Symeon A. Ananiades, a 19-year-old student from Samsun, was a top athlete who aspired to become a doctor. In his speech as the top of his class, he urged his classmates: “Keep going, keep at it, until you are 24. It’s not enough to make it halfway, the best is ahead of us.” In February 1921, he and six other students were brought before the Turkish military court for running the Greek literary club, “Pontos”, at Anatolia, which the court ruled was a subversive organization aiming to annex the Pontos region to Greece. They did not have the privilege of counsel, the right to appeal or any outside intervention in their favour. A few weeks later, in March 1921, Anatolia was forced to close, the Pontos club was dissolved and its students were arrested. Symeon Ananiades was hanged in June 1921 in Amasya, along with another student (Pavlidis), Georgios D. Lambrinos, who helped teach Greek while still a student, and teachers Dimitrios Theocharidis and Charalambos I. Efstathiadis, while Grigori Chekalov was spared, as a Russian citizen. Three months later, his father, Antonios Ananiades, follows him to the gallows. With him, a hundred more from Samsun, among other Greeks from Trebizond and the surrounding areas.

Frances Gage
Eliza Fritcher

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