Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy (1869-1967) was an American physician who witnessed first-hand the events at Smyrna in September 1922 during the Greek Genocide. After the start of World War I, she helped establish the American Women’s Hospitals Service (AMWHS) which was formed to bring humanitarian relief to displaced and injured victims of war. She was in Geneva attending a conference when the Smyrna fire started and was dispatched immediately by the American Women's Hospitals.
More of her recollections on the Smyrna fire, as well as other relief efforts conducted by the AMWHS during and after the genocide can be found in her book titled Certain Samaritans.
The following is an excerpt from a radio address made by Dr Lovejoy in early 1923.1
I have just come from the shores and the islands of Greece where over a million Christian people, mostly women and children, who were driven from their homes in Asia Minor have taken refuge. Robbed of their birth-right; separated from their husbands and sons; herded in the reeking holes of cargo ships short of food and water, these poor creatures left the land of their fathers - a land literally flowing with milk and honey - and oil. Behind them was the Turkish Army and the smoldering ruin of Smyrna. Before them was the open sea, and away beyond their range of vision, beyond their range of understanding, beyond the range of human understanding and divine charity was the closed doors of the strong nations called Christian. Like sacrifices chosen for their innocence, these poor mothers and little children were cast out upon the waters. Only one country would let them land and that was poor little Greece.
I was in Smyrna during the evacuation of that city, between the 24th and 30th of last September. As we steamed into the harbour, the sight was a shock. The heart of the City was a smoldering ruin. On one end of the quay, which curved along the harbor for miles, was the Turkish quarter quite uninjured, and on the other end of the quay toward the railroad pier where the ships docked, a few white buildings, spared by the fire, stood like monuments to the memory of a dead City.
The Greek Army, in its retreat, left Smyrna on September 8th; - the Turks took the City on the 9th; The Fire was started on September 13th, and from that date, the Christian people (Greeks and Armenians) had been homeless. During the fire, with its attendant murders, robberies and outrages, they had rushed frantically from Pillar to Post, and the war ships in the harbor had taken some of them away. But the representatives of the different Governments had been officially notified to maintain neutrality, and that meant that no more of these innocent people should be helped without the official sanction of the victorious Turks.
What a travesty of National and International responsibility! The Christian Nations, by their actions and reactions, created conditions which made this Holocaust inevitable. They furnished munitions, aeroplanes, everything necessary to Mustafa Kemal in his victorious campaign. They made treaties that were even as scraps of paper. The Greek soldiers marched in and the Greek soldiers marched out, and then the Christian Nations, responsible for the whole wicked business, held up their hands and maintained neutrality while the Turks wreaked their vengeance of the non-combatant people of Smyrna, most of whom were women and children.
At least a quarter of a million of them huddled together on the cobble-stones of the Quay and in the adjoining streets like sheep chosen as innocent sacrificial offerings to appease the wrath of mars. Day in and day out, night in and night out, they held these places. They dared not leave. This was the zone of greatest safety. It was within range of the searchlights on the war-ships of the Christian Nations in the harbor, and deeds of darkness could not be perpetrated at night without the risk of an all revealing flash of light.
The Turks had issued a proclamation, which had been printed in the newspapers, posted on the walls and scattered from an aeroplane among the wretched people huddled on the Quay, to the effect that all men of military age, although they were all civilians, were to be deported to the "interior", - and that all the Greek and Armenian women, children and old men remaining in Smyrna after September 30th were to share this terrible fate.
"Deportation to the Interior" is regarded as a short life sentence to slavery under brutal masters, ended by mysterious death. The victims are marched away over the hills and nobody knows where they are going or what becomes of them. But the flight of the buzzards and the cry of the jackals have terrible meaning for the people whose husbands, fathers and brothers, have been "deported to the Interior".
The people of Smyrna know what happened to many of the Armenians who had refused to fight against the Allies during the war. They know all about the Turkish policy of ridding Asia Minor of Greek or Armenian Christians by extermination or any other means. But the harbor was full of the war-ships or the Allied Nations. Surely, the Turks could not take them from under the very guns of Christian countries and deport them to the Interior!
But they had reckoned without Neutrality. They were not diplomats. They did not know what neutrality meant to the rest of the world, but they soon found out what it meant to them. It meant the violation of everything they held sacred in life. It meant outrage, slavery, death and destruction. The City was surrounded by Turkish Soldiers. The only possibility of escape was through the Harbor - the only hope was in the coming of refugee ships.
