“4th Annual Commemoration of the Burning of Smyrna (September, 1922) on its 100th Anniversary “ Panel Discussion

Join us for EMBCA’s “4th Annual Commemoration of the Burning of Smyrna (September 13- 22, 1922) on its 100th Anniversary “ Zoom Webinar Panel Discussion on Sunday, September 11 at 2 P.M. EST/ 9 P.M. Athens EEST. Lou Katsos EMBCA’s President will introduce and moderate the panel. The distinguished panel will include Writer/Artist THEA HALO and author of the book “Not Even My Name; Professor ISMINI LAMB the Director of The Modern Greek Program in the Department of Classics at Georgetown University and author of the new book “THE GENTLE AMERICAN George Horton’s Odyssey and His True Account of the Smyrna Catastrophe”; Author/Writer LOU URENECK Professor of Journalism (retired) at Boston University and author of the book “Smyrna, September 1922: The American Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century's First Genocide”; Author/Engineer SAVVAS “SAM” KOKTZOGLOU and co-author of the book “The Greek Genocide in American Naval War Diaries - Naval Commanders Report and Protest Death Marches and Massacres in Turkey's Pontus Region, 1921-1922.”; Sculptor/Artist GEORGE PETRIDES whose bronze “Hellenic Heads” head relating to the Smyrna burning will be erected in a 100th anniversary ceremony in Athens on September 14 ; and PETER STAVRIANIDIS , PHD Educator/Community Leader in Hellenic Genocide Issues. We hope this panel discussion and conversation contributes to a continuing wave of research, discussions, activism , justice, and results in terms of recognition of this very important event as well as the historic systemic genocide committed relating to it. May the memories of those that perished and those subjected to inhuman cruelties be eternal, and never forgotten.

This year marks the 100 th 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 (in the Hellenic – Καταστροφή της Σμύρνης) 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 was started September 13 and 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 Catastrophe the Hellenic city founded over 3,000 years before , a jewel and major city of the Eastern Mediterranean, ceased in any meaningful way to have Hellenic residents.