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01 November, 2015

CIA documents link two former Greek PMs with nazis

An old case pertaining to leaked CIA documents from 2006 has spark speculation as to whether Greece’s great statesman was a Nazi collaborator

An unusual leaked CIA document that has been around since 2006 has been doing the rounds on the Internet in recent hours, trending on Twitter as #Karamanlis_gate. The document in question dates back to September 16, 1962, states that two former conservative prime ministers of Greece – Constantine Karamanlis and Kostantinos Tsaldaris – had collaborated with the Nazis during the Jewish Holocaust and specifically in the drive to rid Thessaloniki from its large sephardic community.

The writer of the text based evidence on talks with former Greek consul Ioannis Moschopoulos, who announced that there was a list of Greek collaborators who worked with the Nazis causing the death of millions of Greek Sephardic Jews. The announcement was made during the Adolf Eichmann trial.

The document states that during the trial of Eichmann, there was an Israeli official monitoring on behalf of the Greek government. The official, characterised as a trusted person of the Greek Foreign Ministry, was part of the press office of the Greek diplomatic mission to Israel. The official noted that the names of Karamanlis and Tsaldaris were on a list, marked with a red pen.

The case appears to be linked with the scandal of Max Merten that occupied public opinion in Greece during the end of the Fifties and start of the Sixties. Specifically, Merten had been in charge of civilian affairs as part of the puppet government installed in Greece during the German Occupation in World War II. Merten’s jurisdiction was in the Thessaloniki-Aegean area where most Jews lived. He had made a deal with the Jews to keep them from going to death camps in exchange for their gold and other valuables, thus amassing a treasure worth 2.4 billion dollars before sending the Jews to death camps anyway. From the 80,000 Jews in the area, only 5,000 survived.

At the end of the war, Merten returned to the region and was recognized by a Holocaust survivor. Tried and convicted of war crimes, he was sentenced to prison for 25 years, but only served 8 months after Karamanlis gave him an amnesty.

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