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Events

4th Annual Commemoration of the Burning of Smyrna

Join EMBCA’s 4th Annual Commemoration of the Burning of Smyrna (September, 1922) on its ‘100th Anniversary, Zoom Webinar Panel Discussion’ on September 11 at 2 PM EST/9 PM Athens EEST.

The event will be introduced and moderated by Lou Katsos, EMBCA’s President/Founder. The distinguished panel will include Professor Ismini Lamb the Director of The Modern Greek Program in the Department of Classics at Georgetown University, Author/Writer Lou Ureneck Professor of Journalism (retired) at Boston University, Author/Engineer Savvas ‘Sam’ Koktzoglou, Sculptor/Artist George Petrides, and Peter Stavrianidis, PhD Educator/Community Leader in Hellenic Genocide Issues.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Burning of Smyrna, and part of the final chapter in what has been described in authors Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi book as “The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities 1894-1924.”

The Burning of Smyrna/Smyrna Catastrophe refers to the deliberately set fire four days after Turkish forces entered and captured the port city of cosmopolitan Smyrna in Asia Minor and which completely destroyed its Hellenic and Armenian quarters. The fire started September 13 and was finally extinguished September 22 in 1922. Turkish troops per eyewitnesses systematically cordoned off the Quay to contain the Hellenes and Armenians within their fire zone quarters and prevented them from fleeing.

The estimated Hellenic and Armenian deaths resulting from the fire range up to 100,000. Appropriately up to 400,000 Hellenic and Armenian refugees were in the city from other parts of Asia Minor, to escape the Turkish Troops and irregulars, cramming its waterfront and quays to escape from the horrific flames. Eyewitness reports describe panic-stricken civilian refugees diving into the water to escape the flames and that their terrified screaming could be heard miles away.

They were forced to remain there under harsh conditions and were periodically robbed for two weeks and after having had massacres and atrocities committed on them before the outbreak of the fire. Women were raped and tens of thousands of Hellenic and Armenian men were subsequently deported into the interior of Anatolia, where many died in harsh and brutal conditions. After the Burning of Smyrna and the Asia Minor Catastrophe the Hellenic city founded over 3,000 years before, a jewel and major city of the Eastern Mediterranean, ceased to have Hellenic residents.

 

 

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