Day after day they waited and waited. Night after night they prayed. On Sunday, September 24th, Eight ships came. There was a frantic struggle to reach those ships and about twenty-five thousand outcasts were taken away. On Monday, only one ship arrived and the people were in despair. That evening at dusk, I went out on the balcony of the Relief Headquarters with a young Christian woman and looked over the mass of tragic faces. There was a strange murmur of many voices passing up and down the quay. It was a mournful sound like the moaning of the sea or the sighing of the wind in a forest. I did not know what it meant and I asked this Christian girl what they were doing, and she answered, "they are praying for ships."
Early Tuesday morning, September 26th, nineteen ships came into the Harbor and the struggle to reach them began.
The Quay was divided from Railroad pier by the iron picket fences, about two hundred feet apart. By placing timber across the pier three other fences with gateways had been improvised. The purpose of these fences was to force the people to pass through the gates so that might be carefully scrutinized and the men detained for deportation. Between the iron fences there was a double line of Turkish soldiers, and guards were stationed all along the Pier. Most of the American Sailors, assigned to help the outcasts, were working near the center of the Pier and at the far end the British sailors did their bit. The privilege of helping these poor women and children and aged people was a favor granted by the Turks to the Americans and British, and it goes without sating that the Boys did all and far more than their orders permitted.
The frantic rush to reach the ships cannot be described. For six hours on Tuesday, September 26th I stood apart between the two iron fences and watched this awful struggle. Women, children and old people were crushed and some of them forced over the edge of the Quay into the Pier, the ebb and flow of the tide was obstructed, and a large mass of dead animals, with here and there a human body, bloated and putrid, washed to and fro with the waves and dashed against the stones of the quay.
At the gate, the Turkish soldiers kept beating the people back with the butts of their guns in order to force them to come through slowly. Many of the more prosperous appearing women were seized by individual soldiers, searched and robbed in the broad daylight under our very eyes. Their rings were torn from their fingers, and finally these robberies were expedited by merely striking the women across the fingers which meant "take off your rings and deliver them".
Often when a man came though this gate and was seized by the soldiers, they would whisper a moment, the captive would pay tribute, be released and pass along the line, but before he had gone thirty feet he would be detained out on the wharf and placed among the prisoners for deportation. His money never saved him. At first it seemed strange that the men were not promptly seized and turned over to the military authorities to be searched in regular order. Finally, we realized that this was a prearrangement among the common soldiers to prevent the officers from getting all the loot.
Day after day during the week of the evacuation there was a continuous succession of harrowing incidents. In the struggle, at the different gates along the pier, the families were separated. Children were lost and mothers and children ran frantically up and down calling for each other until they were forced aboard different ships and sailed away to different places. Many of the women, struggling through the different gates, lost their shoes, and their clothes were torn from them. Water bottles were broken on the pier and those without shoes reached the ships with bleeding feet.
A great many men came through the gates with their families. They were usually carrying bundles or young children, sometimes these men carried their invalid mothers or fathers. In any case, it made no difference. They were forcibly separated from their wives and children, who clung to them pleading for mercy. The men were beaten into submission with the butts of guns and the women were driven away, always with the same Turkish word - Haide! Haide! (Begone, Begone).
There was a large number of expectant mothers among the Smyrna outcasts, and these terrible experiences precipitated their labors. Children were born on the Quay, and on the Pier. It was my job to look after these case, and whenever it was possible we got the women aboard the ships before their babies came. These stories are too shocking to be told.
The Exodus of the Christians which started last September, over a year ago, from Smyrna and adjacent territory is still going on, and while it is impossible to place the blame in proper measure exactly where it belongs there are two outstanding facts which must be be apparent to everybody: the Turks are determined to get rid of of the Christian population in Turkish territory, and Greece is the only country within reach which will receive them.
The method adopted for their taking off would challenge the admiration and envy of an American efficiency expert. The men are "deported" to the interior, The women and children are "permitted" to depart providing they take nothing of value with them. Their abandoned property reverts to the Government the minute it is abandoned, and just now an effort is being made to collect insurance on property destroyed by fire at Smyrna.
Measured in human suffering the destruction of Smyrna is the most colossal atrocity ever perpetrated. In the history of Christian Martyrdom there is nothing to equal this tragedy. These people, mostly women and children were actually sacrificed for the sins and selfishness of the world. Let us hope and pray that the magnitude of this crime against humanity will finally awaken the conscience of the Nations to their Christian duties and responsibilities.
