Understanding Genocide and our Remembrance as Greeks

Last week Pontian Greeks throughout the world justifiably recognized a tragic day in their history that has come to be known as the Pontian Genocide.

I wrote about the anniversary, obscure to most people around me who are not well-versed in Greek history and even had to repeatedly change my auto-correct on my computer, which insisted on changing the word Pontian to pontiac.

This anniversary was followed by another recognition of yet another genocide of Greeks— officially commemorated on April 6 and recalling the tragic events targeting the Greeks of Eastern Thrace— the region known today as European Turkey or the lands just west of present-day Istanbul.

And then there’s the case of Smyrna and September 14, the day every year during which memorial services and events are held to remember the tragic events that culminated in September 1922, when hundreds of thousands of Greeks were massacred or forced to flee as refugees from their ancestral homes in Western Anatolia.

The Pontian Genocide, the Thracian Genocide, the Asia Minor Catastrophe— and add to that the Armenians and the Assyrians— other Christian groups once living and thriving in what was the crumbling Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s and you have a confusing mix of history— sometimes even competing with each other— when what was was really happening, was a single, orchestrated annihilation of a single religion of people— Christians.

But for reasons of brevity, I emphasize the Greeks alone, as I continue my post.

The comparison of the Holocaust in Europe during World War II and the Genocide of the Greeks of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s couldn’t be more direct.

You had a single mad man named Adolph Hitler who wanted to “clean” the continent of a single religion of people, Jews, who they themselves were divided by nationality, culture, language, even worship practice— but united as Jews. There were Ukranian Jews and Polish Jews and in Greece alone the Romaniotes and the Sephardic Jews.

And in the then Ottoman Empire, you had another crazed leader named Kemal Ataturk who, like Hitler, planned his own murderous rampage seeking to create a “Turkey for the Turks” with no place for people who were different— i.e., the Greeks (and other Christian minorities including the Armenians and Assyrians).

In Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia— there were the Pontian Greeks who lived along the coast of the Black Sea, and the Thracians and the westernized Ionian Greeks, who lived along the seashore facing the Aegean. And there were other, lesser-known communities too, who lived in the interior of Turkey, like the Cappodocians.

Each had their distinct dialects, food traditions and even worship traditions as some of these communities had adopted Turkish as their native and worship languages (like U.S. communities of Greeks have adopted English as theirs) but liturgies were still Greek Orthodox in faith and tradition.

But they were all Greeks— like the Jews of Europe.

The confusing ethnic and regional differences have, over the years, created a disjointed effort to remember, document and recognize the single mass atrocity that took place in the beginning of the 20th century— that of a systematic wiping out of entire populations of Greek people in the early stages of the building of modern day Turkey by its founder, Kemal Ataturk.

One website, which has done extensive research and documentation is seeking to set the record straight— and even called out my own efforts of recognizing the Pontian Genocide last week on this website.

The Greek Genocide Resource Center sent me an email, stating that “By calling for the recognition of a genocide only in the one region where it occurred, ie. Pontus, Pontic Greeks are effectively ignoring the suffering of all other Greeks that fell victim during the Genocide.”

At first glance, my knee-jerk reaction was one of disgust. “Can’t we all just get along?” I thought to myself. Unity has not been our best trait as a nation of people, I thought.

But at further notice and more reading— confirming what I already knew and also seeing a Facebook post by the same author of the email, it made perfect sense. The Greek Genocide Resource Center posted the following on their Facebook page just one day before Pontian Greeks were preparing to recognize and mourn their dead.

“Last month we commemorated the genocide of the Greeks from Eastern Thrace, today we commemorate the victims from Pontus, and on September 14 we will once again commemorate more victims of the Greek Genocide, those from western Asia Minor. There were many victims of the Greek Genocide, and for certain reasons Greeks prefer to mourn their ancestors based on region. What this has created is a disjointed effort for recognition. Pontic Greeks, considered the first to use the term genocide to describe the mass killing of Greeks in the former Ottoman Empire, have sought and received a day of mourning for their own victims, and till this day, continue to seek recognition solely for the victims of Pontus. This bias belittles and belies the true suffering of all the victims who were after all – GREEKS. Today we mourn the loss of many. This page at least, will continue to seek a SINGLE recognition for ALL the victims regardless of where they lived. We ask that all fair minded people look through the division and work to do the same. It was a GREEK Genocide.”

It was a single genocide. Plain and simple.

Of course, seeking to minimize one, over the other, is not the answer and seeking to bring together scholars, activists and societies of regional Greeks (i.e. Pontians, Smyrniots, Thracians and other descendants of all Anatolian Greeks) could prove next to impossible, let alone a futile effort.

