The preparation of research programs is an important activity of the HARH, is implemented by the scientific staff of the institution and aims at the collection of archival and photographic material, as well as the recording of the personal experiences of Greek refugees.

 The Archdiocese maintains continuous cooperation with the Pontiac Studies Chair of the Department of History and Archaeology of AUTh in research programs, as well as in the conduct of traineeships of students and panhellenic or international conferences of historical content. Head of Headquarters: Assistant Professor Kyriakos Hatzikyriakidis.

The research programmes implemented by the IAPE concern:

  • The Exchangeable Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Pontos and Eastern Thrace.
  • The Hellenism of Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos.
  • The Greek returnees from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
  • The second generation refugees who settled in Kalamaria and other areas of Thessaloniki.

    Supervision of traineeships

     The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism has collaborated on Student Practical Training programs with Higher Education Institutions, Technological Educational Institutions, Centers and Vocational Training Institutes (KEK and IEK). In our institution students have the opportunity to come into contact with primary sources of history and to process them research under the supervision of the staff. Students from the following departments have been internships at HARH:

    • Department of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
    • Department of Social Anthropology and History, University of the Aegean.
    • Department of Archives and Library of Ion University.
    • Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly.
    • Department of Slavic, Balkan and Eastern Studies, University of Macedonia.
    • Department of Balkan Studies, University of Western Macedonia.
    • Pedagogical Department of Primary Education, University of Western Macedonia.
    • Department of History and Archaeology, University of Ioannina.
    • Department of Folk and Traditional Music TEI of Epirus.
    • Vocational Training Centre “KEK DIAYLOS”.
    • Institute of Vocational Training “IEK Thermi”.

   The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism organizes voluntary work programs and invites students and graduates of the following university departments to participate:
History – Archaeology – Social Anthropology – Ethnology
Media and Journalism
Balkan, Slavic and Eastern Studies
TEI of Librarianship and Archives

    After consultation, based on the interests and the volunteer’s available time, the employment programme and the areas in which he will be employed are organised. Examples include:

Oral History: collection of interviews, transcripts and transcripts of oral testimonies.

Documents and photographs of private collections and public bodies: research, collection, documentation and debriefing.

Magazine Press: Research and debriefing in newspapers.

Archive and sort archival material.

Introduction to an online database.

Library: Research on its enrichment and classification of books.

Participation in the organization of events, secretarial support.

View HARH on social media.

    The HARH, aknowledging the value of volunteering and constantly seeking to stoke its relationship with modern society, is open to volunteers who wish to offer their services to it. Until now, a number of volunteers have been employed in the Archive, who have produced work with impressive results both qualitatively and quantitatively next to the permanent or temporary staff. It turns out, thus, that with the appropriate guidance and willingness, enthusiasm, special knowledge and individual skills, volunteers can become a force to be reckoned with for a body. Moreover, the volunteers themselves can benefit multiple (enrichment of CV, acquisition of knowledge and experience, exploitation of leisure time, strengthening interpersonal relations). Volunteers have the opportunity to support HARH on a stable basis or for a certain period of time. They can work in the archive area, at home or in the areas where the survey is carried out. Minimum working time is 150 hours.

In order to raise awareness, inform and mobilize students on issues related to the history and daily lives of Greek refugees, HARH organizes educational programs aimed at students of Primary and Secondary Education. Through alternative ways of learning such as narratives, play, painting, students come into contact and become familiar with historical events. The educational student programs that have taken place until now have been:

  • “Koukaras: Lent in Pontos”
  • “Cyprus: 24 Years since the Invasion”
  • “The People’s Culture of Asia Minor Hellenism”
  • “The Last Hellenism of Asia Minor. Changing Homeland, Changing Life”
  • “Sports in the Refugee Districts of Thessaloniki”

Koukaras: Lent in Pontos (Programme 1996)

