Population Exchange in Greek Macedonia: The Rural Settlement of Refugees 1922-1930

Hardcover | August 15, 2005

byElisabeth Kontogiorgi

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Following the defeat of the Greek Army in 1922 by nationalist Turkish forces, the Convention of Lausanne in 1923 specified the first compulsory exchange of populations ratified by an international organization. The arrival in Greece of over 1.2 million refugees and their settlement proved tobe a watershed with far-reaching consequences for the country.Dr Kontogiorgi examines the exchange of populations and the agricultural settlement in Greek Macedonia of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Asia Minor and the Pontus, Eastern Thrace, the Caucasus, and Bulgaria during the inter-war period. She examines Greek state policy and the role of theRefugee Settlement Commission which, under the auspices of the League of Nations, carried out the refugee resettlement project. Macedonia, a multilingual and ethnically diverse society, experienced a transformation so dramatic that it literally changed its character. Kontogiorgi charts that changeand attempts to provide the means of understanding it. The consequences of the settlement of refugees for the ethnological composition of the population, and its political, social, demographic, and economic implications are treated in the light of new archival material. Reality is separated frommyth in examining the factors involved in the process of integration of the newcomers and assimilation of the inhabitants - both refugees and indigenous - of the New Lands into the nation-state. Kontogiorgi examines the impact of the agrarian reforms and land distribution and makes an effort toconvert the climate of the rural society of Macedonia during the inter-war period. The antagonisms between Slavophone and Vlach-speaking natives and refugee newcomers regarding the reallocation of former Muslim properties had significant ramifications for the political events in the region in theyears to come. Other recurring themes in the book include the geographical distribution of the refugees, changing patterns of settlement and toponyms, the organisation of health services in the countryside, as well as the execution of irrigation and drainage works in marshlands. Kontogiorgi also throws light uponand analyses the puzzling mixture of achievement and failure which characterizes the history of the region during this transitional period. As the first successful refugee resettlement project of its kind, the 'refugee experiment' in Macedonia could provide a template for similar projects involvingrefugee movements in many parts of the world today.

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From the Publisher

Following the defeat of the Greek Army in 1922 by nationalist Turkish forces, the Convention of Lausanne in 1923 specified the first compulsory exchange of populations ratified by an international organization. The arrival in Greece of over 1.2 million refugees and their settlement proved tobe a watershed with far-reaching consequences...

Elisabeth Kontogiorgi is a Researcher at the Research Centre for the Study of Modern Greek HIstory, at the Academy of Athens.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:396 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.07 inPublished:August 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199278962

ISBN - 13:9780199278961

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Historical Background: The Receiving Region and the Origins of the Greek Refugee Problem1. Macedonia 1870-19222. The RefugeesPart II: Refugee Resettlement in Macedonia3. Greek State Policy and the Involvement of the League of Nations4. The Land Issue before and during the Refugee Resettlement5. Agricultural Resettlement and Land DistributionPart III: The Social, Political and Ethnological Impact6. The Social and Political Impact7. The Ethnological Impact8. Geographical Distribution of the RefugeesPart IV: Developments in the Infrastructure and Agricultural Economy of Macedonia9. Infrastructure Development10. The Impact of Refugee Resettlement on Agriculture and Animal HusbandryEpilogueAppendicesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a well-researched, informative, rich account of a significant period in the history of Greek Macedonia.... It is embedded in the existing Greek historiography and its interests. It is well worth reading."--Violetta Hionidou, American Historical Review