Coffin of Italian neo-Fascist is draped with the Nazi flag, causing a scandal
Czech news server iDNES.cz reports that the late Ms Alessia Augello, an adherent of the neo-Fascist Forza Nuova party, was buried in Rome, Italy at the beginning of this week in a manner that caused enormous outrage when images surfaced of her coffin draped with a Nazi flag. The Catholic Church and the Jewish Community have condemned the incident, according to various media reports.
Ms Augello, who was a Forza Nuova member, died last week of post-operative complications at the age of 44. Photographs and video began appearing on social media just after her funeral service showing her coffin outside a church and the red flag with a black and white Nazi swastika draped across it.
In one of the videos, those attending the funeral can be seen standing outside the church, surrounding the coffin, and giving the Nazi salute. Church representatives say the coffin was not covered by a Nazi flag during the requiem mass.
Speaking for the church, officials said they believed somebody put the flag on the coffin once it was outside the church. CNN reports Rome's Catholic archdiocese issuing a statement calling the flag "a horrendous symbol that cannot be reconciled with Christianity" and saying the episode was an offensive example of the "ideological exploitation" of a religious service.
The Jewish Community in Rome expressed outrage that something of the kind can happen more than 70 years after the end of the Second World War and the fall of both Fascist Italy and the puppet state of Nazi Germany that existed there from 1943–1945 called the "Italian Social Republic". Police have announced they are investigating the case as a suspected hate crime.
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