Papoutsy to Lecture at AHI on Book Ships of Mercy

(Rye Beach, NH)--Author Christos Papoutsy will discuss his book, Ships of Mercy, at the American Hellenic Institute in Washington, DC on Thursday, September 30, 2010 as part of the Institute's annual commemoration of the Catastrophe of Smyrna. Members of the public are invited by both the author and the Institute to attend; reservations may be made by phoning the Institute. Copies of the author's book will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. Additional details can be viewed on the event flyer below.

Remembrance of the Mikrasiates yearly in September has been a traditional cultural event for Greeks in Greece and for Greeks of the Diaspora. Nearly every family in Greece today can count some connection to Asia Minor, since the population of Greece increased by 25% in 1922 after the massive influx of refugees from Turkey, affecting refugees and mainlanders alike. Some families chose to remain in Greece, struggling desperately to survive from day to day, while others opted to chance new lives abroad. But the refugees have never forgotten the tragedies and horrors of that time, passing along to children and grandchildren accounts of their harrowing escapes or of witnessing the heinous deaths of loved ones, friends, and neighbors. The Catastrophe of Smyrna is about ethnic cleansing and genocide, about acknowledging history and about confronting the tragedies of the past in order to move forward.

Papoutsy has uncovered through his research new material that should be incorporated into the Greek-American dialogue on the tragedy of Smyrna: the role of Asa Jennings, an American hero. Jennings, nearly single-handedly, was responsible for saving the lives of over one million Greek and Armenian refugees from Asia Minor in 1922-1923. Ships of Mercy details the setting of the Catastrophe and the role of Jennings in securing safety for the Mikrasiates.

For more information about the book, see Copies of the book can be ordered online from major distributors. A Greek-language edition has been produced by Kastaniotis Editions of Greece, available through the publisher or Enfield Distribution Company.

(Posting date 23 September 2010)

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