September 8, 1967: Evangelos Fotiadis, rescuer of 10,000 Greeks during the genocide, died

Evangelos Fotiadis

Born in Herakleia in Paphlagonia, Asia Minor, Evangelos Fotiadis (1892 - September 8, 1967) was a resistance fighter and Captain, during the period of the Greek Genocide (1914-23) and Greco-Turkish War (1919-22).

After refusing to enlist in the Turkish Army, he escaped and fled to the mountains, where he would eventually form a force made up of about 500 Greeks.

Evangelos Fotiadis fought ruthlessly and heroically against the Turkish soldiers, irregulars and bandits.

Meanwhile, the Turks continued to go from Greek village to Greek village all over Asia Minor and Anatolia during World War I and the Greco-Turkish War, raising them to the ground and orchestrating forced expulsions, as well as killing, raping and kidnapping.

Fotiadis protected as many Greeks as he could.

He led thousands in a convoy over the course of a week.

During the journey, Fotiadis and his men were confronted by Turkish forces on horseback, who wrongly believed that Fotiadis’ group were unarmed, paying for this mistake quite severely.

Eventually, the group reached the town of Nikomideia, where with help from units of the Greek army, assisted the Greek refugees and ensured them safe passage to Greece from Anatolia.

It is estimated that Evangelos Fotiadis contribution during the period was the rescuing of over 10,000 Greeks from certain death by hiding up in the mountains and directing them through the Turkish-Kemalist zone to Greece.

He died in Nea Nikomideia, Veria, Macedonia in 1967.

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