Because we are a ferociously proud— but splintered people. Cretans are proud of their Cretan lineage, and Pontians are proud of their own culture and history. The Arcadians and Laconians thrive as sub-cultures of a sub-culture of Peloponesians— and so on.

And this is not to say that the Pontians, the Smyrniots and others shouldn’t continue mourning their dead and remembering their ancestors’ sacrifices, the same way Ukrainian and Polish Jews commemorate their own very specific massacres. The difference being, of course, that it’s always under the umbrella of “The Holocaust” for them. And for us, we seek Congressional resolutions, city council proclamations and other official-type of recognitions in disjointed and individualistic efforts, NOT as a single Genocidal event, but as individual, regional efforts.

The Jews were able to unite their historians and communities from the ashes of World War II and create a single, unified campaign to inform the world of The Holocaust— a single, systematic effort by Nazi Germany to annihilate all Jews— Greek, Italian, Sephardic, Polish and dozens of other sub-cultures thriving under one umbrella of Judaism in Europe.

Will the Greeks ever be able to unite under a single GREEK effort that will bridge the gap amongst a confusing— yet single and systematic effort that took place between 1914 and 1922 to annihilate Greeks— regardless of region— from Anatolia?

I certainly hope so and the education and documentation that was provided to me by the Greek Genocide Resource Center has helped me to better understand that like The Holocaust, the genocide of Asia Minor’s Greeks— the Pontians, the Ionians, the Thracians and others— was a single, devastating, brutal campaign targeting Greeks.

The official population statistics from a 1914 Ottoman Empire census are telling— and show that in that year, there were over 1.7 million Greeks living in the empire. The numbers from less than a decade later are well known as most were either killed, or forced to flee.

And while we shouldn’t forget or minimize our individual efforts— perhaps it’s time— a century after these brutal and devastating events— to call it what it is— a GREEK GENOCIDE.


