Please join the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center to commemorate the 100 years of the Burning of Smyrna, on Sunday September 18th , 2022 at 1:00pm. Hear from scholarly speakers, George Sherinian, Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou, Dr. Paul Bartrop, and Kelley Szany, discuss the importance of this great catastrophe to the Greek population and how these events remain relevant today.
The Burning of Smyrna was a historical turning point and is of enormous importance in Greek history. For thousands of years, Greeks of Asian Minor flourished in the city of Smyrna. It became the epicenter for Greek and Christian life in the Ottoman Empire. The Great Fire was a deliberate policy of the Turkish government to destroy the Greek and Christian population and expel them from their ancient homeland. The fire started on September 13, 1922, after the Turkish armed forced entered Smyrna, modern day Ismir, Turkey. The fire lasted approximately nine full days and the entire Greek and Armenian quarters of the city were completely wiped off the map causing Greeks to flee and seek shelter in Greece. The Western Powers witnessed the atrocity and did not take action to save the refugees. Experts believe that the number of victims is in the tens of thousands, while the number of refugees forced to leave Asia Minor are in the millions.