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“The Unwanted Greeks”: Migration Movements from Odessa and Crimea to Greece, 1919
Shortly after the October Revolution of 1917, a civil war broke out in Russia between the Bolsheviks and the Tsarists, which lasted almost three years. The winners of the First World War, concerned with the possibility of the revolution spreading to the whole world in the event of the Bolsheviks winning, decided to send troops to Odessa and Crimea at the end of 1918 to support the Tsarists in this civil war. For this purpose, they asked help from Greece for this operation. The Greek Prime Minister Venizelos, who wanted to get full support of Britain and France for his plans for Izmir and Western Thrace at the Paris Peace Conference, reluctantly accepted this offer. Thus at the end of 1918, French and 1919, Greek troops were sent to the region. Shortly thereafter, however, the operation resulted in a complete fiasco and the troops in the region had to retreat. At the end Greece succeeded in getting support of Britain and France at the conference but this decision marked the beginning of a disastrous process for the Greek people living in the region. As retaliation for the involvement of Greece in the operation, the Bolsheviks began to apply the policy of oppression and forced displacement against the Greeks living in the region. Beginning in March and continuing intensively during April and May, these migrations led to a serious crisis in Greek politics on the eve of Izmir the expedition to Izmir. Venizelos mobilized all his opportunities and tried to place these immigrants in a region other than Greece, especially in Istanbul, Trabzon and Izmir. The purpose of this study is to evaluate this process and its effects in Greek political scene. The study is based on the Greek Foreign Ministry Archives, the Greek Language and Literature Archive, the Venizelos Archives at Benaki Museum athe periodical Greek newspapers and English sources.

October Revolution, Anti-Bolshevik Operation, Civil War, Greece, Odessa and Crimea, Immigration

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