German Court Opens Trial of Nazi Who Annihilated Salonika Jews

Karl Marbach, president of the Schleswig-Holstein Financial court and Nazi wartime administrator for the German Army in Salonika, was on trial in criminal court here today on charges of giving false testimony in the trial of Max Merten on war crimes in occupied Greece, including the deportation of more than 100,000 Jews.

Merten, who succeeded Marbach in Salonika, was convicted by a Greek military tribunal and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. He was released on amnesty to West Germany in 1959 pending retrial by a German court.

Marbach was accused of giving the false testimony on July 22,1958 when he was questioned about executions and deportations in wartime Greece. Marbach had claimed that during his service in Salonika he had never heard of any “acts of revenge” against the civilian population. It was proved subsequently that he had counter-signed a number of incriminating documents.

Meanwhile Merten, in a letter to the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, today admitted that the paper was correct in reporting that a Greek court charged him in March 1959 with responsibility for the deportation of 46,000 Jews and the inhuman treatment of 56,000 Salonika Jews, as well as with the shooting of hundreds of Greek partisans. However, he asserted that it was “not at all certain” whether criminal proceedings would be opened against him by the West Berlin court now examining his case.

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