The refugees of the Asia Minor Disaster, upon their arrival in Greece, were only able to carry some of their personal belongings. Violent expatriation forced them to leave their homes once and for all and resume their lives in every new place of establishment. However, they managed famously to bring the customs, habits and general way of life they had formed there from their ancestral homes. They were carriers of a new culture and our collective identity which was about to play an important role in the final formation of the modern Greek national identity. Several of the customs brought by the refugees are seen to this day, either in their original form or in their simulation through memory events. One of these customs, brought from the unforgettable homelands and specifically from Pontos, was Koukaras. It is a Pontian custom of Lent, which took place on Clean Monday. Through it, the mother of each family “scared” her children to maintain fasting until the end of Lent, i.e. until Easter Sunday. This was done when he devised a trick and in this case an artificial scarecrow to achieve its purpose. In 1996 the Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism organized an educational program for the custom of Koukaras in which students of Primary Schools of Kalamaria took part. The length of time it lasted was quite long and several meetings took place. Great was the diversity and activities, which included from simple play, to cooking. At the end of the programme, a newspaper was also published on the subject. The work of this training programme was curated by the staff of the HARH.

Cyprus: 24 Years since the Invasion (Program 1998)

Cyprus is an integral part of Hellenism and its history is an equally important part of Greek. The great, always at stake among great empires, was a burning desire of the Greek state, but also of its nationals who wanted to unite with the homogeneous, homolingual and homo-religious Cypriots. The solution of independence, which was achieved through the Zurich-London agreements from 1959 to 1960, was taken in the context of the “worst of all” and was the founding act of the Sunday Republic. However, turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of 38% of the island in 1974 has changed the facts dramatically, and plunged an entire people into misery, appealing to a large part of it and recommending the so-called Cypriot drama.
The Cyprus issue over time has been a source of interest for the historical community and a point of friction in the debate among historians. The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism , with faith and consistency in the purpose of its establishment, has joined the issue of refugees forcibly expatriated after the Turkish invasion and the cyprus issue in general, into its research interests. In fact, in 1998 he organized an Educational Program on the subject of the Cyprus issue, the purpose of which was to inform and mobilize on the subject. The title of the program was “Cyprus: 24 years since the invasion” and its result was considered highly successful. The main contributors of the program were the then staff of HARH and the school that took part, the 2nd Lyceum of Kalamaria. Finally, the training programme was accompanied by a photographic exhibition that took place in REMEJO.

The Popular Culture of Asia Minor Hellenism (Programme 2001-02)

The study of cultures is an interdisciplinary issue that extends to the research interests of History, Archaeology, Folklore and Social Anthropology. Since the 1990s, the recording of everyday life, customs and customs and habits held by a society has become increasingly important, setting aside exclusive involvement in political and military events. With the term “Popular Civilization or Culture”, we refer to a subset of a culture of a population group that is recognised by it as a set of beliefs that dominate or is present at a given point in time. Popular Culture includes the activities and emotions generated by them.
This is also the case with the recording and promotion of the culture of the Greek Minors during life in their ancestral homes. Their long presence in the land of Ionia contributed to the development of a memorable civilization with achievements in all areas of life. This culture remained alive in the difficult years of the Turkish occupation, evidence of its power, which even freedom managed to overshadow. Therefore, with the huge wave of refugees of 1922-1923, this culture is diffused in Greek society and is a unique digit in shaping the national identity of the 20th century.
The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism organized an Educational Program dedicated exclusively to the Popular Culture of Asia Minor Hellenism. The programme took place from 1-10-2001 to 31-4-2002. They participated students of Gymnasiums of Kalamaria who, in the roles of researchers, under the guidance of their instructors and teachers, interviewed refugee relatives of the 1st and 2nd generation, conducted archival research in the collections of HARH and made short stories about life in their places of origin, as well as about the exchange.

