An extraordinary story of Genocide and survival


Dear Ms. Halo:
I love your book. I am also a Pontus Greek descendant. My grand parents on both sides, mother and father, emigrated to the USA from 1909 to 1913 as teenagers from Ordu, Turkey. They eventually settled in Ohio around 1917 and their children, my parents moved to Queens NY where I was born and raised after WW II. Until reading your book I never knew of the pain those who did not leave Pontus endured during the years immediately following WWI. My grandparents never spoke to me of their Pontian life and now I realize why from reading your book. You have helped me get a better sense of my history and heritage.
Thank you and God bless you.

Gus Orphanides

I forgot to add the date and my email for the response about the holocaust surviver speaker or somethin like that. anyway the date is november 11, 2004

Do you know any Holocaust survivers living in illinois or the chicagoland area that would not mind being interviewed or give a lecture/story about the holocaust?

what is the official currency of Slovenia

could you help find info on a paper that was found in an old wallet. It is paper and has been preserved in a card holder. The words are all in german: bundesrepublik deutschland republique federale d all.emagne federal republic of germany Personalausweis Carte d Identite Identity Card der inhaber dieses ausweises istdeutscher the holder of this identity card is a german

I am going to Izmir/Smyrna in 2 days to see my fathers home towns, smyrna, soma pergamon, i will bring a lock of his hair he died last month I want to bring him home any advice

Do you have any Holocost Survivers on a list of names?

I read this book a while ago and I have to say that its just got to be made into a film. I don't know if the idea will go down well b/c of the political crap, but then again Mel Gibson did The Passion movie, so why not? Im so willing to be one of the actors!! i will travel all the way from Sydney AUS to any location in the US! lol ;-) I REALLY REALLY want the world to know what happened to my people and why we don't have a home land today. Sarah Alkan Suryaito Australian

PONTOS LIVES ON FOREVER. Teresten t'ommatopa mou nto estaksan ton topon, ekei hortar' 'ki efitrosen ekseven tsitsakopon.

Yes. Gordon Parks Jr. is the same Gordon Parks Jr. who made Superfly. Thea

May 7, 2003 Hi, Thea, Thank you for writing this poignant story. I'm Assyrian American and can certainly appreciate and relate to it. Also, as I was browsing your book, I noticed a couple of photo credits by Gordon Parks, Jr. Is that the (now deceased) Gordon Parks, Jr. of "Superfly" fame? Best wishes for continued success ~

Oops, forgot to add the date on my comment: It is May 7, 2003. Thanks again! Sincerely, Martin Peck

Hello and welcome from a sunny and warm(er) New York City! I am glad to have read "Not Even My Name" and I must say that it ranks with the best works I have ever seen in print concerning the commonalities of the Pontian Greek, Armenian, Kurdish, and Assyrian genocides. I am wondering about what is the progress concerning the Pontian Greek dictionary-cum-grammar? I have been looking without any success for any information concerning the Pontian Greek dialects and any folk music in printed form (with lyrics in Pontian Greek if the songs are vocal)---in particular, a song that is a favorite of mine at the Greek American Folklore Society in Astoria, New York, "Trigona". Any help you can offer regarding these things would be greatly appreciated. Please address e-mail to as soon as possible. Thank you! Sincerely, Martin Peck

Christina Karikis Tuesday, 15th April 2003, 11.42am Perth Australia Dear Thea, I read your book titled "Not Even My Name", afew months ago and just wanted to thankyou for writing such a fantastic book. I am also Pontian (from my mother's side), and have been a member of a Pontian dance group for the past 7 years. I have passed your book on to all the other members of my group for them also to read. It's a book that truely shows the stories of the Pontian Genocide and all the bloodshed of 1922. It would be great to see your book made into a movie one day. Well done. I can't wait to meet you when you come to Australia next month. See you then! :) email: web site:

12 april 2003. just wanted to say thank you for your book. i was on holiday in greece for 2 weeks and found your book at eleftheroudakis books in athens. i found it extremely moving, i was glad to be able to read your book while in greece- i think it brought your mother's story closer to home to be there. i've come home and told everyone i talk to about your book, about the pontic greeks and the assyrians. i studied western civilization in college, and yes- i remember the "sea people." thank you for the the reeducation. and thank you to your mother for having the courage to relive it all. -m. brooke r., eugene, ore., usa.

