Lou Ureneck – Smyrna, September 1922 – The American Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide

Aug 22, 2016 – For this episode, our time machine takes us back to the aftermath of the First World War, where we’ll visit a defeated member of the Central Powers that targets ethnic minorities for wholesale slaughter. It’s not Nazi Germany, but Ottoman Turkey — in the final chapter of their genocide against Greeks, Armenians and other Christians, that the nation denies to this day. Our guest, Lou Ureneck, is a professor at Boston University, and author of Smyrna, September 1922 – The American Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide. His book was published in hardcover as The Great Fire, a fitting title since the term Holocaust itself comes from the Greek words for “whole” and “burned.” The cosmopolitan, diverse city of Smyrna is long gone, and Turkey’s Izmir built on its ashes. This is the story of how two men — a low-level YMCA minister and a U.S. Navy officer, bucked the American government and a tide of indifference or outright hatred, to save over a million ethnic Greeks from certain death. You can learn more about this tale of cruelty and heroism, by visiting SmyrnaFire.com, Facebook.com/LouUreneckAuthor, or following at @LouisUreneck on Twitter. On…