When I talked about Mustafa Kemal and the Kemalist movement I was hard to make people understand that Mustafa Kemal was not a medicine but a man, and that the Kemalist movement was not a new kind of massage [message?] but a great human movement with a religious and national impulse behind it - a movement that will influence the history of mankind. Now everybody knows that Mustafa Kemal is one of the greatest military leaders the world has ever produced, and the Kemalist movement has pushed the Christian people out of the land of their fathers, the country of their forefathers Anatolia and given Turkey a place in the sun. While her patron-ally Germany lies broken in the shadow.
In the present state of the world Turkey is perhaps the strongest argument for militarism. Bold militarism plus subtle diplomacy has made Turkey a king on the chessboard on International politics - and what about the pawns at the psyclolocal moment.
1. The Smyrna refugee crisis of 1922 and the American Women’s Hospital Service (AWHS). Drexel University College of Medicine. Accessed 24 Feb 2018.
Nikos Pantelis, a native of Livissi (today Kayaköy) talks about his experience as a 10 year old in Asia Minor (Turkey) and in particular the treatment of males in Turkey during the genocide.
Video compiled by the Greek Genocide Resource Center for educational purposes only.
Region: Ayvalik (western Asia Minor)
The testimony of a farmer. As documented by his wife.
In 1922, I was saved because my father had a good knowledge of the Turkish language and was on good terms with the Turks. He was a town crier, a 'delali' as it was called back then.
He was informed that everything was being destroyed and everyone would perish if we didn't hurry. In order to frighten him, they jokingly told him that the Turks had bad intentions. He came out the same evening after dark and sent the word out loud in order to alert people to leave. He went around the village twice and then hid himself. The following day, the Turks were looking for him. They wanted to cut him into pieces. As people started descending to the sea coast, they were encircling the crowd. But we dressed him in rags and he pretended to be blind. He was obese, a large man. Everyone knew him, but now he was being held by his two daughters, one on either side. He was stumbling, and I was following them holding things in my arms. The security wasn't that strict at the time, so we entered through a nearby alleyway. The women starting crying, so the guard allowed them through and we went directly to the port. Once inside, we wrapped him in a mat and the women sat on top of him until the boat set sail. It took us to Mytilene.
That was 1922, but what about 1914? Let's remember that expulsion too. It was at the time that the Germans were advising the Turks – that dishonourable lot – to destroy us in order to erase us as a nation. Let us also remember the German occupation during the second World War. We always find them in front of us. What if their people were being persecuted? How would they feel?
In 1914 war was declared and things at Ayvalik were immediately turned upside down. Many people fled to Greece. The Turks immediately blocked the sea transit routes and didn't let anyone leave. We were blockaded for a year. But then they ordered everyone to evacuate all of Ayvalı. They put us together with another 200 families in four-wheeled ox-drawn open carriages without us knowing where they were taking us. We walked all day and when the sun was about to set, they stopped the carts and got us off in order to rest and feed the oxen. I forgot to mention that we took with us whatever we could lift with our hands and some bread. Those who had that little bit of bread sat to eat it, while those who had nothing went begging for some. Two hours later they got us moving again. We walked for 5-6 hours until we reached a place called Valanidia. There, we stayed outdoors on the carts, while others rested on the ground. During the night we were attacked by Turks. They wanted to take all our girls. But the policemen that escorted us resisted them along with all of us; young and old, and they didn't take anyone. We didn't sleep all night. When the day dawned we took to the road again. We walked all day. And in the evening, as we passed through some winding roads we encountered some unruly Turks, but they didn't hurt us. But we were afraid because we not only had girls with us but also many pregnant women, and others who were close to giving birth. As dusk arrived we reached an inn at Brousali. We stayed there one night, and the next day we took up again and we walked for two days without food and water before arriving at Balu Kiseri [Balikesir]. There, they didn't allow us to stay at all. They immediately took us to the train station and put us on trains and we were taken to Sousourlou [Susurluk]. They put us in ox carts again and we took to the roads and in three days we reached Tas Kiouprou [Tas Kopru] which is a large stone bridge. There they left us in the fields without giving us anything to eat or drink. All of us dived in to the large prickly weeds and we peeled and ate them. We spent several days there eating prickles. From there they brought new ox carts. They loaded us on and took us to a small village called Loumpat which is near lake Apollonias.
