HELLENIC GENOCIDE BLACK SEPTEMBER
September 14, 1922 HELLENIC GENOCIDE
The month of September brings with it the end of summer, the
beginning of a new year on the Orthodox calendar, and the
anniversaries of dates that have ravaged Hellenic civilization and
culture. On September 14, we commemorate the Hellenic Genocide. We
remember once again the Hellions of Asia Minor who were
systematically murdered by the governments of the Young Turks and
Mustafa Kemal Pasha. The destruction of Asia Minor Hellenism began
in 1071 when the Byzantine armies were defeated by the Seljuk Turks.
In this historical event lies the origin of the Hellenic Holocaust
which continues up to the present day. In 1453, Constantinopoulis
fell to the Turks. The great, honorable, and brave Constantinos
Palaiologos led 5,000 brave Greek soldiers against 80,000 Ottoman
Turkish soldiers. The fall of Constantinopoulis, and the fall of the
Empire of Trebizond eight years later extended the Hellenic
holocaust to all Hellenic regions.
The Ottoman Empire brought with it massacres, torture, slavery, the
kidnapping of boys for the Janissaries, the enslavement of women
into the harems, and intolerable political and economic pressure
that resulted in the further decimation of Hellenism. For even when
Hellenes were not massacred, the destruction of Hellenism occurred
with the loss of national identity. Conversions to Islam and
Turkification contributed to the nightmare of the loss of
independence and national sovereignty.
In May 1919, the armies of a a free and independent Greece entered
the glorious and long suffering city of Smyrna. For a brief time it
appeared that the extermination of the Hellenic race had ceased.
During the First World War, the Young Turks began to murder the
Hellenic populations in Asia Minor, along with the Armenians and the
Ultimately, Mustafa Kemal Pasha became an instrument of western
imperialism and as such Turkish racism earned the
unconditional assistance of the United States, Great Britain,
France, and Italy. The murderous psychopath Mustafa Kemal was aided
by the western powers while the Greek Army in Asia Minor was cut off
by an embargo imposed by the western powers. In September 1922,
beautiful Smyrna was conquered by the Kemalists and burned. Over
100,000 Greeks and 30,000 Armenians were slaughtered.
Special mention must be made of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Smyrna.
This brave and noble Greek Orthodox Cleric supported the Greek
liberators in 1919, and was a voice for the aspirations of a nation
that had been enslaved, humiliated, massacred, and denigrated for
centuries. When the news broke that the Kemalist aggressors would
retake Smyrna, it became apparent that the Greeks and the Armenians
would not survive.
Metropolitan Chrysostom was offered refuge by the French Consulate.
This Saint refused the offer of safety and chose to
share the fate of his flock. Metropolitan Chrysostom was handed over
to a fanatical Muslim mob by the crazed and
sadistic Kemalist General Noureddin Pasha. He was humiliated by
having his beard cut off, and then his eyes, ears, nose, and hands
were cut off. Metropolitan Chyrsostom was canonized as a Saint by
the Orthodox Church of Greece in 1992. (He is very much AXIOS and
deserves to be remembered and prayed for).
When the Kemalist-Young Turks murder machines ceased-over 1,500,000
Armenians, 1,000,000 Greeks, and 800,000 Assyrians had lost their
lives. The decimation of Hellenism continued when the west supported
Kemal's plan to ethnically cleanse Asia Minor and Eastern Thraki of
well over 1,000,000 Hellenes. In this day and age, we are inundated
with stories of ethnic cleansing throughout the world, but there is
still no recognition of the horrors that have been perpetrated
Over 1,000,000 Hellenes were forced to abandon the land and homes
where their ancestors and descendants had lived for over 3,000
years. This ethnic cleansing and Genocide was supported by the
"civilized" powers in the west and legitimized by the Treaty of
Lausanne. Today the world commemorates Aushwitz and the crimes of
Stalin, but there are no memorials for the dead of Smyrna and Pontus
in those ancient Hellenic lands.
On September 6, 1955 crimes against humanity took place in a country
that was a member of the NATO alliance. The Turkish government of
Adnan Menderes (of the so called "democratic" party) incited
terrorism against the Hellenes of Constantinopoulis and Imbros.
First, the Turks bombed their own consulate in Thessaloniki and then
blamed the Greeks. Then they organized the fanatics, the criminals,
and the parasites, and encouraged them to attack the Greek
population, the Churches, homes, and businesses.
In Smyrna, Greek Army officers serving with NATO were assaulted and
their wives violated. Throughout these terrorist attacks, the police
did not interfere. On September 6 we remember the end of Hellenism
in Constantinopoulis and Imbros. In the 1960's, the Turkish
authorities proceeded to finish the job by ethnically cleansing the
last remnants of Hellenism.
