Thesis

The Merten Affair

Dr. Max Merten, a German military official during the Nazi occupation of Greece,
 methodically participated in the destruction of Salonika’s Jewish community. His actions
 during the Second World War aided the Nazi regime in extorting, deporting, and
 ultimately exterminating the Greek Jews of Salonika. In 1957, Merten returned to Greece
 and was arrested, tried, and convicted of war crimes. Two years later, under the guise of
 an economic agreement between West Germany and Greece, he was released despite his
 conviction and twenty-five year prison sentence. New archival research, however,
 indicates Merten’s release from prison was specifically arranged in order to prevent
 disclosures of Nazi collaboration involving West German State Secretary Hans Globke,
 and separately, Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. Information gathered
 and shared by the American and West German intelligence services discloses that Merten
 likely possessed, and continuously sought, information implicating both eminent political
 figures. Archival evidence additionally indicates that Merten used the war-period
 information as leverage for blackmailing both government officials in order to maintain
 his freedom and receive compensation.

Thesis (M.A., History)--California State University, Sacramento, 2016.

Dr. Max Merten, a German military official during the Nazi occupation of Greece, methodically participated in the destruction of Salonika’s Jewish community. His actions during the Second World War aided the Nazi regime in extorting, deporting, and ultimately exterminating the Greek Jews of Salonika. In 1957, Merten returned to Greece and was arrested, tried, and convicted of war crimes. Two years later, under the guise of an economic agreement between West Germany and Greece, he was released despite his conviction and twenty-five year prison sentence. New archival research, however, indicates Merten’s release from prison was specifically arranged in order to prevent disclosures of Nazi collaboration involving West German State Secretary Hans Globke, and separately, Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis. Information gathered and shared by the American and West German intelligence services discloses that Merten likely possessed, and continuously sought, information implicating both eminent political figures. Archival evidence additionally indicates that Merten used the war-period information as leverage for blackmailing both government officials in order to maintain his freedom and receive compensation.

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