For Immediate Release: April 7, 2009
Contact: Nikolaos Taneris, Tel. 1-(917)-699-9935
New York, NY- On April 6, 2009 The Pan-Thracian Union of America “ORPHEUS” and
the Hellenic League of America (HLA) remembered the Hellenic Genocide in Thrace
and all victims of the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide perpetrated by
Turkey. Torrential rain, strong winds and brisk temperatures did not keep
community activists from gathering at Ralph J Bunche Park outside the United
Nations in New York for the first ever commemoration of Hellenic Genocide in
Thrace , Asia Minor and Pontos.
Organizers of the event Ioannis Fidanakis, Fotis Makritoxonis (CHEUNG), Georgia
Maratheftis , Paschalis Fidanakis and Giovanni di Napoli provided placards
with reproductions of American newspaper accounts of the Hellenic Genocide,
poster boards of Genocide perpetrators “ENVER” PASHA and Mustafa Kemal , books
such as “The Pontian Question in the United Nations” by Michalis Charalambidis
, and the educational pamphlet “The Genocide of Greeks: A Case Study of the
Region of Thrace” by Theofanis Malkidis.
Master of ceremonies and Pan Thracian Union of America “ORPHEUS” President ,
Ioannis Fidanakis addressed the crowd in attendance and urged for decisive
action and repeated a call for US President Obama (who was visiting Turkey on
that very day) to recognize the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide.
“President Obama you have come to your first test of character, will you prove
worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Alexander the Great or will
you be more the beautiful siren lurking our community towards death? We gather
here today to remind President Obama, that while he may be visiting the
perpetrators of our Genocide, He must not forget the promises he made to both
the Greek and Armenian communities here at home. We urge President Obama to
stand firm and not to waiver on his commitment to justice and human rights in
the face geopolitics.” Said Fidanakis, in his opening address . A brief video of
this historic call outside the UN has been uploaded to You Tube:
Statements from those who could not attend were also read aloud at the Genocide
Commemoration, including a letter from William H. Samonides, Ph.D., President,
Asia Minor Hellenic American Society (AMHAS). (Read the letter here)
Also present at the event include the president and members of the Hellenic
Organization of University Graduates HOUGA, the presidents and members of the
two local Pontian associations "Komninoi" of New York and "Pontos" of Norwalk
Connecticut and from the "Holy Institution Panagia Soumela."
Speakers included Reverend Father Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator's
Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in New York City, Mr. Dimitris Molohides General
Secretary – Pan Pontian Federation of USA and CANADA, Mr. Elias Tsekerides, Past
President of Pan-Pontian Federation USA & Canada, Mr. Theoharis Kekis, member of
Hellenic Pontian Society Panagia Soumela of Boston, and Mr. Giovanni di Napoli
of Nuovo Patria Meridionale (New Southern Homeland)—the transcript of Mr .
Napoli’s emotional speech “Thrace is Not Alone” is available here.
Photos of Thracian Greek Genocide Commemoration outside the UN on April 6, 2009
for download on ThracianGenocide homepage.
Dr. Theofanis Malkidis brought the commemoration to a close with a speech in his
native Greek. Professor Malkidis is a member of the International Association of
Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and International League for Rights and freedom of
Peoples. He is also the author of many scholarly books and articles, including
“The Genocide of the Greeks: A Case Study of the Region of Thrace.” (Available
for download at www.ThracianGenocide.org)
Ioannis Fidanakis publicly stated the promise of the organizers to join the
April 24th Armenian Genocide Remembrance commemorations and to again organize
for next year’s April 6th Hellenic Genocide commemoration, and to pass this
tradition on to our children and our children’s children, until justice is
served for all victims of the Turkish Crimes of Genocide.
Please keep visiting our homepage (www.ThracianGenocide.org) we will post more
photos, videos and related news articles as soon as they become available.
Join our E-list on the web at WWW.THRACIANGENOCIDE.ORG
The Thracian Genocide website and Thracian Genocide affirmation is a cooperative
and collective effort by the Pan Thracian Union of America "ORPHEUS", the
Hellenic League of America HLA and the works , action and spirit of many
Hellenic, Phil Hellene and American scholars and activists.