated figure. The victims were primarily Italian civilians, sometimes in retaliation for partisan attacks, and Italian Jews. This figure does not include Italian military internees, of whom approximately 40,000 died in German captivity.

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  • Two of the three Axis powers of World War II—Nazi Germany and their Fascist Italian allies—committed war crimes in the Kingdom of Italy. Research in 2016 funded by the German government found the number of victims of Nazi war crimes in Italy to be 22,000, double the previously estimated figure. The victims were primarily Italian civilians, sometimes in retaliation for partisan attacks, and Italian Jews. This figure does not include Italian military internees, of whom approximately 40,000 died in German captivity.
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  • Axis war crimes in Italy
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  • Two of the three Axis powers of World War II—Nazi Germany and their Fascist Italian allies—committed war crimes in the Kingdom of Italy. Research in 2016 funded by the German government found the number of victims of Nazi war crimes in Italy to be 22,000, double the previously estimated figure. The victims were primarily Italian civilians, sometimes in retaliation for partisan attacks, and Italian Jews. This figure does not include Italian military internees, of whom approximately 40,000 died in German captivity. Also not included in the number are the estimated 30,000 Italian partisans who were killed during the war.. The killing of Italian civilians by frontline units of the Wehrmacht and SS has sometimes been seen as stemming from a sense of betrayal the Germans felt by the Italian surrender and by a feeling of racial superiority, but historians have argued that the reasons for atrocities and the brutal behaviour were more complex, often resulting from the military crisis caused by the German retreats and the fear of ambushes. Only a few perpetrators were ever tried for these war crimes. Few of these served prison sentences because of Germany's refusal to prosecute and extradite war criminals to Italy. The successive Italian governments, in the early postwar decades, also made little effort in prosecuting German war crimes and demanding extradition as it feared that such demands would in turn encourage other countries to demand the extradition of Italian citizens accused of war crimes committed while Italy was allied with Nazi Germany.
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