The Blight Of Asia: An Account Of The Systematic Extermination Of Christian Populations By Mohammedans And Of The Culpability Of Certain Great Powers; With The True Story Of The Burning Of Smyrna By George Horton

"What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."
REVELATION, I:11

THE MARTYRED CITY

Glory and Queen of the Inland Sea
Was Smyrna, the beautiful city,
And fairest pearl of the Orient she -
O Smyrna, the beautiful city!
Heiress of countless storied ages,
Mother of poets, saints and sages
Was Smyrna, the beautiful city!

One of the ancient, glorious Seven
Was Smyrna, the sacred city,
Whose candles all were alight in Heaven -
O Smyrna, the sacred city!
One of the Seven hopes and desires,
One of the Seven Holy Fires
Was Smyrna, the Sacred City.

And six flared out in the long ago -
O smyrna, the Christian city!
But hers shone on with a constant glow -
O Smyrna, the Christian city!
The others died down and passed away,
But hers gleamed on until yesterday -
O Smyrna, the Christian city!

Silent and dead are the churchbell ringers
Of smyrna, the Christian city, The music silent and dead the singers
Of Smyrna, the Christian city,
The music silent and dead the singers
Of Smyrna, the happy city;
And her maidens, pearls of the Inland seas
Are gone from the marble palaces
Of Smyrna, enchanting city!

She is dead and rots by the Orient' s gate,
Does Smyrna, the murdered city,
Her artisans gone, her streets desolate -
O Smyrna, the murdered city!
Her children made orphans, widows her wives
While under her stones the foul rat thrives -
O Smyrna, the murdered city!

They crowned with a halo her bishop there,
In Smyrna, the martyred city,
Though dabbled wiht blood was his long white hair -
O Smyrna, the martyred city!
So she kept the faith in Christendom
From Polycarp to St.Chrysostom1,
Did Smyrna, the glorified city!

FOREWORD

Heee at last is the truth about the destruction of Smyrna and the massacre of a large part of its inhabitants by one who was present.

The writer of the following pages is a man, happily, who is not restrained from telling what he knows by political reasons or by any consideration of fear or self-interest. He gives the whole story of the savage extermination of Christian civilization throughout the length and breadth of the old Byzantine Empire in a clear and convincing manner.

That it should have been possible twenty centuries after the birth of Christ for a small and backward nation, like the Turks, to have committed such crimes against civilization and the progress of the world is a matter which should cause all conscientious people to pause and think; yet the writer shows conclusively that these crimes have been committed without opposition on the part of any Christian nation and that the last frightful scene at Smyran was enacted within a few yards of a powerful Allied and American battle fleet.

We turned a deaf ear to the dying Christians when they called to us for aid, fully aware that America was their only hope, and now it owuld appear that there is a growing tendency in this country to whitewash the Turks and condone their crimes in order to obtain material advantages from them.

The author takes the position that his can not be done, as the Turks have put so great an affront upon humanity that it can not easily be overlooked, and the truth is sure to come out. He claims that high ideals are more than oil or railroads, and that the Turks should not be accepted into the society of decent nations until they show sincere repentance for their crimes.

Fraternizing with them on any other terms creates a suspicion of sordidness or even complicity. From the outspoken nature of this book it will be evident to the reader that the writing of it has required considerable courage and that it has been inspired by no other possible motive than a desire to make the truth known about matters which it is important for the world to know.
(Signed) James W. Gerard

INTRODUCTION

The editor of a great Paris journal once remarked that he attributed the extraordinary success of his publication to the fact that he had discovered that each man had at least one story to tell.

I have been for many years in the Near East - about thirty in all - and have watched the gradual and systematic extermination of Christians and Christianity in that region, and I belive it my duty to tell that grim tale, and to turn the light upon the political rivalries of the Western World, that have made such a fearful tragedy possible.

Though I have served the major part of that time as an American consular officer, I am no longer acting in that capacity, and have no further connection with the Unites States Government. None of statements I make, therefore, has any official weight, nor have I in any way drawn upon the State Department records or sources of information. I write strictly in my capacity as a private citizen, drawing from facts from my own observations, and from the testimony of others whom I quote.

I was in Athens in july, 1908, when, at the instigation of the Young Turks ‘^Committee of Union and Progress" the Saloniki army revolted and demanded the immediate putting into effect of the Consititution of 1876, which had become a dead letter, and I noted the reaction produced upon Greece by that apparently progressive move.

I was in Smyrna in May of 1917, when Turkey severed relations with the United States, and I recieved the oral and written statements of native-born American eye-witnesses of the vast and incredibly horrible Armenian massacres of 1915-16 - some of which will be here given for the first time; I personally observed and otherwise confirmed the outrageous treatemnt of the Christian population of the smyrna vialyet, both during the Great War, and before its outbreak. I returned to Smyrna later and was there until the evening of September 13, 1922, on which date the city was set on fire by the army of Mustapha Khemal, and a large part of its population done to death, and I witnessed the development of that Dantesque tragedy, which possesses few, if any parallels in the history of the world.

One object of writing this book is to make the truth known concerning very significant events and to throw light on an important period during which colossal crimes have been committed against the human race, with Christianity losing ground in Europe and America as well as in Africa and the Near East.

Another object is to give the church people of the United States the opportunity of deciding whether they wish to continue pouring millions of dollars, collected by contributions small and great, into Turkey for the purpose of supporting schools which no longer permit the Bible to be read or Christ to be taught; whether, in fact, they are not doing more harm than good to the Christian cause and name by sustaining institutions which have accepted such a compromise?

Another object is to show that the destruction of Smyrna was but the closing act in a consistent program of exterminating Christianity throughout the length and breadth of the old Byzantine Empire; the extirpation of an anceint Christian civilizaiton, which in recent years had begun to take on woderful growth and rejuvenaiton spiritually, largely as a result of the labors of American missionary teachers. Their admirable institutions, scattered all over Turkey, which have cost the people of the United States between fifty and eighty million dollars, have been, with some exceptions, closed or irreparably damaged, and their thousands of Christian teachers and pupils butchered or dispersed. This process of extermination was carried on over a considerable period of time, with fixed purpose, with system, and with painstaking minute details; couasing the destruction of a greater number of human beings than have suffered in any similar persecution since the coming of Christ.

I have been cognizant of what was going on for a number of years and when I came back to America after the Smyran tragedy and saw the prosperous people crowded in their snug warm churches, I could hardly restrain myself from risisng to my feet and shouting: "For every convert that you make here, a Christian throat is being cut over there; while your creed is losing ground in Europe and America, Mohammmed is forging ahead in Africa and the Near East with torch and scimitar."

Another reason to call attention to the general hardening of human hearts that seems to have developed since the days of Gladstone - a less exalted and more shifty attitude of mind. This is partly due to the fat that men' s sensibilities have been blunted by the Great War, and is also in large measure a result of that materialism which is engulfing our entire civilization.
G.H.

Footnotes

1 Martyred at Smyrna, September, 1922

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