By Dr. Athanasios Ioannis Kyriazis
“EXCEPT THE BLIND FORCES OF NATURE, NOTHING MOVES IN THIS WORLD WHICH IS NOT GREEK IN ORIGIN.” –SIR HENRY SUMNER MAINE, 1875, FAMOUS BRITISH HISTORIAN
This article will raise several key points about 20th century history. It makes the point that but for European, Russian, American, EU, UN & League of Nations actions taken negligently and/or intentionally, and in direct abrogation of international law, against Greece and its sovereign interests, Greece would be a far, far larger, far richer, and far more populous country than it is today. Greece today is on the brink of financial crisis not due to its own mistakes, but due to the arrogance and indifference of the larger powers which denied its destiny to be again what it was supposed to be—a second Byzantine-Greek Empire with a capital at Constantinople spanning two continents and five seas as was originally negotiated and settled by Venizelos at the Versailles treaty table after World War I and consummated in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920. That Greek Empire today would have approximately one hundred forty-sixty millions population and would be one of the most powerful countries on earth, as well as one of the richest.
I. THE UNITED NATIONS, ENGLAND, THE MAJOR EUROPEAN POWERS, THE UNITED STATES AND TURKEY OWE GREECE AND CYPRUS REPARATIONS AND DAMAGES FOR THE TURKISH INVASION OF SOVEREIGN CYPRUS AND THE DAMAGES SUFFERED BY THE GREEK MINORITY IN CONSTANTINOPLE SINCE 1955 OVER THE CYPRUS ISSUE IN VIOLATION OF THE TREATY OF LAUSANNE
In 1975, Turkey was allowed to invade Cyprus not once but twice, eventually appropriating approximately forty per cent of the land, killing hundreds of thousands, and expropriating billions of dollars in property holdings belonging both to Cypriot and ethnic National Greek citizens in Northern Ethnic Cyprus.
The invasion, and the continued illegal military occupation and Turkish colonization program of settling Turks from the mainland and passing them off as “Turkish Cypriots” for the past thirty-five years, continues to be illegal and condemned repeatedly by international law and United Nations resolutions.
Cyprus was only created as an independent state in 1960 after many years of Greek national lobbying for “enosis” or union of Cyprus with Greece. Cyprus was offered to Greece in 1915 as part of the spoils of World War I by England, but England breached that agreement at the Versailles Treaty table and retained Cyprus as a mandate and colony.
In retaliation for the enosis movement, Turkey forcibly expelled nearly 200,000 ethnic Greeks living in Constantinople lawfully entitled to reside there pursuant to the Treaty of Lausanne, first in a series of purges executed in 1955, and in a second round of purges in 1964, followed by the closing of the Halki school of Theology in 1971 and other acts directed at the Greek minority of Constantinople protected by the International Treaty of Lausanne.
Greece is entitled to damages with interest from 1955. Those are in the billions of dollars. Those are due them from France, England, the US and the UN’s failure to act to remedy the Turkish depredations to the Greek minorities of turkey since that date. For this reason alone, Greece is entitled to have not only its debts forgiven, but is entitled to war and treaty reparations and damages in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
This issue was discussed in great detailed in acclaimed novelist Jeffrey Eugenides prize-winning historical novel, MIDDLESEX (2001);
Thus we meet Desdemona Stephanides, who with her husband flees the Turks in Smyrna in 1922 and arrives in Detroit, where she has cousins. Desdemona, a formidable creature, has the habit of fanning herself when she gets angry or excited. “To anyone who never personally experienced it, it’s difficult to describe the ominous, storm-gathering quality of my grandmother’s fanning,” says Calliope, her granddaughter and the book’s narrator. And Desdemona’s fans, it should be said, are eccentric: “the front of the fan was emblazoned with the words ‘Turkish Atrocities.’ Below, in smaller print, were the specifics: the 1955 pogrom in Istanbul in which 15 Greeks were killed, 200 Greek women raped, 4,348 stores looted, 59 Orthodox churches destroyed, and even the graves of the Patriarchs desecrated.” Again, it is not only the verve of the writing that appeals, but its exactness. The idea of an “atrocity fan” is wonderful enough, but Eugenides’s real talent lies in the detailed coda to this passage: “Desdemona had six atrocity fans. They were a collector’s set. Each year she sent a contribution to the Patriarchate in Constantinople, and a few weeks later a new fan arrived, making claims of genocide and, in one case, bearing a photograph of Patriarch Athenagoras in the ruins of a looted cathedral.” This is the kind of detail that makes narrative.