During these attacks in Constantinopoulis, Imbros, and Smyrna, there
were absolutely no condemnations, protests, or sanctions coming from
Washington (that universal protector of "human rights" and
"democracy"). Following the September 6 pogroms, Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles wrote identical letters to Greek Prime Minister
Alexander Papagos and Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes urging
the "allies" to consider NATO. There was no sympathy for Greece
expressed, nor was there any condemnation of Turkey's blatant
Hellenism is today being eradicated in Cyprus. Over 200,000 Greeks
have been ethnically cleansed in the occupied territories. In 1996,
Turkish death squads murdered Cypriots Tasos Isaac and Solomos
Solomou. As in Asia Minor in 1922, and Constantinopoulis in 1955,
there is not a single protest emanating from the "civilized powers."
Black September, a month to commemorate and recall our losses, and
to reevaluate where Hellenism stands today in Cyprus, Macedonia, the
Aegean Sea, and Northern Epirus. The losses of Hellenism have been
numerous in terms of lives lost, and in terms of territory that has
been conquered. Let us remember, commemorate, and mourn all that has
been lost in Asia Minor and Constantinopoulis. Remember Smyrna and
Pontus, and the victims of the Hellenic Genocide.
Documentation of the Hellenic Genocide
Let us remember and honor the memories of those who worked to
protect Hellenes, Armenians, and Assyrians from the Turkish
aggressors. Let us honor prominent American officials such as George
Horton and Henry Morgenthau who worked tirelessly to assist the
refugees that fled from Asia Minor. Let us honor them also because
their important work remains alive in their important writings and
texts. George Horton documented the Hellenic Genocide in "The Blight
of Asia", and Henry Morgenthau documented the ethnic cleansing of
Hellenes in his important, "I was sent to Athens".
Further documentation and texts on the Hellenic Genocide include
Edward Hale Bierstadt's "The Great Betrayal" which was published in
1924, and which Turkish supporters in America worked to discredit.
This is a powerful and moving document describing the agony of Asia
Minor Hellenism. Journalist Edward Herbert Gibbons has left behind
accounts of Turkish Genocide against Hellenism in his 1920 biography
of Prime Minister Venizelos.
The American Hellenic Society, an early version of the Greek lobby
in America has left behind an important document, "Persecution of
the Greeks in Turkey" which describes in great detail the atrocities
of the Greeks in Asia Minor during the First World War. Specific
atrocities, statistics of the dead in various regions, numbers of
victims deported and ethnically cleansed, and the names of Hellenic
villages where the Turkish exterminations took place during the
First World War are all recounted here.
The American Hellenic Society has also left behind a document
submitted by Prime Minister Venizelos, "Greece Before the Peace
Congress of 1919", which was submitted to the victorious powers of
the First World War. The Prime Minister makes frequent references to
the exterminations of Greeks and Armenians in the case he put
forward for the rights of Greece in Asia Minor and
Marjorie Housepian Dobkin's, "Smyrna 1922 the Destruction of a City"
is a brilliantly researched account of the events that led to the
final extermination of Asia Minor Hellenism. Thea Halo's "Not Even
my Name" is a memoir recalling the Genocide that affected Hellenism
"The Miracle" by Leonidas Koumakis is an invaluable contribution to
the documentation of the destruction of Hellenism in
Constantinopoulis and Asia Minor. The author recounts the conspiracy
against Hellenism during the 1950's and 1960's, and describes the
ethnic cleansing of Hellenes by the Turkish state. "The Crucifixion
of Christianity" by Dimitrios Kaloumenos
is a recounting of the September 1955 pogroms in Constantinopoulis
and contains numerous photographs of the destruction that serve as
an indictment against the Turkish state.
"In 1992, Helsinki Watch published, "Denying Human Rights and Ethnic
Identity, The Greeks of Turkey". The document refers to specific
harassment against the Greeks of Constantinopoulis, and Imbros and
Tenedos". The document is further evidence of the ethnic cleansing
of Hellenism by the Turkish authorities.
Up to our own day, Hellenism remains under assault. The State
Department's "Country Reports on Human Rights" has documented the
terrorist bombings against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the
discriminatory closing of the Halki Seminary.
Cypriot Hellenism suffers under the Turks today. The plight of the
Cypriots is recounted in the Documentary film, "Attila 74 the Rape
of Cyprus" by film director Michael Cacoyannis. Furthermore, the
destruction of Cypriot culture is described in the text, "The
Occupied Churches of Cyprus" by a Greek Cypriot priest, Rev. D.