Antonis Klapsis


In September 1922, after more than three years of war in Asia Minor, the Greek army was defeated by the Nationalist Turkish powers led by Mustafa Kemal. The atrocities from the part of the Turkish armed forces against the Christian popula- tions of Asia Minor that followed the retreat of the Greek Army resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people as well as the destruction of many Christian properties. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Greeks from Asia Minor, Pontus, and Eastern Thrace were forced to flee to Greece in order to protect themselves from Kemal’s advancing Nationalist army. This article focuses on the various initiatives undertaken by the United States government and American charitable organizations, mainly the American Red Cross and Near East Relief, in order to relieve the victims of the Asia Minor Disaster. In this context, it is underlined that the United States showed the most tangible interest in that direc- tion and that the American assistance during the first year after the Disaster helped save the lives of literally thousands of refugees.