England, France and the other great powers of Europe, along with the League of Nations, the predecessor to the UN, are guarantors of the Treaty of Lausanne. As in this treaty has been breached repeatedly by the Turks due to the depredations suffered by the Greeks, and the treaty guarantors have failed to act and are in breach, they owe Greece monetary damages. Greece is entitled to injunctive relief and monetary damages. At a minimum, they are entitled to damages from Turkey, England, the EU, the UN, the US, and a new regime of minority legal rights from Turkey, including a new rider to the Treaty of Lausanne allowing them up to 3 million resident ethnic Greeks and newly expanded Patriarchate rights in Constantinople.
It should be pointed out that in addition to partitioning the Ottoman Empire and Asia Minor proper, the Treaty of Sevres also provided for the holding of the so-called “Malta Tribunals,” which were to punish Turkish war criminals for acts of war crimes committed from 1914 onwards, specifically, acts of genocide and war crimes directed at christian minorities, such as Armenians and Greeks.
These tribunals were, in fact, never held, but the fact of the armenian and greek genocides were recognized and the machinery put in place to try the Turkish war criminals as early as the Treaty of Sevres. Indeed, these provisions were later copied by the US at the Nuremberg trials. However, it was the Allies failure to punish the Turks after WWI that let Hitler famously to comment, “who remembers the Armenians” in pursuing his genocide against the Jews of Eastern Europe. In this, Hitler specifically referred to the failure to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Sevres regarding the Malta Tribunals.
Greece is owed indemnity for this as well. My own grandmother was witness to the senseless butchery of thousands of armenians in her own village, many of whom were defenseless citizens machine gunned down and buried in mass pits, while she also lost three older sisters to the ravages of the Turks. The Terrible Turks.
The Obama administration opposes the current house resolution declaring the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to have existed. Nancy Pelosi killed it when she was house speaker. Just to show I’m being bipartisan, so too did Speaker Denny Hastert of the Republicans kill it back in the 1990s, allegedly after receiving a suitcase of more than $1 million dollars from a Turkish lobbyist (it may have been from Hill & Knowlton). Nancy Pelosi and several other are also alleged to have received substantial cash bribes to change their votes from the Turkish lobbyists as well, but much of this is urban legend and myth.
Getting back to our narrative, of course, enosis was not granted because Cypriot independence was guaranteed by England in 1960. That independence lasted fifteen years, while Turkish invasion and slavery over half the island of Cyprus has lasted more than 35 years.
Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1975, marking very nearly the 400th anniversary of their original Ottoman invasion and conquest of Cyprus in 1570. This was an outrageous act of aggression and the first sign of the Islamic radical agenda to emerge in the modern era which culminated three years later in the Iranian Revolution, the Iranian funding of Hamas and the eventual destabilization of Lebanon. This was all the beginning of a program to de-Christianize the Middle East and depopulate it of westerners and Christians, a program which has culminated in the 9/11 bombings and the program of renewed neo-pan-Turkism, neo-pan-Islamism and neo-pan-shi’ism, together with the scourge of radical Islam, radical anti-Semitism and radical anti-Americanism/radical anti-European sentiment now dominating not only Turkey but all of the middle east from Lebanon to Palestine to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Malaysia.
