THE ASIA MINOR TRAGEDY: AN EYE-WITNESS TESTIMONY
Michail Angelou was born in 1882 in Kiouplia in the Bithynia region of Asia Minor (today Turkey). He married Argyro Gounaris with whom he had 2 children. He studied pharmacy in Constantinople and opened a pharmacy in his home town. Angelou served in the Ottoman Army during the First World War. He became a member of the Turkish National Assembly of Ankara, and was also recruited into the Kemalist Army as an aid for transporting injured soldiers.
After hearing that Kemalist forces were about to burn his home town, he notified his friends and relatives and told them to abandon the village, while at the same time he organised the transfer of medicine and equipment from 7 hospitals by loading them onto wagons and transporting them to Greece along with the fleeing town-folk.
The Turkish administration had a list of 300 people who were wanted for treason, and one of those on that list was Michail Angelou. It was for that reason that he didn’t want to publish his memoirs until after his death and was unable to visit his homeland. Angelou moved to Edessa, Greece and opened his own pharmacy and became the president of the Pharmaceutical group of Edessa. He died in 1968 aged 86.
His memoirs were published in 2013 under the title ‘Asia Minor Tragedy: An eye-witness testimony’ (Η Μικρασιατική Τραγωδία: Υπ’ αυτόπτου μάρτυρος. Αυτοβιογραφική μαρτυρία) with an introduction by Vlassis Agtzidis. It is a valuable resource on the massacre of Greeks in the Nicomedia region during the genocide period written by a member of the Kemalist army.
Michail Angelou with a war medal awarded to him by the Austrians for his
efforts while serving in the Ottoman Army in the battle of Gallipoli (1915).