The Last Hellenism of Asia Minor. Changing Homeland, Changing Life (Program 2003)

With the Asia Minor disaster of 1922, the three-thousand-year presence of Hellenism on Asia Minor territory was violently ended. The beginnings of the history of Greek communities are traced back to the colonizations of the first millennium BC. Both in antiquity and during the Byzantine Empire, on the coast and in the hinterland of Asia Minor, a robust economic and cultural community developed, with great achievements in all areas of life. Even during the dark period of the Turkish occupation, the Greek community of Asia Minor continued to be thriving and dominant mainly on the Aegean coast, pontos and the wider region. However, the Neo-Turk movement dealt a definitive blow to the Hellenism of Ionia and methodically sought its annihilation. The genocide of the Greeks of Pontos and the Asia Minor Disaster were the swan song of the flowering from the past of Rome, and led hundreds of thousands of people to vomit from their homes. However, they never gave up, settled in Greece and toiled their new homelands. The majority of them also prospered as actors of a different way of life, customs and customs, played a decisive role in shaping the modern Greek identity.
The primary purpose of the Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism is the search, preservation and promotion of the culture of Greek refugees of all eras, with the exchangeables of 1922-1924 holding a prominent role in its research. Therefore, what has to do with the Greek community of Asia Minor is part of and is part of the research interests of our Archive. In this context, a research project entitled: “The Last Hellenism of Asia Minor” was carried out in 2003. Changing Homeland, Changing Life”, which was accompanied by an exhibition of photographic and archival material. This topic was presented thoroughly from both suggestions and rich audiovisual material, creating an excellent result, lively, useful and instructive. In the educational program implemented by the staff of HARH, students of Gymnasium and Lyceum from schools of Kalamaria took part and at the end of this event took place for the 80th year since the Asia Minor disaster.

Sports in the Refugee Districts of Thessaloniki (Program 2004)

The Greek communities of the East, over time, had to show great achievements in culture. The arts and letters had a primary role in their daily lives and in all fields, such as literature, philosophy and architecture, where great development was observed. Their activity in the sport was also enviable. The refugees founded sports clubs that occasionally starred in the sporting events of their time on an individual and collective level. After all, this kind of aggregation promoted the unity and common identity of the community. Thus, the refugees, after the Asia Minor disaster, coming to their new homelands, wanted to re-engage in sports activities and set up teams, only this time the clubs were beyond unity and identity and memory bodies. It was a link with the Unforgettable Fatherland who were forced to leave against their will. The result could not be different, since the refugee groups again starred and starred and even today they are among the biggest teams in Greece, such as PAOK, AEK and even Panionios. And not only that, but all of them retain their refugee status in full, despite almost a century since the Asia Minor tragedy.

The sport of refugees is an equally extremely interesting field of historical research, since its study provides a great deal of information and many useful conclusions about the social life of refugees and, by extension, about the entity of social development in their places of origin. The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism of the Municipality of Kalamaria, whose goal is to explore every area of life and activity, both at the place of origin and at the place of establishment, in 2004 organized an educational program dedicated to the sport of refugees, namely with the case of Thessaloniki. In the educational program that lasted for some time took part students of the 4th and 6th grade elementary schools of Kalamaria and was done in collaboration with the creative employment workshop, “Design”. Following its completion, an event was held to present the results. This educational programme took place within the framework of the European Heritage Days

Historical events are often the inspiration of artistic creation either to people who have experienced the events or to those who have been informed of them in retrospect. After all, the historical novel is a branch of Literature.

In this context, two Narrative and Poem Competitions have been implemented to date, involving hundreds of people, even from Greeks abroad.

1st Panhellenic Literary Competition: “The Disinfectant of Kalamaria”

2nd Panhellenic Literary Competition: “The Checkpoint of Kalamaria”

The Disinfectant of Kalamaria

Many refugees who arrived in Kalamaria in 1919-1923 passed the test of the disinfectant, since, as soon as they arrived in their new homeland, they were asked to live an unprecedented decontamination experience, followed by isolation and quarantine. This ugly experience was a trauma for many of them who had not been able to heal until their deep old age. The procedure was inhumane, especially for women, whose hair cut meant a blow to their gendered status and femininity, turning this cold procedure, following a medical order, into irreparable trauma.

