Speaking in 2018 to Pontian Greeks living in Toronto about the genocide of their ancestors, former General Frangoulis Frangos of the Greek Military revealed the leading role of the Germans, Stohos reported.
Frangos explained that it was a German military leader who was the instigator of the extermination of Greeks, Armenians and other populations by the "method" of hardship and exhaustion, through death marches.
It was like a test of what the Nazis did a few years later against Jews and others.
The role of a German Colonel was a catalyst.
In his speech, General Frangos said:
"In October 1911 in Thessaloniki, the Young Turks - now the government of the Ottoman Empire - decided at a conference to exterminate non-Muslim nationalities and violent Muslims - of multinational origin," he said.
In their decision, it is precisely stated that:
"Turkey must become an Islamic country, where the religion of Islam and radical Islamic views will prevail and any other different religion will be suppressed. And it is clear that this cannot be done by persuasion. So armed violence must be used. Muslim sovereignty is inevitable and respect for Muslim institutions and traditions alone is due. The right of other nationalities to have their own organisations should be ruled out," he continued.
"Any form of decentralisation and self-government would be considered treason against the Turkish Empire. The predominance of the Turkish language is one of the main means of maintaining Muslim sovereignty," the General, who is a fluent speaker of Turkish, said.
Thus began the genocide of the Armenians, the Greeks of Pontus, the Greeks of Asia Minor and Thrace, the Assyrians and all the other Christian populations.
"Inspired by German Colonel Otto Liman von Sanders (1855-1929), who had served as a military adviser, he was promoted to general and became Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman Empire's army during World War I and was honoured for his 'services' in the sultanate with the title of pasha," he said.
"Sanders suggested to the Young Turks Nazi-style extermination and assured them that 'it is necessary for security reasons or to move away from the Greeks and other Christian peoples from the coasts'," Frangos continued. "His proposal was that 'in the cold of winter, the rains and the high humidity, the sun and the terrible heat of summer, the diseases of rash and cholera, the hardships and starvation, will have the same effect,' that is, to clear them up with death."
"With the system I suggest, their death is certain," Frangos recounted the German saying to the Turks. "But before they die, they will offer us their valuable services to the nation. In addition, their wives will not give birth, and so your demographic problem will be solved, while this hated and dishonourable breed will be wiped out and lost forever in a generation, and you will gain a solid Turkish homogeneity, which will give in your nation a new power."
The German also said to the Turks, by Frangos' recounting, "And of course, don't forget the properties and estates that the Greeks will leave after their loss, which will be transferred to the public, that is, to all of you."
Frangos then explained that "the Turks recruited the unarmed male population of the Greek Orthodox of Pontus, Asia Minor and Thrace, in addition to the elderly, the very sick, and young children, sent them to labour camps scattered throughout the country, in areas far from their homes. There they were forced to break stones 12 hours a day, build military roads, eat what was left of the animals and sleep in the countryside."
"In July 1921, in the regions of Trapenzounta, Sourmenon, Rizountos, they displaced the entire male population aged 15-60. In the process, they slaughtered most of them, and the rest died of hardship and torture," the former General said, adding that "in Kerasounta, out of 14,000, only 4,000 women and children were saved. In Oinoi, Osman Pasha did as much as Enver Pasha in Kerasounta. In Samsun, all Greeks were in death marches."
"From 1914 to 1924 353,000 Greeks of Pontus were killed and if we add the more than 700,000 Greeks of Ionia-Thrace who were killed by the Turkish army, we reach the number of 1,050,000. The atrocities of the Turks are innumerable, especially in the years 1921-1922, and are proof of Kemal's genocidal program," he said.