They made us get off there and then put us in boats and passed us over to the opposite shore. There we rested a bit until they found carts. We loaded our few clothes, the old men, old women and babies and then we took off again. The youth walked at the rear of the carts and in two days we arrived at Bursa. There, they took us to stay in some shacks. They gave us a mix of white and red corn and just after we ate it, due to fatigue and exhaustion we were passing blood and 16 people died. We left behind our first dead there.
There were Greek doctors there but not a single doctor attended to the sick because the Turks didn't let them. There was a Metropolis there and my father who was our leader who protected us because he spoke very good Turkish, went and asked them for permission to stay in Bursa but they didn't let us.
We stayed there for 10 days. For food they gave us corn flour and a bit of German soup but we were afraid so we didn't it. We went out begging at all the Greek houses who gave us food, while later the Metropolis offered us some rations, so we passed by as best we could. They then took us out again to send us into the interior of Turkey. Most of us were walking for days with only a few carts for our clothes and the elderly. We passed through various villages including Timpos and Kuyu Neser, and with much toil and hunger we reached Yenişehir. We thought we would stay there for a little to eat and rest, but as soon as the Turks and the Turkish women and their children saw us, they began chasing us with sticks and stones while shouting, "Infidels, go away!" Finally they took us to some hostels and they gave us some bread to eat but no food.
We had a woman with us who was a little intellectually disabled. This poor woman couldn't handle the hunger any more so she went to a Turkish house. The Turkish lady there was kneading some bread and she was watching her from outside. As soon as the Turkish lady left, the woman went inside, opened the oven and took a piece of bread. But they saw her, caught her and began beating her. As soon as my father heard her cries he ran to save her. A Turk took a piece of wood and hit my father over his ear. It swelled so much that he was unwell for two days.
What else could the people do? They were hungry.
On one hand they would push us away while on the other, we the children would wander around all day and whatever the people gave us we shared it amongst ourselves and ate it. We stayed there for 14 days and we were made to move on again because nobody would accept us. We loaded the carts and started again. Fortunately we were young and weren't as affected; we were able to survive. But the old men and old women and the pregnant women were crying, they didn't want to go anywhere. They would have preferred to stay there even if they were killed. But my father told them, "Be patient, they will allow us to rest somewhere." Throughout the entire journey he would encourage them. After another two days journey we reached a water mill and we unloaded the carts to rest and eat some bread and drink some water. During the night we were attacked and two girls and a woman of 55 years were kidnapped. No matter what we'd have done and no matter how much we'd have shouted, nothing would have been done because the guards were with them. The following day as we started out again we found the woman dead beside a pole that was up to her chest in height. We couldn't find the girls. We started out again, however on the road we started feeling very tired. As soon as the elderly were left behind the Turks just gave them a whipping and stabbed them with a knife and left them there to die. Along the way we left many dead behind here and there. People started to get sick from exhaustion and extreme fatigue. The weather was also getting so cold that we were freezing on the roads. After four days we reached Bilecik. There were many empty Armenian houses there because they had killed the Armenians. We negotiated with them to either let us stay there or take us to Sogut further inland. The next day we were taken to Sogut, but once there, they didn't want all of us to stay so they split us into two groups. Our group returned to Bilecik. On the road, due to the snowfall and the extreme cold, one of my brothers got hypothermia and everybody went to his aid thinking he was dead. My father however, quickly ran to a drug store and asked for some Argan oil. He started to massage him. He undressed him and after massaging him for an hour he came to life again. He saved him from certain death. Other children who were younger lost their toes. Such was the cold in those areas. The experience will remain in my memory for as long as I live.
We remained at Bilecik for two years. Everyone did something to get by. Those who had valuable clothes wandered through the villages exchanging them for food together with any jewelry they had. My father found a job as a baker, but our family was growing bigger each day. Orphans who had lost their parents due to typhoid and parents who were dying every day, left behind orphans who remained alone in the streets. My father was afraid that the Turks would take them and convert them, so he gathered 25 orphans. And if you include the 15 individuals of our own direct family, there were now 40 people at our table.
One day, a little girl whose mother and father died was kidnapped by Turks. We learned about it but we couldn't find her because the Turks were hiding her. My father however kept an eye out for her. He asked people who he felt could learn more about the whereabouts of the girl, and after about a month he discovered where the little girl was. He staked out the place and when the Turk went out he went inside to take her.
