VIENNA (Feb. 7)
The political furor over Defense Minister Friedhelm Frischenschlager’s reception of Nazi war criminal Walter Reder, when he returned to his native Austria on January 24 after nearly 40 years in an Italian prison was hardly abated when the Ministry of Social Welfare disclosed here today that the convicted mass-murderer of civilians has been receiving a war pension from the Austrian government since 1970.
According to the Ministry, the 69-year-old former SS Major has been getting a monthly stipend equivalent to $324 plus a $29 old age supplement. The pension was granted in 1970, retroactive to 1964.
Reder was convicted by an Italian court in 1953 of leading the massacre of 3,000 men, women and children in the village of Marzabotto in northem Italy in 1944 in reprisal for partisan attacks on German troops.
The Ministry said a private association of war victims applied for the pension on Reder’s behalf because he was injured during the war. The payments were suspended at one point but later resumed.