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28.5.09

Για την Ποντιακή Γενοκτονία στις ΗΠΑ




Εισήγηση και δημόσια διακήρυξη στις ΗΠΑ για την Ποντιακή Γενοκτονία
Της κ. CAROLYN B. MALONEY μέλος του Κογκρέσου
και του George Onorato (New York State Senator)



Congressional Record


PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 111TH CONGRESS

IN HONOR OF
THE SURVIVORS AND VICTIMS OF
THE
PONTΙAN GENOCIDE

HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY
OF NEW YORK
IN THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the survivors and victims of the Pontian Genocide of 1915-1923. On May 19 we remember the treacherous actions of those who murdered hundreds of thousands of Pontian Hellenes and destroyed their communities, and we remember the survivors and the fallen.
Nearly a century ago, there were large communities of Hellenes living across the Ottoman Empire. In a few short years, these communities were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of lives were taken at the order of the Ottoman government. Hellenic Pontians had lived along the southeastern coast of the Black Sea in what is now northern Turkey for more than three millenia. The perfidious decision to destroy these peaceful communities resulted from the fear that foreign populations under Ottoman rule would join with their mother countries and destroy a crumbling empire.
During a bloody eight year reign of terror, the Ottoman government orchestrated the killing or displacement of hundreds of thousands of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians who had been living in the Pontus region. Thousands of people were murdered outright. The rest were uprooted and forcibly marched across the Anatolian border, without food or other provisions, to the Syrian border. Mass rapes and abductions of women and children also occurred. More than half of the Pontian population perished from violence, starvation or disease.

Roughly 400,000 Pontians refugees survived the onslaught and fled to Greece, Russia, and the United States. Despite the huge number of people who died or were displaced, most of the world paid no attention to their suffering. The fact that so many people could be murdered or removed from their homes without facing any consequences empowered future genocidal regimes to take similar actions.

One of the greatest tragedies of genocide is that the aggressors often succeed in eliminating the memory of those who fled. Few Americans today know about the Pontian Genocide. We have an obligation to honor the memory of those who died and teach our children about those dreadful times in hope that they will never be repeated. On May 19th, 2009, on the annual day of remembrance, members of the Pan-Pontian Federation will pay solemn homage to the victims. Although the genocide almost caused the extinction of the Pontian people, their traditions and culture still resonate today.

Mr. Speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the Pan-Pontian Federation as they honor the sacrifices and memory of their noble ancestors. I commend the Pan-Pontian Federation in their efforts to preserve Greek culture and history. May the victims of the Pontian Genocide rest in peace.

CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress

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