However the girl didn't want to leave the Turkish lady because she was being fed well and started shouting in Turkish, “My mother!” The Turkish lady cried out to other Turks who caught my father and beat him with wood. But he didn't leave the child, he held on to her tightly, He also knew Turkish very well and made the Turks understand that the child was not theirs but his. He took the girl after putting up a great fight and took her home. She was crying and wanted to go back, but he locked her up, fed her and took care of her. There were so many children at home that she eventually became re-accustomed.
Every evening he would gather all the children and he would say nice things to them, and that we would go back to Ayvalık again and that there wouldn't be any Turks to tyrannize us any more and that we would live well. The children would watch him intently thinking they were hearing some fairy tale. They adored him because every night he would sometimes bring them mints, other times chickpeas; whatever it took to keep them happy.
In those two years things diminished considerably because a lot of people died. Then the Armistice arrived ending WW1 and we were all placed together and taken to the station at Kiouplia [Kuplu] and there they told us they would take us to Constantinople. They loaded us on trains and we reached the first station called Vizier Hani [Vezir Cami]. We then arrived at Nicomedia [Izmit] and stayed there in the trains, and at last we reached Constantinople, at Haidar Pasha. From there they took us to Catikioy and put us in a Greek school there. We stayed there for two months. All the Greeks raised money for us and prepared a soup kitchen for us until we left.
After two months they put us on a steam ship and on the 2nd of January 1919 they transported us back to Ayvalı. Only half of us returned. Everyone went to their houses. My father still had the 25 orphans in our home like one big family. After a week passed he went out and shouted the names of all the children around Ayvalık and everyone came to take their children. Some of the children were collected by the brothers and sisters of the parents. People didn't know how to thank him. In fact the Chancellor as well as many officials congratulated him too. He said, “I did what a father should do for his children. I just feel sorry for our fellow town-folk who were killed on the streets and others who died from severe diseases.”
From the book: Koinos Logos (Common Voice) by Elli Papadimitriou, 1st edition, Ermis, 2003.
The Greek Genocide Resource Center would like to thank our volunteer translator with the translation.
Translated with the permission of the publisher.
Susan Wealthy Orvis (1873-1941) was a U.S missionary who witnessed the persecution of Greeks during the Greek Genocide. Orvis traveled to Turkey as early as 1902 under the auspices of the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missions. In 1920, she served as the Director of the Near East Relief Schools in Talas, a district in Caesarea (today Kayseri), a province in the interior of Turkey.
In November of 1922, only weeks after the destruction of Smyrna by Kemalist forces, Orvis was coordinating the evacuation of hundreds of orphans from Caesarea to the seacoast, when she witnessed native Greeks from Smyrna - mainly women and children - being marched to their death. Her eye-witness testimony appears below:
I have never in my whole experience in Near East witnessed such human sorrow, distress, death, as caused by this vast flight, which is depopulating one of Turkey's richest provinces. It was like a march of terror.
I brought out the fifteenth and last caravan of orphans from Caesarea, 250 miles inland. First half of journey made in wagons. I traveled on horseback in order better to watch over column. We set out from Caesarea at five, morning. An hour later were in foothills of Mount Argaeus, thirteen thousand feet high, where snow impeded progress. We were marching through historic gates of Cilicia in Taurus mountains when I saw a sight I shall never forget. It was a long thin column of people coming towards us. As they came closer I saw there were a thousand in the line. Ninety-five percent were women, children; remainder old men. Solitary mounted Turkish soldier rode in middle of column.
In answer to my questions my Turkish guide almost startled me with information that they were from Smyrna and were being deported to Caesarea. 'They are being punished', he said, 'for excesses committed by Greek soldiers against our people.'
I knew from their clothing that they had come from another region than the one we were in. Questions revealed awful truth – they had walked from Smyrna, 500 miles away. They had been on road two months, a column of agony. There were three thousands in column when they started. Groups had at intervals been diverted to other roads and many weaker ones had died by roadside. I now recalled village gossip of wholesale deportations after Smyrna disaster. Here it was in its awful reality. Every face bore deathlike pallor. Women carried babies in arms and were stooped from weight of all their possessions on their backs. Majority were barefooted. All were unutterably miserable but bore themselves with remarkable fortitude.
