Japanese Helped  Armenians and Greeks During the Genocide

  • by Western Armenia, April 15, 2024 in History
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In 2010 In an article published in "The Armenian Weekly" periodical, we  presented how the Japanese provided humanitarian aid to the Armenians during the genocide against the Armenians.

the most significant story by a Japanese ship captain and naval crew' 1922. After the Zmurnia disaster, it is to save the lives of refugees who escaped to the port.

Regarding the humanity aid of the Japanese during the genocide against the Armenians, the most significant story was by a Japanese ship captain and naval crew' 1922  after the disaster  of Zmurnia. They aimed to save the lives of refugees who escaped to the port.

When in 1922 On September 9, Turkish nationalist troops entered and occupied the city, hundreds of thousands of Armenian and Greek immigrants fled to the port of Zmurnia (Izmir).

The capture of the city by the turks was followed by massacres and deportations of Armenian and Greek citizens, which became commonplace.

4 days later, a fire broke out in the Armenian part of the city, which destroyed most of the city.

Witnessing the disaster, about 20 Allied warships and cargo ships were standing at the landing, including one Japanese one. Many foreigners witnessed how the Japanese ship was mobilized to save the refugees who were on the verge of insanity.

Mrs. Anna Harlow Birge, who was the wife of the American Professor Birge of the International College of Zmurnia , witnessed how the desperate refugees gathered at the docks during the burning of Zmurnia.

One could see women and men swimming, who hoped to be saved, drowning. Anna writes: "At that time there was also a Japanese cargo ship at the wharf, which had just arrived, loaded with very valuable silk, lace and china worth thousands of dollars.

When the Japanese captain saw the situation, he did not hesitate. The entire cargo was poured into the dirty waters of the pier, and several hundred migrants boarded the ship. They were taken to Piraeus and landed safely on the Greek coast." This is posted by T. Stavridis in an article published in the magazine of the International Hellenic Foundation in America. American and Japanese steamers,/ships/ accepted all comers without checking their papers, while others accepted only foreigners with passports.'