Jewish Congress Appeals to Greece to Reconsider Its Amnesty for Nazis

An urgent appeal to the Greek Government to reconsider a bill to drop all prosecutions of war crimes committed during the Nazi occupation of Greece was made today by the World Jewish Congress.

The bill was passed by the Greek Parliament and awaits the King’s signature to become law. However, the Central Council of Jewish Communities of Greece filed an action in court against the measure after making a strong protest to the Government.

The World Jewish Congress appeal cited “the profound indignation of Jews throughout the world” against the possible liberation under the measure of Maximillian Merten, who was sentenced to a 25-year prison term by a Greek military tribunal. Merten had been found guilty of active complicity in the Nazi deportations and mass murder of 50,000 Greek Jews out of a total Jewish population in Greece of 70,000.

The appeal “earnestly expressed the hope that the Greek Government will reconsider an act which would be held universally to be a concession to inhumanity and lawlessness and that it will give consideration to this most earnest appeal to take into account the deeply-felt emotion of all lovers of justice and international morality.”

The statement added that “the purpose of this law is all the more inexplicable in view of the Federal German Government’s oft-declared intention to bring to justice all those guilty of war crimes during the Nazi regime.”

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