Melina’s Story in Greece

People crowded into boats to escape from the Catastrophe of Smyrna 1922. (Photo: Museum of Asia Minor Hellenism "Filio Hademenou" in Nea Filadelfeia, Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

I arrived in Greece with my two young children Ioannis, 5 and Maria, 6 on a beautiful sunny day in late April or early May 1923. The American ship stopped at St George’s Island off Piraeus so that we would be examined by doctors to see if we had any contagious diseases. I cannot explain it, myself and my two children were disease-free. Some divine hand protected us. Others looked a sickly grey with the grim reaper ready to take …

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