Originally published on 2016-05-22

Source: Pappas Post

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
Denying the Holocaust
Kosovo Albanian Muslims and their unthinking and duped supporters in the US are denying the Holocaust when they claim that Albanians rescued 100% of the Jews in Kosovo and in Albania. Albanian Muslims are Holocaust deniers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yet Albanians are not ostracized. Why? Why are Albanian Muslims and their lackeys and stooges in the US allowed to get away with denying the Holocaust, with falsifying their role in the destruction of European Jews? The ignorance of the Albanian lobby is appalling. Albanian Muslims played a role in the Holocaust. Who claims this? Raul Hilberg, the founder of Holocaust studies and ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Preface Kosovo is today one of the most disputed territories in Europe and a real Balkan powder keg which can explode again at any time. It is a province within the Republic of Serbia, recognized as such by both Serbia’s constitution and the Resolution 1244 by the Security Council of the United Nations (the UNSC Resolution 1244, June 10th, 1999). However, Kosovo parliament with a clear Albanian majority proclaimed the independence of Kosovo (without a referendum) in February 2008 that was recognized by the majority of the Western countries followed by their puppet clients all over the world (in reality, today ...
READ MORE
Who was US Special Representative to Kosovo Frank G. Wisner?
On December 19, 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the appointment of Ambassador Frank G. Wisner as the Special Representative of the US Secretary of State to the Kosovo Status Talks. Who is Frank G. Wisner, Jr.? If his name sounds familiar that is because he is the son of Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr., the CIA agent most responsible for the recruitment of Nazis by the US government after World War II. A former member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II precursor to the CIA, Frank G. Wisner, Sr., was one of the most infamous ...
READ MORE
The Pope Оpenly Еmbraced Kosovo Secession in 1993
I. Comment by Jared Israel The two media reports from 1993, posted below, refer to Ibrahim Rugova as “President of the Republic of Kosovo,” when in fact: a) no such republic existed; b) Kosovo was a province of the Republic of Serbia and c) Rugova was not any kind of government official, let alone a president. Rather, he was the leader of a faction, supported and sponsored by outside powers, which faction had already played a key role in launching the attack on Yugoslavia, and which was now boycotting all official Kosovo institutions as part of a strategy of creating a ...
READ MORE
Donetsk People’s Republic – Story Untold by Western Media
My refusal to believe ongoing Western media reports of “Russian aggression” makes me a “Kremlin troll”. My punishment for not towing the “party line” – simple, effective “shunning” by Western media – has not, however, diminished my ongoing commitment to seeing the other side. Having previously investigated the Crimean reunification with Russia, this May I turned my attention to the birth of two new government formations in Eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR).  Americans only hear either what Kiev “reports”, or the US propaganda machine puts out – these are puppet regimes born of ...
READ MORE
The Nazi Glorification of Ataturk
Historical research into the Nazi era rarely throws up many surprises any more. German historian Stefan Ihrig, however, is an exception to this rule. By studying long-published sources, he has uncovered the fascination that Ataturk's modern Turkey held for the German far right, which has been seriously underestimated until now and which set an example for Hitler and the National Socialists. From a right-wing viewpoint, what Ataturk had achieved was an unattainable goal for Weimar-era Germany. Using force of arms, he had managed to reverse the Treaty of Sevres, which had been forced on his country by the Entente in 1920, ...
READ MORE
Reviving the Greater Israel Scheme
Israel’s Maariv newspaper has revealed that the government of the Zionist state is planning to drop a political bombshell in the coming weeks by presenting a bill in the Knesset (parliament) calling for the annexation of land occupied since 1967. It is likely to have the support of the majority of Knesset members. The newspaper added that the right wing has chosen this time for the move ahead of the US presidential election; America, it is believed, will be too preoccupied to care about what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories. Preliminary talks about a first stage have been held, ...
READ MORE
How Turkey Destroyed or Disposed of Its Historical Archives and Documents
For several decades, the Turkish government and its propagandists have been announcing that the state documents, particularly the Ottoman archives, are fully open and available to any researcher from around the world. What Turkish officials and their supporters do not say is that many documents of the Ottoman archives have been removed, destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of. In addition, some of the most sensitive archives are still closed to outsiders. Last month, Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut wrote a revealing article, “Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans,” published on the Philos Project website, regarding the status of Turkish archives and ...
READ MORE
Trump’s Straw Nazis: A Horror Story
Introduction – Nothing is More Dangerous than a Discreet Nazi People have been digesting the appointment of Stephen Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist and the sudden rise in overt racism and Nazi symbology. There are people saying “Heil Trump”, giving Nazi salutes, and spray-painting swastikas in alarming numbers. The US is a large, populous, diverse country, but there is clearly something of significance here beyond just a few ignorant teenagers with spraycans and emotional issues. The overt Nazism is very disturbing. It was less than reassuring when Anne Coulter sought to tweet some perspective “Rachel shows FIVE PEOPLE at Richard Spencer meeting ...
READ MORE
Nazism in Israel
Israel treats Arabs the way Nazis treated Jews – a racist, fascist, white Jewish supremacist (the chosen people nonsense), Arab-hating society systematically ghettoizing and terrorizing people for praying to the wrong God. Palestinians are treated like subhumans, enduring virtually every type indignity and mistreatment under brutalizing militarized rule, civil justice denied. Institutionalized racism worse than South African apartheid denies them fundamental human and civil rights. De-Arabization is official Israeli policy. Occupation harshness facilitates slow-motion genocide. Millions suffer horrifically. Anyone resisting tyranny is eliminated – brutalized, imprisoned or murdered. Muhammad Allan is a Palestinian political prisoner – rearrested at Barzilai hospital before his release to ...
READ MORE
Christianity in Europe During the WWII