Regarding the invasion of Cyprus proper, England, the United States, the major European Powers, the UN and the EU, all owe Greece and Cyprus monetary reparations, damages and injunctive relief for the original invasion and all consequential damages. England, because Cyprus was a Commonwealth nation, and England guaranteed Cypriot independence after 1960 pursuant to treaty, by military means if necessary, and England is in breach of that treaty, owes Cyprus and the Greek Government damages for breach of that treaty.
Those damages are in the trillions of dollars, together with owing Greece, Cyprus and their people land and territorial compensation from the Turkish territories in compensation, along with reparations and damages from Turkey.
II. YUGOSLAVIA, BULGARIA, ROMANIA AND THE USSR, TOGETHER WITH THE EU, OWE GREECE DAMAGES FOR THE GREEK CIVIL WAR AND THE GREEK COMMUNIST PARTY OVER THE PAST FIFTY YEARS PLUS
The Eastern European nations which conspired actively with the USSR to fund the Greek Civil War from 1944-1948, as well as the funding of the Greek Communist Party and the left-wing Andreas Papandreou movement of the 1980s, which was a pro-Communist USSR-sympathetic government masquerading as a left-wing government (Papandreou was an out and out Marxist-Leninist communist in full sympathy with the USSR and an ardent anti-American) were fully and completely facilitated by the major European nations, the US and the UN.
To some extent, the US and CIA ameliorated these problems thru the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and active CIA involvement in Greece against the left-wing insurgents, but the root of the problem, the Greek expatriate communists living in the Eastern European Communist countries, propagandizing and funding these communist and left wing movements in sovereign Greece, have never been addressed satisfactorily by Germany, France, England, Italy or any of the major EU powers.
HARRY TRUMAN AMERICA’S GREATEST POST WWII PRESIDENT WHO PROTECTED GREECE & TURKEY FROM COMMUNISM WITH THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE AND THE CONTAINMENT DOCTRINE AND FOUGHT COMMUNISM IN KOREA FEARLESSLY; HE SPOKE PLAINLY AND THE BUCK STOPPED “HERE” ON HIS DESK. TRUMAN WAS MODERN GREECE’S ONLY TRUE ALLY AND FRIEND IN MODERN HISTORY.
However, the US abandoned Hungary and the Czechs to their fates in 1956 and 1968, and never allowed Yugoslavia to emerge from communism. The US also allowed the pro-US, anti-communist junta to be dissolved and allowed it to intervene in the affairs of Cyprus in 1975, while also green-lighting the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that same year.
To the contrary, the EU has pursued a policy of abandoning Eastern Europe to its communist fate, and not doing anything to resist the advance of leftist and communist parties in Greece, even if they were funded by the USSR or Eastern European nations.
Worse, since the breakup of the USSR, the EU has broken up and balkanized the former Yugoslavia, creating stronger Muslim states in Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia, while also creating issues for Greece with the FYROM, and weakening Serbia, Greece’s natural ally of World War I and II (and the only Balkan ally besides Greece of both France and England from both World Wars, incidentally).
Such a policy has been a betrayal not only of Serbia, but also of Greece, and of the Versailles and UN pacts, as well as of the fundamental understandings of the peace accords following World Wars I and II that Greece and Serbia were the winners, and the other countries were the losers.
Greece is owed reparations, land and damages from the EU, the former Eastern European Republics which intervened in her internal affairs, and from the US for the additional issues over Serbia, Yugoslavia and FYROM and Kosovo.
All of these matters have conspired to make Greece economically weaker and to cut Greece off from its natural trading partner, Serbia/Yugoslavia, for an extended period of time.
The damages are in the billions of dollars. And apologies.
At a minimum, Greece is owed Southern Albania (Northern Epirus) as land compensation for the evil deeds done by the Communists for fifty plus years. They are also owed this because of the Albania invasions during World War II and because of Greek claims to the land dating back to the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 and World War I prior to the formation of Albania. Also, because Italy owes reparations to Greece and Italy, more than any other country, is responsible for the current drawing of Albania’s boundaries.
The land compensation issue is not a minor one.
