A PRISONER OF THE TURKS (1922-1923)
Vasilis Diamantopoulos
Athens 1977.

 

In July of 1921, Vasilis Diamantopoulos was sitting his 3rd year exams for Law at the University of Athens when he was called to the colors and sent to Asia Minor. He arrived there in the same month and served in the 18th infantry division of the Hellenic army. In September 1922 he was captured and became one of the many thousands of Greek prisoners of war in Turkey.

In the 7 months he was captive, aside from being forced to do hard labor, he witnessed executions of prisoners and was subjected to beatings and humiliation by the Turkish public and his captives. In that 7 months, he was only allowed to bathe 3 times. The majority of the men in his battalion died of exhaustion, dysentery and exposure to cold. He arrived in Greece 7 months later, a skeleton of a man.

In 1932, a Commission of Inquiry investigated the treatment of Greek prisoners in Turkey during the genocide and concluded that their treatment was a flagrant violation of the laws of war and some acts were in contravention of the Geneva Convention. It's believed that over 100,000 Greeks were taken as prisoners of war, the majority of them perished.

 

Further reading: The Treatment of the Greek Prisoners in Turkey

 

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