April 08, 2003. Hi Thea. You are truly my hero! I am a first generation Assyrian, I've been living in Chicago since 1976. I never knew much about the events of WWI. I personally feel that It has been completely overshadowed by WWII. I am glad to see a brave person like you emerge and provide us with the truth, even though many deny the genocide ever happened to the chrisitians living in the Ottoman Empire. I did not know about the massacres or gencide that almost wiped out my people until 2 years ago, when I became interested in geneological research. Of course, the first thing you have to do is ask many family memebers questions. So, I did and to my surprise I found out that my grandfather,(born 1909)along with his sister were kidnapped and taken to the mountains by the Kurds. For some odd reason he was returned back to his mother, but his sister was not. I found out that all the Assyrians lived near what used to be their capital city, Nineveh. They had villages extending from North Iraq(Mesopotamia) to Turkey(Ottoman Empire)and Iran (Persia).The Assyrians have inhabited these lands for centuries. I found out that these simple villagers, I'm sure without their knowledge were called different names. For instance, rather than being called Assyrian, others called them Syrian or Nestorian. This was done to cause divisions amongst the Assyrian people. Nevertheless, the Assyrian race that flourished in the above mentioned regions of about 4 million, were almost completely wiped out, the remaining people who fearded for their lives would'nt dare speak about the horrors.The Assyrians are told to forget, I beleive because they were surrounded by non- chrisitians and were under constant attack for not submitting to Islam, they were forced to practice their chrisitian faith secretly, and as a result they have accepted opprssion as a way of life. From the information I gathered, the Turks concentrated on exterminating the Armenians and Greeks, (with the help of Kurds and Persians)while the Kurds concentrated on exterminating the Assyrians.Anyhow, I have sent E-mails to CNN. I told them that it may be true that sadaam killed 5,000 Kurds and Iam sure the U.S investigated. I asked CNN to investigate on why North Iraq Is populated mostly with Kurds and to find out what happened to the indigenous Assyrians that lived throughout N. Iraq. Their response was we cannot investigate everything that is sent to us via E-mail. Isn't that interesting, these are journalists whose primary job is to investigate and reveal the truth.I wish that your book will reach their hands and maybe that it will get their attention. Please !!!! get the word out about the ARMENAIN, ASSYRIAN AND GREEK GENOCIDE.People do not want to beleive us. We need to promote public awareness, we need to work together to get the worlds attention. I stress that all Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians must join together and get the word out somehow. We need to learn to break the silence. God bless you thea !!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Ms. Halo, Hello. My name is Hellen and I am a third year undergraduate student. Just recently, while perusing the bookshelves at my local library for a research paper I am currently working on, I came across your name and curiously read the inside book jacket. I am glad to say, I enthusiastically continued to read, both out of intrigue and pride that an author had devoted their writing to the troubled and intricate past of the Greek people. Although I am already familiar with the story of the Pontic Greeks (my mother is Pontic in fact)I was nevertheless, further drawn into your mother's harrowing personal account. As a history major, I can tell you that our ethnic heritage, especially the period during Ottoman occupation and its demise, does not receive the amount of attention in the classroom as it deserves, though through the efforts of individuals such as yourself, the memory of our subjugated past will be disseminated and the history of those who lived through it will be remembered. Thank you for this invaluable treasure.