The other land that should really be awarded to Greece since Yugoslavia cannot hold it is the FYROM. Only Greece has the military, governmental and spiritual resources to hold this land against the Albanian minority.
Likewise, Kosovo should remain part of Serbia. It is holy land to the Serbian Orthodox dating back to the 13th century, and this issue is far more important than who happens to live there now. Besides which, most of the Muslim peasants who reside there are transients, nomads or rebels transplanted there for the purpose of fighting the Serb army and not true residents of Kosovo.
The fact that Albania, Bosnia, FRYOM and Kosovo are becoming breeding grounds for the Albanian mob and Islamic terrorism are only additional reasons for extending Serbian and Greek military and territorial sovereignty and orthodox churches to these regions. This is just compensation.
III. GERMANY AND ITALY AND ALBANIA OWE GREECE MASSIVE WAR REPARATIONS FOR WORLD WAR II
Greece is owed war reparations on a massive scale by Germany, Albania and Italy (and therefore the entire EU) jointly for depredations during World War II. Not only were more than one million Greek citizens killed by warfare, starvation and occupation by the Nazis and Italy.
The depopulation of Greece and economic damages to Greece due to the Italian invasion of 1940, the Greek Counteroffensive of 1940-41 (capturing Northern Epirus) and the subsequent Italian and German Occupations, and the looting of Greek archeological and art treasures, the theft of Greek farm products, the deliberate starvation of millions of Greeks, the holocaustic killing of Greek gypsies and Greek Sephardic Jewish minorities in Thessalonica and Macedonian Greece in the hundreds of thousands, often against bitter Greek resistance, caused severe economic and population damage to Greece for decades to come.
If you watched the recent Tarantino film INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, which took a few historical liberties, you got the essential idea of what the NAZIS were like–jew-hating, propaganda-wielding zealots, hungry and mad for power. They killed, plundered and exploited their conquered nations with reckless but precise abandon.
First, Greece’s population was decimated, probably by a factor of two. Greece today would be twenty million but for the decimations and depredations of World War II.
Second, Greece became depopulated of Sephardic Jews, its most productive and happy citizens of the North and of Thessaloniki. The economic consequences were incalculable to Thessaloniki. Greece was one of the main theaters of the Holocaust as Thessaloniki was a largely Jewish city prior to 1940. Its Sephardic Jewish community was centuries old. This was true in other parts of Greece as well where the Germans attempted to first quarantine, then liquidate the Greek Sephardic Jewish population.
Third, Greece was split into two armed camps, communist resistance fighters and pro-British royalists working with the American CIA, resulting in a bitter civil war from 1944-48 which further split the country upon the retreat of the Germans, killing off what little wealth and population was left. This war destroyed the wealth and population of the North.
Fourth, a wave of emigration began from Greece to the US, causing further depopulation. Things were so bad in Greece, everyone basically left. Again, net result, Greece’s population would have been around twenty million, maybe 25 million if there’s no World War II attack by the Italians and Germans, and their GDP in Greece would be about fifty times as large.
Fifth, Greece was looted of antiquities, paintings, ancient art and other valuable objects which were never restored to her. The Elgin Marbles are peanuts compared to what the German Nazis stole, and as we now know, the Russians stole what the Nazis stole, as in the case of the rare Heinrich Schliemann gold jewels of Troy, to give but one famous example of World War II art theft—the so called golden jewels of Sophia Schliemann which were considered lost for more than sixty years, suddenly appeared in a Russian museum once communism fell.
One could go on, but it’s clear that the Marshall Plan and US yearly aid does not approach compensation for damages done to Greece by Germany and Italy. Germany owes Greece a permanent stipend in the hundreds of billions of dollars and so does Italy.
Moreover, Germany is now a rich country, while Greece continues to be poor. This is directly a result of Germany’s own imperial Nazi policies under the Third Reich, which not only followed prior Prussian imperialism but added to it Hitler’s anti-Semitic notions of lebensraum, anti-Semitism and other nutty ideas he had absorbed while living in 1890s Vienna listening to pan-German anti-Semites yearning for the lost years of the German-dominated Habsburg Empire.
