May 12, 1953

FRANZ DOELGER: The positive mood among Greece’s Byzantologists in view of the 9th International Conference of Byzantine Studies held by Thessaloniki University has been spoiled after an unprecedented attack in Athens daily newspapers against the internationally acclaimed Byzantologist from Munich University Professor Franz Doelger, who edits the magazine Byzantinische Zeitschrift. (…) Professor Doelger has been accused of being a supporter of Hitler, of coming to Greece as a colonel in the Wehrmacht and violating the sanctity of Mt Athos by blackmailing a monk and taking away many historically valuable artifacts. The papers allege Doelger was interrogated by the Allies after the fall of Hitler as a collaborator and that he forced the Athens Academy to receive him at its official conference. A day later, one of the newspapers retracted the accusations. «Apart from the fact that Professor Doelger actually served in Greece as a German colonel during the occupation, something for which he himself is not to blame, everything else in yesterday’s report is absolutely untrue,» it wrote. Doelger came to Greece in 1941 as a captain, (…) but as a Philhellene, sought to be removed from duty in Greece. The only way he could do that was to publish his document on Mt Athos, a request which was approved. (…) His visit to Mt Athos took place in June 1941 and he returned to Munich in July 1941.

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