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100th Anniversary Commemoration: The Great Fire of Smyrna
September 18, 2022 @ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
For thousands of years, Smyrna was the wealthiest of cities, located today on Turkey’s Aegean coast: an elegant, cosmopolitan city where Greeks, Armenians, Turks, Jews, and others lived and worked together – a city known for religious tolerance. But after the “Young Turks Revolution” and creation of a Nationalist government in 1919, a lethal campaign calling for the destruction and brutal persecution of the Christians of Asia Minor, Pontos, and East Thrace began.
The Great Fire of Smyrna started on September 13, 1922, after the Turkish armed forces entered Smyrna, a deliberate act by the Turkish government to destroy or expel Greeks and any other Christian population. The entire Greek and Armenian quarters of the city were destroyed, forcing the population to flee.
Historians believe that the number of victims was in the tens of thousands, while the number of refugees was over a million. Thousands of Greek and Armenian men were subsequently deported into the interior of Anatolia, where many died in harsh and brutal conditions.
Join Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center for an afternoon of discussion and presentations by renowned scholars and educators as they address one of the most tragic events in modern Greek history. Participants will include:
George Shirinian, Author and Executive Director at Zoryan Institute
Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou, Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. John’s University and City University of New York
Dr. Paul Bartrop, Emeritus Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University
Kelley Szany, Senior Vice President of Education & Exhibitions at Illinois Holocaust Museum, and Co-Chair of Illinois Holocaust & Genocide Commission
This commemoration is free to the public.
Community Partners: Hellenic American Leadership Council; The National Hellenic Museum; The UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture