90 Years ago today, on the 13 of September, the first fire broke out in the Armenian quarter of Smyrna, four days after the Turkish Army had entered the city. What took place next, is what many call the Great Fire of Smyrna, or the Catastrophe of Smyrna. Some 150,000 to 200,000 Greeks were evacuated. Approximately 50,000 to 400,000 Greek and Armenian refugees crammed the waterfront escaping from the fire and were forced to remain there under harsh conditions for nearly two weeks. More than 100,000 Greek and Armenians deaths resulted from the fire. This was the beginning of the end of the Greek presence in Asia Minor,the first Holocaust of the 20th century described by many.The New York Times described it as “Smyrna, Wiped Out”.
On this day, we look back on our own history and remind our family and friends to Never Forget our ancestry and the Genocide of our people.