The Burning of Smyrna with Karen Batshaw

The Burning of Smyrna  with Karen Batshaw - Oct 25, 2018
Listen as Karen Batshaw presents her research on the Burning of Smyrna through scholarly works, eye witness accounts, and personal interviews.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

6:00 – 8:00 PM

National Hellenic Museum

Non-Members: $15, NHM Members: $10, Students: $5

Karen Batshaw’s presentation will discuss the Burning of Smyrna, which once was a beautiful prosperous cosmopolitan city where Greek Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Armenians and Jews lived together in harmony. With this mind, she analyzes the events of September 1922, when the Turkish army descended upon the city and burned down the area that belonged to the Christians. In the harbor were over twenty war ships, belonging to the Great Powers: Britain, Italy, France, and the United States. The Christians erroneously thought they would be protected from the Turkish cavalry. However, the Great Powers did not want to offend Attaturk and offered no help to the thousands who were fleeing the Turkish massacre. Through the efforts of Asa Jennings, an American missionary, some of the refugees were saved.

The next year, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed by Greece and Turkey agreeing to an exchange of populations. All the Muslims in Greece were to be transferred to Turkey and all the Greek Orthodox in Asia Minor were sent to Greece. Greece was forced to absorb over one and a half million refugees. Twenty years later, the refugees who fled to Eastern Macedonia in Greece were forced to suffer under the Bulgarian occupation during WWII, which was more brutal than the Nazi occupation of Greece. Batshaw’s presentation will include information from her research including; scholarly works, eye witness accounts, and personal interviews with the descendants of those who fled the burning of Smyrna.

Karen Batshaw lives in Washington, DC and Williamsburg, VA. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. It was during research for her book Hidden in Plain Sight, that she learned about the huge population shift in Thessaloniki during the 1920s. After the expulsions of the Greek Orthodox Christians from Asia Minor, the Christians became the majority of the population. Karen is currently working on a new book Shadows and Light which reveals the first Genocide of the 20th century, The Catastrophe which befell the Greek Orthodox Christians of Asia Minor.