The Tragedy of the Christian Near East

oeconomos tragedy

By Lysimachos Oeconomos
Appendix: The Smyrna Holocaust by Rev. Charles Dobson, M.C.
The Anglo-Hellenic League, London 1923. 29 pages.

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Dr Lysimachos Oeconomos was lecturer in Modern Greek and Byzantine History at the University of London, King's College. Following the burning of Smyrna in September 1922, he put together a collection of press reports and witness accounts of Turkish atrocities which was published under the title The Martyrdom of Smyrna and Eastern Christendom. He was also the author of the above pamphlet published by the Anglo-Hellenic League in 1923 titled The Tragedy of the Christian Near East. The pamphlet  includes an Appendix on the Smyrna Holocaust by Rev. Charles Dobson (1886-1930) who was the Anglican Chaplain at Smyrna in September 1922 when the city was destroyed by fire. In 1924 Dobson was a key witness in a trial to determine the cause of the fire.

From the Appendix:

In the back streets there was, in some parts, a great running of terror-stricken people, carrying children and bedding; some of them had been injured; one man had his face smashed and his mouth bleeding. There was constantly shooting in the back streets, followed by screams and panic-stricken running. The Turks were openly looting everywhere. One man was shot through both thighs, one of which was fractured, his screams were unheeded by the terror-stricken people. The general atmosphere was terrible, and I began to fear that we might have left our retreat till too late. The fires broke out after that afternoon. I was astonished when in Italy, and again here in France, to find how unwilling some circles were to believe the culpability of the Turkish troops in the burning of Smyrna. It seems to me that the firing of the city by the fanatic element of the Turkish Army was the natural culmination of the breakdown of restraints imposed by the military necessities, and of the unbridled indulgence of xenophobia.  Rev. Charles Dobson, p. 27.


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