Perhaps Germany has moved on, but Greece has been unable to, because it continues to be paralyzed by the left-right splits which were directly created by Germany’s interferences in Greece.
Nearly everything that has happened in Greek economic and politics since 1940 is directly a result of World War II, as well as other external events not of Greece’s own doing.
Germany and Italy are the main culprits and owe Greece trillions of dollars in reparations.
Greece and Serbia were both on the winning side in World War II. Yugoslavia emerged stronger, but Greece considerably weaker, although it was given the Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, from Italy. But this was not a sufficient compensation for the depredations of the War.
IV. ENGLAND, FRANCE, TURKEY, THE UNITED STATES, THE EU AND THE UN OWE GREECE REPARATIONS AND LAND FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE TREATIES OF VERSAILLES AND OF SEVRES
Greece and Serbia were on the winning side Under the Treaties of Versailles and Sevres. Serbia was rewarded with the Kingdom of the Croats, Serbs and Slovenes, which later became Yugoslavia.
Because of the events that are described herein, Greece continues to be owed reparations by the old Ottoman Empire, Modern Turkey, England, France, the USSR, modern Russia, the United States, the League of Nations and its successor the UN, as well as the land promised them in those treaties.
Greece by contrast was denied Cyprus and the Dodecanese were given to Italy. Instead under the Treaties of Versailles (1919) and Sevres (1920) (signed by the Turkish Sultan) Greece was given more territory from Bulgaria, as well as Smyrna and a zone in Asia Minor around Smyrna, to be governed by Greece for five years pending a plebiscite. Also, Eastern Thrace, a massive amount of territory largely Greek speaking and Greek populated, flat and fertile and bordering on the Black Sea, up to the borders of Constantinople, was given to Greece. This would have approximately doubled Greece’s land area and created the Greece of two continents and five seas envisioned by Venizelos. Finally, the Treaty guaranteed the international freedom of the Straits (the Bosphorus, Dardanelles and Sea of Marmora) as well as the status of Constantinople as an International City, free of any governmental control by any national entity.
In time, it was inevitable that both Constantinople and Smyrna would become wealthy, influential and rich centers of Greek trade and influence.
At this time, in 1919, Asia Minor had approximately five million Turkish, three million Greek, one million Armenian and one million Kurdish citizens. Constantinople was more than fifty per cent Greek, Armenian and Jewish, and had more than thirty newspapers, the majority of which were in French, Greek, or Armenian. Smyrna was at that time the largest, most populous and richest Greek city in the world, and the center of the lucrative Greek tobacco trade, which dominated the world. Aristotle Onassis’ father was the richest tobacco merchant in all of Smyrna.
Greek history books refer to what happened next as “the great catastrophe,” but the real story is at once more complex and also much simpler.
First, the United States promised to administer the Armenian Mandate, adopt the Treaty of Versailles, and join the League of Nations and guarantee by military means, if necessary, the provisions of the dismemberment of the Ottoman States. The Armenian Mandate included most of Northern and Anatolian Asia Minor, where resided many Christian Armenians and Greek Ottoman Empire citizens, many of whom were seeking protection from Turkish and German oppressions and depredations since 1915 in American missionary schools and camps. An extensive record of German-Turkish brutalities, including the Armenian genocide from 1915 onwards, is to be found in many sources.
This American mandate never happened. First, the US Senate voted down the Armenian Mandate. Second, the US Senate voted down the Versailles Treaty. Third, the US Senate voted down the League of Nations.
Thus, what US History books refer to as “isolationism” is really “refused to get involved in the politics of the Ottoman Empire and the protection of Christians from Turks”. And “refused to send us peacekeeping troops to protect Christians from Muslim genocidal race-hating young Turks”.
