VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ A Hungarian woman who was decorated for helping Jews and anti-fascists in wartime Hungary has been expelled from the Communist Party for investigating the disappearance of a war criminal, a source said Monday.

A member of the Jewish community in Vienna said the information was provided by Gyoerffy College, a university student club, and by Andras Hegedues, a former prime minister.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Gizella Kutrucz was ousted from the party in March. The source said Kutrucz had been a party member for 44 years, is in her 60s, and is a retired government secretary.

Last month, she had her pension reduced and was stripped of other benefits and a medal she had been awarded for helping Jews, anti-fascists and Communists during the war, the source said.

Her friends in Budapest said Kutrucz drew official wrath for persistent research into the mystery surrounding Zoltan Bonsyak, a Hungarian who in 1944 led an institute doing research on Jews and issued a fascist publication, Harc. Bonsyak, who was said to have been on an international list of war criminals, mysteriously disappeared. Officially, he was executed. But the Jewish source said no documents apparently exist to corroborate that version.

Kutrucz collected documents to shed light on what had happened to Bonsyak, but officials apparently objected to her research efforts, the source said.