Survivors and relatives of victims of a Nazi massacre of the residents of Marzabotto, in northern Italy, voted against the release from prison of the former Nazi SS officer who ordered it.
GV Town of Marzabotto in Italy.
CU Major Walter Reder in prison.
GV Barn where people were shot. (2 SHOTS)
SV 69-year-old Mario Cardi demonstrates what happened as he enters barn.
CU Spot where people were shot, Mario Cardi's voice, plus English translator. (SOT) (3 SHOTS)
GV Church which was destroyed.
GV & SV Cemetery where 195 people were killed. (2 SHOTS)
SV Relatives of dead entering town hall in Marzabotto.
GV INTERIOR People attending hearing PAN TO speaker.
CUs Relatives objecting to hearing. (4 SHOTS)
CU BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPH showing Walter Reder being arrested in 1944.
CU Andrew Forester, former British Army officer, speaking to reporter. (SOT)
GV INTERIOR Relatives voting against Reder's release. (4 SHOTS)
SVs & CUs Relatives outside town hall shaking hands and smiling.
TRANSCRIPT: CARDI: (SEQ 4)"Eighty-three people were piled on the floor. Hand grenades were thrown inside. The flash. The bodies were splattered against the wall. I was under my mother and two sisters. I was covered by their blood. I pretended I was dead."
FORESTER: (SEQ 12)"Reder and repentance are two totally opposite things."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Survivors and relatives of victims of a Nazi massacre of the residents of Marzabotto, in northern Italy, voted against the release from prison of the former Nazi SS officer who ordered it. Austrian-born Walter Reder, now 69, the last Nazi war criminal behind bars in Italy, was scheduled to be released next July. Reder, with one arm and in poor health, has been in an Italian prison since 1951, after being convicted of complicity for the deaths of about 600 civilians, although the massacre's toll was 1,830 men, women and children. The September, 1944, killings were in reprisal for partisan attacks on the occupying forces. Survivors said the slaughter began when Reder's troops burst into the Marzabotto church where the priest had gathered 147 people; they were ordered outside into the cemetery and were shot. Later, 83 people were marched into a barn and the Germans then threw hand grenades inside. One man sheltered by the bodies of his mother and sisters survive to tell the tale. Forty-nine people, including 19 children, were killed when the Nazi troops blew up u the school building. Reder wrote secretly to Marzabotto's mayor, saying he no longer had "the smallest part of the ideology which in my distant youth poisoned the world in which I had grown up". The ensuing proposal by the Italian government and the church, that Reder should receive a "Christian pardon", met with a resounding 'No' from the people of Marzabotto.