Since this is such a common US peacekeeping mission today, perhaps we have trouble envisioning this, but in 1919, eugenics was so commonly pervasive in the US that Armenians and Greeks were truly thought of as inferior genetically and racially by many learned American intellectuals, and thus not worth saving. It would only be four years later that the same US Senate passed the most sweeping immigration reform bill in history restricting southern European immigration to very low quotas, based on the same bad science and racial notions.
Next, the Russians, who were allies of the Greeks, became communists in 1917. They made a separate peace with the Germans and Turks, and in 1919, Kemal Attaturk who was commanding the rebel forces in the hills of Ankara, but who had no money and no weapons, went to Lenin and made a deal for war loans and weapons, and got both. In return, they agreed to partition Armenia and settle the long-standing disputes over the Caucasus border. At this point they both knew the US wasn’t coming with its navy or army.
Next, having sealed off his Northeastern front with the Russians, Attaturk faced an attack from the west by the Greek Army, who was told by British Prime Minister Lloyd George in 1920 that the Greek Army would need to invade Asia Minor to deal with the problem of the rebel Turk army led by Attaturk. They were told they would be supported fully by the French, the Americans, the League of Nations and the British in their endeavor.
The Greek Army invaded, and won major victories, until reaching near Ankara, where they reached a stalemate, trench like position near the Sakarya River near Ankara. There, more than 100,000 seasoned Greek troops faced off against more than 100,000 seasoned Turkish troops (both armies had fought in both the World War and the Balkan Wars) for the next two years, from 1920-1922, without a significant change or advance.
Next, Attaturk made a separate deal with France. France betrayed England and cut a separate treaty of peace with Attaturk, in violation of Sevres and Versailles, and their pledges to the English, the Greeks and everyone else, surrendered all their weapons and artillery to the Turkish rebels, agreeing to recognize Attaturk as the true ruler of Turkey, as well as signing over land to Attaturk’s faux regime, including Antioch, a Christian city with a bishop and patriarch.
The reasons for the French betrayal are complex, but essentially boiled down to rivalry in the Middle East with England. For some reason, they felt it would be to their advantage to have an independent Turkey friendly to France on the border of French Syria and French Lebanon than one controlled by Greece.
Of course, as events turned out, this was a huge mistake, since when Germany re-armed, Turkey immediately re-upped with Germany and tossed France over the side leading up to WWII. This led to the dismemberment of the French colonies in the Middle East. This led in turn to the increase in the role of the British and the US in the Middle East after 1945.
In short, France not only made a diplomatic mistake, but it betrayed its two World War I allies and violated numerous treaties as well as insuring Greece’s defeat in the War.
The French surrender was a turning point in the Greco-Turkish War of 1920-22. First, it signified a diplomatic recognition of Attaturk’s rump regime. Second, it provided Attaturk’s fledgling army with needed weapons. Third, and perhaps most critically, it gave Attaturk only one front to fight on. Without a Russian front to the Northeast or a French Front to the South east, Attaturk could concentrate all of his army and newly found money, artillery and weapons from the French and Russians against the Greek Army along their extended defensive lines on the Sakarya River.
In the summer of 1922, Attaturk prepared a counterattack, and manage to split the Greek lines in two. This caused confusion, and ultimately, a rout of the Greek forces, which began a disorganized retreat back to Smyrna in two groups with heavy casualties, losses and mean captured. It is estimated the Greek Army suffered more than 60-80% casualties in this battle and series of retreats.
And yet, military victory was well within the grasp of Greece for many months if not years of the war, for reasons that will be delved into at greater length in a longer work still in progress.
At the end, the Greek Army disembarked on ships, and left Smyrna and the Greek populace of Smyrna to their fate. In September of 1922, Attaturk and his rebel army entered Smyrna, and in the year of the 500th anniversary of the capture of Thessaloniki by the Ottomans in 1422 (an event clearly in Attaturk’s mind) Attaturk made sure his soldiers looted, pillaged and raped every Christian home, citizen and girl in the city, and then set fire to the Christian quarters of the city. Much the same fate had befallen Thessaloniki in 1422 when it fell to the Moslem.
