January 24, 2013 - 11:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - “The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide: Essays on Asia Minor, Pontos, and Eastern Thrace, 1913–1923” edited by George N. Shirinian, Executive Director of the Zoryan Institute, is a compilation of innovative papers given by distinguished scholars at two academic conferences organized by the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center in Chicago.
“…our knowledge of the catastrophic events affecting millions of people caught up in the huge political and social transformation connected with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of the Turkish Republic has not received the scholarly attention it deserves. Even the best studied of these tragic events, ‘The Armenian Genocide,’ has been deprived of a certain panoramic contextualization of a tragedy which touched profoundly the lives of several other religious and ethnic groups, such as the Greeks and Assyrians,” observed Theofanis G. Stavrou, Professor of History at the University of Minnesota.
This book and its careful treatment of the Greek experience within the broader genocide of the Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire aims to fill a gap in the scholarly literature on the Greek Genocide and is one of the first to treat the genocidal experiences of the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks in a comparative manner and as an integrated history. As Prof. Roger W. Smith, Chair of Zoryan’s Academic Board, has written, “Only the comparative approach can yield carefully delimited generalizations about the nature and mechanics of genocide as a general problem of humanity.”
The studies presented in this groundbreaking book are thoroughly documented and include revealing and previously unpublished American diplomatic reports on the destruction of Smyrna. In addition to the historical chapters, essays explore such subjects as the multigenerational effects of the Greek Genocide and the difficulties of Asia Minor refugee identity in Greece, Turkey’s present day obligations under the Treaty of Lausanne, and the challenges of obtaining recognition for the Ottoman genocides. A list of the contents is given below.
Professor Vahakn N. Dadrian, Zoryan’s Director of Genocide Research, writes, “This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Greek experience of genocide during the early part of the twentieth century and its aftermath. It shows how interrelated were the experiences of the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks during the end of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic.”
George N. Shirinian, editor of the book, commented, “The contributors to this volume and the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center hope that this wide-ranging collection of studies helps bring a measure of understanding and openness to the discussion of the Greek Genocide. This is a story of great human tragedy and suffering, of great power politics and miscalculation. By promoting awareness of this history, we hope to prevent the recurrence of another, ‘Great Catastrophe.’”