The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism in 2010 organized a literary competition on “The Disinfectant of Kalamaria” in order to give the opportunity to people with artistic stimulus to perform this special experience of refugees, as it is so powerful that it can inspire even those who have not lived it. Also, the literary texts submitted are addressed to a wider audience that does not seek out the historical details of the events, but can know through the works aspects of history, mobilize the collective memory and sensitize it separately.


1st Prize of 1st Literary Competition of HARH


“In the water”

To watch you shine in the water,

detached by force from me.

Hot water, green soap,

And a brume that makes me stuffed.

Stench of bodies, heavy smell of pain,

to hover in between.

Washing you from my skin, my home

Persistently. They’re burning me. They’re burning you.

I think they’re taking you away from me forever,

But I face your stripped-down generation,

to the carved children, your generation.

You’re turning black on my body,

You drip and mingle in the new soil,

To remind me that your sperm is now

planted on the new earth.

Athena Rossi

The Chechpoint of Kalamaria

On August 13 1944, the so-called “Kalamaria Checkpoint” took place, when the German occupiers and their local collaborators executed 11 inhabitants in retaliation for the death of a member of the Security Orders. This heinous crime took place on the pretext of participating in resistance action, but it was essentially premeditated, as the perpetrators held a list of 30 names of citizens with left-wing action and beliefs. Their abhorrent work was halted by a ploy by Mayor Dimitrios Pavlidis, who organized a feast for the battalions, to disorient them from their cause.

In 2013 the Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism organized a literary competition on “The Checkpoint of Kalamaria” with many important goals, such as the awarding of honour to those executed and the constant struggle against historical oblivion and the darkness of fascism. The HARH wanted to communicate to the public a relatively unknown historical event, bringing it into the history of the Resistance. This original theme was chosen to be implemented through a literary competition, by people who were invited to participate with poems and short stories.

The competition has been very successful. The award-winning works were recited on September 17, 2014 in the hero of the Square of August 13, 1944, the day the established memorial service for the heroic dead was held.

1st Prize of the 2nd Literary Competition of HARH


“The Checkpoint of Kalamaria”

Forty-four years of 1900

In August Thirteen, of the Sun before the sea,

Mellowed, bitter-tasted fruits of violence sprouted

In the garden of Kalamaria, they flourished bravely.

Frightened by the sounds of heavy steps

Of the upcoming dances of gray-and-black deaths

Morpheus flew far away, the dreams were orphaned.

Serenity sleep, bed warmth, departed.

Sworn lambs of the all-human right

Circled from fascism’s irrational beings

Eaten by people of the same language, coreligionists! Traitors!

Eleven lads fell! All patriots!

Fruits of violence, food of insatiable Evil hunger,

The secrets are her bars, at the party of an Overt Dinner!

In front of an altar – School, they confessed the heinous

The guilt of Pilate’s frightened tolerance.

Ten Lives of Men and of a Woman, poems

Sacred dedications to freedom’s icon

But the full-hearted woman’s cry

The Earth took the perpetual song in her mouth.

Song of varying sound with the color of agony

Lands and seas and the stars of the sky hear it!

The fruitful soil, of Pontus, the blue wave

In the song, their first homeland, their first step.

Uprooting, thud of a thousand-year-old tree lying down!

Mother of the Fatherland, a corner, a nest of the persecuted,

Your child, accept! I’m sweating! I’m sowing! Arts, Letters!

A universal friendship and peace of nature!

Times have drunk the blood, wine to quench their thirst.

Don’t drink the Water from Oblivion, memories don’t stop!

Commune in the fountains of Memories as Mystics

Anti-fascists, fight the injustice of the world!

Song of Earth, we hear you and we are all of us present

Heroes of Kalamaria, eternal requiem,

Sleeping in a sigh!

To the living, the fighters, this won’t be a rest!

Chrysanthi Syropoulou-Lampou

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