The Massacre of Chios

The Massacre of Chios is for sure the worst event in the history of Chios. During the 4th century Greece was under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire.

In March 1822, Lykourgos Logothetis a general commander landed on Chios from the island of Samos to join the Chians in the Greek revolution against to the Turksih government. But the Turkish sultan heard some rumors about the people from Chios planning to attack Turkey and decided to send a fleet to destroy Chios and kill all the inhabitants.

The Turkish troops landed on Chios on the Holy Friday, April 13th 1822, and an incredible order of slaughter- and plundering followed. During two weeks, the Turkish soldiers eventually killed and tortured many innocent people and burned almost all the villages and churches.

More or less 90,000 people were killed in this "battle", the majority being Greeks, 50,000 were enslaved and about 25,000 were exiled. Only 2,000 inhabitants survived, hiding in the mountains for days or leaving the island over the sea. The island was left with scorched earth.

This battle on Chios affected all Europe. Many famous artists dedicated works to this really tragic event. Eugene Delacroix, the French painter, created one of his  most famous painting with the name "The Massacre in Chios". The work is more than four meters tall, and shows some of the horror of the wartime and its destruction afflicted the Island of Chios. Today we can visit the painting in the famous Louvre museum in Paris.

Also the great poet Victor Hugo wrote a poem about it. Many organizations all around Europe collected money to support the Greek Revolution with stuff for the war and a lot of people from the West came to Greece to fight against the Ottomans.

The revenge for the massacre came fast: Only 3 months later, in June 6th 1822, when Konstatinos Kanaris, a man from Chios, who survived the slaughter, set theTurkish fleet on fire, that had landed in the harbor of Chios. Due to his act, around 20.000 Turks were killed and all of the docked ships were destroyed.

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