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100 years since the Pontic Genocide
Monday, 2 December 2019

The Historical Archive of Refugee Hellenism of the Municipality of Kalamaria in cooperation with the Municipality’s Culture Department and under the auspices of the Holy Metropolis of Nea Krini and Kalamaria held an event of remembrance and honor for the 100 years of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus on 2 December 2019 at the Melina Merkouri Municipal Theatre. At this event the following took place:

a. Presentation of the book “Witnesses …..100 years later” by the journalist Nikos Aslanidis.

b. The documentary “The Band” by the same journalist, which won two awards at the 21st International Documentary Festival of Thessaloniki in March 2019, was presented.

c. Paying tribute to the prolific and well-known in and outside of Greece Professor Emeritus of History of the University of Western Macedonia and member of the Board of Directors of HARH Konstantinos Fotiadis.

The book “Witnesses … 100 years later” contains testimonies of first-generation refugees, most of which refer to the “white death marches” and the labor battalions. The book includes interviews with survivors of the genocide. These interviews were taken during the 40 years of Mr. Aslanidis’ journalistic career by first-generation refugees. Some were published in newspapers and magazines; others were heard on radio stations and others were presented on television. The book was introduced by the Professor Emeritus of the University of Western Macedonia, Mr. Konstantinos Fotiadis.

The documentary “The Band” refers to the true story of the Genocide and concerns the mass murders of the Greeks of Pontus by the butcher Topal Osman. It is based on the book written by Yannis Papadopoulos who was born in 1898 in Giresun and died in 1985 in Kavala. He was a musician, a member of the Giresun Philharmonic Orchestra which consisted of 13 Greeks and 3 Turks. This orchestra was forcibly “recruited” by Topal Osman to follow his tours and its members would play Turkish marches while the tsetes were slaughtering, raping and robbing the Greeks. At the end, the bloodthirsty Topal Osman gave the order and all the members of the orchestra were slaughtered. The only one who miraculously survived was Yannis Papadopoulos. He managed to come to Greece and settled with his family in Kavala. But he never played music again.

The documentary was created on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus and is dedicated to the memory of the 353,000 victims.

BIOGRAPHY OF PROFESSOR EMERITUS KONSTANTINOS FOTIADIS

Konstantinos Fotiadis was born in Ano Zervochori of Naoussa in 1948 to refugee parents. In 1966 he finished the Private High School of I. Kangelidis in the village of Angelochori. In the academic year 1966-67 he was awarded a scholarship to the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. At the University of Tübingen he studied History (Ancient Greek, Modern European and Balkan) for a total of ten semesters, Empirical and Modern Folklore for eight consecutive semesters, under the distinguished Professor and founder of the department Bausinger, and for one semester Political Science. In December 1989 he was elected Lecturer in the History of Hellenism of the East at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki from the 15th century onwards. In 1993 he was elected Assoc. Professor of History of Modern Hellenism at the Department of Primary Education of the Pedagogical School of Florina and in 1997 he was elected Professor of History of Modern Hellenism.

Today he is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the Department of Primary Education of the University of Western Macedonia. He has been Dean of the Florina Pedagogical School, the Organizing Committee of the First World Council of Hellenes Abroad, the Centre for Pontian Studies, the Committee for Pontian Studies, the Scientific Committee of the Centre for the Study and Development of Greek Culture in the Black Sea and the Scientific Committee of the “Jason” program of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for the dissemination of the Greek language and culture in the countries of the former Soviet Union. He has written a large number of articles and books on Pontic and Asia Minor Hellenism, while organizing exhibitions and events on these issues throughout Greece and in many European countries. His top work was the 14-volume “The Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus”, published by the Greek Parliament, the product of his many years of research in numerous archives in Greece and abroad. He has been awarded 12 honorary distinctions. He has been for many years a member of the Board of Directors of HARH and Chairman of its Scientific Committee.

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