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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, October 29, 1922, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 66

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1922-10-29/ed-1/seq-66/

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I ? * T f
Row the Archbishop of Smyrna wasMartyred
The Barbarous Turks Captured
the Foremost Christian .
Ecclesiastic of Asia
Minor and Had Him
Torn to Pieces
with Wild
Horses on a
Public Square
in Smyrna
The City of Smyrna Burning While the Turks Plund
ered and Ravished the Christian Inhabitants.
Seen from an American Ship.
I *HE destruction of over 200,000 lives
J at Smyrna by massacre, fire, hun
ger, suicide and other cruel forms
of death is such a vast tragedy that it is
difficult to fix one's attention on any par
ticular incident of it.
The disaster is so great that the mind
cannot hold it all. There was, however,
one tragedy which in its wickedness and
barbarity exceeds anything that has hap
t pened in modern times, and therefore
should receive attention from Americans.
That tragedy was the martyrdom of
Mor.signor Chrysostom, the Greek Metro
politan (or Archbishop) of Smyrna. It is
evidently the purpose of the Turks in
their present campaign to wipe out all
Christians in Asia Minor. The deliberate
torture and murder of the leading eccle
siastics of the proscribed religion was a
terrible earnest of their intention.
The manner in which the Archbishop
of Smyrna met death has not yet been re
ported in the American press. The Paris
Figaro, which is a warm supporter of the
French policy of backing the Turks against
the Greeks, and cannot be suspected of
being prejudiced against the Turks, prints
the facts briefly.
The Figaro states that the news of
Archbishop Chrysostom's death was
brought to Athens by the Bishop of Ephe
sus, who escaped from the sack of Smyrna
disguised as a sailor and reached Athens
on a French ship. The facts told by him
are beyond question. ^
Monsignor Chrysostom, who was a very
courageous man and an aggressive leader
of the Greek Christians, bravely remained
at his post when the victorious Kemalist
army entered Smyrna. Massacre and
atrocities by the Turks were regarded as
certain by the terrified inhabitants, few
of whom were able to escape. A host of
more than 300,000 panic-stricken refu
gees (Greeks, Armenians and Jews) from
the interior, who had fled before the vic
torious Turks and seen their relatives tor
tured and massacred, poured into the city,
which already had a population of 450,
000. These conditions alone produced
famine and misery.
When the Turkish army entered, Arch
bishop Chrysostom begged the Turkish
commanders io maintain order among
their followers, and he exhorted his own
panic-stricken coreligionists to be calm
and sensible. TurkiA officers disregard
ed him entirely and insolently, and al
lowed him to be seized by a band of the
most savage and fanatical Mohammedans.
He was especially bated for his bold cham
pionship pf his religious followers and his
nation. With him they captured his faith
ful dragoman.
The Turks began by tearing out the
Archbishop's beard, which, like all Greek
priests, he wore full and uncut. Then
they tore his clothes off and subjected him
to many dreadful tortures, such as tear
ing out his tongue and pulling out his
finger and toe nails.
Finally, while there was still life in his
quivering body, he was carried to the Iki
Chesme Square for the supreme agony.
Four horses were secured. The Arch
bishop was placed on his back, and one
horse was tied by a long rope to one of
his feet, another horse to another foot,
another horse to one of his hands and
another horse to the other hand.
Four Turks mounted the four horses,
one on each, and with their whips drove
the animals in different directions. One
Turk drove his horse to the north, the next
drove to the west, the next to the south,
and the remaining one to the east.
The archbishop was slowly torn in four
parts by the animals. The fanatical mob
watched the proceeding with hideous
pleasure, urged on the horses and howled
with rage and satisfaction. At last they
seized the remains of the victim. The
Archbishop's dragoman suffered practi
cally the same fate.
It is very strange
that in this modem
day a Christian
archbishop should
be tortured to death
in nearly the same
manner as one of
the first saints and
martyrs of the
Church, a figure
who is now involved
in a mass of
S t. Hippolytus
vfas a Romaji Chris
tian, who was boin
about 180 A. D., al
most in the lifetime
of the first apostles,
in the very earliest
days of the Church
?in fact, when per
secution was raging
under the Roman
S t. Hippolytus,
was an active and
successful religious
leader, and?.was put
to death by the
Roman Emperor. St.
Laurence states that
he was torn to
e c e s by wild
lorses.* Another ac
count states that he
was bishop of "Bos
tra, the chief city of
the Arabs," when he
was martyred i n
this way.
It is probable that
St. Hippolytus was
really martyred in
Italy. His remains
are supposed to lie
in the famous cata
comb of St. Hi. >o
lytus, in Rome. The
legend concerning a
Bishop Hippol^us
who was -martyred
by the Arabs may
refer to another
martyr of the same
name, as it was a
frequent name in
Greece and Rome.
The reference i s
very interesting as
indicating that two
thousand years ago
the Orientals were
in the habit of tear
ing their victims
apart with wild
St. Hippolytus must
have been a highly
honored saint in the
Church for cen
turies, as the frequent use of his martyr
dom as a subject of religious art proves.
There is a very remarkable painting of
him by the early Flemish old master,
Thierry Bouts. It is the greatest treasure
of the Church of St. Sauveur at Bruges.
Cruelty is a deeply planted, ineradicable
characteristic of the Asiatic races. During
the thousands of years in which the Turks,
Tartars, Mongols and other Oriental races
have been plundering and ravishing they
have always practised such cruelties as
tearing prisoners to pieces with wild
