Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Pontian Genocide (May 19, 1919)

On May 19, 1919 the plan was implemented, for the final extermination of the Greeks (Romans) throughout Pontus, in an endless course of death.

By 1924, Pontus had suffered an unspeakable atrocity:


1134 Churches
815 Villages
960 Schools

People Uprooted

400,000 (mainly to Greece and the Soviet Union)

People Exterminated


... but also countless rapes, tortures and looting.

1,460 Orthodox clergy served the faithful Christians of Pontus, who were either slaughtered or uprooted with their flocks.

Pontus entered the 20th century in an atmosphere of intense euphoria and optimism. But it would not last long. The most fanatical of the Neo-Turks, already in October 1911, organized a secret conference in Thessaloniki where it was decided to purge the Ottoman Empire of all non-Muslim elements. The three pashas - Talaat, Ember and Cemal - and then Kemal and Topal Osman, under the protection and guidance of the Germans, where the interests in the region were great, completed the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus. Death marches, hangings, murders, rapes, completed the scene of the genocide. Kemal himself told a Russian diplomat in September 1919: "I have the noose as a weapon." However, our ancestral Pontian brethren did not stoically accept the fate they were planning for them. They resisted, organizing guerrilla groups. From 1914, when the Turks launched the so-called first persecution, the Christians of Pontus resisted vigorously, gradually forming the proud Pontic guerrillas, which from 1914 until the exchange of 1922 made the mountain peaks of Pontus tremble along with the Turkish ones. A real revolution, equal to 1821, spread throughout the territory of Pontus. A heroic resistance, to defend human life and dignity. More than 20,000 guerrillas held the mountains of Samsun, Kerasounta and Pafra free and were ready to establish a free Pontic democracy if the Pontic movement succeeded. The center of this struggle was the metropolis of Samsun and its heroic Metropolitan, the Macedonian warrior of Kastoria, Germanos Karavangelis, was in charge. Unfortunately, all these plans failed with the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the uprooting. The Pontian guerrilla and the national liberation movement of the Pontians for the independence of Pontus and its union with mother Greece is one of the most heroic and glorious pieces of Greek history. The ten-year struggle of Pontian Hellenism is flooded with pages of unparalleled heroism and self-sacrifice. It is a unique phenomenon of a rebellious people fighting for ten whole years in the heart of a military empire, without financial and military support. 

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