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FROM: Governor General Sofoulis

TO: Head of the Council of Ministers, Athens


Thessaloniki, 2 (15) June 1914

Very Urgent

To the Chairman of the Council of Ministers

3,000 refugees arrived today from Phocaea in Asia Minor; among them was the local bishop. According to their unanimous narration, last Friday at 8pm, Phocaea was surrounded and attacked by armed hordes who, together with the Turkish gendarmeries, started firing towards all directions. Houses and shops were lotted, the entire Greek population, including the priest, was forced out of their homes after having been robbed of all their money. Churches were raided and desecrated, not just by the security services but by the rest of the employees.

Elderly people and young children were slaughtered or thrown alive into wells. There’s more than one hundred dead. Most of the refuges who arrived here, especially older men and women, bear bruises from having been beaten up; others bear bayonet or gunshot wounds. Twenty critically injured by gunshots have been taken to local hospitals here. Most mourn lost children or other relatives.

After the catastrophe took place, the Hoca ascended on the church’s bell tower and prayed thanks for the destruction of the non-believers. The site of the refugees –desperate people still in a state of shock– has caused profound emotions throughout the city of Thessaloniki. In addition, two more steamers have come into port today, carrying refugees from Thrace.

The bishop of Phocaea has confided to me that the General Consul of Turkey, to whom he paid a visit, said he believes him and admitted the truth of what is being said –but finds the events were justified. The Turks, he said, are taking revenge for what happened in Macedonia and are securing their state because the Ottoman Greeks have been corrupted by teachers and priests …… danger. The bishops ins[ists] that this news shall not be communicated to my superiors.

Governor General