Walter Reder

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Walter Reder
Walter Reder at his trial
Born 4 February 1915
Died 26 April 1991(1991-04-26) (aged 76)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit SS Division Totenkopf, SS Division Reichsführer-SS
Battles/wars World War II

Walter Reder (4 February 1915 – 26 April 1991) was an Austrian SS commander and war criminal during World War II.[1] He served with the SS Division Totenkopf and the SS Division Reichsführer-SS. He and the unit under his command committed the Marzabotto massacre in Italy in 1944. After the war, he was convicted of war crimes in Italy.

Marzabotto massacre[edit]

In 1943, Reder became the commander of the SS-Panzer-Aufklärungsabteilung 16 of the 16.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Reichsführer-SS which committed war crimes in the Marzabotto area of Italy in September 1944.

Reder was extradited to Italy in May 1948 for war crimes. He was tried by an Italian military court in Bologna and sentenced to life imprisonment at Gaeta fortress prison, on the coast north of Naples, on October 1951 for ordering the destruction of town of Marzabotto and other villages near Bologna in Aug-Sept 1944 during so-called anti-partisan sweeps and for ordering the execution of 2,700 Italian civilians in Tuscany and Emilia during the same period.

The citizens of Marzabotto and survivors of the massacre voted 237-1 against freeing Reder. Local officials had stated that as many as 1,830 civilians died in massacres in and around Marzabatto.[2]

Years later, a group of SS men whom Reder had commanded in 1944 were tried and convicted for their role in the Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre. Their convictions and sentences, however, were in absentia.

Reder was paroled in January 1985, after which he returned to Austria. He died in 1991.


  1. ^ "Österreich: Verlorener Sohn" (in German). Der Spiegel. 28 January 1985. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Last Nazi war criminal held by Italy given early release". The Dallas Morning News. January 25, 1985. p. A7. 
  • Beschluss des Militärtribunals van Bari (Italien) vom 14. Juli 1980, translation by the court interpreter Dr. Oscar Groschup, commissioned by advocat general Dr. Robert Linke, Ministry of Justice, Austria
  • Marzabotto: The Crimes of Walter Reder - SS-Sturmbannführer, by Christian Ortner (Vienna, 1985)