horses. Assyrian stone reliefs of three
thousand years ago show the conquerors
flaying their prisoners alive and commit
ting equally dreadful atrocities. The
Turks and other Asiatic raccs commit ex
actly the some atrocities to-day, and
probably they number among them lineal
descendants of Assurbanipal and other
conquerors who flayed tneir prisoners
alive. In more recent centuries, when
the Turks were making inroads into
Europe, they had a habit of tying prison
era to the ground, building a platform
How St. Hippolytus, One of the Earliest Saints of the Church, Was Mar.tyred by the Arabs Nearly 1,800 Years Ago in the Same Manner as
Archbishop Chrysostom Was Martyred by the Turks the Other Day. From the Famous Painting by Thierry Bouts, in the
Church of St. Sauveur, Bruges.
upon their bodies and then feasting on
the platform as the victims were slowly
crushed to death.
Reports assure us that the Turks in
their recent campaigns have followed
their old method oi crushing their victims
as they did in other centuries. Flaying
prisoners alive, tearing them to pieces,
crushing them to death?these are all as
much a part of the psychology and moral
ity of the Mongolian to-day as they were
two, three or five thousand years ago.
Nothing is better established than that
Asiatics do not change in morals and habits.
It seems that we ought to stop for a
moment and think seriously what it means
when a Christian archbishop is tortured
to -death by Oriental* in exactly the same
way as they did it two thousand years ago.
Has the world progressed at all? Shall
we hear of Christians being fed to the wild
beasts in the circus? During the extermi
nation of Armenians in the great war ref
ugees told how wild Turkish horsemen
made a public sport of catching Christian
maidens on their spears. The civilised
world has now allowed the Turks to mas
sacre about 3,000,000 Armenians. Some
observers think that there would be no
serious interference if the Turks made an
organized spectacle of putting tne few re
maining Asiatic Christians to death.
It is interesting to know that the mur
dered Archbishop of Smyrna was a highly
cultivated, refined and scholarly man, a
Eublic figure, in fact, of much distinction,
[e was not uncouth, uncleanly and prim
itive, as a good many of the Armenian
and other Christian priests of Asia Minor
are. If he had visited New York he would
have been asked to sit in the chancel of
the Episcopal Cathedral with Bishop Man
ning, as other Greek bishops have been.
Smyrna was a great, beautiful and weal
thy city, , containing 250,000 Greeks
among its cosmopolitan population. Nat
urally, such a community gave an oppor
tunity for a man of high qualities.
Monsignor Chrysostom greatly distin
guished himself and endeared himself to
his countrymen in 1913, just before the
world war, by his, brave rescue of fpur
i ' '
ML b? AnMriran W?k!r. loc Orrtl BrlUUi RlfliU lUwriM
young Greeks. They had be^n convicted
and sentenced to death by the Turks for
an alleged attack on a Turkish woman on
the island of Mitylene during the war be
tween Greece and Turkey, which raged
only a year before the world war. The
men were actually being carried to the
gallows when Monsignor Chrysostom pro
duced irrefutable documentary evidence
that the men did not commit the crime
and that they were convicted by perjury.
With the help of the foreign consuls he
was able to stop the execution.
After Monsignor Chrysostom had wit
nessed the agonies of the world war and
the loss of lives spent in fighting the Turks
he did not dream thrit they would be per
mitted again to occupy such aivilized
Christian communities as Smyrna. It was
natural that he should support with all his
heart the effort of Greece to toold Smyrna
and the coast area for civilization.
The Turks remembered well his patriot
ism, his bravery in rescuing their victims
from their clutches at the foot of the gal
lows. his consistent championship of
Chrysostom, .
the Murdered
of Smyrna.
Christianity and civili
zation. When they hail
him in their prasp they
thought of all that, and
repaid him with the
dreadful martyrdom
that has been de
After all, it'must not
be forgotten that the
martyrdom of the
Archbishop was only
one murder out of a
number that has been
estimated as high as
400,000. His position
arul the manner of his
talcing off stamp the
occurence as a special
The accounts of
scores of eyewitnesses
leave no doubt that the
aim of the Turks was
to extinguish all Chris
tians in Asia Minor.
A very notablo
American woman, Dr.
Esther Lovejoy, chair
man of the executive
board of the American
Women's Hospitals and
president of the Medi
cal Women's Interna
tional Association, was
present at the sack of
Smyrna, and has told
in plain language some
of the acts sne saw
committed by the
"On September 28,"
said Dr. Esther Love
joy, "the Turks drove
the crowds of Chris
tian refugees from the
quays of Smyrna,
where the searchlights
of the allied warships
played on them, into
the side streets. All
that night the screams
of women and girls
. were heard, and it was
declared next day that many were taken
for slaves.
"The Smyrna horror is beyond imagi
nation and the power of words. It is a
crime for which the whole world is re
sponsible in not having, through the civil
ized ages, built up some means to prevent
such orders as that of the evacuation of
the city and the means with which it wan
carried out. It is a crime for the world
to stand by through a sense of neutrality
and permit this outrage against 200,000
"Under the order to remain neutral I
saw the launch of an American warship
pick up two male refugees who were try
ing to swim to a merchant ship under the
Turkish rifle fire and return them to the
hands of the waiting Turk soldier? on the
beach, for what must have been certain
death. And under orders to remain neu
tral I saw soldiers and officers of all na
tionalities stand by while Turk soldiers
b?:at with their rifles women trying to
reach children who were crying just be
yond the fence."

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