An Assessment of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne
Conference to commemorate the anniversary of 90 years since the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne agreeing the population exchange between Greece and Turkey took place at St Antony’s College, Oxford on 31 October entitled ” Dividing people : An analysis of the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 . ” the documentary” Twice a Stranger “was also screened .
The panel was moderated by Dr.Renee Hirschon and introduction made by Dr. Othon Anastasakis . Panellists were former British Ambassador to Greece Michael Llewellyn Smith (St Antony’s College, Oxford), Ayca Abakan (BBC), Renée Hirschon (St. Peter’s College, Oxford ), Victoria Solomonides (King’s College, London.
The film is really worth seeing, not only because it has unique archival material and it interviews known academics but also because you hear the voices and stories of people who experienced the events first hand .
I want to underline the participation of excellent Dr. Renée Hirschon, an anthropologist from South Africa , who lived and grew to love these people of Asia Minor from the Kokkinia area of Piraeus and recorded their lives and their history. I can only contrast the interest and commitment of a person from a far away country for those people who played such an important role in the modern history of Greece with the indifference and lack of understanding and interest from many others who should be interested .
When in the course of Conferences someone thanked Dr . Renée Hirschon for the important work he has done with his pioneering study on the Asia Minor migrants, she replied clearly moved that that experience with these people have made her a better person.
Her book ” Heritage of Anatolian inheritance ‘ has been released and in Greek in 2004 by the MIET . The English title is Heirs of the Greek Catastrophe – The social life of the Asia Minor Refugees in Pireaus.