Δευτέρα, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

Speech of G. Mavropoulos for Asia Minor (Kavala - Greece, Sept.13, 2009)

Dear Mrs Nancy Horton

Honorable Mr. Kikuma-Representative of the Embassy of Japan

Distinguished guests -Agapitoi sympatriotes - Πρόσφυγες Μικρασιάτες, Θρακιώτες και Πόντιοι




I am grateful for the invitation Dr.Malkidis extended to me on this special occasion.




During the most tragic events as the painful trauma took place in Smyrna in Sept. 1922, the world experienced once more the worst human behavior and at the same time the best human qualities.




It is important to note, however, the shameful behavior of Greece's allies who for their shelfish political and economic interest stood idle, as spectators, witnessing the human slaughtering, while the Japanese sailors distinguished themselves for their bravery and human compassion to save so many helpless women, children and old men who so desperately tried to escape from the death.




With the same human compassion, the American Consul, the late George Horton, saved so many lives until the last hour when he was forced to leave his post.




Last year in Chicago, we have organized an Academic conference regarding "The Catastrophe in Asia Minor and Pontos". One of the six historians was Dr. Bill Samonides who served as an Associate Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Relations at Harvard University. Once again, we have heard from Dr. Samonides of the generocity of the people of Japan and their culture who even today spend enormous amount of money in education also in the area of helping others in need, most anywhere in the world.




Mr. Kikuma - we are extremely grateful to the proud people you represent.




Mrs Horton - the Greek people in Greece and in Diaspora are also extremely grateful for what your father and you have done for them.




Speaking of education, I would like to mention that in several US states, there is a school mandate to teach the subject of Holocaust and Genocides which unfortunately, event today, are taking place in some parts of our world. Aim of this mandate is to educate the new generation of students of the tragic events of the past and present and how to prevent them. After all, some of the young people in the Amaerican schools could be the leaders of tommorow. Our organization has teamed up with the Armenian, Jewish and other groups to participate in Social Studies training conferences to present our experience and story. In addition, in the state of Illinois, with the Armenian group, we have been organizing special seminars for High School teachers to educate them on the Armenian and Greek Genocides and to provide them with material, such as the Teaching Unit which is used in their classes -this is an ongoing effort.




On November 7th, we will have the second Academic Conference in Chicago where distinguished Professors/Historians will present papers/articles on the "Asia Minor Castrophe" which we are planning to publish.




Once again thank you for your invitation..



George Mavropoulos
www.pontiangreeks.org