Smyrna was utterly destroyed.
The Sack of Smyrna was an awful and terrible event. Smyrna is one of the seven cities of the Revelation, along with Philadelphia and five other cities mentioned in the apocalypsis of the revelation of st. john the divine, written on the island of patmos but revealing the divine word of God. Thus, it must be fated again to be Christian.
Eugenides’ Middlesex has a long passage on the sack of Smyrna–it is a central event in his book. It is the reason for the exodus of his main character Desdemona Stephanides to America–the sack of Smyrna.
There are several books treating this subject, but the best in english remains Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City by Marjorie Housepian Dobkin, http://www.amazon.com/Smyrna-1922-Marjorie-Housepian-Dobkin/dp/0966745108/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269617432&sr=1-2. There is also a newer volume out by a Giles Milton, but by default I still recommend Dobkin’s volume. Also, Ernest Hemingway wrote a famous war dispatch in 1923 about the sack of Smyrna which can be found in any volume collecting his war dispatches for newspapers.
The terms of the Treaty of Sevres were renegotiated by force the next year in the Treaty of Lausanne, resulting in the so-called “exchange of populations,” whereby all Christian Greeks left Asia Minor for Greece and all Muslim Turks left Greece for Turkey, but the exchange was both lopsided and unfair. First, there were 1.5 million Greeks still living in Asia Minor, and second, the Turks had killed another 1.5 million Greek civilians during the Greco-Turkish War in genocide of their own. Many more would die during the trip and in refugee camps in Greece once they arrived.
Far fewer Muslim Turks made the reverse journey.
Most, if not all, of the Asia Minor Greeks never found a home in Greece. Many moved to other countries, notably America, though some went to Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries.
Those that did go to Greece did not feel Greek at all. They brought a different sense of culture with them, along with a sense that their land, their history and their past had been taken from them. But this is a story for another time. Their laments are today heard, and were then heard, in the rebetika of the time, the micrasiatika music.
In the final chapter of the War, the British refused to defend independent Constantinople from Turkish advance, and in the Chanak Crisis of late 1922, Lloyd George surrendered Constantinople rather than go to war with Attaturk, even though he himself had encouraged Greece to go to war with the same adversary. His Liberal Government fell soon after, and a Liberal Government has never again been elected in England. Lloyd George’s foreign policy can best be characterized as cowardly with regards to the Greeks. He failed to back them up with military and naval support and failed to commit to a total annihilation of the Turkish rebel army with British army and naval means.
That reparations, land and other monetary and equitable damages are due to the Greek Nation from England, France, Russia, etc. is clear. But for these treaty and agreement breaches, Greece would be a far greater, far more populous and far less Diasporic nation and peoples than it is. Also, Greece’s largest city, Smyrna, was destroyed at the height of its economic glory, and its largest trade center and Greek cultural center, Constantinople, was taken from it.
All in all, these two blows to the Greek economy were far too much for it to every recover. Sovereign Greece with a healthy Smyrna within it and an independent Constantinople trading freely would have soon become one of the most economically powerful countries on earth. What did happen in history was something far worse.
Greece is owed trillions upon trillions of dollars in reparations, land and two huge cities.
V. GREECE IS OWED REPARATIONS FOR THE FOURTH CRUSADE IN 1204 BY ALL THE WESTERN NATIONS
The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople in 1204, and looted and pillaged the city. At that time, Constantinople was the capital of the Greek Empire and the richest city on earth.
To give an idea of what was taken, the St. Sophia alone had 40,000 pounds of gold and 80,000 pounds of silver decorating its walls and dome.
Just the gold alone, assuming 16 ounces per pound, and $1200 per ounce, would yield a value in 1204 of around $786,000,000.
However, in 2010, assuming an interest rate of 5% that investment would have doubled every 14.4 years since then or roughly 56 times.