March 15th, 2003. Dear Thea. Last night I finished reading your book "Not Even My Name". This is outstanding authorship! I usually don't read a lot of books and I am often very busy at work, but this carried me by storm. How did I come across this book? Well last summer I visited Syria and Lebanon together with two other blokes. We had the best of trips including Aleppo and Zahle - you should also go there one day! Already before that I was very much interested in the history and culture of Middle Eastern Christians, who I think are a somewhat forgotten but also very diverse bunch. I should like to add that I am not a praticing Christian myself. One of the the churches/communities I came across was the Assyrian (Nestorian) Church. I read a lot about it. It used to be the church of Persia, Central Asia, India, China and even Java. And then I read that until early in the 20th century there was a large Assyrian (but not necessarily Nestorian) community living in what is now Turkey. But also that this had been wiped out in a genocide committed by Ottoman forces! That was completely new to me. I didn't know that. But it triggered my interest for Ottoman/Turkish history so studied ahead. I had already heard about massacres against Armenians living in Asia Minor. I had also heard that Greece and Turkey exchanged refugees before WWI, as I were aware of that a lot of Greeks used to live on the Aegaeian Coast. But during my further research I also stumbled over somthing called 'Pontic Greeks'????!!!! Well, I asked my friends. They had heard of the Armenian tragedy and the terrible story about the Greeks in Smyrna and also the Assyrians although those were the ancient Assyrians living in what is now Northern Iraq. But none of them - just like me - had ever heard of such a thing called Pontic Greeks. That only motivated me even more in my research and it made me decide that I want to go to Turkey next year. As far as one thing is concerned I'm so different from you, Thea. I never go on holiday unless at least 99.99999% of it is pre-planned. My backpack is stuffed with written hand guides and parleurs AND litterature on the history of the country I am about to visit. So there I went on to the internet to look for books on Turkey's history including the history of the Pontic Greeks. And here I found NOT EVEN MY NAME. I read the abstracts and raced down the book store. They had to order it home all the way from America, but what the heck?..... I finally received it last Saturday. I finished last night at 3.00 am. It is really so captivating! I'm usually not a man of many tears, but I must say that chapter 26 and 27 just were so moving. How on Earth did Themia manage to survive let alone maintaining her self respect? I'm sure she didn't find it easy, but I would have died. That is for a fact. Also the last chapters where she went to Pontos only to find that all that she cared for as a child had been wiped out only to leave an empty spot. I would have cracked. By the way. How is your mother today, if I may ask? I gather that she today is in her early nineties. Another question: In the book it is described that Ruth, the Assyrian lady in Tlaraz spoke Arabic. From what I have read both the Assyrians who lived in Turkey but also the Assyrians who today live in Iraq spoke/speak Aramaic. But did some of the Assyrians in Turkey have Arabic as their mother tung? What language did your father speak at home with his family in Mardin? Thea, I also hope this will become a movie one day. You should send your book to the world famous Danish director Bille August. He did "The House of the Spirits", because he loved the book by Isabel Allende. He will also love your book. Thank you. Karsten Kristoffersen, Copenhagen. E-mail:

February 13th, 2003 Dear Ms. Halo, Thank you for writing such a moving and insightful book on your personal history and that of the Pontian Greeks. My husband's parents lived in Trabazon, but were raised in the villages doting the mountains. I look forward to sharing this rich wonderful story with my 3 year old daughter, Paressa( she is named after my mother-in-law). This book will tell her the history of a proud people. More importantly, the story of an extremely intelligent and resourceful woman who overcame an increbile holocaust with such grace and love. The stories of how your mother navigated through New York City in those early years brought back a flood of memories of my Nana and her friends. I wish you continued success with educating us on the Pontian hertiage. Most of all thank you for sharing Sano Themia with us !!! Sincerely yours, Adriane Kuvacic Poulikidis

February 13th, 2003 Dear Mrs. Halo, my name is Anna Potea and I am a Greek student of Hospitality Business Management in the UK. I was deeply touched by your magnificent book and cried many nights as I was reading it. You should be very proud for your roots from both sides of your parents.I am very proud for being a Greek and here in the UK i try to tell them what my nation has been through from the Turks and the many wars we have suffered. Your mother has been a true inspiration. I believe that God choose her to survive not only to tell the story of her family and of our nation, but to pay her back by letting her create a wonderful family. I would love to meet her. God bless you both! Yours truly, Anna Potea P.S. By the way it is possible that your mother's name comes from Euthymia and her parents would just call her Thymia.

hello are you planning on writing any more books or perhaps organizing an expedition to pontus?I want to thank you for what you have done for hellenism and the greek diaspora.

found this site by accident, maybe there are no accidents my father came from symrna 9/22 my grandfather was a doctor who at one time also printed a newspaper. I am trying to find any relatves, or people who knew my family. lazar and efthyhia jeannopoulos ( giannopoulos, yannopoulos)takis, john, maritsa, costa, rhea.

© Copyright Thea Halo 2002/2008 All rights reserved.