PITTSBURGH, PA – This year commemorates the grim centennial of the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922. That year marked the peak of the period between 1915-1923, when Christians and Jews were systematically-exterminated only for their faith and culture. The western world’s general indifference to the genocide of Christians and Jews in Anatolia, the Pontus, and Asia Minor would soon be used by the Nazis as the basis of their plan to exterminate the Jewish people.
The Greek, Armenian, and Jewish Communities of Western Pennsylvania are coming together in the month of September 2022 in a broad educational outreach to all of Western Pennsylvania, in art, music, literature, and history, to first commemorate those who perished brutally and inhumanely at the hands of savage murderers, but second, to use this milestone in our histories to show that in the face of despair and death, creation and inspiration for a better and tolerant world was fostered and nurtured.
Dr. Nick Giannoukakis, Chairperson of the American Hellenic Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, noted that “our three communities are dedicating the month of September to a common memorial of the Genocides of our people through historic reminders, but also through the music, literature, and artwork that was created by those who either perished in, or survived the genocide of Christians and Jews in Anatolia, the Pontus, and Asia Minor between 1915-1923 and by those who perished in, or survived the brutal concentration camps of the Holocaust during World War II.”
The program of events and activities is included below.
Remember September is organized by the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Program at the University of Pittsburgh- Armenian Nationality Room Committee, Israel Heritage Room Committee, Greek Nationality Room Committee, and Classrooms Without Borders, The European Art Center of Greece (EUARCE), and The American Hellenic Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.
Remember September: Hripsime’s Agony, Athena’s Mourning, and Rachel’s Heartbreak- A Centennial Memorial of the Martyrs of the Christian Genocide in Asia Minor, the Pontus, Anatolia (1915-1922), and the Jewish martyrs of the Holocaust, runs September 11-25. Details available online: Pahellenicfoundation.org/RememberSeptember
Sunday, September 11, 7 PM: Genocide in Asia Minor, the Pontus, and Anatolia (1915-1923) as the “Final Solution’s” Inspiration. Formal Opening of the Program and Greetings by Distinguished Guests.
Monday, September 12, 7 PM: Tetraodeon Tribute to the Neomartyrs of Asia Minor- A musical/hymnologic commemoration of the Greeks in Anatolia, The Pontus, and Asia Minor who were slaughtered in the Christian Genocide.
Tuesday, September 13, 7 PM: Etty: Writing as Resistance- Adapted from the diaries of Etty Hillesum and performed by Susan Stein, directed by Austin Pendleton. In-Person Event. Details at: Pahellenicfoundation.org/RememberSeptember.
Wednesday, September 14, 7 PM: A Prisoner of War’s Story by Stratis Doukas will be presented for the first time ever in English translation.
Thursday, September 15, 3 PM: The Students of Umberto Primo – a post-film discussion with director Alessandra Maioletti (director), executive producer Diane Boulanger, and Avi Ben Hur. Details at Pahellenicfoundation.org/RememberSeptember.
Friday, September 16, 7 PM: Experience and Creations: Vaggelis Anetopoulos.
Saturday, September 17, 3 PM: Commemorating the Armenian Genocide through Testimony: An Interactive Discussion with the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
Sunday, September 18, 7 PM: “Hripsime’s Agony, Athena’s Mourning, and Rachel’s Heartbreak”- A musical and poetic centennial commemoration of, and tribute to the martyrs of the Christian Genocide in Anatolia, the Pontus, and Asia Minor, and the Jews in the Holocaust.
Sunday, September 25, 5 PM: Mapping Migration, Learning from Oral History: Ottoman Greek Immigration to Western Pennsylvania- A Lecture-Presentation by Dr. Yiorgo Topalidis, PhD, Samuel Proctor Oral History Project, University of Florida.
Sunday, September 25, 7 PM: The Builders from Asia Minor- A short documentary about the immigrants and refugees from Asia Minor, the Pontus, and Anatolia who helped shape the Greek-American Communities of the Tri-State Area. With Hymns dedicated to the Neomartyrs of Asia Minor by members of the Byzantine Choir of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh. Details at Pahellenicfoundation.org/RememberSeptember.