The net worth of the gold in the St. Sophia, then, in today’s dollars would be approximately 5.69 times 10 to the 25th power—or approximately 56.9 billion trillion trillion dollars.
In short, more than the GDP of the entire EU combined, probably.
So, in short, Greece is owed everything owned by Western Europe.
At least that, in short, is the Fourth Crusade Argument.
Oh, and by the way, they stole the Holy Grail, the holy lance, the holy shroud (mistakenly known as the shroud of Turin, it’s the shroud of Constantinople), the crown of thorns the true cross, and all the other known relics of Jesus Christ. Is there a value on these? They were gathered in one holy place, a sanctuary, in Constantinople.
VI. THE EU SHOULD BAIL OUT GREECE BECAUSE EVERY ASPECT OF WESTERN CULTURE IS GREEK IN ORIGIN
This is even more basic than the Fourth Crusade argument. Everything in Western Europe and Western culture derives from Ancient Greece and Byzantine Greece—religion, art, philosophy, politics, science, mathematics, the renaissance, etc.
For this great endowment, the Greek people and the nation of Greece should be forever on stipend from Europe.
Every museum in Berlin, London and Paris has entire halls devoted to collections of Greek Antiquities. The Rosetta Stone and the Greek language were the key to unlocking Egyptology. The Gospels are written in Greek, as are the Septuagint and all of the major works of antiquity on geometry and mathematics which were studied by the Renaissance humanists, not to mention Galileo, Newton and others.
For this great endowment of learning, must we not reward the Greeks and Greece?
Monetarily? In Trillions? Quadrillions? Keep them a free trading zone? Lend to them interest free? Keep their country a kind of permanent museum?
One would think so.
I worked out the number once just for the Fourth Crusade. It’s about 1 times ten to the 56th power, even assuming a very low interest rate such as 3%, since 1204. You can work out similar numbers for the gold stolen from the Greeks and land stolen from the Greeks on many other occasions, including notably the sack of Syracuse, the various conquests by the Romans, the conquests by the Arabs, and so on and so forth, but the conquests by the 4th or Latin Crusade are the most galling, because the Catholic Church does not renouce either their spiritual claim or their temporal claim to the lands. In fact, you can go to France or Germany or any of these countries, today, and obtain a dukedom or other royal title appurtaining to Athens or any other city which used to belong to the Eastern Roman Empire. In addition, the Catholic Church appoints Bishops to every eastern city in which there should only be a Patriarch appointed by the Bishop of Constantinople,e.g. the Patriarch, thus not recongizing his full equality in the Christian Church.
It would be silly of me to see the hand of opus dei or some nefarious plot behind all these machinations against the Greek Government, but you have to admit, the Germans have been in league with the Catholic Church before, to be specific, 1938, and that didn’t turn out so well for Europe or its then considerable Eastern European Jewish population. Whenever Germany takes an interest in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and you have a sitting German Pope, it’s a pretty good bet someone wants to reconstitute the Austro-Hungarian Empire along Germano-Catholic lines. Recreating Croatia as a catholic, independent country was certainly a good first step in that direction. Perhaps isolating Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia, the bastions of Orthodoxy, is the next step in the plan.
Of course, it’s not secret that Angela Merkel is unpopular at home. Saber-rattling against some small defenseless country fits her agenda. And, of course, there are millions of foreign Turkish gastarbeiter working in Turkey.
Returning to our main theme,Christianity itself is Judaism plus Platonism==expressed in Hellenistic philosophical terms by the Greek Church fathers.
And to Greek culture and philosophy we owe Islam and Protestantism, and perhaps even Confucianism and Buddhism too, since it was Alexander the Great who brought his Greek Philosophers to the brink of China and India in the 4th century BC.
As the Hollies once sang, “Pay You Back with Interest.”
It’s a big debt Europe owes the Greeks. Not the other way around, last time I checked, the ledger is still pretty heavily on the Greek side.
–ART KYRIAZIS, AKA ATHANASIOS IOANNIS KYRIAZIS
3/25/2010 greek independence day