Introduction The propaganda by the Christian churches in regard to their role during WWII in Fascist Italy, Yugoslavia, and Nazi Germany has so conditioned their believers that most of them believe that Christianity played an honorable role at best, and only a silent role at worst. Yet there seems little recognition that the very framework of the beliefs owned by the Fascists and Nazis came from their Christian upbringing from church, school, and Christian traditions. The entire anti-Jewish and racial sentiments came not from some new philosophy or unique ideology, but rather from centuries of Christian preaching against the Jews, gypsies, ...
READ MORE
An Overview of the Greek Genocide
The Greek Genocide (or Ottoman Greek Genocide) refers to the systematic extermination of the native Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire before, during and after World War I (1914-1923). It was instigated by successive governments of the Ottoman Empire; the Committee of Union and Progress Party (C.U.P), and the Turkish Nationalist Movement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.  It included massacres, forced deportations and death marches, summary expulsions, boycotts, rape, forced conversion to Islam, conscription into labor battalions, arbitrary executions, and destruction of Christian Orthodox cultural, historical and religious monuments. According to various sources, approximately 1 million Ottoman Greeks perished during this period. The first ...
READ MORE
An Interview with Dr. Jacobs on Genocide in the Ottoman Empire
Dr. Steven Leonard Jacobs holds the Aaron Aronov Endowed Chair of Judaic Studies and is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa. An ordained rabbi, Professor Jacobs is a specialist on the Holocaust and Genocide, Biblical Studies, Jewish-Jewish Christian Relations, and is one of the foremost authorities on Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959), who coined the term “genocide” and devoted his life to the enactment of an international law on the punishment and prevention of genocide. Among his numerous publications, Prof. Jacobs is the author of the chapter entitled, “Lemkin on Three Genocides: Comparing His Writings on the Armenian, Assyrian, ...
READ MORE
Recognize the Genocide that Happened—And the One Now Beginning
The United States, Europe, and their partners must officially recognize the Mountainous Karabagh Republic within its constitutional frontiers. Stepanakert, Mountainous Karabagh — I no longer know what to do on April 24—or where to go. This is the day Armenians across the globe commemorate the genocide in 1915 that destroyed the Armenian people and its homeland of thousands of years. Those killing fields, the homes of my grandparents, are located in historic western Armenia—now eastern Turkey. But a century later, this very region has erupted in all-out war. Turkish forces are on the offensive again, this time, Armenians having been eliminated, against ...
READ MORE
The US: The Century of Lost Wars
Introduction Despite having the biggest military budget in the world, five times larger than the next six countries, the largest number of military bases – over 180 – in the world and the most expensive military industrial complex, the US has failed to win a single war in the 21st century. In this paper we will enumerate the wars and proceed to analyze why, despite the powerful material basis for wars, it has led to failures. The Lost Wars The US has been engaged in multiple wars and coups since the beginning of the 21st century.  These include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Venezuela and ...
READ MORE
Crimes of Genocide Against Serbs in Croatia
The controversial film director has been reported to authorities by the Antifascist League. A criminal complaint against film director Jakov Sedlar has been filed due to historical counterfeits that he used during the production of his documentary “Jasenovac – The Truth”. The complaint has been filed by the Antifascist League of Croatia due to criminal offense of incitement to violence and hatred, reports tportal.hr on July 15, 2016. In the explanation of the compliant, the Antifascist League states that Sedlar in the film publicly denied and significantly reduced the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, primarily directed against members ...
READ MORE
Native American Genocide
The term Genocide derives from the Latin (genos=race, tribe; cide=killing) and means literally the killing or murder of an entire tribe or people. The Oxford English Dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group” and cites the first usage of the term as R. Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, (1944) p.79. “By ‘genocide’ we mean the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group.” The U.N. General Assembly adopted this term and defended it in 1946 as “….a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups.” Most people tend to associate ...
READ MORE
German Researchers: Berlin Owes Greece €185 Bln in WW II Reparations
Two German researchers claim that Germany owes Greece 185 billion euros in World War II reparations, of which less that 1 percent has been paid. German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reviewed a book called “Reparation Debt Mortgages of German Cccupation in Greece and Europe”, in which historian Karl Heinz Roth and researcher Hartmut Rubner, present documents of the dispute and conclude that, even though Berlin claims the war reparations issue was resolved in 1960, in fact nothing has been done about it. According to their calculations, based on the study of mainly German documents, the total debt to Greece is 185 billion euros. The book ...
READ MORE
Destruction of Christianity: Syria and Kosovo
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
"The main part of the population of Baltic cities up to the 19th century consisted of ethnic Germans, and also Poles and Jews, but not at all Baltic people. In fact, the “old” (pre-revolutionary) Baltic region was completely built by Germans. Baltic cities were German cities – with German architecture, culture, and system of municipal management. ... in the cities of the Baltic region there were almost no Estonians and Latvians." Now, the Baltic states consist of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which received sovereignty in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each of these states position themselves, respectively, ...
READ MORE
Denying the Holocaust
Kosovo: What Everyone (Really) Needs to Know
Who was US Special Representative to Kosovo Frank G. Wisner?
The Pope Оpenly Еmbraced Kosovo Secession in 1993
Donetsk People’s Republic – Story Untold by Western Media
The Nazi Glorification of Ataturk
Reviving the Greater Israel Scheme
How Turkey Destroyed or Disposed of Its Historical Archives and Documents
Trump’s Straw Nazis: A Horror Story
Nazism in Israel
Christianity in Europe During the WWII
An Overview of the Greek Genocide
An Interview with Dr. Jacobs on Genocide in the Ottoman Empire
Recognize the Genocide that Happened—And the One Now Beginning
The US: The Century of Lost Wars
Crimes of Genocide Against Serbs in Croatia
Native American Genocide
German Researchers: Berlin Owes Greece €185 Bln in WW II Reparations
Destruction of Christianity: Syria and Kosovo
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu