39238 - The unveiling of “Raphaël Lemkin’s”‘ street naming

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athina Kehagias

I would like to say a great thank you because I consider it a requital. Raphaël Lemkin utilised the Pontian element in his documentation when he coined this word and not invented is the correct terminology. He used a Greek root and a Latin root in order to create the term Genocide, which doesn’t seem very obvious when we translate it completely into Greek. And the point is that they couldn’t think prior to that, what was that actual word. Initially he thought of naming it an act of barbarism, and then realized that if there was not a new word used, then they would confuse it with other elements. Consequently, he coined this word at the United Nations Charter as well, as you’ve rightly mentioned earlier, and so we have all seven criteria of what a genocide actually is. And the fact that no associated number is stated it’s attributed to him as well. Therefore, a genocide is not determined by the number of the victims, but through the characterization coined by Lemkin. And that’s something very important, because as you well know, him who is committing the genocide is usually trying to reduce the numbers, and it would be very dangerous if those were further down than what was determined as official. Here we have a man who was in Poland, who thought of people who were in the Ottoman Empire, and were made victims ,and that eventually became admissible at the United Nations. He wanted to add more elements, as were the gulags, he didn’t however manage to do so, but this task will continue on. And here, I am glad that in Mikrochori we see Greeks of Pontus who recognize his work, and who realize how important it was for us as well, even locally I mean. Whereas we now see that our own people recognize what he has done, and it’s for that reason that I am very happy, that you’ve decided unanimously, you’ve continued on, and despite all the difficulties you’ve made it, because in any case the difficulties enhance the struggle. I don’t think you’ve experienced so many difficulties re: a street sign before, now that you’ve learned all about it, we’ll see the ones to follow. I also thank the Mayor greatly who also contributed to this project, because I know that Christos can do many things on his own, but if however there isn’t an entire team which decides mutually and acts accordingly, then we don’t have such inconceivable results. Be good. So long.

Mikrochori, 15/07/2018