Max Merten

Given NameMax


ww2dbaseMax Merten, an attorney by training, worked in the German Reich Ministry for Justice until 26 Jan 1942 as a district court counsellor (Landgerichtsrat). Called up for military service, he initially served with an anti-aircraft battery in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland), but by mid-1942 he would be transferred to Regional Air Command III/IV. On 28 Jul 1942, he was transferred to the Recruitment and Discharge Office for Military Administration Personnel at Marburg in central Germany, and in the following month he would be transferred yet again to Greece. Between Mar 1944 and summer 1944, he was posted to Cetinje in Montenegro, Belgrade in Serbia, and finally Zagrebin Croatia, all of which were in occupied Yugoslavia. He was captured by the Americans toward the end of the war, and in Nov 1945 he was officially arrested with accusations of war crimes. A year later, however, he was released by the Greek government. Merten insisted that the anti-Semitic policies had already been in effect prior to his arrival in Greece, and he had little power to alter their course after his arrival. In the 1950s, while on travel to Greece, he was arrested. He was tried in a Greek court, and in 1959 he was found guilty and was given a 25-year prison term. On 3 Nov 1959, he was granted an amnesty by the Greek government and was extradited to West Germany. His release sparked some controversity, with Merten accusing Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis of Greece to have had ties to the German occupation authorities during the WW2 era, which was the reason that led to Merten's release; both Greek and German authorities regarded Merten's claims as libelous. He passed away in Germany in 1970.


Last Major Revision: Feb 2014

Max Merten Timeline

28 Jul 1942 Max Merten was transferred to the Recruitment and Discharge Office for Military Administration Personnel at Marburg in central Germany.
10 Aug 1942 Max Merten arrived in Thessaloniki for service with the German occupation administration in Thessaloniki, Greece.
29 Sep 1942 Max Merten was informed that, as of 1 Oct 1942, he would be the head of the Administrative and Economic Department of the German occupation administration in Thessaloniki, Greece.
25 Aug 1944 Max Merten received orders to evacuate from Yugoslavia.
20 Nov 1945 Max Merten, already in captivity as a prisoner of war, was arrested for war crimes.
5 Nov 1946 Max Merten was released from captivity by the Greek government.
3 Nov 1959 Max Merten was granted amnesty for the war crimes he committed in Greece during WW2.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
30 Sep 2019 11:32:59 AM

William Archer wrote his doctorate on Max Merten

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