After they passed on I noticed some garments at roadside. No one throws away clothing in the desolate country. Lifting garments I uncovered two little girls about twelve years old. They were white, staring skeletons, so close to death they could not move. They were left for dead by column of agony. We succeeded in reviving them and obtained permission from authorities to place them in our orphan caravan.
After four and a half days we reached Ouloukishla on Baghdad railway, where we paid full fare for our children to ride in six inches of snow in open freight cars to Mersine. My last moments in Ouloukishla were devoted to making strongest representations to authorities for protection against soldiers who tried carry off our oldest girls.
An approximate route taken by Susan Wealthy Orvis (in red) during her evacuation of orphans from Kayseri (Gr: Caesarea) to the seacoast, and the deportation route taken by Greeks from Smyrna (in blue).
- They Are Being Punished, The New Near East, Feb 1923, 12.
- Remembering Susan Wealthy Orvis, Kamo Mailyan, Wendy Elliott, accessed 2/3/2017.
We extend our gratitude to Wendy Elliott for information on Susan Wealthy Orvis. Wendy is currently writing a book on American and Canadian missionaries who were present during the Ottoman genocides. Visit her website for more information on her upcoming book titled Grit and Grace in a World Gone Mad.
Kritzalia, western Asia Minor.
Kritzalia is located E-SE of Smyrna. Prior to the genocide it was comprised of 1350 Greeks.
We left our village to go to Smyrna. We thought we would return again. We wanted to be close to the church of Saint John. There were alot of people there. One of my father's friends took us to his house and we stayed there. But he took his family and left us there without telling us anything - he left secretly. The Turks entered and slayed my father, my mother, my uncle, my auntie and three of my brothers. I, along with my younger sisters, one of whom was two and a half years old and the other three and a half, hid under a loft and they didn't see us.
We hid there for 12 days with no food or water. The house had a type of water heater and water flowed into it. What was I to do? I wanted to wet my lips. I held my nose and drank a sip. The water was so filthy I almost vomited. One of my sisters had been wounded by a bullet to her leg.
As the days passed, the corpses started bruising, hardening up and the stench had become repulsive. Turkish ladies were entering the house to steal things but were unable to stay inside for too long due to the foul smell. They would steal whatever they could; chickens, spoons, copper utensils, and would then leave without knowing we were present.
Then at one point, like an enlightenment from God, I decided to venture outside. I saw many people fleeing. I crossed myself, placed my injured young sister on my back, and held my other sister by the hand and went out onto the street. I ran to catch up with everyone else who was running. At one stage I noticed a girl seated on a pile of rocks. I shouted out to her, as I needed someone to help me. She didn't respond. She sat there without moving. I spoke to her without taking too much notice. I then saw that her eyes were rolled back, but it still didn't occur to me what had happened. Before long, I noticed something was wrong. She had been stabbed from behind with a stick which had passed through her mouth. That was when I decided to run faster. What was I to do with the two children? I entered the church, but since the three of us stunk of decaying human blood - our hair, the child's foot, our clothes - they told us to leave. What were we to do? We huddled into a corner like puppies. So many years have passed, but I won't forget it. I thought our time had come.
We cried, we mourned, we talked and we talked some more! My mother didn't die immediately like the others did. They had pulled out her intestines, her blood spilled out everywhere as she uttered the following to me: "My child, when you see the dark, fall into the sea." She then pulled her purse from out of her pocket and gave it to me, as well as a photograph which was covered in blood. I still have the photo but I cannot show it to you right now.
Finally, wherever the other people went, I followed. We kept going and going until we entered the [departure] zone. There, the Turk didn't allow us to enter. Just what I needed! But I managed to get both my sisters and myself on board and we went to Mytilene. There, they took us and relocated us to Thessaloniki, and from there I ended up here. I had a cousin who was a good seamstress. She put me into a home. I was fourteen years old. The lady of the house knew Ms. Koundourioti who placed my little sisters into the Amalieio Orphanage. One of my sisters died at the age of 22. The other is still alive. She is married and lives in Nea Erythraia. I married a very quiet man, a man of God, a patriot, but my life has been full of suffering.
Source: Exodus, Volume I, Testimonies of the provinces of the Western coast of Asia Minor, Centre for Asia Minor Studies, Athens 198, pp42-43.
Witness testimonies provide a valuable first hand account of the genocide. The list below includes accounts by survivors, relief workers, diplomats and officials.
“... Mustapha Kemal's Army ... celebrated their triumph by the burning of Smyrna to ashes and by a vast massacre of its Christian population...”