"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 22, 2018

On the Greek Genocide of 1915

In 2015 I gave several lectures on the centenary of the genocidal massacres of Eastern Christians at Ottoman hands. The best-known of these is of course the Armenian Genocide, about which a considerable number of books has emerged over the last quarter-century. But during my lecture I noted that two other captive Eastern Christian populations--Greeks and Assyrians--were also slaughtered in huge numbers. The Assyrian massacres have started very recently to receive some attention, as I noted here. But details about the Greek slaughter have largely been confined to a tiny handful of scholarly articles or passing reference in the occasional book--until now.

Set for November release is The Making of the Greek Genocide: Contested Memories of the Ottoman Greek Catastrophe by Erik Sjöberg (Berghahn Books, 2018), 266pp.

About this book we are told this by the publisher:

During and after World War I, over one million Ottoman Greeks were expelled from Turkey, a watershed moment in Greek history that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. And while few dispute the expulsion's tragic scope, it remains the subject of fierce controversy, as activists have fought for international recognition of an atrocity they consider comparable to the Armenian genocide. This book provides a much-needed analysis of the Greek genocide as cultural trauma. Neither taking the genocide narrative for granted nor dismissing it outright, Erik Sjöberg instead recounts how it emerged as a meaningful but contested collective memory with both nationalist and cosmopolitan dimensions.

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