Athens, 5th March 1959. On this day a Greek court sentences Max Merten to 25 years in prison. He was the chief of the German Wehrmacht administration in Thessaloniki and one of the organisers of the deportation of 50.000 Jews to Auschwitz extermination camp. In 1957 he carelessly returned to the places of his criminal actions and got arrested there. Before he was sentenced the German parliament (Bundestag) postponed the ratification of a finance treaty with Greece in order to enforce a waiver of sentence.
Merten was released on November 5th 1959. In reality his release was forced by blackmail. The convicted war criminal Merten received homecoming compensation in western Germany for his “Passiontide in Greece”, as Der Spiegel (32/1961) formulated it. He died unblemished in 1971.