ROME – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has paid his respects at the site of one of the worst massacres in German-occupied Italy during World War II.
In 1944, 335 people were shot to death at the Ardeatine Caves on Rome's outskirts as a reprisal for an attack by a group of partisans that killed 33 Nazi soldiers on a street in the center of Rome a day before.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella accompanied Steinmeier to the caves Wednesday. The two men stood silently before a memorial that reads: "Here were slaughtered victims of a horrendous sacrifice; from our sacrifice may there grow a better country and peace between peoples." The two men then also paused between rows of tombs.