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The Great Fire of Smyrna: The Final Chapter of the Genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor

Sunday, September 18, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Great Fire of Smyrna:

The Final Chapter of the Genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor

Sunday, September 18, 2022 | 1:00pm

Online and On-Site at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

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, Smyrna was 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 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 deported into the interior of Anatolia, where many died in brutal conditions. After the Smyrna Catastrophe, the Hellenic city, founded over 3,000 years before, a jewel of the Eastern Mediterranean, ceased to have a Hellenic community. 

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 and major events in modern Greek history. 

Hear from scholarly speakers as they discuss the importance of this great catastrophe to the Greek population and how these events remain relevant today.
Registration required. Free to the public.
George Shirinian, Author and Executive Director, Zoryan Institute
Dr. Constantine Hatzidimitriou, Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. Johns’ University and City University of New York,
Dr. Paul Bartrop, Emeritus Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University
Kelley Szany, Senior Vice President of Education and Exhibitions, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Co-Chair, Illinois Holocaust & Genocide Commission
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago – His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael
The UCLA SNF Hellenic Center – Sharon Gerstel, Director
The National Hellenic Museum – Marianne Kountouris, Executive Director
Center for Hellenic Studies, University of Chicago
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Pontic Studies
Hellenic American Leadership Council
Armenian National Committee of Illinois
Assyrian American Civil Club of Chicago
ENOSIS – The Federation of Hellenic American Organization of Illinois
Hellenix American Women’s Council
Hellenic Link Midwest
The Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada
Pontian Greek Society of Chicago
Pontian Youth Association of USA and Canada


Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
The Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center


Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
9603 Woods Drive
Skokie, 60077
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